Friday, June 4, 2010

The Importance of Reflection

As musicians, many of us are reflective my nature. How did that performance really go? Is there a better practice technique to implement that will get the desired effect? Will an alternate fingering help facilitate that technical passage with increased accuracy?

For those of us who also teach, the reflections continue. How much of today's lesson did my student truly understand? What exercises will be beneficial to the student's development? How could I have better explained that concept? Is this better understood through explanation, demonstration, or self-exploration?

Summer's relaxed schedule is a perfect time for extended periods of reflection for me. This year, I am reflecting upon my own musical development. By taking a look at the experiences and repertoire my teachers' incorporated at various stages of my learning, I am observing how my musical path led to the collaborative arts that I now enjoy. Additionally, I am finding myself challenged to find ways to use some of these same techniques to pass on the gift of collaboration to a new generation of students.

By reflecting, I am learning more about myself, my philosophy of teaching, and my approach to training young pianists. These insights are turning my musical memories into a learning lab where I can observe master teachers and consider firsthand the effect the various approaches had upon the student.