Sunday, January 15, 2012

Relevance and Ability

Evaluating a student’s abilities, interest, and style of learning is a fine-tuned skill.

I am still challenged by it.

How do I make the material relevant to a person’s learning style, intelligence, coordination?

And give the student a feeling of accomplishment, too?

Even though a violin student had not demonstrated proficiency in earlier skills, I felt the need to move him along.

It was hard to tell what he was willing to do.

Reluctance is often caused by a sense of failure or disorientation outside the music lesson.

I took the chance of giving him something far above his violin-playing experiences.

It was intellectually interesting enough to engage his mind.

Then, once he played it, it became culturally relevant. He recognized the tune.

That became self-reinforcing.

Maybe he will practice...

© 2012 Kathryn Hardage