This month, my blog is a simple one (like me!). I’ve stumbled on a cheap idea for teaching anything involving sequencing and I’m loving it (and my students too)!

Enter the mighty…(drum roll)…cup!

Yes, some easy to come by disposable cups can quickly be transformed into some really fun teaching aids. Why not lay out the cups in a random fashion and challenge your pupil to stack them into the correct order.

Think about how you could use this technique in your lessons. Here are some ideas for organising musical concepts:

• Dynamics (from quietest to loudest)

• Rhythm notes and rest (from shortest to slowest)

• Periods of history

• Technical names of the scale

• Key signature sharps or flats [···]

Read More

PuzzleIn last month’s article, we discussed the secret of moving new information from our short-term memory into our long-term memory: PRS!

Okay, so here’s a quick memory test: can you remember what PRS stood for? No? Yes? Just in case you need reminding; Patterns, Repetition and Stimulus! (Link to part 1)

This month, I would like to focus on using “patterns” to help not only ourselves but our students to deeply embed important learnt information into our long-term memory.

The Big Mental Jigsaw!

The long-term memory works to connect new information to that which was previously learnt. A bit like slotting in a new piece of jigsaw to the sections previously solved. Jumping to a completely abstract concept can be a very challenging leap for both learner and teacher and best avoided. Better teaching is to build on what the student already understands. This is the concept behind grades or levels in music education, providing a gentle and systematic approach to learning based on progressively growing the students knowledge and skills.

When introducing a new idea in a lesson, can we  [···]

Read More