Go Slow

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_Zen_garden.jpg

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_Zen_garden.jpg

 

I have had four reminders recently of the importance of teaching and learning s-l-o-w-l-y.

On Saturday I had a gap between students at the Music Centre, and filled it with some long-overdue piano practice.¬†First I checked out a couple of pieces that might suit a new student. I’m not sure what level they are playing at, but there are issues with learning style and technique that I want to address before starting exam pieces. I barged through the pieces and discovered that they had some unexpected intricacies… time to stop and take it slower!

Then I worked on a couple of Czerny ‘School of velocity’ studies, and, remembering my sight-reading mishaps, started at a definitely Andante tempo.

This morning, I read two blog posts; this one from www.pianodao.com

https://pianodao.com/2018/11/11/slow-progress/

which discusses the importance of slow practice and reinforced what I had just been thinking,

and this one from www.smartclassroommanagement.com

https://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2018/11/10/how-to-avoid-losing-your-students-attention/

This last post is a timely reminder of something that I learned quite late in my teaching life. I am always so worried about boring my class, and losing their attention, that I tend to teach too fast, too loudly, too energetically. But that is not always the best way… ‘slow’ teaching can give the children a chance to absorb and reflect. Of course, it is possible to teach toooo slowly…. Also, I have also found that sometimes adding to the energy levels in the class gets everyone over-excited, and keeping things steady results in getting more done.

As music teachers we are very lucky; our subject is fascinating and the instruments are energising enough on their own – we don’t need to ‘sell’ it to the students, at least not most of the time!Poppy divider

 

 

 

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