Teaching Methods

Approach

My approach to music learning is multi-faceted. Many different applications towards learning a principle will reinforce the learning. For example, in learning rhythm, it can be broken up into number counts and sub-counts, broken up and defined into syllables, associated with words, or identified with body motions. Each approach fortifies the others and produces better understanding for the student who can then make better applications for their learning.

Psychology of Learning

Knowing how to perform well does not automatically make you a teacher. Psychology of learning has to do with being able break up learning into sequential and meaningful tasks that will enable the acquisition of knowledge and ability. I have studied psychology,education psychology and music education psychology and apply the insights of these academic fields into making lesson plans for each student. Designing the learning in this manner also helps in training the minutest, though important, technical skill. (piano - the repeat note legato; voice - an even vibrato; recorder - tonguing)

No one knows what it is he can do till he tries.

-Pubilius Syrus

Clear Assignments

Students receive monthly lesson plans that they check off during their practice. The plan is divided into technical exercises, memorized repertoire, reading, and theory. Songs in the repertoire list are maintained as cumulative learning until enough material is polished for a graduation concert. Students who do graduation concerts receive a trophy!

Encouraging Environment

Lessons and assignments are designed to not overwhelm the student, yet keep a slight challenge with simpler tasks thrown in every once in a while for an ego boost. Mistakes are never treated as failures and slow progress is never seen as inability. Persistent effort is praised. Little by little, time will ensure mastery.

So just, so small, yet in so sweet a note, it seem'd the music melted in the throat.

-John Dryen

© Brigitte Doss-Johnson. Artwork images are paintings by Tomoe Ishikawa Doss.