Musical Breakthroughs with Read/Write Learners

As I mentioned in my Teaching Music Using VARK Learning Preferences (new link to comes soon) entry, I had all my students ages nine and up complete the VARK Learning Preferences questionnaire. One interesting finding was that five of my students are "pure" Read/Write learners. In many of the VARK articles on the web, Read/Write Learners are not addressed. Trying to teach this group how to work through musical trouble spots poses a challenge when there is nothing to glean pearls of wisdom from. Basically, a person needs to visit the VARK website, read the Read/Write study tips there and extrapolate on how the tips can be applied to music. At the suggestion of my brother (and colleague), I instructed one student who has been struggling with two-note slurs to transcribe her music. After months of struggles, I was running out of ideas. Transcription was my last hope for this piece.

In one week, the piece was transformed - ALL articulation and dynamics were observed when my student played her Scarlatti piece for me this week. As an aside, I found this exercise also worked for my sole VAK learner.

I also found that rhythmic dictation is working well for this group. Another Read/Write student and I were jumping for joy when the ta-ti-ti-ta rhythm she had been struggling with disappeared after doing some rhythmic dictation using rhythms from the piece in question.

I think it also helps that I'm making all my Read/Write students write out their homework in their own words.

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