Conferences, Studio Business

MTNA 2012 Conference | Prof. Studio Institute: Creative Curriculum

10:30am – The Creative Curriculum

Led by Lee Galloway, Beth Gigante Klingenstein, and Scott McBride Smith.

Make a plan for yourself, to focus on (1) continual growth, (2) quality, and (3) innovation.  As Peter Drucker once said, “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”

Take stock of your skill set as a teacher and work to improve them.  Scott McBride Smith suggests spending less time on teaching pieces and more time teaching basic skills, like technique, how to performance well, how to memorize, how to learn, how to practice, how to self-assess, etc.  He suggests giving students music that is slightly easy for them for performances and competitions.  When it comes to planning for students, give them a goal first and then think backwards to get them ready.  Studies suggest that students respond well to goals and assessments, but never to testing.  Successful teaching = successful students.  You must produce successful students!

Beth Klingenstein encouraged: change it up!  Don’t use the same method books for all your students.  Some methods are strong in aural, rhythm, improvisation, etc….choose the one that will suit each student’s individual learning style and goals.  Look for new recital music (Beth says she doesn’t allow a piece to reappear on a recital for 4 years).  Consider planning themed recitals.  Attend conferences, read magazines.  Practice daily.  Encourage your local association to talk about new repertoire, technology, summer camps, etc. – we have much we can learn from each other!  Keep your curriculum creative.

Curriculum options: music camps (history, theory, composition, etc.), improvisation, composition, lab stations, ensembles, games, group lessons, aural skills.  Be a learner yourself – you don’t have to be an expert in any of these areas if you are willing to study and learn as you go too.  Quote from Henry Doherty: “Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”

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