Process over product- learning to read music

Below is a video of my grade 8 class learning to play Fossiles. This is the second group I’ve taught this piece to and with different personalities/ learning styles and speeds, different challenges have arisen. Learning to play an instrument is a long but rewarding journey…

This video demonstrates that learning is a process. Music doesn’t just happen, rehearsal and practice are necessary.
In case you’re curious, the students have three lessons (one hour in length) of music a week for six weeks in semester one and in semester two. The first unit the students took part in was about songwriting for social change. They learnt how to play basic guitar chords and used other people’s songs to help them construct their own and then perform it. Their current unit is about the basic musical tools, vocabulary, and performance skills needed to write and perform a theme. The current unit also serves as an introduction to classical music.

Update (Wed Apr 18):

Here’s the same students in their final performance two weeks later…

a big improvement!

About Alison Armstrong

Alison Armstrong BMus./BEd. (Queensland University of Technology), Dip. ABRSM (Performance- Singing) I have trained to teach Music (Elementary, Middle and High School) and Drama (Middle and High School). This is my 7th year as a teacher.
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2 Responses to Process over product- learning to read music

  1. fame1444 says:

    They sound great! Thanks for documenting the process of learning to music. The biggest myth out there is that music just happens! Your videos show that it doesn’t just happen, but it is so worth the effort it takes to make it happen.

  2. Jean Gundry says:

    Hi Alison. At 60, I’m finally getting around to piano lessons!! Your video affirms my new realisation at how much practise goes into perfecting a piece! I’m still working on correct fingering, with a growing admiration for people who perform in public. Loving the journey. Loving seeing you in your element. Many thanks, Jean (Shannon’s mum).

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