Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Switching roles

After repeated conversations with Simonne encouraging her to tell her teacher that she was not following along in her musicianship class (I wasn't sure what that was, but it includes sight reading), I took the next step and sent an email to the teacher.  I had a lovely chat with him about Solfege (do, re, me, ...) and rhythm and beat and hand signals and we came upon a plan: Simonne would teach me what she learns in her weekly class.

Though Simonne did not seem particularly excited about this prospect, I was very excited.  Last year, I decided I wanted to learn Solfege, bought a book, got an app and promptly did not follow through with it.  Just in the meeting with her teacher, I learnt the sound of the interval 'sol-me'.  What else could I learn?  What else does Simonne know that I don't know?  It was time to dust off that 2012 intention and recycle it.

I've only had 2 days of instruction so far.  I really need to pursue my teacher.  She seems to have other things doing... On day 1, I learnt to sing the pentatonic scale.  Day 2 was a little more tricky, since we added hand signals.  After getting those, Simonne started to show me any of the 5 signals and I was to sing the note.  I can't forget her feedback , "You are saying 'la' while you are singing 'so'".  I was mortified, confused and psyched.  The tables had turned. She was the sage on the stage.  I was the eager student.  She was shocked and delighted at my enthusiasm. 

When Isaiah came home I did a demonstration with Simonne and the hand signals, and his envious comment was "I need to be able to do that!" Simonne commented in wonder "Everyone wants to learn this!"

The whole experience reminds me of a guiding principle of mine, if you want to inspire enthusiasm for learning, you have to show enthusiasm for learning.  Many of us are in in our lives trying to pass on ideas and skills to people around us.  Sometimes people get it and sometimes they don't.  In my role as inspirer of learning, I want to be intentional about actively engaging my own learning.  I also want to be intentional about making my active engagement transparent to others.  They can't only see me get it.  They have to see me try to get it, not get it, persist with it, throw my hands up and walk away, return to it, get excited about the idea of getting it, investigate, research...all of it needs to be transparent.  Maybe a part of the reason why people aren't learning all they can in some traditional learning environments is that they aren't around other enthusiastic learners...

Here's to learning environments full of enthusiastic learners who make their process transparent (and to some musicianship training for me from Simonne!)

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant and true and definitely a point to reflect on... So many times I find myself expecting behaviors and attitudes that I myself don't model. I am challenged... Thanks!

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