NLB –Post2    When To Practice? 

NLB –Post2    When To Practice?

“It is never too late to start to play an instrument.”  That’s is what I been told.  However, it is probably way too late for me to become a world class pianist but I can become “better good. ”  You Tube video available for viewing if you are feeling silly or to old to learn too play an instrument.

Spent the last couple of weeks learning to play scales with the correct finger positions. I’ve learned C, G, D major scales and A and D minor scales.  The scales, hands apart are going fairly well.  Hands together not so good. The reminder of the lessons I have watched involve music theory, sharps, flats, treble clef, bass clef, whole and half tones.  Material that is overwhelming taken out of  context.  But I’m sure will make sense as my study progresses.   Finding the time to practice is what is slowing me down. I’m enjoying the video lessons and there is no pressure to perform for an actually teacher but  mustering the discipline to sit down at the piano and practice  is very difficult.  Next step, learn to play a song.  I was hoping for a classic or a recognizable tune but no luck, just a piano book favorite.


This process of learning something new, has given me insight into my own teaching.  Last summer I read Flip Your Classroom and found the concept fascinating.  Thinking that it probably wouldn’t work in an elementary classroom I put the book aside.  Realizing now, how many times I have watched the same piano lesson hoping to understand the concept maybe,  if I made a video of  myself teaching a lesson that the students found hard to understand watching it a number of times would  benefit them too.  I also recently switched to a new piano instructor.  After about three lessons I realized I couldn’t learn from the teacher.  I found a new instructor that is motivating and has clearer instructions.  Interestingly enough, what about that student that I’m just not reaching, maybe watching a video of another teacher teaching a lesson might motivate them too.  As primary educators, we feel the pressure to teach everybody everything and we are willing to stand on our heads trying.  The book is back off the shelf and I am talking to a colleague to see if we can’t work on videoing some math lessons, our take on Khan Academy.  But then the mention of Khan Academy and video instruction opens up a whole new debate.  Nope, no time for that, need to practice.

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