Presentation on theme: "SASMT NATIONAL CONFERENCE 3 - 6 APRIL 2014 Engaging with the Community The South African Society of Music Teachers."— Presentation transcript:
SASMT NATIONAL CONFERENCE 3 - 6 APRIL 2014 Engaging with the Community The South African Society of Music Teachers
A physicist’s mindset 60 y of solo singing but no sense of music theory Attempt to get ABRSM Gr5 in 7 months Discovery of a Mental Model as an aid Potential for adult MT learners Hence physics, music education, psychology and andragogy/geragogy all contributed Please add – your centuries of teaching experience
One (adult) learner’s experience in learning music theory Mental Models The Keyboard Layout as a Mental Model Adult vs Early Learning Questions
Interest in Music studies post employment Unable to sight-read – accomplished ‘faker’ Treble stave F-A-C-E, Bass stave A-C-E-G Decision to learn music theory (CvN) Joined MAM 301 - Target ABRSM Gr 5/6 (AH) Very ignorant - Didn’t know 4-part songs usually in chords Perception of vast amount of memorising needed – an intimidating prospect
Note names in English: Crotchet/ quaver etc ‘everybody else’ has it better” Noot/ half-noot!! Grand Staff – confusing separation Degrees – tonic, sub-dominant, dominant Names of tetrachords (I, IV, V) Intervals add a third to a third to get a fifth ⅓ + ⅓ = ⅕ OR 0.33 + 0.33 = 0.20!!!!! Marking intervals – not spaces between – includes both ends ‘Use your keyboard!’ Fell on deaf ears.
All students required to illustrate a scale. First up: 12 note Chromatic Scale (new to me) Drew the Whole Note Scale – all intervals of equal length – 2 semitones. Practicing illustration on key board – significance of movement to and from white to black keys and the different ‘gaps’ emerged. A MENTAL MODEL. C, D, E, F#, G#, A#, C. (Mode of Min Transp)
Models essential in Physics – entities not directly observable Some personal, some common Bohr Model of Atomic Structure
Models essential in Physics – entities not directly observable Some personal, some common Bohr Model of Atomic Structure – all you need to know in Chemistry/Chem Eng Familiar thinking paradigm for this learner Mental Models a well-known concept in psychology Concept expanded by Phil Johnson-Laird “psychological representations of real or imaginary situations.. eg relationship to another person, how electricity works, architect’s models…”
John Hinch – Fingers on flute UPSO and Camerata: UPSO/ Cam/ Tot % Keyboard layout: 37/ 30 /33 Sounds in Mind: 55/ 53/ 54 Pianists: Keyboard layout slightly less than Sounds in Mind J New Generation Sciences 11, 2. (2013)
Accustomed to the constructivist approach Much experience in action learning Career characterised by entry into new knowledge fields An ‘accomplished autodidact’ used to learning on my own
Children using praxis method (action learning) learn MT ‘parenthetically and contextually’ (David Elliott, Music Matters.) Have ‘all the time in the world’ Adults don’t have/want to spend the time this way need to feel ‘in control’ – no authoritative ‘teacher figure’ capable of ‘big picture’ appreciation (helicopter view) tend to find their own learning style better at ‘chunking’ Iritani example
From Cmaj you can work out tts t tts Circle of Fifths (another Mental Model) helps to place them on the stave How does a perfect fifth differ from an augmented fifth. It seems
Helicopter view available Overall grasp of how scales and chords are constructed – the ‘code’ was ‘broken’ My comfort zone Have some degree of control Can memorise in my own way The Mental Model is empowering!
How Music Works: A listener’s guide to the science and psychology of beautiful sounds JOHN POWELL Great intro for adults – multi-stringed harp as mental model, (Lengths and pitches) Also explains Equal Temperament.
Keyboard layout as a Mental Model empowered one adult learner Some evidence of the use of this model in accomplished young musicians -surprisingly (?) low in keyboard players Consistent with what we know about adult learning Does this mean that when teaching adults an early start on the keyboard – as described – will help? Should other ‘big picture’ Mental Models also be considered? What about music students brought up on memorised choral parts?
From me: Do you see any potential in this? Any from you?
Page-Shipp, RJ & Van Niekerk, C. (2013). A superannuated physicist's attempts to master music theory: Resolving cognitive conflicts and a paradigm clash. International Journal of Music Education. published online 5 November 2013. Page-Shipp, RJ & Van Niekerk, C (2013). Mental Models in the Learning and Teaching of Music Theory Concepts. Journal for New Generation Sciences.11 (2) p57. Nov 2013. (OA) John Powell.How Music Works, A listener’s guide to the science and psychology of beautiful sounds. Particular Books. Penguin 2010.