Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Little children love the world. That is why they are so good at learning about it. For it is love, not tricks and techniques of thought, that lies at the heart of all true learning.”

–John Holt, in How Children Learn

Who can’t help but enjoy the privilege of seeing the world through a little one’s eyes? Watch a little child, and it’s plain to see how much they love the world. John Holt says that love is what makes them such good learners. I think we have much we can learn from children.

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“All I am saying in this book can be summed up in two words — TRUST CHILDREN. Nothing could be more simple — or more difficult.”

–John Holt, in How Children Learn

Stay tuned for more quotes and my full review of John Holt’s classic book, How Children Learn, coming soon! For now, enjoy today’s quote that encourages us to trust students when it comes to their own learning. I couldn’t agree more with Holt that trust is an important part of creating a warm, positive learning environment for students.

Happy Wednesday, my readers!

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“The child should love everything that he learns, for his mental and emotional growths are linked. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear, striking his imagination. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting the educationalist will disappear.”

–Maria Montessori

I love this quote from Maria Montessori. It encourages us to be deliberate about choosing material for our students. It encourages us to present that material in a way that makes it BEAUTIFUL and CLEAR to the student, provoking their imagination. We would do well to remember that the child’s mental and emotional growths are linked. Montessori suggests that when we kindle the child’s interest and love of learning, other educational problems will melt away.

What learning material (concepts, music books, pieces, etc.) do you love using with your students, and why? How can we present it in a way that is beautiful and clear to the student? How will this help us kindle the child’s interest and love of learning?

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

– Maria Montessori

I’ve been reading recently about Maria Montessori and Montessori philosophy, and am fascinated by it! She must have been quite a person, being the first female physician in Italy and founder of “Casa dei bambini” (“Children’s House”) for underprivileged children aged 3-7 in Rome in 1907. Her work has since inspired educators and school founders for decades.

Maria Montessori’s ideas resonate well with what others have to say about learning, which has been so cool to discover! Here’s a great Montessori quote that reminds us that learning is not about listening to words. Learning comes about through EXPERIENCES created in a thoughtful environment.

What are some ways YOUR students learn not through words but through experiences in their learning environment?

Teaching Piano

We’re Not Robots: Helping Young Piano Students Get “Beyond The Notes”

[Following up on the post from last week about helping students play with expression…here’s another analogy I use with young piano students who need to think “beyond the notes”.]

If playing the piano was about merely pressing the right buttons at the right time, we might as well hire robots to do it for us.

It’s funny to imagine, isn’t it? But really: Why would you bother taking piano lessons if you could have a robot play your pieces?

What’s the difference between a robot playing the piano and YOU playing the piano?

The answer has to do with the fact that music isn’t just about “the right notes at the right time.” Music is about expression. Instead of just learning how to get the notes and rhythm correct, we can learn how to make your piece sound like popcorn, or birds, or a storm, or thousands of other things. To me, this is the fun part! This is the best part of about making music.

So, let’s talk about expressive music making. How would a robot play this piece? How would YOU play this piece?

What can you do to make this piece sound more like the subject suggested by the title? Why do you suppose the composer chose these dynamics and articulations for this piece? What else can you do to make the piece sound more like the title?

Only YOU can play the piano like you do. Don’t be a robot at the piano!


Monday Broadcast: Knowing When To Move On To A New Piece

Greetings! During today’s live broadcast via Periscope, we discussed a question sent in by Sarah Arnold: How do we decide when to move on to a new piece with a student?

002 Knowing When To Move On To A New Piece

Here is the video conversation:

Periscope app icon

All past broadcasts are here: ColorInMyPiano.com/live/. To watch future broadcasts live, download the free Periscope app (for iOS or Android) and hop online on Mondays at noon Eastern time. Hope to see you next time!

Do you have ideas about what Joy should address in future Periscopes? Please submit your ideas by clicking here.