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Philosophy of Teaching

I believe to be successful in band class, parents and students should understand the teaching and learning process that goes into playing a band instrument.  If these four areas are attended to in the proper balance, student achievement and success will be the result.  There are four aspects of learning that I talk to your band students about.  They are:

1. Teaching
2. Correcting
3. Admonishment
4. Training 

Here are the definitions for each term and an explanation of how they are put into practice:

To impart knowledge or skill to. 
This is the job of the band teacher.  He/she shows the band student how to play an instrument using a variety of skills such as lecture, modeling, and demonstration.  The job of the band student is to listen, absorb and process the teaching from the band teacher.  The student should strive to listen actively and participate for 100% of class time.

To remove the errors or mistakes from. To indicate or mark the errors in. At the beginning stages of learning a band instrument, this task falls solely on the band teacher.  It is his/her job to identify and indicate the errors in the student’s skill development and teach (back to #1) the student how to remove them.  This is a continuous process throughout a student's playing career in which the band student will begin to take over some of this responsibility (self correction) as he/she becomes more accomplished at his/her instrument.

Earnest gentle criticism and constructive intent.  To remind of something forgotten or disregarded, as an obligation or a responsibility. 
This is also the job of the band teacher in class and the job of the parents at home (band student's home practice on his/her instrument).   Sometimes we all forget skills, want to find shortcuts, get lazy (say it isn’t so!!!) or even just don’t feel like “doing it the right way”.  The band teacher will try to be very persistent with keeping the band student on task and performing skills to the best of his/her ability. Parents should be firm regarding daily practice, giving reminders to stay on task.

To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice.  To prepare physically, as with a regimen. 
This is the responsibility of the band student.  The teacher provides the specialized instruction and the student is in charge of the (practice) regimen. This is where practice every day by repeating correctly the skills learned in class is extremely valuable and essential.  Think of it in the same way as the training of an Olympic athlete. This person works on skills consistantly every day in order to improve.  It involves much repetition of each skill until each skill is mastered.  Then the mastered skills must be reviewed every day in addition to new skills being introduced and worked on.
I believe that the proper balance of all four of the above aspects of learning must be happening for effective learning to take place.  

“Perfect practice makes perfect!”