A new book from a New York Times reporter questions the notion of “good” study habits and may have you rethink how you practice for your voice and piano lessons.
In “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens,” Benedict Carey believes we have turned learning into a negative and boring experience. Often, we tell children to study for long hours, alone and in quiet setting, which should come as no surprise why so many hate studying.
Instead, Carey wants us to reconsider the learning process in a way that respects the brain’s uniqueness and is back by scientific research.
“The brain is not like a muscle, at least not in any straightforward sense. It is something else altogether, sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location, environment. It registers far more than we’re conscious of and often adds previously unnoticed details when revisiting a memory or learned fact …If the brain is a learning machine, then it’s an eccentric one. And it performs best when its quirks are exploited.”
Here are some tips we thought most appropriate for those taking music lessons:
1. Taking A Break Is Good: If you’ve hit a wall in the learning process, it is fine to take that 15-minute walk or check out your friends’ updates on social media. Taking a break allows your brain to process information, known as an “incubation” period. During the processing, the brain has time to reflect and provide new insight.
2. Multi-tasking is Good: Focusing on one skill is less beneficial than studying a bunch of related skills at the same time. In terms of music, how many times have you hit a wall with a difficult passage and thought the best solution was to repeat the notes again and again (and again!) until you mastered it?
3. Mistakes Are Good: Making mistakes does not mean that you are not learning correctly. Instead, learning from your errors enhances the learning process.
The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.
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