Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keep it Positive

By Cynthia Ellis

When teaching, tell students what TO do as opposed to what NOT to do.  I constantly hear teachers telling students negative commands: Don't tongue sloppy, Don't breathe there. How much easier is it to learn when a student hears: "Try tonguing like this" (and then show an aural example and explain what you are doing) or "Consider breathing here because the phrase is longer, if you need a catch breath, try this spot instead." Another positive comment about breathing might be "consider playing softer so you can make the long phrase and as you get confidence, play a little louder."  Notice the difference in your own reaction to reading a negative command based statement versus a positive solution based statement.  Good teaching is positive and supportive, and does not break down the student. There are times to 'wake up' a recalcitrant student, but again, keeping it positive and kind is always the best choice.

*Note - This article first appeared on the "Teaching Tips" section of Cindy Ellis's website.

For more on Cindy, visit her Powell artist profile page, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.