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Gemstar 13/06/2021 Penelope

Whenever you need to learn something new you use a strategy to help you remember, most adults have learnt what works for them. However, as I learnt many years ago, just because I learn one way, it did not mean my children did.

Part of our role as music teachers is to find the best way to facilitate the learning process for a person, of any age. Sometimes adults can explain the way that they learn, other times an educator reads the clues in speech and actions.

It is very easy to think "Everyone can learn this way; it's easy" just because it is easy for one, does not make it so for everyone. Turning over to the next page in a tutor book does not work for some learners, this is the way that many have been misled to thinking music is difficult.

It is vital as music teachers that we provide the appropriate tools for each person to learn in a way that works for them. This is often termed personalised learning, which is a process of understanding and developing the aptitudes and skills of each learner through methods such as continuous assessment, in a variety of ways. (Sharples et al., 2015)

Some of these strategies include visualization, verbalization, making associations, questioning, scanning, underlining, accessing cues, using mnemonics, sounding out words, and self-checking and monitoring. (Team, 2002)

  • This can be note-taking for people who learn via books and actions

  • A mind map sketch may help for students who like colours

  • Photographs and short video reference points for students who need memory joggers.

  • Perhaps a full video is required as you prefer to be shown or to copy and an audio visual presentation if the perfect option.

  • Audio visual do not always work together, for some learners the audio alone is the preferred option.

  • Some learners are more familiar to playing with a drum beat, these are available on many video sites at various beats per minute and could be the answer for some students to play in time.

  • Some children (and adults) work great with learning aids, crafts, stories and pictures, which we can help with. Others it does the exact opposite.

  • Motivators work for everyone, unless they do not, we listen for clues.

Once an educator understands how a student learns, the presentation of facts can be adjusted to fit the learner.

Many music teachers use a content-based curriculum with the student. At Stalybridge Music Academy we teach students how to learn, remember and use the information. Utilising the strategies available an educator can present the information is ways that include crossover learning, embodied learning, context based learning and many others that are listed in detail on Teach Thought for Modern Pedagogy. (Teach Thought, 2018)

This strategy is based instruction which, as states, is a lifelong tool which boosts a students' confidence, learning styles and achievements. (Rosen, n.d.)

To discuss learning strategies for your son, daughter or yourself please contact Chris on 0781 339 8977 or book a consultation on the link below.

Reference list Caton-Greasley, C. (2021). Learning Styles and Strategies. [online] Chris at the Piano. Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].

Redford, MA, K. (n.d.). Strategy instruction: What you need to know. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].

Rosen, P. (n.d.). Working Memory: What It Is and How It Works. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].

Sharples, M., Adams, A., Alozie, N., Ferguson, R., Fitzgerald, E., Gaved, M., Mcandrew, P., Means, B., Remold, J., Rienties, B., Roschelle, J., Vogt, K., Whitelock, D. and Yarnall, L. (2015). Innovating Pedagogy 2015 Exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers. [online] Open University, p.10. Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].

Teach Thought (2018). 10 Innovative Learning Strategies For Modern Pedagogy -. [online] Teach Thought. Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].

Team, E.D. (2002). ED474302 2002-12-00 Strategy Instruction. ERIC Digest. [online], Arlington VA: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, p.2. Available at: [Accessed 14 Jun. 2021].



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