What is good teaching? What is a good teacher?—Please discuss how these might be similar or different as applied to private instrumental teaching.
Good teaching is hard to define like Kohut describes because it seems to be an abstract concept to me. For instance, I had one of the best lessons of my career with an International artist ,but I can not describe the exact reasons why it was good teaching. I believe that good teaching involves a high knowledge and study of music and how music is effectively taught to different learners and students. Being able to teach students that are visual learners verses audio learners. I do agree with Kohut as well when he discusses how good teachers are not born good teachers. I believe that it takes times. I do believe that good teaching and a good teacher overlap quite a bit. Some teachers are good teachers for some students and not to others because of their developmental/learning environments and experiences. A good teacher must be willing to re-evaluate themselves and take criticism from others on a consistent basis. I agree with Kohut’s qualifications of being a good teacher which included good communication, being a good role model, is a exceptional musical-performance role model, teaches how to teach oneself ad being able to motivate students. All of these are good qualities and some teachers could be stronger in certain areas so they need to be open to learning new teaching techniques/ideas. All of these concepts can be directly applied to teaching private instrumental lessons. I believe that any type of technique can be modified to fit private teaching. It just takes some creativity to modify certain learning exercises.
2. Communication–give examples of how we might communicate well with our instrumental students
~being able to communicate without using words (non-verbal communication)
~being able to listen effectively
~communicating with clarity and concision
~being able to be friendly and personable
~being able to disagree/ having a difference of opinion in a friendly manner
~having an open mind to new things
~having respect for yourself and students
~being able to accept feedback and give feedback
3. Teacher as Role Model, Teacher as Performance Model, Teacher as Motivator–Please discuss how these may be different and give examples applicable to Instrumental Teaching.
All three of these subject overlap at some point and have some differences.
Role Model Teacher: being a well rounded and open person. This includes trying new things and discovering what works for you and what would work for others. The teacher also strives to be better and to live up to their own highest potential. Being able to give great advice is a nice quality as well. Also making good positive choices, thinking out loud on occasion, apologizes and admits to mistakes, following through with their own goals,showing respect, being well rounded and demonstrating confidence.
Performance Model: this has all of the same qualities of being a good role model, but not forgetting to have an active successful performing career.
Teacher as Motivator: having a strong background in that specific area, being inspirational, guiding students, using positive reinforcement, being open about your specific love for music and how you are continually motivating yourself, encourage students, get the students involved and more active, offer incentives, be creative and draw connections to real life.
4. Developmental Learning–how does this apply to Instrumental Teaching?
Three types of developmental learning
1. Cognitive learning: also has three stages within the learning that are cognitive understanding (explains the importance and negative/positive consequences of a task or concept), voluntary application stage (students begin trying to complete the task/ concept you have discussed), established habit stage (they are now completing the task/concept without even knowing or thinking about it). A simplified why that I think about this is the ability to process information, reason, remember and relate. This specific learning is applied to instrumental teaching in many ways such as learning new playing technique like vibrato, crescendo,, decrescendo etc.
2. Perceptual-Motor learning: also has three stages conceptual- understanding stage (listening to other musicians and observing them durning a performance and learning what a good performance is), voluntary-action stage (students make a effort to replicate what they have witnessed) and involuntary stage(when performing on stage their actions are automatic). This learning is also known as improving the coordination and accuracy of movements. This really applies to music because we encourage our students to seek out recordings and live performances and they eventually replicate those performances.
3. Synthesis-Analysis-Synthesis: this concept consists of telling the students what you are going to tell them, then give them the information and then tell them what they told you them. (Kohut) This is a key component of teaching that has been taught to me and I use this without even thinking about it. For example, you say what the lesson is going to be about, then you have the lesson and then at the end of the lesson you recap what they have learned.
5. Synthesis-Analysis-Synthesis, Whole vs. Parts–how do these apply to Instrumental Teaching? When might you apply one vs. the other?
Synthesis-Analysis (discussed above) Whole vs. Parts: taking a task and breaking it down into simpler parts for the student to understand easier for example practicing smaller sections and then adding two small sections together and continuing this process. I would use Synthesis durning a lesson with a more advanced student and then when teaching how to practice I would use the Whole vs. Parts. Whole vs. Parts is an easier way to teach a difficult concept or section of music that is exceptionally challenging to the student. For example, I teach double tonguing from a whole vs. parts by having the student practice the tah syllable, then kah throat syllable and then add them together. I would use synthesis for the lesson as a whole, but I would only use synthesis to teach something to a very advance student that needs to know and understand the process differently . I don’t want to limit myself to teaching the lower level of students by using the Whole vs. Parts ,but I would not say it would be in the best interest to teach a beginner with the synthesis process. I would not do this because it would make the student constantly wonder and they would not be able to just focus on the simple task at hand.