Clearly this was a critical stage of the process of putting a solution to the problem.
Both teachers believed that the practice by students at home needed improvement, especially the technical skills, such as rhythm, progression, or systematic elimination of errors.
Homework is a familiar part of schooling and is recommended within the school’s pedagogical framework, (Pitler & Stone, 2012).
Music can block out these distractions as long as the music is not distracting itself. You think about the words and not your math assignment. Avoid songs that include lots of changes and contrasts.
It’s much better to have smooth, repetitive melodies without sharp turns in tempo or surges in volume. Other ways to block auditory distractions are nature sounds, like rainfall, or just plain old white noise. Check out “The Mind Matters Show” for more learning tips!
Research into the theory of deliberate practice confirmed that the strategy has the potential to improve both student performance and student mindset about what makes a musician.
To assess the impact of the strategy, each Music teacher focused on a case study of a selected individual student, rather than the whole class.Student A’s interest was caught by the modelling and degree of importance we were giving to the need for deliberate practice of the specific exercises.In class, I hammered (metaphorically) the benefits of deliberate, solitary practice with all students so that strong communication of the same message came from both teachers.It was agreed that the ‘gigs every night’ life of a professional musician is a myth and that the students lacked understanding of the solitary nature of a musician’s practice.In addition, they needed to accept that the deliberate practice might very well be ‘effortful’ and not ‘inherently enjoyable’ (Schraw, 2005, p.396).When I approached A’s instrumental teacher, he identified specific strengths and weaknesses for the student – his notational and pitch skills were excellent, but rhythmic skills were a problem.So, I knew what technical weaknesses needed attention. The instrumental teacher identified exercises from a percussion tutoring book – – then demonstrated how the required rhythms could be played on single notes.This professional development within a Peer Learning Group (PLG) involved meetings, discussion, observation and reflection, supported by Patsy in her role of Master Teacher/facilitator of action research.Initially, discussion was about the work of Susan Cain (2012) in her text Quiet, in which she defined deliberate practice as being solitary, requiring intense concentration and motivation, as well as ‘working on the task … Her core intent in the text was to emphasise the contrast between introverts and extroverts, supporting consideration in this study of how students saw themselves as musicians.Using the voice to say the rhythms developed improved skill in reading notation, what the teacher referred to as automatic application of a skill.He emphasised the three types of vocalising to be used – numbers, time names, sound names – perhaps at different times depending on the type of work.