Event Title

Lost in Eden: Guided Practice for the Musical Tourist

Presenter Information

John Picone

Start Date

1-6-2011 11:00 AM

End Date

1-6-2011 12:00 PM

Description

That young musicians know how to practice seems to be a given. The yardstick that measures effective practice is still, by and large, a factor of time: “How long should I practice?” The longer, it seems, the better. Literature examining successful musicians at the professional level indicates that effective, “deliberate” practice involves being able to draw appropriately upon an extensive repertoire of practice strategies. Metacognition is a key factor in this. Such effective practice only seems to emerge and evolve over a period of time, naturally developing with the musician’s maturity. This, of course, is only if the musician “sticks with it.” My experience as a music educator strongly suggests that too many young people are abandoning music education at an early age - after one high school course or a few months of private lessons - simply because “it’s too hard.” Reflection on my own practice suggests that, “Now, go home and practice carefully!” unfairly assumes the young musician knows how. This research asks if guided practice at an early age might, in fact, prove a catalyst in this natural emergence of effective practice, recognizing the fact that developing effective deliberate practice strategies at an early age might have a significant impact on intrinsic motivation that results from greater success in addressing musical challenges. In other words, what happens when, with the guidance of a music educator, musicians practice practicing? This workshop will present findings regarding performance success; overall attitude and motivation are based on interviews with the 20 musicians – ages 8 to 13 – and their parents, as well as on reflective journals kept by the musicians and myself over the course of one academic year. The workshop will also present video recordings of my working with young musicians in guided practice sessions which demonstrate teaching methods that are effective in developing deliberate practice strategies in young musicians. These guided practice sessions are with young pianists as well as young concert band musicians. Importantly, the cognitive development of the young musician engaged in guided practice is a matter of significant person growth in becoming an expert. That is, the child develops not only skills in metacognition, but also in progressive problem solving, two salient characteristics of genuine expertise. Finally, the attitudes and problem solving skills developed through guided music practice not only promote a lifelong pursuit of making music, but also begin to equip the young person for the lifelong learning of anything!

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Jun 1st, 11:00 AM Jun 1st, 12:00 PM

Lost in Eden: Guided Practice for the Musical Tourist

That young musicians know how to practice seems to be a given. The yardstick that measures effective practice is still, by and large, a factor of time: “How long should I practice?” The longer, it seems, the better. Literature examining successful musicians at the professional level indicates that effective, “deliberate” practice involves being able to draw appropriately upon an extensive repertoire of practice strategies. Metacognition is a key factor in this. Such effective practice only seems to emerge and evolve over a period of time, naturally developing with the musician’s maturity. This, of course, is only if the musician “sticks with it.” My experience as a music educator strongly suggests that too many young people are abandoning music education at an early age - after one high school course or a few months of private lessons - simply because “it’s too hard.” Reflection on my own practice suggests that, “Now, go home and practice carefully!” unfairly assumes the young musician knows how. This research asks if guided practice at an early age might, in fact, prove a catalyst in this natural emergence of effective practice, recognizing the fact that developing effective deliberate practice strategies at an early age might have a significant impact on intrinsic motivation that results from greater success in addressing musical challenges. In other words, what happens when, with the guidance of a music educator, musicians practice practicing? This workshop will present findings regarding performance success; overall attitude and motivation are based on interviews with the 20 musicians – ages 8 to 13 – and their parents, as well as on reflective journals kept by the musicians and myself over the course of one academic year. The workshop will also present video recordings of my working with young musicians in guided practice sessions which demonstrate teaching methods that are effective in developing deliberate practice strategies in young musicians. These guided practice sessions are with young pianists as well as young concert band musicians. Importantly, the cognitive development of the young musician engaged in guided practice is a matter of significant person growth in becoming an expert. That is, the child develops not only skills in metacognition, but also in progressive problem solving, two salient characteristics of genuine expertise. Finally, the attitudes and problem solving skills developed through guided music practice not only promote a lifelong pursuit of making music, but also begin to equip the young person for the lifelong learning of anything!