Pedagogy Information

Performance Pedagogy

I find this topic interesting because I never really thought about what background people/professionals come from. I do believe that to a certain extent people that come from a musical background it is easier to understand why you have to practice, score study etc as much as you do. I know from my background that my mother played flute in high school and my siblings did the same. I have learned through the years that I don’t them somethings and I avoid phone calls etc when I am close to exams or major performances. I do believe that people that come from more musical backgrounds have more support from their family and they could also experience more pressure to meet a higher standard. I do agree with Kohut when he mentions Suzuki stating “Talent is no accident of birth” (p103).  Even the professionals have to practice at some point, but some techniques come to them easier. I also agree with Kohut their is nothing we are able to do to change the circumstances and I enjoy teaching both types of students. I am able to relate more to students that come from a non-musical family, but I enjoy learning about students that come from a musical family. Both types of students teach me new things.
Weaknesses in Music-Teacher Training
When Kohut speaks about first year teachers using trial and error and how he believes that this is “difficult to justify”. It makes me believe that he thinks everyone should have a standard way of teaching. I don’t agree with this and yes everyone will bring their own experiences from being a student, but that won’t be the same for the student they are teaching. If we did teach by trial and error how would we know that different or new techniques of teaching are useful and more effective than older techniques?I agree that students should have more experience teaching because it is helpful, but also teaches you a lot about how effective you are as a teacher. I find this chapter very frustrating because he seems to think that we have no foundations to teaching music. I one-hundred percent disagree because we all have the universal language of music theory and history. I believe that these create our foundations of teaching and scales are universal. Music is not a subject that you can say this is exactly how you will teach your students all of your students. Music is an art form and people are different so we have to accommodate our students so this makes the teacher unable to teach every student in the same way.
Problems in the Use of Literal Verbal Instructions
I believe that sometimes teachers may use too much verbal commands to help the student which can create a mind overload. This may also lead to paralysis by analysis. I also believe that in teacher I am teach my student to be able to teach themselves so we have a lot of verbal conversation at times which includes me questioning what the student thinks could be the problem. I also believe that verbal conversation is crucial for the student to be able to describe and use academic terms that relate or are about music. I have found throughout my music career that my mentors press me to learn and speak in an academic language. I believe that verbal instructions are important for the student and at some point you should not have a lot of verbal commands because the student will need to be able to evaluate themselves while they are performing and fix themselves without instruction.
Physiological–Analysis–Conscious-Control Method
I believe that this may dangerous to the student and for the teacher because both begin to worry about the mental aspects of playing. This causes a lack of attention to what we are actually trying to do. We are trying to make music, turn phrases and have fun in the process. I don’t find it always helpful for a teacher to tell me how my body operates in order to have a more efficient breath. This information is valid, but I would not advise giving these specific instructions to all students and even if you are going to give this information be cautious. Some students will enjoy learning these things are it will be helpful, some students like myself will close their ears because it is confusing and frustrating (totally regretting that now as a teacher) and then last their are some students that believe the information is useful, but really causes harm to the student. I would only recommend this to advanced students that you are able to monitor on a regular basis.
Recipe-Cookbook Method
This method is very effective when teaching some concepts, but it is not my favorite method. I believe that his example of free buzzing, then buzzing in the mouth piece and then place the mouthpiece into the horn is an excellent example and it is really effective. In some cases students don’t respond well to this method. I know from personal experience I play by feel on the horn and I know what shape my lips should be making so I hate buzzing on the mouthpiece and I find it ineffective for myself. I have also discovered that the shape of my lips make it more difficult for me to have a full buzz sound on the mouthpiece as well. The most interesting part is that I am known for having an excellent sound on the euphonium. I find free buzzing and playing notes of the piano more effective for myself. I do teach my students this method quite often because it does work for them. Another example is using breathing patterns, without the horn, then blowing the air through the horn and then actually playing the notes in the horn. Once again every student is different and they will need to be taught in different ways as well. The teacher should be flexible in their approach to teaching students.
I believe that this method is crucial for any level student because it helps the student develop quicker, but this should be used in moderation. Some teacher will catch themselves playing too much in a lesson and the student will be asked to play by themselves and plays very different. Also sometimes the teacher is just showing off their skill level, this is not helpful for the student. I am also a firm believer in recordings as well. Everyone should be aware of all the excellent musicians in the world and all the different instruments. A good place to start is your own instrument and then branch out into the next instrument closet to you then you will eventually listen to any musician performing and find valuable things from those performances that will enhance your own playing and teaching abilities. I really enjoyed and learned the most when I performed a hand written tenor aria about two years ago. I believe that I learned the most because I wasn’t listening to euphonium artist or imitating them I was imitating a tenor and a specific tenor. Imitation is a large part of learning an instrument, but should be used in moderation so that the student create their own musical interpretations.

Psychology of Teaching

–Motivation: This is defined by the student and how much the student is willing to trust their teaching. I have struggled throughout my career to be continually motivated to pursue music as a career. It takes a lot of determination and self-pride to be successful. You basically have to be a pretty selfish human being on some levels. Kohut breaks this into different  sub sections as well which I will discuss briefly.For me personally I have a on-going goal set to make professional recordings of solo euphonium as a woman because it hasn’t been done enough. I also have been complimented every time I play for a professional about my sound and I have been informed on many occasions that I have a very unique euphonium sound; so I want to share my sound with the world. I also believe that continually educating myself for my own knowledge and for my students. Teaching is a way to give back all the knowledge and music secrets that my mentors have shared with me. All of this knowledge means a lot to me and I want to share it with others.
~Internal and External motivation: internal comes from the student and external comes from the teacher or incentives. The students that have internal motivation are sometimes easier to teach because they want to reach a goal. Students that need external motivation turn that into internal motivation. This varies between each student.
~Common Causes of poor student motivation- I completely disagree with Kohut when he basically blames the teacher for the students not being motivated. Some students believe that music was fun in high school let me do that in college and they have no idea what they are signing up for. So how are we supposed to motivate students that make a poor decision and are unwilling to put in the time in the practice room. Why would you blame the teacher and the teacher’s personality? What about some students don’t work well with some teachers? I have a student at Mitchell that has only had two lessons since the semester has began and she skipped masterclass that was at 8am and then showed up for her lesson at 9am looking like she just rolled out of bed. I cancelled her lesson because she was obviously going to waste my time and didn’t even apologize to me. So according to Kohut this makes me a bad teacher? I don’t believe so my other student is so excited she is attending the International conference with the UNCG studio this summer. Unfortunately, the music business is a cut-throat business and if you don’t want to work hard and motivate yourself you will be eaten alive and quit. I know a lot of people that have quit the business.
–Competition- This is a highly interesting subject and I believe that students should enter competitions if they have interest in the competition. Competitions should NOT be forced on any student. I am competing my second competition this year. I have not competed in the past because I felt unstable as a musician and did not want to compete. I am also doing this competition to learn more about myself as a musician, person, competitor and for my students in the future. I want to be able to describe the competitions to them from the stand point that they will be in some day. Kohut describes the competition from different perspectives which I thoroughly enjoyed.
–Achieving High Performance Standards- This is a very simple task,but it is hard to execute and motivate your students to strive for this. For instance, some students believe that they already play awesome and they don;t need to practice to get better. This is when I turn on the recording device and have a reality check. I also encourage students to check out a wide variety of recordings that are very high quality because it helps to enhance their own perception of high performance quality. I have a certain go to videos that I always assign new students. If they aren’t motivated after these listenings then we have some other things to talk about. I try to relate the high performance standard to professionals and how students should always strive to be the best that they really want to be. i encourage students to check and seek out current active performing professionals. This is also a reflection of whom I am as a performer that I am always seeking out different teachers feedback on my own performances and teaching.
–Being Intense vs. Being “Laid Back”: Both of these concepts have a place in the classroom, but he teacher has to decide when these perspectives are appropriate. The dress of a teacher is important ,but sometimes it is good for your students to know that you are a average day person that goes to the grocery store and that you mow the yard etc. So my point is that if you go to work on occasion in jeans and a nice shirt that is okay. I also believe that being intense is needed in classroom because it helps the students develop their own intensity in their practice room and performance. I have been told that I am a very intense person so I am currently striving to be more laid back and I also take a anxiety prescription to help this as well. I think it is completely okay to teach from both perspectives and that you should be aware of who you are as a educator.

Introduction to Teaching

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 confident
~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.

psychophysiological principles

Concentration: Many examples of concentration are found in music and teaching music. From the perspective of the student they need to concentrate and focus on the musical line durning a performance rather than focusing on other distractions such as electronics talking or movement within the audience. The student should also be able to focus their attention on different things in their practice room such as concentrating on a special technique like vibrato, flutter tongue, tongue placement in different ranges etc. The teacher needs to be able to focus on certain concepts such as embouchure or finger placement to isolate different problematic errors that the student could be making. Sometimes with a younger or less experience student this would be even more difficult because you want to fix multiple things at once, but you have to concentrate on one concept at a time so that you do not over stimulate/confuse the student.
Musical conception: One example of musical conception is that the student/teacher hears a professional playing the musical passage and imitates that professional. Another version of this is for the student/teacher to image the pitch, tone quality and other musical qualities etc. before playing. Another example could be when a student is assigned to write a composition for their aural skills/music theory course and they have to imagine what the orchestration/ensemble should be and what different tone qualities they want to use depending on the musical concept they have created in their brain.
Listening: listening can help influence the different musical conceptions that students/teachers form. Listening is used in several ways such as listening to live performances and listening to recordings. Any of these recordings could include solo literature, ensemble literature, require listenings etc. Listening is not effective if the musician is completing another task such as driving, doing other work etc. I personally prefer to listen with headphones on my own time. Sometimes I listen while walking somewhere or sitting because this allows me to absorb the different sounds and really helps to form a critical musical ear. I completely agree with Kohut when he explains that the better recordings you listen to the better your musical ear will develop.
Singing: Singing is very important for brass players because we have so many particles that can be played only using one valve. I stress to my students and to myself to live at the piano the first couple of times learning a new piece and being able to sing and conduct the music before ever touching the instrument equipment. Singing is also valuable when discussing different interpretations because I really do believe that if you can not sing the phrase the way you want it to sound then you will be unable to play the phrase the way you want. Singing helps develop a better musical concept as well because it helps intonation, tone quality, hearing different harmonic indications without the full accompaniment.
Inner Game techniques: This is a set of several techniques that includes trusting the body, quieting the mind, increasing awareness, awareness problems and letting it happen through nonjudgemental awareness.
Trusting the body is applied to music by being able to trust your ability to teach or perform at a certain level because you have studied, practiced and prepared for success.
Quieting the mind is applied to music by being able make the anxious thoughts or distractions go away and bringing the level of focus higher on the task at hand. This teachnique helps the performer to focus on breathing for instance instead of their hands sweating etc.
Increasing Awareness is being able to process everything around you but focus on the body and what feedback the body is giving. For instance, being able to understand certain hand positions might be altered during a performance due to muscle endurance. Instead of freaking out about your hand becoming tired take it away from the instrument when possible and try to release the muscle tension.
Awareness problems is broken into several different states of the mind such as fear, lack of self confidence, trying too hard etc. All of these different state will happen to most performers at some point of their career and some are able to control these thoughts by pushing them away or turning them into different thoughts. This is a very difficult task to become aware of and to face as a performer.
Letting it happen through nonjudgemental awareness: is allowing yourself as a musician to accept judgement from yourself or others without letting it deform to reality of your own playing. This is very vital for success in the practice room because you want to be very honest with yourself but you cannot be harmful to yourself.
Posture: is the awareness of how your body should be alined with itself. This includes accepting that your spine might have more curves than most people or that you have less curves than most. It is vital for all musicians to understand that posture is NOT sitting up straight with feet flat on the floor. Poor posture will lead to inefficient body tension and can result in injury or sever pain.
Attention Control: Is vital for success in most areas but especially in music. A student/performer needs to be able to focus their attention for practice sessions, performances, rehearsals and even listening exercises. This requires a lot of patience and understanding your own personal limits as a person. Some people are able to have effective practice sessions that last longer than others but the recommended time limit is around thirty minutes long so that the brain does not lose concentration.

Learning theory for Instrumental Pedagogy

Behavioral Psychology- a study of psychology that explains the mental and physical reactions. This behavior can be influenced by rewards or punishments. Application- Students will strive for perfection to be first in an ensemble so they can be #1. Or the student strives to play the best so they can play a solo.
Positive reinforcement- when someone is rewarded for doing well; such as giving a dog a treat after sitting. Application: Having a challenge with your student to see who can play the scale faster and they are rewarded with candy or praise.
Negative reinforcement-when something is taken away from someone when they have done something incorrectly. Application-Not allowing a student to continue in a lesson because they have not practiced.
Cognitive Psychology-the study of mental process also known as memory, perception, problem solving, creativity etc. Application- the student being able to problem solve when practicing what they are doing incorrectly and what they are doing correctly.
Gardner Nine types of intelligence-Naturalist, Musical, Logical/Mathematical, Existential, Interpersonal, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Intra-personal, Spatial. Application-all of these learning types will help you understand different students and how they function as humans and as musicians; it will also allow you to have a further understanding what techniques might be easier for the student such as scales verses turning a musical phrase.
Naturalist-being engaged in nature or high interested; hunter, gather etc.
Musical-being engaged in music and having a higher knowledge for pitch, rhythm etc.
Logical/Mathematical-is able to solve difficult mathematical operations etc.
Existential- engaged in deep questions such as questions about life and existence.
Interpersonal- being engaged with people on a more personal level being able to see things from multiple perspectives.
Bodily-Kinesthetic- being able to have high coordination with objects such as athletes, dancers etc.
Linguistic- being able to express or think about things and describe them using language.
Intra-personal- being able to understand yourself and how you function and how your feelings are developed etc.
Spatial- is being able to think in three dimensions; such as sailors and pilots etc.
Humanistic Psychology- the study of a person and has emphasis on the person’s behavior and they are able to see themselves behaving as well. Application- Being able to understand oneself from the perspective of the teacher and the student being able to understand themselves. This is very important when creating and focusing on goals while being an teacher/student/musician. Being humanistic will help the teacher find the most fitting ways to teach certain students by studying themselves. The student will succeed faster if they learn to humanistic and evaluate themselves on a regular basis.
Peak experiences- reaching a maximum point, also known as a euphoric mental state often happens durning sex or musical performances. Application- This is very common during high stake performances or auditions; which may include a degree recital, chamber performance etc.
Self esteem and self image- ‘self-respect’ a confidence in one’s self worth; also know as a respect for yourself. Self image may also be defined as the vision you have of yourself; how you are depicted or want to be depicted to others. Application- Both of these are vital for success as a teacher and as student. The teacher has to have a positive self esteem for themselves that promotes confidence so that they not only believe in themselves ,but because it will help their students believe and trust in them as well. I believe that a healthy amount of self esteem in the student is important for success as well because you need to establish that you have some knowledge and positive thought process about music/performance.

Neuromuscular Physiology

-the muscular system: is a system that allows movement of the body, blood circulation and allows you to hold yourself up.
-Application: It is important to understand which muscles affect the student while playing to prevent injuries. It can also be discussed in Alexander Technique classes and if you are using yourself efficiently.
-neuromuscular coordination: is the combination of muscle groups working together to create a smooth movement. This is often used in musical performance, dance and sports.
-Application: students performing in an ensemble staying together while coordinating their own personal music part (pitch, intonation, rhythms etc.) Beginning an instrument for the first time and being able to sing and conduct etc.
-the human brain: is located in the skull and helps control and coordinate mental and physical movements.
-Application: understanding how the brain is very organized and how it processes certain things will help the teacher be successful in teaching and playing in several ways.
-information processing: is when information is taken in and then processed which can create different information or observations/perspectives.
-Application: Understanding how you or your students process information (different learning styles) is vital for success. Also recognizing that people cycle out different information as useless information.
the decision-executive stage: taking information in and processing that information into muscle movements.
-Application:Understanding this process may help the student/performer/teacher understand different ways of thinking and learning types and what are your typical reflexes.
motor-output stage:is when information is process and has a reaction as an impulse.
-Application: Knowing how and where information is processed and how that information can affect the student/professional physically/mentally/emotionally.
voluntary and involuntary functions: two different functions the first one is reflex reactions and the second one is learned reflexes that could have happened durning childhood.
-Application: Being able to adapt to different students/musicians and colleagues in different situations in several environments.
reflex actions: another example of a involuntary function; these are sometimes already built into the body or they are reactions to the environment.
-Application: Some students/professionals have certain routines they do or complete before practice or before a performance and are not always willing to change these habits.
the sensory system: is how the body takes in information and process it into decisions etc.
-Application: Knowing and understanding when you’re body is telling you that it is tired or that you are creating pain or tension while playing or completing a task.
external feedback: information that is received through the senses on the body such as touch, smell, hear etc.
-Application: When a person relies on different senses to operate such as a hearing impaired person relies on touch and feel of vibrations.
“knowledge of results”: is a type of feedback that musicians or athletes give by questioning their level of performance.
-Application: Being able to critique yourself durning and after a performance in a healthy manner.
knowledge of progress: accumulating the knowledge of results.
-Application: Being able to understand a poor performance and move forward.
internal feedback: information that you feel about your performance.
-Application: Students/professionals being able to critique their own performance (in a healthy manner)
kinesthesis: different movements or actions that are habitual and that can be brought to your attention by someone else such as a teacher.
-Application: Knowing and understanding how you perform or teach and what things could be habitual and understanding if the habitual things are efficient or not.
the vestibular mechanism: a sensory organ that is in the body that helps creates balance through the movement of the head.
-Application: Knowing and understanding how the position of the head can affect and create different triggers that will prevent success in learning or performing.

Elements of Teaching

Five Elements of Teaching
-crossing the line of professionalism
-claiming that a student has disability
-Giving up on difficult students
-Neglecting students
-Being condescending to students
-Excellent communication
-Helps to create and achieve goals
-currently making and achieving own music goals
-Being concerned and up to date on students
-Creating and showing a healthy balance of life/music/teaching

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