Day 34: Learning Style

“Learning Style” is a modern buzz-phrase in education circles.  What is “their” learning style?  How can I adapt my material to “their” learning style?  Just what is a learning style?

I am peripheral to these discussions at work, and in my own practice I teach using visual and auditory methods to get the information from my head to “theirs”.  I can hang with that.

Taking music lessons, at least in this particular instance, is a pretty didactic and auditory experience.  We are given information verbally, we are exposed what it is supposed to sound like.  There was a terrific set of handouts at the first lesson, but as of the second week this changed to just the week’s songs with words and chords.  There is nothing wrong with this.

I am a visual learner, to go farther I can say I am a solitary visual learner.  I learn best when given the chance to stare at information and process it at my own speed before having to  pull it back out and use it.  Given these two things I can learn anything, but without them I find I need to go away from the lesson, work it out on paper somehow, and then return with my new knowledge in good working order.  If you ask me to watch you play something, or read along while it is played, I can turn around and play it back to you (at a beginners level).  Where I run into problems is when information is presented verbally, like music theory and how chord patterns relate to music theory.  I can understand this if given time to absorb and turn it over in my head.  It will be quicker if you give it to me on paper.  I can’t turn either around during class and answer a question that asks me to use this new information.  To put it in education lingo – I haven’t built a mental schema to process that information yet.  More bluntly: this site is under construction, please come back later.

I bet I look like a deer in the headlights when I’m asked something new in class.  I sort of feel like a dumbass (sorry to get so technical).  Ask me something about last week’s homework – I might surprise you with what I’ve figured out.

Now something for my sweetie – who has become obsessed with Julia Nunes

This week I’m supposed to let the instructor know what song I would like to learn to play during the last class.  I’m thinking George Harrison’s “Give me Love”, mainly because I love to sing it.  What do you think, too hard?

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