Key Pillars Of Music Education

  1. Discovery is the foundation of learning.

    People learn best by uncovering information themselves, rather than being told what is true by someone else. Pioneers in Education Theory, such as Maria Montessori and Friedrich Froebel, studied and documented this in detail.

    In my lessons, I adhere to this pillar by:

    • Frequently asking questions of the student
    • Directing the student’s attention without giving away answers
    • Allowing the student time to think and work through ideas
    • Following the student’s unique paths of interest
    • Identifying the student’s personal skills and helping the student reach full potential
  2. Audiation is the foundation of music study.

    Audiation is the ability to understand musical sound in one’s mind. The simple definition is “playing by ear.” But audiation goes beyond what most people think of as playing by ear. Audiation is the ability to comprehend musical sounds in one’s mind so clearly that it is easy to reproduce those sounds on a musical instrument without making any mistakes. Once music notation is understood, audiation includes the ability to write down musical notes directly after hearing the sounds. Audiation is the ability to hear a melody and immediately understand the relationships among the sounds.

    Many piano studies overlook the skill of audiation, instead focusing almost exclusively on reading music from the written page. Focusing on audiation highlights the true joy of music which is in its sound. Skill in audiation also builds tremendous motivation; if one can hear and comprehend a melody while watching a movie or listening to a concert or even listening to a bird call, there is an excitement generated that can lead that person to jump to their piano (or guitar or any other musical instrument of choice) and reproduce that sound with great satisfaction.

    In my lessons, I adhere to this pillar by:

    • Presenting concepts by sound before sight
    • Teaching ear training from the very first lesson
    • Intertwining ear training into every other musical concept, including note-reading
    • Teaching scales by the sound relationships among tones
    • Using apps and workbooks designed for ear training
    • Incorporating ear training activities such as:
      • Musical dictation
      • Play what you hear
      • Sight-singing