Technology pre-conference in San Diego
November 14, 2012
Pedagogy From Afar: Mini-Video Reinforcement Lessons
Dr. Fred Kersten
teachers in colleges/public schools can quickly provide reinforcement of
lesson elements taught by developing short mini-video distance learning
lessons that backup new information, or, clarify unclear points that have
occurred during a lesson, rehearsal, or class. Many times new information
has not settled in the mind, and/or the facts taught are somewhat vague.
student returns home and tries to remember: What was that new fingering taught?
How should the embouchure be set for that high note? How did that rhythmic
sequence sound when the teacher presented it during the lesson or class?
available a short focused mini-video reexplaining the specifics taught allows
for spontaneous recall of the instruction previously experienced. By reliving
the instruction provided and allowing specifics to be remembered, reinforcement
necessary for retention occurs.
Video examples should be short in duration allowing particular topics to be illustrated quickly to the viewer. Further, mini-videos do not have to be major productions but can feature the teacher, or another student, demonstrating a specific aspect to be learned. A clear and focused illustration of the problem and clarification should be provided. Musical backgrounds should be utilized to complete or reinforce musical/aesthetic aspects of the example during the learning process. Large ensemble problems can also be included. An explicit section of a composition might be scrutinized so that the musicians can develop an awareness of what they should be doing or listening for as they play the composition.
the teacher prepares lessons plans and thinks ahead to develop a logical and
clearly focused sequence of logical learning activities for a class session,
considering what aspects of a session might be reinforced through a mini-video
will increase the initial awareness regarding potential problems and solutions.
vital significance to the mini-video is the opportunity to alleviate the
opportunity for inaccurate information, bad habits, or musical inaccuracies to
be learned through constant practice without access to correction.
Many times a student returns home from a lesson and constantly practices
the same mistake over and over because he/she has no frame of reference to
realize the inaccuracy and correct the mistake consistently and continuously
being reinforced. The mini-video
allows for such reference. Specifics
from the lesson can immediately be reviewed and the opportunity for learning the
information in an erroneous and flawed manner diminishes.
importantly, highly effective learning occurs as the troublesome unlearning of
bad habits and inaccurate information does not have to take place.
Obviously musicians who have experienced this bothersome unlearning
aspect are well aware of this problem. Frustratingly
they have had to unlearn a fingering, or a notation pattern with those
“mistake gremlins” that mysteriously occur within a passage even if it has
been thought to be in “performance flawlessly” mode.
Possible Topics That Might Be Explored:
|*Embouchure, Fingering Clarification.|
|*Tempo, Dynamics Illustrations.|
|*Ensemble intonation problems--players are so busy performing their parts that they fail to perceive ensemble difficulties. By observing a mini-video they can perceive the overall gestalt by stepping back and watching the video for the few measures or section where the intonation difficulty is occurring.|
|*Specific rhythmic interpretation of a passage with a difficult configuration.|
quickly review what the lesson that was taught was about.
specifically what is to be accomplished by working with the mini-video.
the point and then cut-out! Reinforce
new information taught—but illustrate just one
learning incorporating direct musical activity of the viewer should be central
to the video.
for Mini-Video Development
SHORT video examples utilized.
on one specific aspect or topic only.
DO NOT have to produce a major production.
yourself, the student, or other students as demonstrators.
clear and focused illustration of the problem and remedy should be provided.
participation oriented—a doing approach.
Music backgrounds may be utilized to complete or reinforce the learning
include small and large ensemble mini-video support.
perspective for ensemble musicians by allowing them to hear what the director
hears from an overall perspective involving a problem of phrasing, dynamics, or
through the district website for student perusal and woodsheding. The music
department webpage, or a performing ensemble page, may be utilized. Allot a
certain section where pedagogy examples may be placed.
A location where weekly changes or recent uploads will be noted is
can certainly always use You Tube.
*Be careful about copyright infringement.
student’s or other performer’s permission if they have been videoed before
placing the file online.
As lesson plans are prepared—thinking ahead of possibilities within lessons, classes, or rehearsals where/how/when distance education mini-videos may be of assistance to reinforce unclear points to be taught. This early heuristic thinking will increase the initial awareness of teachers regarding potential problems and solutions as they initially develop their lesson plans for a specific piece of music. Many times by thinking of possible inclusion of the mini-video as a support vehicle, critical scrutiny of the teaching process and the awareness of possible problems may provide alternative solutions that may remove the need or necessity for follow-up usage of the mini-video in clarification or remediation.
Triple-Tonguing on the Recorder
Kodály Rhythm Syllable Exercise
About the Author
Dr. Fred Kersten is an online graduate music education facilitator for Boston University. He would welcome your comments: email@example.com