Note from the Editor
Last month we had our Independent Music Teacher's Program. When you think of the combined years of experience in our membership, you realize one of the best reasons to join NWSMTA is for the support and resource of your colleagues. The topic this year was evaluation broken down into four categories; self-evaluation, peer evaluation, teacher and outside (contests, public performances, etc.). Following the presentation, the teachers broke into groups to continue the sharing of ideas.
These are some of the ideas that came from those small group discussions...
-It's helpful to ask open ended questions, like "How might you do the phrase differently?" Or "How would you make this music your own?"
-Listen in a group class to a recording and discuss it. Or recordings with diverse interpretations or different tempi.
-Have students write down comments, playing the role of the judge as others perform. They could use the AIM evaluation sheet.
- it was suggested to provide the students with a word bank, to help with their descriptions of performances. Ingrid Clarfield has a list in her books as a starter.
-Also be sure to check out the MTNA site for self-assessment for teachers.
-Use an iPad to record the student they've warmed up. It can be reviewed together at the lesson. Or the file can be sent to others, such as a practice buddy.
- Change roles and let the student become the teacher. The teacher could replay a section as the student has performed it. Together they could problem solve to create new practice ideas.
-To teach the students how to listen for different musical concepts the teacher could perform two examples demonstrating obvious differences in hand balance, phrasing, dynamics, etc.
If you're interested in the teaching sheet I use with my intermediate and above students, you may click here
. If you prefer it as an excel file, email me and I'll send it to you, so you can modify it to meet your own teaching needs. I'd appreciate hearing if you found it successful, or what modifications worked for you.
With the younger students, I have a blank for GOAL at the top of each sheet. I especially find it helpful to review what we've worked on and letting the student decide which aspect they are going to make their highest priority for the week. It's revealing to see what they remember you covered during their lesson. Then if you really want to make an impact on their practice, be sure to check and comment on their success with their GOAL.
Deb Lynch, Editor
P.S. To decode my abbreviations...
___X - Repetitions
SLUG - Slow Ugly practice (John Westney)
HA - Hands alone
MM - Metronome Marking (They keep track)
+1 - Practicing a group (ex. 4 16ths) plus 1 more
> - Moving accents (ex. > the 2nd of every 16th group, then the 3rd, etc.)
+ Note -start with an easy group of notes and add to it, to build a run, or slightly bigger groups to build a section (good memorizing tech.)
BS - Backstitch - start at the end of the run or piece and keeping working backward. You are always playing toward what you know.
BAB -Build a Bridge (Ingrid Clarfield/Philipp Johnston)
*Asterisck - Jump on a difficult note, and HAMMER a rhythm onto it.
(Trains the arm to find the note, and teaches student to be alert at the most important moment.)
I draw a hand with one finger raised for one finger practice on a phrase.
I draw two eyelids closed for eyes closed practice.
I suggest a practice technique for them by highlighting the box. They use it the rest of the week for themselves and to be able to let me know what they did if I ask, "How have you practiced that so far?"