Teaching the Old Music Teacher New Tricks

I am teaching students about musical intelligence and how it is woven in the world, not teaching musicians.

My wife continues her transformation as a teacher. At breakfast, she shared the above quote with me over a great meal at our favorite breakfast restaurant. She also was excited, sharing other insights that she has gained over the last few days.

She discovered YouTube and the fact she could learn music by watching videos. This after an evening of hearing the chords of Benny and the Jets for a couple hours last night. “I have learned memorized three songs in two days.

She discovered that she can memorize patterns of letters quicker, rather than traditional music notation, more quickly.

This then led her to ask, “If there is so much music that someone can learn by simply watching a video and then playing the piano, how does this shift the role of the teacher?”

Ah, the transformation continues. She is asking the question many of us are asking. This has led us to conversations about implementing individual, passion based projects with her junior high students. Letting them learn the keyboard, but using the song they want rather than being teacher directed.

A wonderful transformation indeed.

Playing Benny and the Jets on Piano

One thought on “Teaching the Old Music Teacher New Tricks

  1. Vinnie-
    Yes! Your wife is right! This changes everything when it comes to teaching music. I am a middle school music teacher in Seattle and I have to “apologize” every time we start a new semester of piano class. The monologue goes something like this: “The songs in this piano method book are not the songs you listen to on your iPod…does anybody have ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ on your iPod?’…” Thankfully I have a small Mac lab and Garageband to get kids interesting in learning the piano and use this technology to create-“…individual, passion based projects…” as you so wonderfully put it in your post. Three cheers for your wife’s teaching methods.

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