Teaching back to front

30 Jan

The music teacher was chatting to me today. He mentioned that he was struggling to get his class to play together as a band, and had been trying to teach them how to for years. They just didn’t seem to get it.

kids bandWhen he almost had given up, he said just off the cuff – hey, you, just hold down that chord on they keyboard, asked another to play this chord on the guitar, showed another a simple drum riff. He stepped back and realised that without even realising it, they were all playing together as a band. He couldn’t understand how it had happened, and now was having a dilemma because he was thinking perhaps he should not give up on it after all.

I told him that sometimes we have to teach back to front.

Sometimes, if we give too many instructions, make children aware of too many things at once, they just cannot do it. What he did here is asked them to focus on one simple thing, the rest just came naturally on an unconcious level.

Think about it. You drive to work every day, but you do not conciously think of breathing, making your heart beat, sometimes you might not even rememebr the hourney you were so used to it, you drove on autopilot.

Sometimes teaching is like this. Just do it, and do it again and again, and you will find that they learn, even without the instruction. Sometimes words just detract from the learning, in fact.

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