Summer – a time for learning – a time to acquire knowledge or skills through experience, study or by being taught.
What type of summer learner are you?
The “armchair” learner
Is it time to put your feet up and get out the book that has sat on your desk all winter?
Is it time to sit on the deck and catch up on your professional journals?
Is it time to peruse those websites that have been bookmarked for months?
Is it time to listen to the recordings you purchased at last year’s concerts?
The “day-trip” learner
Is it time to schedule a summer’s worth of coaching lessons from a local professional?
Is it time to attend a workshop being held in your community?
Is it time to share experiences and ideas with local colleagues?
Is it time to visit local libraries, museums, and galleries?
Is it time to attend an event as a participant rather than a presenter?
The “big trip” learner
Is it time to attend a national professional conference?
Is it time to experience another culture?
Whatever your learning style, enjoy your summer!
Posted May 15, 2014on:
Tips for Completing Your Spring Goals
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” Plan detailed careful practice sessions now to master your music for spring recitals or to complete important course deadlines.
Minimize distractions during your practice sessions. Turn off your “devices” and focus on your music.
Communicate with your family and friends and share your goals. You’d be surprised how supportive they will be. They may even organize a detailed practice schedule for you.
Timing is everything. Schedule your practice sessions when you are mentally alert and ready to focus on and enjoy your music.
Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your music!
What inspires me?
My students inspire me to:
- learn new repertoire
- play favorite repertoire again
- analyze my new repertoire to discover hidden harmonic gems
- explore new soundscapes even in my practice time
- to creatively teach my congregation new hymns
- to set goals for planning and performing two new solo concert programs
- to not be afraid of difficult challenges in repertoire
- to practice …oh…and practice some more!
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and instructor of organ and piano
What a great practice idiom!
start each practice session
- tenaciously with specific goals in mind
- and with lion-like energy
so you can
end each practice session
- rejoicing in goals met
- with lamb-like exuberance
While traveling I had the opportunity to catch up on some reading and came across a thought-provoking article by Drew Faust, President of Harvard and Wynton Marsalis, noted classical and jazz musician on “The Art of Learning.” Dr. Faust and Marsalis espoused that “we need learning that incorporates what the arts teach us.”
Excerpting their article, I’d like to share some of their thoughts with you as you plan your goals and find ways to realize your musical dreams in the coming months:
- The arts are about imagining beyond the bounds of the known.
- The arts embrace the past and the future of the human mind and soul.
- Playing music can be both a model and a metaphor for important aspects of the life we are called to lead.
Music stresses individual practice and technical excellence.
Learning to play or paint, dance, sing or act, means constantly being refashioned, constantly demanding risk.
Dealing with one’s inevitable mistakes is a part of an artist’s education.
Let’s learn to:
- practice til it hurts,,
- bravely take the stage,
- create and innovate,
- and, after hitting that wrong note — follow it up with the right one.
Use photos as an improvisation tool to help students explore an instrument, a technique, or a compositional idea.
- A photo of a waterfall encourages students to explore the full range of the keyboard
- A picture of jagged mountain peaks encourages students to use full hand chords to create power
- A photo of a roiling clouds with streaks of lightning encourages students to explore the power of the bass in contrast to quick rapid notes in the upper register of the instrument
- A photo of mist-shrouded valleys encourages the use of the sustain pedal
- A picture of bagpipers encourages the use of 5ths as an accompaniment to a jaunty melody
- A photo of bumblebees encourages the exploration of 2nds and rapid running passages
Obviously the list is endless and with today’s technology one can easily share photos via the electronic devices most of us carry.