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Inspiration for parents/learners/fellow teachers

Some inspiration for the day -

One of the reasons I enjoy teaching children is the extraordinary amount of creativity required to bring music learning to life in a fun and enjoyable way. This article is full of ideas by Barbara Balatelo to help children repeat tasks endlessly - the certain path to mastery.

One key point in this next article is the difference between learning and mastery. Recently in Singapore, there has been a keen interest in Japanese artistry - from enjoying the almost transcendental nature of a fine omakase meal, to appreciating the perfection of Japanese furniture design. I think it is no coincidence that the Suzuki method (created by Japanese Musician Shinichi Suzuki) emphasizes mastery of the instrument.

These are Shinichi Suzuki's thoughts on the four steps to mastery, from the article written by Lucy Shaw.

"We actually get to practice performing the steps to mastery. There are four steps to mastery.

  • Level one is to learn and memorize notes, rhythms, fingerings and bowings. Often times parents think “Wow, we are done” and so may children, but there is so much more. That is just the first level.

  • The next level (note by me: REVIEW) we continue to develop our notes and fingerings and rhythms and bowings, but we also add tone and intonation, dynamics, bow distribution or any special techniques the piece requires.

  • At level three, we continue to develop these and add style and phrasing and ensemble skills.

  • At level four, what we do is practice all of these skills in performance situations, not just once, but many times."

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