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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) How to prepare for a lesson
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Andrew Meronek

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« on: Jun 15, 2017, 07:17PM »

Fellow educators and students, what kinds of things do we have to do to get the most out of a music lesson? Unspecifically, things besides practicing.
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 15, 2017, 07:39PM »

Open mind, a goal, and prepare questions you want to ask.

Leif
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 15, 2017, 07:40PM »

Have a goal in mind of what you want to achieve. Not just play something and expect to be told what is wrong.

If you have a core technical issue, ask how the teacher approaches it themselves. If you dont understand ask for clarification. Tell the teacher what you want to achieve from the music you bring to the lesson, is it for an audition? Recital? Entertainmemt?

Be open to being told you are not playing well, or approaching something incorrectly. No point in getting defensive.

Ask questions and be open. Don't dismiss any advice until you have given it a fair go.
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 15, 2017, 11:29PM »

1. Be open to the advice you get.

2. Try the things suggested even though you find it awkward to begin with.

3. Don't plan to play everything at perfection. Could just make you nervous . Be relaxed.

4. Remember you are NOT there to teach, you are there to learn. No point in telling the teacher what YOU are doing.

5. The teacher will tell you what he/she thinks will help you most (if he is good), therfore you should NOT start with a lot of questions. Let the teacher do his job and save your questions to later, or to the next lesson. First things first.

/Tom
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 16, 2017, 01:56AM »

I agree with most of have been said, especially about having an open mind.

It also depends a bit if you are doing several lessons with same teacher or if this is a one time or two time situation. If it is a one time situation it is probably the best to not anticipate any special structure of the lesson and be open to what happens.

For my part I like to set a side the last 5 minutes to recap main points and topics from the lesson, what to focus on, what to practice etc. If time also to get this down on paper so I remember it.
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 16, 2017, 04:42AM »

As a student. Assemble everything needed in no order:

1) Technical studies

2) Music - purchased and/or self arranged

3) Laptop loaded with accompaniments

4) Portable stereo system

5) Extension cords, etc.

6) Mutes (if needed)

7) Appropriate horn for #2 above - along with mouthpiece(s) du jour

8) Music stand(s) (if needed)

9) Long Lexan rectangle pieces for music stands to allow for more sheets of music to be held on stands

10) Albums and/or cd's for discussion

11) Pencil for note-taking

12) Questions

13) Objectives

14) Goals

Anyway, that's how I roll.

...Geezer
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harrison.t.reed
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 16, 2017, 04:55AM »

Whoa, Geezer. That's crazy. Why would you need all that stuff at your lesson?
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 16, 2017, 05:06AM »

Whoa, Geezer. That's crazy. Why would you need all that stuff at your lesson?

To play, learn and perform!

After an appropriate amount of time going over some required technical stuff, it's all about the music because it's all about the music!

In my sessions, we often are both playing - together and/or taking turns.

It's fabulous!

...Geezer
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 16, 2017, 05:10AM »

You lose at least 1/3 of it each day.

To retain it, write it down immediately after and play it that same night. 
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 16, 2017, 12:23PM »

Practice every day. Student should know the teacher's expectations. those of us who are not taking from a teacher make your self accountable to someone.

Buddy Baker had good ideas in his tenor trombone handbook. Also look for Marta Hofacre's How to teach collegiate trombone. I think she put this online. BOth of these are great books for teacher and student alike.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 16, 2017, 12:34PM »

I thought I better clarify my  "Practice every day" remark. I 'm not trying to be a wise guy but I do feel the aspect of every day gets missed by students. One can't help but to improve by practicing every day. I think students need to be told why they need to practice and it has to be repeated often so that it sinks in. I tell students that the way they practice is the way they will approach teaching.
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Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #11 on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:25PM »

I agree with most of have been said, especially about having an open mind.

I would suggest yes, but to clarify, I don't particularly like the term "open mind."

An open mind does suggest willingness to accept new information, but that acceptance should not be without criticism. Not in the sense of "you don't know what you're talking about" but in the sense of "I don't follow - why does this apply?"

A big thing in a lot of cultures is to not admit when we don't know seemingly common knowledge. If you don't know something that an instructor is talking about, speak up! Even if it seems "common". Sometimes, that's where the best tidbits of information comes from.
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 16, 2017, 04:18PM »

Open mind is of course not to not ask questions and do things "blindly", dialogue and questions should be part of a good session.

The word"why" is very useful but sometimes it may be best not to overthink things and just try what works.

And as for your last point I agree completely, I use to say "there are no stupid questions"...
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watermailonman

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« Reply #13 on: Jun 17, 2017, 11:20PM »

Open mind is of course not to not ask questions and do things "blindly", dialogue and questions should be part of a good session.

The word"why" is very useful bu
t sometimes it may be best not to overthink things and just try what works.

And as for your last point I agree completely, I use to say "there are no stupid questions"...

I'm broadening this question a bit, to include preparation not only for the study of music or a trombone lesson, but how to prepare for education, degrees, studying and teaching in general, and how to look at the interesting question of "why?"

Interesting how things have changed. When I was a student the question "why?" was not very widely used in lessons by students. In general the teacher had a monologue and then he/she asked the questions and you had to sit there with good thoughts and answers. I belive the thoughts was then judged and effected the degrees. This was especially the case in the subjects Swedish litterature, history, religion and "Samhällskunskap" - a subject to guide the student in how to function in the society, such as the knowledge about laws, rights, obligations, politics, government, democracy, news, welfare, taxes and so on. In short what it meant to be swedish and how our society is built.  All these subjects were about how to present yourself as a smart kid, at least from the dumb students (me) perpective ;-) Smart kid? Good degree!

When I worked in school in the 80-ies and 90-ies as a music teacher students were encouraged to question things and to ask "why?" It was a change in how to look at education. But as I see it the questions arised and expressed were not based on why? as in "Why did this thing happen?" or "What does this information mean?" but rather "Why are we learning this?" "What's the point of studying this information?". Students were questioning the whole learning/teaching system rather than "why?" as in wanting knowledge. I don't think anyone had forseen this. I belive this has made teachers too occupied with defending what they do. Defending why school is meaningful and so on.

What's sure is our educational system has a DEEP crisis at the moment. Never before have degrees been so high but knowledge so low. Yes, this is true over here since good degrees have become a trade. "Choose our school and we will give you the high degrees". Swedish taxes pay for education, but schools are private (and public). Every student is good for a certain amount of the taxpayers money to be spent on the school he or she choose. The private schools compete of this money and want the best students to study there. Good students means less problem and makes the school cheaper to run, it also generate goodwill if the word is spread that the school examens good students. Students choose schools where they get good degrees. When competition hardens between schools teachers becomes concerned about loosing their jobs. Low degrees means badwill and less students. It could lead to the closeup of the school. The system encourage teachers, headmasters and owners to polish the result as to give higher grades in a try to attract more students. The result is inflation in degrees. If parents would have to pay directly to a school they would demand education with knowledge and not education with degrees. Every parent knows skills is important and not false degrees.

Sorry...this was a lot of text and maybe  you all have stopped reading allready but my point is:
-When  it comes to education at the very highest level it should be either public and financed by taxes or private and bought by parents/students, the mix we have over here is a catastrophe.
- Let the teacher be in control over the lessons.
- Let the student be in control of what is in between lessons.
- The good questions need knowledge, because you need basic knowledge about a subject before you even understand and can accept an answer so you should apprechiate the teacher for his expertise.  I would listen first to get the basic idea from the teacher. Give the teacher a chance to explain first and then if you do not understand you can ask.
- Do not start with all the questions. If you lead the lesson then the teacher will be in the back seat and his good judgement of what he thinks you need will not be activated.

Just sayin'  :-)

/Tom
« Last Edit: Jun 18, 2017, 10:47AM by watermailonman » Logged

Listen to my playing on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/user-796193724
Visit my page at https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic/

Instruments: King 2b+, Kanstul 1570, Kanstul 1662. m-pieces: Bach 6 3/4, Hammond 12 ML, Hammond 20 BL
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