We’re very proud of our long and rich tradition within educational music publishing and are delighted to be able to showcase this heritage in our Education Catalogue. We hope that this resource will help you to find out more about the titles that you already know, and highlight those hidden gems or new publications that you may not have come across before.
what shall we do next? by Paul Harris I don’t think a day goes by without my thinking about, or discussing with colleagues, the process of Simultaneous Learning. My present thoughts and discussions have led me to a simple question which I believe lies at the very heart of the approach. Not only will this question allow lessons to flow collaboratively and in a very positive direction, it will also teach our pupils what to think when they are practising – which is what we must do in lessons if we want our pupils to do any. What shall we do next? It’s the question we should be putting to our pupils (in some form or another) on a regular basis. By asking this simple question, we are setting it up for them to begin thinking for themselves. I aim rarely to tell pupils things, especially if we can figure out a way to encourage them to work it out for themselves. Telling pupils just makes them more dependent and less confident. Instead, work out the best thing to do next together. The Simultaneous Learning Map of the Musical World When it comes to expecting any pupil to do some practice, an instruction such as go home and practise Minuet in G simply won’t do the trick. They may go home and play through Minuet in G (if they can). Maybe they’ll correct some errors – if they recognise any. More likely is that they will embed a few more mistakes in their already uncertain understanding and performance, which we will then have to sort out next lesson. All contributing to the kind of reacting-to-mistakes teaching we are so keen to eradicate. Instead, let’s ask them what shall we do next? – ideally with our Simultaneous Learning Map of our Musical World to hand. (download from paulharristeaching.co.uk or use the QR code). Singing Notation Evaluation: Self/others Scales Listening Sight-reading Aural Technique Rhythm Pieces or Songs Improvisation Memory Sight-reading Composition Intonation Character Performing Posture Theory 26 Faber Music Education Catalogue
Let’s play the scale of G major, we decide. Once played we ask a follow-up question: how did that go? If we set up the activity well (as we do in Simultaneous Learning) the answer hopefully will be… it went well. And pupils will think – with a little encouragement from us – I made some progress! And so we continue with the question what shall we do next? The next answer may be to see how my understanding of G major and the scale will help me play the piece, or let’s look for G major patterns in the music, or I could play G major again using the different dynamics in the piece, and so on… We may have to wait a bit until our pupils are able to make such practical and logical responses, but those responses will develop quicker than we might suppose if we go down this route on a regular basis. Having set up this way of thinking, our pupils will go home to practise and continue to think in this manner – instinctively. What shall I do next? and then how did that go? will become a kind of spontaneous reflex. Practice becomes a sequence of relevant and explicitly connected activities, all managed by our pupil. And each time they work out the next activity and negotiate it successfully, they knowingly make progress. They’ve gone up another level. It’s a highly motivational approach. “Practice becomes a sequence of relevant and explicitly connected activities, all managed by our pupil.” Want more? To find out more about Paul Harris and to read further articles just like this, head over to: paulharristeaching.co.uk. Faber Music Education Catalogue 27