The Learning Process and Teaching

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Most of us teach instinctively. We assume that if we know our material well and speak clearly we will be teaching, and learning will somehow take place. The reality is that we are probably doing rather well most of the time on a combination of trial-and-error, experience and instinct. We could probably all be doing even better.

I decided some years ago to look critically at what I was doing in the classroom and what was happening there. This article evolves from what I have been doing, and reading, and thinking about. It does not pretend to any theoretical rigor; it presents ideas in flux and aims to be practical and helpful. I learn mainly by teaching and this is an opportunity to organize and clarify some thinking. This article avoids "ed.-speak," and presents no scientific quantification of anything. In fact it is doubtful that learning is ultimately quantifiable. If what we are teaching is totally measurable, perhaps we should be teaching something else. Anyway, the bias here is that of the humanist, and is more intuitive than scientific.

The ideas that follow are not preemptive or rigidified. There are many valid approaches to teaching; this article presents one generalized model, and the model is in itself flexible and pluralistic. It may be possible to teach people by sitting them in rows and talking to them, but the results of this model are not impressive.

It would be useful at the outset to make three assumptions explicit. One is that the effective aspect of learning is a vital part of the learning process, in fact in many ways as central as what we call "content." Another is that absolute subject competence, both theoretical and experiential, is a precondition of effective teaching. Of course we have to know our material before we can teach it. A third is that we are teaching something interesting to us and worth knowing. It is very difficult to stay excited about teaching if the subject does not engage us.

Now, some definitions. Learning, says Harvey Jackins, involves the evaluation of new information in the light of previously understood and properly stored information.1 Information which has not been fully verified and assimilated has not been properly stored. If storage has occurred, the information will be readily available for application. Learning then requires the proper storage of the new information, and the ability to recall, communicate and apply it. How do we know when we know something? When we can relate it to previous knowledge, explain it to another person and apply it in new situations. Learning is pleasant and natural; we are all naturally eager to learn and are filled with curiosity about the world. Real learning results in intelligent behavior, which we can define informally as the ability to respond accurately and flexibly in new situations. Conditioned or reflexive behavior is not fully human behavior, although it characterizes other life forms. Flexibility and creativity are what distinguish human intelligence. In this sense, rote learning, while sometimes useful as a preliminary step, is a kind of parody of real learning. It dehumanizes. As Kenneth Eble says, "the enemy of learning is other learning."2 That is, a little learning is a dangerous thing.

What is needed for learning to occur? First, the new information must come in small increments. Too much information too fast creates anxiety and results in the immediate mental shutdown of the learner. Time-pressure and haste are therefore counter-productive. The new information must be tested and assimilated as soon as possible, before the next increment. What else is needed: lots of varied repetition of information seems necessary. Learning operates between the extremes of confusion (too much information), and boredom (too little information), so both repetition and variety are essential. Third, the learner should feel connected with the material. If the point of what is being studied is unclear, a critical element of motivation will be lost. Flexible, experiential approaches can often serve the end of connectedness much better than conceptual ones. Next, all new information must be related to old information, in clear and explicit ways. As many sets of reference points as possible should be used in making these connections. Again, varied repetition helps, as does the review of old material in the light of the new information. Next, the learner must be able to think about the new information, and then to communicate and apply it. This last critical step is often slighted in our teaching. I will discuss some specific strategies later. To recapitulate, real learning seems to require small increments of information, varied repetition, connection and point to the student, the relation of new to old information, and finally the learner must be able to think about, communicate and apply the new information.

What gets in the way of all this happening? Briefly, unaware teaching and student distress. People cannot learn well if they are bored, nervous, scared, confused, depressed, embarrassed or in pain. And failure to learn breeds further failure. People generalize about themselves—one isolated failure becomes "I am a failure," and this feeling becomes self-predictive. Think of the ways in which students can exhibit the shutdown of the learning process: they become passive, indulge in uncritical note-taking, ask "Is this the right answer?" or "Do I have to know this for the final?" Above all, they often refuse to take responsibility for their own learning. These student patterns have been built up over many years of distressed schooling, but they are easy enough to interrupt. Some strategies follow.

The main causes of student shutdown are isolation and lack of safety. How do we make the classroom a safe place? Let us start with the physical set-up. It's easy to make most classrooms pleasant and inviting. Simply your effort to do so will create a good atmosphere. Posters and pictures do not belong only in grade-school classrooms. Perhaps the most useful thing we can do is to destroy the straight rows. Many teachers do this already. If your classroom has movable desks and the class size is under about 25, the circle can be a far better configuration for learning. The circle is a visible symbol of peerness, and a prime inducer of student involvement in the process. Absolute peerness is not necessary—you can still be in charge, primus inter pares.

I use the circle as a means of getting to know students as individuals, and to get them to meet each other. During the first few meetings of a class, we start by quickly going around the circle at each meeting, stating our names and majors, our expectations of the course and what we personally want to accomplish in it. This is very helpful in understanding why people are in the course, and in correcting any misunderstandings of theirs as to the course content and method. Once every two or three meetings subsequently we will do a quick "circle topic," of my or the students' choosing. We will at first choose light topics, such as "a favorite piece of music," "a favorite place," "what I like to do outside of music." The circle technique draws on theories and practices from Reevaluation Counseling and the Human Development Program.3 As the trust and safety level builds, in some classes it is possible to move later to such topics as "something I do well," "something I'm proud of," "a time I helped someone," "a risk I took," "something I appreciate about other people." The circle time can also be used for announcements of coming concerts, cultural events and so on. These circles take 5 to 10 minutes once a week, and the gain in safety and openness in the classroom is more than worth the time. What this leads to is a willingness by students to take risks in asking questions, and helping each other learn. The circles break down the tension-producing isolation that students so often bring in with them. It helps the learner immensely to be paid attention; it brings him or her into the present and greatly increases the available attention for the course material.

Here are a few suggestions for doing the circles. State the ground rules clearly at the outset: everyone must pay attention to the speaker, no one is ever put down, everyone has a turn who wants one, nobody is forced to participate, all information is validated by the circle leader, who does not have to be the teacher. As students get used to the circle, begin to ask them to mirror or restate each other's contributions; this leads to an increased awareness in the present, and more accurate listening. "Who can repeat what Arthur said, in your own words?" The fact is, at any given time, most of us are operating in the past or the future. The ability to be fully in the present, the here-and-now, is necessary if real learning is to take place effectively.

You might say, "That's nice, but what do I do with my class of 30 or 40 or 50?" Yes, that's difficult, but there are ways. A friend who taught biology at the University of Washington hated the anonymity of her large lecture classes, so she video-taped a brief interview with each student at the beginning of the semester, and had learned their names within a few weeks. Some teachers take pictures of their large classes, either as a group or individually. A seating chart can be a help in learning names. I find that brief quizzes near the beginning of a course provide a good excuse to study faces. And the very best is an open door and lots of office hours, although I know these are hard to find.

What are some other ways of combating isolation and lack of safety? For one thing, it helps the learner to know that he/she is liked. This sounds naive and simplistic, but it is true. A direct look or smile, or just some relaxed attention to the learner will provide much safety. This may mean talking less and listening more, and I believe this is one key to effective teaching. The learner also needs lots of approval; all good work should be appreciated in a relaxed way. This of course brings up the tricky subject of praise. Lots of specific praise is fine when earned, but we all need to be aware that praise can be manipulative when overused or used unawares. Praise the work, not the worker, and beware of over general praise or criticism. Typically, students receive corrected work in which only mistakes have been noted—this increases their tendency to put themselves down, to take no risks, to play the game of "let's figure out what the teacher wants and provide it." If your work is always criticized, you will begin to play it very safe. Of course, we should provide specific, helpful criticism of problems, but it is equally important to acknowledge work well done. There is nearly always something good about any piece of work. This de-emphasis on negative reaction will apply equally to written work and to the classroom. Negative comments on the work may be heard as comments on the person; we need always to distinguish the person from the product.

We have all received in our lives all the criticism we need, and much more. This goes back to our upbringing, and especially our schooling. It is very difficult not to pass this along to our students. They need lots of approval of themselves as people, and all the help we can give them. It is most important to distinguish the person from the pattern of behavior. This may mean refusing to generalize from isolated instances of poor behavior or bad work. It will mean always giving the benefit of the doubt. This is often hard to do. The reality is that the learner is always doing as well as he/she can, under the circumstances. If we keep this firmly in mind, it will contradict the tendency to put students down and to generalize about them.

Of course the habit of refusing to generalize or invalidate extends to all aspects of the classroom. Students have many ways of putting themselves down. We've all heard "This is a dumb question, but . . ." or, "You'll think I'm stupid, but . . ." We don't need to accept this sort of talk, and it can be interrupted with kindness and humor. All questions are good questions, and need to be listened to with respect and appreciated.

Let's think about peerness. The more you can break down the isolation and anonymity of the classroom, the more a feeling of helpfulness and commitment will emerge. We can go a long way in this direction by breaking down the student-teacher distance and encouraging cooperation among students. Competition is often inappropriate to a learning environment. If we are using competition as a prime motivational device, perhaps we ought to look carefully at what is happening. The eagerness to know should be sufficient motivation, and in fact usually is. The circle is a good start. Having students mirror each other's comments or clarify each other's questions is also useful. A very effective way of breaking down a classroom is by assigning work in teams or pairs, with the results reported to the whole group. Students are going to work together anyway; let's admit that and encourage successful collaboration. Try making out a class roster, including telephone numbers if your students live off-campus. They will use the roster, to obtain and discuss assignments and help each other with the material. Include your own telephone number if you are comfortable with that.

Students teach each other very well. We all know that we learn something best by teaching it, and we all learn best from our peers. We can use that fact in our teaching. Try the "each-one-teach-one" mode. It is very simple. You present the information; the students pair off and student 1 explains the information to student 2; then 2 explains it back to 1. The learner in each pair may ask for clarification, but will not otherwise interrupt. Or try groups of three, with a teacher, learner and a helper whose role is to question and clarify. Each student takes a turn at each role. None of this need take more than three or four minutes, depending on the material. It is fun, it breaks down the monolithic classroom, it encourages cooperation, promotes clear thinking, and makes it instantly clear to the students exactly what they do and do not understand. The more such student-to-student transactions we can encourage, the better. Eble speaks of the necessity of reducing our own importance "to help learners arrive at their own freedom to learn." It seems to me that the current shift from teacher-centered to learning-centered education is a fine thing.

What else can we do to promote peerness? You might want to try the mirror process. You will need to model it yourself, perhaps in the form of rephrasing or clarifying student comments or questions. "I heard you say . . ." is a good prefix, and instantly reveals any gaps in the communication system. Or try "Could I rephrase your question this way?" Or, "John, will you rephrase Ellen's question?" Or, "Who can clarify Tim's point?" Later, ask the students to repeat to you, or to the class, what you just explained. "Who would like to mirror what I just said?" We all know how important it is to vary our question-asking format, using general or specific questions as appropriate, and addressing them to the whole group or to individuals. Be wary of falling into any single questioning mode.

How else to vary the classroom format? There is no reason why students cannot lead discussions, as long as you are available to intervene. Students enjoy working at the board, either explaining or working out problems. Teams at the board work well, especially for theory problems. Class time can be saved this way, and problems of understanding are immediately visible. My students love to perform their own compositions in class, and to discuss each others' work.

Most important in the promotion of peerness is your own example. Rule one (and we all know this) is "never fake it." It is O.K. to say once in a while, "I don't know." or "I'm not sure, but you could look at it this way." Or "Here are some ways of thinking about this." It is fun to turn questions around with "Got me. What do you think?" If we refuse to play the game of "I have all the answers; now you have to guess them," we will be going a long way to preparing our students to think independently. Our modeling of an open-minded, questioning attitude is far more important than any pat answer we might be tempted to provide. The Socratic model of a group of equals searching dispassionately for the truth is still attractive, and it relieves the teacher of the need to know it all and make it all happen.

This brings up the issue of names. It is a small matter, but in a way symbolizes the teacher-student relationship. I like students to use my first name. I use theirs, and ask them to use mine. They are not always willing to do this, so it is well to give them an option. This is a matter of personal style of course. It has nothing to do with respect. We all want our students to respect our expertise, our intelligence, our musicianship, and they are not about to quibble about titles or the wearing of a tie.

This has to do with responsibility. The saying "He teaches best who teaches least" has in it a good deal of truth. When we take on the entire burden for what happens in the learning situation, we relieve the learner of the responsibility for his/her own education. I tell my students, "It is not my education, it's yours; you take charge." Then I provide guidance and help as needed. This allows us to relax a little. It even allows us to waste a little time occasionally. Students, properly guided, will rush in to fill the vacuum. I want to tell you about a recent experience in a graduate class of mine in theory pedagogy. There were 15 students. I began the first class by sitting in front of the group and reading to myself—a book by Carl Rogers, as it happened. I did not acknowledge the class. There was considerable unease for the first half hour; some visiting around, some nervous laughter. As it became clear that I was not going to initiate anything, a student-led discussion began over what was going on. A good deal of anger and resentment was expressed, as it became clear that I was not going to make it all happen for them. By the second class meeting, it had become clear that in the interim the students had been thinking about and discussing what had happened. I again read and observed, limiting my comments to an occasional suggestion that the class stop generalizing and observe what was going on. Leaders emerged, and the role of each class member became defined. The students decided to change to a circular seating arrangement. The issues of power, authority and responsibility rose spontaneously, and the class took off on its own. Later I slipped into a more traditional role, as there was a good deal of information to be communicated, but the experience of the first two classes drastically altered the attitudes of individuals in the group, and their understanding of the relationship of learner and teacher.

Many students come into a course unprepared to take charge, to question, to commit themselves, to be actively and personally engaged in the process. It is up to us to figure out ways to engage them. Refusing to do all the real work is a fine way to begin.

It might be useful to list some ways in which we can go about engaging and stimulating students. These have to do largely with staying fresh and excited about our own teaching and learning. Both boredom and enthusiasm are contagious, even if we sometimes have to fake enthusiasm. The personal anecdote is a good way of injecting yourself into the material. A little self-deprecating humor is useful as an antidote to stuffiness. Remember that humor has to be natural and contextual; a prepared joke dragged in by its collar will be merely embarrassing. Any way in which you can connect the real world to the classroom will provide a gain in the reality quotient of your course, and will be an excellent model for the students. The more real it is, the harder they will work and the more they will retain.

To admit that we, at some point in our own schooling, were mystified over some technical matter reduces the tension over new or difficult material. Personal value judgments are good as a way of demonstrating involvement with the quality of a subject, not just its technique, as long as we identify the judgments as purely personal. Some very interesting discussions are started this way, too.

By the way, it is O.K. to make mistakes. It demonstrates our fallibility and makes it safer for the students to take chances. "Being right" is not the only desideratum.

We have all developed strategies for staying fresh in our teaching. What works for me is to be very aware of the students. Each class is significantly different from every other; each student is a fascinating individual, to whom the German Sixth chord can be exciting and challenging. Everyone learns a little differently—what works for student A will baffle and confuse student B. It's important to vary one's materials when repeating a course, to at least consider changing texts and other materials every few years. A good text should be stimulating to both you and the students and should provide enough useful information, without locking you rigidly into its own mode of presentation. In my analysis courses, I try to achieve an even balance of works familiar and unfamiliar to me so that I occasionally have the challenge of analyzing music that is new to me.

It is always possible to vary the class format. Considering all the learning modes, most of us typically use very few. There are many ways of lecturing; there is a multiplicity of discussion formats. There are several different question-asking models. The blackboard can be used in a great variety of ways: for demonstrating, problem solving, listing, dictation; it can be used by the teacher or by students individually or in teams. In music we are fortunate to have the piano, the record player and the tape recorder as adjuncts to our teaching. These modes can be mixed within a given class session, and definitely from one class to the next. Nothing produces more boredom than a totally predictable format. In this sense the classroom and the stage are very similar—and teaching is, finally, a performing art.

Perhaps most productive of fear and timidity in the classroom is the possibility of making a public error and being put down for it. This fear inhibits the asking of questions and the volunteering of answers. It produces the superficial answer, the obvious question. How can we reduce the danger of error? First, we can refuse to find fault or at least to generalize from an isolated wrong answer. As the expression has it "Ask the right question the right way and the student will give the right answer." All student contributions need to be appreciated and responded to: "Nice question." "Good point." "Thanks for that clarification." We need, again, to interrupt that standard preface, "This is a dumb question, but . . ." I like to alternate focused, detailed questions with larger questions calling for the ability to generalize, abstract or list. Listing-questions are excellent for eliciting responses, as almost all responses will be useful. "What are some ways to achieve a musical climax?" "What were Mozart's compositional options at this point?" I try to ask the larger questions first, and let the details fall into place later; it's easier and safer, and a context has been created. It's important to ask real questions; trivial questions elicit superficial answers.

Be aware of why you are asking questions. Is it to evaluate student preparation? Is it to gauge student understanding? Or is it to clarify issues and advance learning? All are possible goals; use them all. Remember that the Socratic model is treacherous. Often we ask questions with a specific "answer" in mind, at which point the students play "let's guess what right answer the teacher has in mind." This produces only game-playing and timidity. It is also a danger of testing, which I will discuss presently. We need to ask thought-provoking questions, to create situations where we will learn something new daily in the classroom.

If we expect intelligent answers and good student involvement in the process, we will probably get them. Teacher expectation is a critical element in the learning process. I always let my classes know from the outset that my demands and expectations are high, and then I work to insure that they can reasonably be met. This is why it can be a mistake to look at a student's record or to check on his or her previous work with another teacher. It has been documented that a teacher's knowledge of a student's past failures can produce more of the same. I always presuppose on the part of every student a fund of good will, an innate eagerness to learn, and the mental ability to do well in the course. I am rarely disappointed.

What else can we do to encourage and reassure the student? I have talked about beautifying the classroom. Think about using other spaces, as appropriate to the course: common rooms, lounges, perhaps your own home if that is practical. My ear training classes love to sing madrigals outside, under the live oaks of Houston. What else? We can learn names early in the semester; we can exercise care in the selection of materials for the class; we can sympathize about the cost of textbooks. Most importantly, we can make clear our expectations and standards at the outset; I always hand out and discuss the syllabus very early, and I include due dates and details for all projects, materials needed, my policy on absences, tests, late assignments and grading. Grading needs to be discussed and decided, and the grading policy followed in a consistent and predictable way. We can discuss the grading system with our classes and come up with the grading mix that seems best to reflect course content and structure. The students appreciate knowing how they are graded, and will be far less resentful of the outcome if they are consulted about the process.

This is not the time to discuss the merits of the grading system. Learning should in itself be sufficient motivation; testing and grading often do no more than produce anxiety, which in turn inhibits the learning process. Let us assume we have no choice but to give grades. How can we turn this to advantage, or at least reduce the distress it causes? The main reason grading causes anxiety is that it is usually used negatively. "What don't you know?" 'What did you do wrong this time?" No wonder they run scared. It is easy enough in our comments on papers and tests to tell them what they did right, and to appreciate all good thinking and insights. We should be specific and helpful in our criticisms; what exactly went wrong, and how might you fix it? The real questions are "What can I do now?" "What do I know now?" "Can I communicate and apply what I know?"

Grading can be useful to the student if handled well. The student deserves an answer to the questions "How am I doing?" and "What do I need to work on more?" To this end, lots of small quizzes are far better than one or two major exams. They are excellent for self-diagnosis, and can provide specific, focused results for the learner and teacher. Not all tests or assignments have to be graded. Non-graded results can be more productive and less threatening.

There are several options for grading which you, perhaps together with your students, might explore. Self-evaluation by the learner himself/herself is excellent. It makes the learner think clearly about what has been learned and what needs further work. Students can negotiate with you which assignments will be graded, and how the various grades will be weighed and averaged; or they might grade themselves. I have occasionally tried self-grading for an entire course, in small selective graduate courses where the students were first-rate and motivation was not a problem. The daily work was not graded, but was critiqued in great detail, and the students assigned themselves a grade at the end of the course, over which I retained editorial control. Another option is the contract, if you are willing to let students contract for grades. An option which I have used during the summer at Interlochen with one theory class is to give everyone an A, and insist that they all truly earn the A by demonstrating mastery of the course material. This is done through pass/fail testing, with a very high cut-off for passing. A failure (I don't call it that) simply means having to take another test on the same material. It works very well, both in terms of a thorough grasp of the material and in the creation of a relaxed atmosphere.

Under these conditions, cheating becomes pointless. Cheating, by the way, is caused mainly by pressure of grades and poor assignments in which we emphasize facts and dates rather than fresh and accurate thinking. If the learning is going well, cheating is "silly and irrelevant" (Eble). If our assignments are well thought-out, challenging and relevant to their learning needs, and if we clearly explain the purpose of the work, there will be little pressure to cheat by copying. Perhaps the bottom line is: don't assign busy work. It is well to insist on a maximum of personality in student work, where this is possible. Theory assignments should be as creative and musical as possible; learners are proud of and excited by their own creativity, and tend to put a maximum of commitment into such work. Even analysis papers can show personality. Not just "What's there and how is it organized?" but "How do you relate to it—how do you hear it, how would you perform it, based on your thinking about and experience of the music?" "Don't just look it up—think about it." This requires an emotional attachment, an involvement and an element of risk-taking that goes beyond the way in which most students are trained. In my theory pedagogy course, one continuing assignment was to keep a teaching/learning journal. Students seemed to find this engaging, and used the opportunity both to observe their own teaching and learning processes, and to become more observant about their own lives and surroundings. In some cases these journals have been continued beyond the end of the course.

I also like to give as much in-class work as possible, especially on introductory material. If you give desk work, to be done individually or in pairs, right after the presentation of new material, this provides for the students an immediate check on their own comprehension, and allows us instant diagnosis of problems. It also goes very well with the each-one-teach-one mode, providing both reinforcement and immediate results.

A word on tests. The danger is that they tend to test learning as if it were entirely behavioral. To define learning in terms of behavioral outcomes trivializes the learning and the learner (Eble). The skills we are, I hope, trying to instill, have to do with the abilities to synthesize, to generalize, to abstract. These are attitudinal as well as factual. If we are testing behavior, we will tend to teach behavior, that is, to trivialize and mechanize our courses to prepare students for exams. Testing can have a place as a learning and diagnostic tool, especially if you use many small tests scattered through the course rather than, or in addition to, the big final exam. The point, again, is that testing should be diagnostic as well as evaluative. If we are testing only to assign grades, something has gone wrong. In final exams almost the entire benefit of recall, reinforcement and feedback is lost, and the exam setting is invariably stressful. It is important to try to reduce the threat level in exams. Questions using wry humor or whimsy are fun to make up, and contradict the students' excessive anxiousness about exams.

What, finally, gets in the way of our classes going as well as they could? We have looked at student patterns; there are teacher patterns, too. What are some of these patterns? We often worry about time. There's somehow never enough time to accomplish what we want to; this makes us nervous, we present too fast, and this in turn causes overload, confusion, anxiety. We will never be able to teach any given class everything we know, or what we believe they should know. There is never enough time; but the other side of the reality is that there is always enough time to cover some of the material thoroughly. Another teacher pattern is compulsive talking. When I feel nervous or the class is not going well, I talk too much, instead of simply stopping and finding out from the students what has gone wrong. This results in more overload and anxiety. The students are tuned in to malfunctions of the learning process; they will tell you what is happening. Another related pattern is poor listening. I often talk too much instead of playing the music, demonstrating, and above all asking good questions and listening to the students. I overuse the verbal mode and underuse the great variety of other types of reinforcement. This stresses the conceptual over the experiential, and will not always make for the best recall and application of material. What other patterns? I tend to take poor student work as a personal affront. This is a mistake. We generalize inaccurately from the work to ourselves. Bad work is just that; let's not confuse the person with the product. We need to figure out what is happening and what help the student needs. This has to do with the necessity of always giving the benefit of the doubt. Finally, an overriding pattern we teachers have is doing all the work; taking all the responsibility for the learning, whereas the less we take the more the students will, and the better the learning will go.

Learning is significantly easy and enjoyable. So is teaching. We look on it as a high calling and tend to take it very seriously. Many of us are learning to lighten up and relax, and this is bound to have a positive effect on our students. If we are not learning daily in class and enjoying the experience, we need to take a look at what is going on in the classroom. The teaching does not always go well. Mine certainly does not, but it can and does improve markedly with the proper attention.

I feel the need to say again that this article presents only one kind of teaching/learning model. There are some greatly gifted teachers who can inspire and instruct by means of the lecture method. But that often has more to do with impressing than instructing. I am fully convinced that active, engaged learning is the kind that stays with you longest.

One final suggestion: consider forming a teacher support and discussion group at your school. I did this a year or two ago with a few teachers from a variety of departments at my university. We shared methods, attitudes, suggestions, feelings. We did individual demonstrations of our teaching, and received specific, helpful criticism. Groups of this kind can be very supportive and useful; I recommend starting one.

We all care deeply about music and about young people, and enjoy bringing the two together. We receive many rewards, mainly intangible, from our teaching. I hope this article has given you some ideas and approaches which can make your teaching even more rewarding and fulfilling.


1"The Nature of the Learning Process," The Human Situation (Seattle, 1973).

2Eble's The Craft of Teaching (San Francisco, 1977) is perhaps the single most useful book on college teaching. This article draws on it extensively.

3See Magic Circle by Uvaldo Hill Palomares and Geraldine Ball (La Mesa, California), and Circlebook by Jim Ballard (Amherst, Mass., 1975).

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Last modified on Thursday, 25/10/2018

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