Challenge for teachers!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Manny Laureano, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Dear teaching colleagues and anyone else who wants to play,

    One of the exercises I give to my MYS students about once a year is to only speak in the positive! That is to say,

    "Don't tighten up" is replaced by "Relax"

    "Don't drag" is replaced by "Keep the tempo steady"

    "Don't slouch" is replaced by "Sit up"

    See how the guy is played? I'm sure many of you already try to do this in your teaching but here's the game we play:

    You have to do it for a whole day; teaching, at home, with friends... whatevah. See how long you last and share with your students what you're doing. Make them play also. Tell them to keep track of how long they last.

    It's a fun game and you learn a lot about how you approach instruction and your students learn a lesson about how they express themselves and how much they have to think about what comes out of their mouths. That's a lesson we can't teach often enough to our young ones.

    Have fun!

  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I've been lucky to have a couple teachers that operated this way and I think it's great advice! I try to apply it to my teaching and I think it really gets excellent results. Positive is always good, I think it's good for both student and teacher!

  3. Fluffy615

    Fluffy615 Piano User

    Nov 30, 2006
    New Jersey
    I teach instrumental music to grades 4-6. I spent 14 years as a high school band director. Your idea is definitely the way to go, but it's really hard on the last class of the day on a Friday! LOL I've been working on always starting my comments with a positive one. I try to joke and keep things light. I really think that the students respond better. This should be an interesting thread. Thanks Manny.
  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    YES!!! I'm in!

    So much of what we do and say has so much more impact in so many ways.

    Ought to be interesting to see how much I've slipped in just on "automatic" mode...

    One of our band room rules is "there is no I can't...only I can't yet." Let's see what happens...
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Great, I'm glad folks are thinking about trying it out. I want to clear about one thing: when I say positive please know that I don't mean in the emotional sense. I mean in the grammatical sense. A positive statement as I intend for this game is one that is a direct command instead of an indirect command.

    In other words "Stand still" instead of "Don't move". The idea is to stimulate learners to learn to "do" instead of "not do".

    "Play with a free sound" instead of "Don't tighten up".

    I hope that's helpful.

  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Hey Manny, I'm with ya...thinking "do" instead of "do not" was what I was thinking of, definately not just "being positive" about everying.

    Someday I'll learn how to articulate myself clearly through text, but not today! I mean...I'll be clear next time!

  7. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Great idea, sort of like using active verbs only and not passive ("He did this" instead of "this was done by him"). "Breath. Count. Relax. Blow."

    Reminds me of a story Miles Davis once told about getting in an argument with a promoter. What happened? "He became punched."

    Michael McLaughlin
  8. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Since I teach mostly young people I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of asking them to do something rather than to not do something. Once they get the right notes and rhythms, going the next step further and asking them to play with authority, conviction, or other similar adjectives can really fire them up.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Instead of you sound like sh## today: your playing was spot on - - - yesterday.
    Isn't it always part of the game trying to communicate so that the whole message gets through? Being positive is also good for the teacher, especially on a day where everything has been really - average.
  10. jultone

    jultone New Friend

    Feb 9, 2006
    St Paul, MN

    Not only is this a great challenge for teachers, but should also be tried at home with one's spouse and/or children. See how much more positive an outlook loved ones would have if they only heard positives.

    Great thread...


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