Sax on the Web Portal - How have you changed your teaching approach in the last year??

  • Changing your music teaching approach

    Mine has been influenced by the Suzuki Teacher I am copying some of her approaches. Also, I'm learning alot from watching the guy directing the 4 jazz bands at the Marin School of the arts. Both great teachers and I'm grabbing bits and pieces to use with my students. K
    This article was originally published in forum thread: How have you changed your teaching approach in the last year?? started by Keith Ridenhour View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Keith Ridenhour's Avatar
      Keith Ridenhour -
      I think from Suzuki I am dividing more musical elements into separate work. So, there is a rhythm component and ear training away from the horn in my lessons. Also, I really like how the Jazz Band director is always singing exactly what he wants rather than giving lots of verbal instructions. He must have studied with a drummer at some point because watching him work with the drummers at MSA he is very very good at getting the feel and precision he wants from them and the rest of the band. I'm lucky to have these people to observe and learn from Update the info from my 35 year old degree. K
    1. bandmommy's Avatar
      bandmommy -
      I only taught beginners and 'remedial' students, so I don't think my approach changed much over the years.
      Most of it was the same stuff augmented to fit how the student learned. Since I tend to be an audio/visual/tactile type of learner my lessons tended to be geared towards those type of students as well.
      Up in my neck of the woods the Suzuki Method is not taught as much as in other areas. If it were, and I were still teaching, I probably would find ways to incorporate it into my lesson plans.
    1. paul abrahams's Avatar
      paul abrahams -
      I'm actually a jazz piano teacher so I may not be welcome here, but if so, here goes...
      I feel that I've been teaching too many scales and modes that go with chords. Students seem to lap these up and like to hear that you can play a Lydian Dominant over a 7th chord that contains a sharp 4, etc etc. But of course, the more scales, the less intuition and listening.
      Best wishes from London
      Paul Abrahams
    1. Higgins's Avatar
      Higgins -
      I like to think of my teaching as continually evolving! I'm always trying to think of ways that I can develop as a teacher and help my students.
    1. djm0226's Avatar
      djm0226 -
      Quote Originally Posted by paul abrahams View Post
      But of course, the more scales, the less intuition and listening.
      +1 what he said.

      I'm a big proponent of learning to play by ear. Listening is the most important thing when it comes to speaking, and music. I use Victor Wooten's approach mixed with a little background traditional music theory. Teaching people to understand the order of sharps and of fourths and circle of fifths, rather than just memorizing scales.
    1. Sax Magic's Avatar
      Sax Magic -
      +2 The more "lick scales" I memorize and get under my fingers, the less I listen!
      I feel more creative and empowered by my ear than by the mechanical approach. With a master's degree in music theory and composition, I know chord components instantly by seeing the change, and I understand relationships of borrowed dominants and real (or implied) ii - V- I progressions, and that seems to be all that I need when combined with my ear.
      Of course, doing all that work years ago in chords and ear training is my "mechanical approach" from back in the day, but it was not a shortcut, and the ear training that went along with it was the backbone.
      In teaching jazz, then, I like to teach the chord components, and teach the relationship of one chord to another. Learning to play chords as arpeggios up and down, then up one chord and down the next (and vice versa) provides the ear training and the relationship. Then connecting the chord tones with non-harmonic tones will arrive by ear.
      Sax Magic
    1. paul abrahams's Avatar
      paul abrahams -
      I agree about licks. Don't bother to learn them. Just listen to great players and let the music sink in subconsciously. But the II-V-I in all keys is a must. You should also study all 4 alterations that go with the V7 chord:
      b9, #9, #11 and b13.

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