Most educational systems assume that everyone can learn the same materials in the same way, and that a uniform, universal measure suffices to test students’ learning. In 1983, Dr. Howard Gardner theorized that there are 8 Multiple Intelligences (learning methods) that individuals, educators and parents can learn to be aware of; so that they can focus on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses to determine the appropriate learning style. This consequently gives them the opportunity to learn in ways more productive and effective for their unique minds.
Here’s a summary:
You can read more here to find out which learning style works for you.
In learning music, there are also various methods music teachers use to help their students excel.
At Bloom School of Music & Arts, our piano lessons are taught using the Alfred Premier Piano Method. Alfred features a variety of other books, all correlated and presented in progressive levels. Its baroque, romantic and classical piano pieces are arranged without too much fanfare, making it ideal for serious, self-motivated students to learn. The Alfred Method for children uses coloured pictures, graphics, and multimedia to help with the learning process.
Students learning by this method are often good at:
1) Five Finger Position playing
2) Intervallic Reading, which means recognizing the intervals between notes
3) Reading notes quicker
4) Chord progression
These are some other Piano teaching methods I have noticed being used in Singapore music schools:
Developed by a Japanese violinist, Shin’ichi Suzuki, this method of teaching is based on the realization that children learn their mother tongue with ease; so he recreates the ‘ideal’ environment for learning music with that a person has for learning their native language by including love, praise, rote training and repetition, and a timetable lead by the student’s developmental readiness for learning a particular technique. This teaching method exposes students to performance opportunities in a positive way, such that performing becomes a joy rather than a dreaded job.
The basis of this “approach to music” is that students have innate abilities to engage in rudimentary forms of music using basic rhythms and melodies. It is developed by Carl Orff, a prominent German composer, to help foster students’ self-discovery of their bodies as a percussive instrument, to encourage improvisation, and to discourage adult pressures and rote learning.
Interestingly, the Yamaha method began with Genichi Kawakami, a businessman who expanded his family-owned piano company to an international conglomerate, making products ranging from motorcycles to musical instruments. He developed the Electone Organ, and oversaw the establishment of the Yamaha Music Foundation in 1966. The objective of this method is to cultivate students’ musical ability within an environment that inspires a love for music. Thus, the use of solfège, participation in music appreciation activities, singing, and movement to music, rhythm and keyboard ensembles.
By understanding how each music teaching method works, we can decide how the strengths and weaknesses of the method score against our learning styles or preferences. I will end this post with a quote by Rita Dunn, here fronted by Michael J Fox:
If you have decided that the Alfred Method can motivate you to start learning the piano, fill in our Online Enquiry with the quote “REFXDENISE”. Or come on down to our studio to register!