Skip to main content

Fiddling Around With Multiple Genres

I really enjoy Howard Gardner's books on his theory of multiple intelligences.  In a nutshell, he delves into how there's really no one type of intelligence.  Schools assume that an "A" student should get As across the board.  But if you look at reality, no one is good at everything.  A person that may be brilliant in astrophysics is not necessarily going to be brilliant in creating artistic masterpieces.  The two fields require two entirely different sets of strengths and weaknesses.

You can see the same divisions even if you narrowed it down to just one field such as music.  The skills required to make a beautiful instrument are very different from those required for virtuosic performance or those required to teach.  Again, each subcategory has it's own type of intelligence.

The division can be broken down even further.  Take violin performance as the example.  Someone who excels at classical music may not necessarily play other genres such as jazz or bluegrass at an equal level.  Each style requires its own skill set.

But I feel that at this level there can start to be some crossover.  Music is a subject you can study all of your life and only begin to scratch the surface.  Every new instrument that you try or every new genre that you explore helps you to refine your technique.

As an example, classical music will allow you to eventually develop fast, accurate shifting on the violin.  Improvising with jazz helps to develop your intonation and familiarity with the fingerboard.  Celtic fiddling will help you hone in on doublestops.

Just like how studying the histories of different countries gives you a deeper understanding of your own, so too will the study of different musical genres.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Principles of Sowing and Reaping for the Suzuki Parent: 5 Steps to Beginning Suzuki Success by Preparing the Soil

Last school year, I started a group of 4-5 year old students in a pre-twinkle cello class. One mother actively ignited her daughter Ella’s interest in the cello before enrolling in the program. Over the course of a few months, she helped Ella prepare to engage in a new learning process. They observed lessons, listened to cello music, talked about the cello, and actively built Ella’s excitement - all before starting lessons.

This experience allowed me to see how much a parent can cultivate their child’s interest, motivation, and readiness. It gave me a new appreciation for the parents’ role in preparing young children for a positive Suzuki experience.

Here are five ways to prepare the soil to help your child succeed in a Suzuki experience.


1. Build Your Knowledge

Parents are integral to the success of the Suzuki process. If you start a young child in a Suzuki program, your role as a parent will be very active. Your knowledge and education about the Suzuki method and philosophy helps y…

The Private Teaching Business Model

Over my years of teaching I've come across a wide variety of interpretations about the private teaching business model.  I feel that this is a natural result of the type of society we live in.  Many services these days are either "subscriptions" or "appointments."  For example, a gym membership is a subscription.  You pay a monthly fee to use the facility at any time during their hours of operation.  A doctor's visit or a haircut is an "appointment."  You call ahead to set up a time, you show up and then pay after the services have concluded.

With most services falling into one of these two categories, most people try to rationalize music lessons as one or the other.  However, music lessons are neither subscriptions or appointments.  They are actually a combination of both if the business entity is going to be successful.

The reasons why this hybrid business model occurs are:

1)  The service itself is centered around personal attention (appointmen…

Martial Arts and Music

I remember a few years ago I was having a conversation with one of my adult students about martial arts and music.  I always looked forward to my conversations with this student because she happened to be a fabulous Montessori teacher and founded what ended up being one of the biggest Montessori schools here in San Diego.  So she was this wealth of knowledge and it was such a privilege for me to be able to "pick her brain" from time to time.

Going back to the conversation, she observed that music and martial arts work really well together because they both required the same type of focus.  I have practiced martial arts for almost ten years so this is an opinion I have had for a long time but it surprised me to hear it coming from someone else.

Both music and martial arts revolve around the idea of a focused body and mind.  Teaching an extremely young student how to keep their instrument in place for one Twinkle is more mental training rather than physical.  Holding a light …