You are on page 1of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

HOME

ABOUT

CONTACT

EVENTS

CONVERSATIONS

ARCHIVES

SEARCH

Quality content on creativity, innovation and imagination


Arts Pop Culture Science Tech Philosophy Psychology Business Education Activism Create!

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin


By Noa Kageyama, Ph.D. | Jul 28, 2012
Like 15k 1823 120 111
SUBSCRIBE Email RSS

Noa Kageyama, Ph.D.


Performance psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School and the New World Symphony, where he specializes in teaching performing artists how to utilize sport...
MORE

Synopsis
The seemingly obvious lesson that only took me twenty-three years to learn. MOST POPULAR You have probably heard the old joke about the tourist who asks a cab driver how to get to Carnegie Hall, only to be told: "Practice, practice, practice!" I began playing the violin at age two, and for as long as I can remember, there was one question which haunted me every day.
Dont Just Learn-Overlearn!

LATEST ENTRIES

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity


AUGUST 28, 2013

Put Down That Highlighter!


AUGUST 26, 2013

Am I practicing enough?

AUGUST 22, 2013

What Do Performers Say?


I scoured books and interviews with great artists, looking for a consensus on practice time that would ease my conscience. I read an interview with Rubinstein, in which he stated that nobody should have to practice more than four hours a day. He explained that if you needed that much time, you probably werent doing it right. And then there was violinist Nathan Milstein who once asked his teacher Leopold Auer how many hours a day he should be practicing. Auer responded by saying Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours.
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Elephants in the Room of Creativity and Innovation Talk


SEPTEMBER 09, 2013

How Intelligent Constraints Drive Creativity


AUGUST 27, 2013

Writing and the Creative Life: Routine or Ritual?


SEPTEMBER 06, 2013

Clutter Drives Creativity, Study Says


SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

Page 1 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

Even Heifetz indicated that he never believed in practicing too much, and that excessive practice is just as bad as practicing too little! He claimed that he practiced no more than three hours per day on average, and that he didnt practice at all on Sundays. It seemed that four hours should be enough. So I breathed easy for a bit. And then I learned about the work of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson. Facebook
Recommendations The Real Neuroscience of Creativity 982 people recommend this. Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking 3,864 people recommend this. The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin Donny Donn Mendoza recommends this.

Get Connected
RSS Feed Facebook Twitter

What Do Psychologists Say?


When it comes to understanding expertise and expert performance, psychologist Dr. Ericsson is perhaps the worlds leading authority. His research is the basis for the 10,000-hour rule which suggests that it requires at least ten years and/or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to achieve an expert level of performance in any given domain and in the case of musicians, more like 15-25 years in order to attain an elite international level. Those are some pretty big numbers. So large, that at first I missed the most important factor in the equation. Deliberate practice. Meaning, that there is a specific type of practice that facilitates the attainment of an elite level of performance. And then there's the other kind of practice that most of us are more familiar with.

Facebook social plugin

Twitter
06-11-2013 1:43

@CreativityPost The Rise of the Wonderjunkie http://t.co/CAbsZNQdjA via @HuffPostTech @maxlugavere

06-11-2013 11:26

@CreativityPost Pivot Your Creative Process & Business http://t.co/2KqJXIOYac via @creativitypost

Mindless Practice
Have you ever observed a musician (or athlete, actor, trial attorney) engage in practice? You'll notice that most practice resembles one of the following distinct patterns.
06-10-2013 6:43

@CreativityPost @sbkaufman will be featured on NatGeo's @BrainGames episode "Use It or Lose It". Tonight, 9pm EST. http://t.co/fbQ0lceAzo #BrainGames

1. Broken record method


This is where we simply repeat the same thing over and over. Same tennis serve. Same passage on the piano. Same powerpoint presentation. From a distance it might look like practice, but much of it is simply mindless repetition.
06-10-2013 12:15

@CreativityPost Eight Ways of Looking at Intelligence http://t.co/XLe1JwhOxi via @creativitypost

2. Autopilot method
This is where we activate our autopilot system and coast. Recite our sales pitch three times. Play a round of golf. Run through a piece from beginning to end. Archive
September, 2013 August, 2013 July, 2013 June, 2013
16 25 22 25

3. Hybrid method
Then there's the combined approach. For most of my life, practicing meant playing through a piece until I heard something I didn't like, at which point I'd stop, repeat the passage over and over until it started to sound better, and then resume playing until I heard the next thing I wasn't pleased with, at which point I'd repeat the whole process over again.

Three Problems
Unfortunately, there are three problems with practicing this way.

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Page 2 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

1. It is a waste of time
Why? For one, very little productive learning takes place when we practice this way. This is why you can "practice" something for hours, days, or weeks, and still not improve all that much. Even worse, you are actually digging yourself a hole, because what this model of practicing does is strengthen undesirable habits and errors, increasing the likelihood of more consistently inconsistent performances. This also makes it more difficult to clean up these bad habits as time goes on so you are essentially adding to the amount of future practice time you will need in order to eliminate these undesirable tendencies. To quote a saxophone professor I once worked with: Practice doesnt make perfect, practice makes permanent.

2. It makes you less confident


In addition, practicing mindlessly lowers your confidence, as a part of you realizes you dont really know how to produce the results you are looking for. Even if you have a fairly high success rate in the most difficult passages, there's a sense of uncertainty deep down that just won't go away. Real on-stage confidence comes from (a) being able to nail it consistently, (b) knowing that this isnt a coincidence but that you can do it the correct way on demand, because (c) you know precisely why you nail it or miss it i.e. you have identified the key technical or mechanical factors that are necessary to play the passage perfectly every time.

3. It is mind-numbingly dull
Practicing mindlessly is a chore. Weve all had well-meaning parents and teachers tell us to go home and practice a certain passage x number of times, or to practice x number of hours, right? But why are we measuring success in units of practice time? What we need are more specific results-oriented outcome goals such as, practice this passage until it sounds like XYZ, or practice this passage until you can figure out how to make it sound like ABC.

Deliberate Practice
So what is the alternative? Deliberate, or mindful practice is a systematic and highly structured activity, that is, for lack of a better word, more scientific. Instead of mindless trial and error, it is an active and thoughtful process of hypothesis testing where we relentlessly seek solutions to clearly defined problems. Deliberate practice is often slow, and involves repetition of small and very specific sections of a skill instead of just playing through. For example, if you were a musician, you might work on just the opening note of a solo to make sure that it speaks exactly the way you want, instead of playing the entire opening phrase. Deliberate practice also involves monitoring ones performance - in real-time and via recordings - continually looking for new ways to improve. This means being observant and keenly aware of what happens, so that you can tell yourself exactly what went wrong. For instance, was the first note note sharp? Flat? Too loud? Too soft? Too harsh? Too short? Too long? Lets say that the note was too sharp and too long with not enough of an attack to
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 3 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

begin the note. Well, how sharp was it? A little? A lot? How much longer was the note than you wanted it to be? How much more of an attack did you want? Ok, the note was a little sharp, just a hair too long, and required a much clearer attack in order to be consistent with the marked articulation and dynamics. So, why was the note sharp? What did you do? What do you need to do instead to make sure the note is perfectly in tune every time? How do you ensure that the length is just as you want it to be, and how do you get a consistently clean and clear attack to begin the note so it begins in the right character? Now, lets imagine you recorded each trial repetition, and could listen back to the last attempt. Does that combination of ingredients give you the desired result? Does that combination of elements convey the mood or character you want to communicate to the listener as effectively as you thought it would? Does it help the listener experience what you want them to feel? If this sounds like a lot of work, that's because it is. Which might explain why few take the time to practice this way. To stop, analyze what went wrong, why it happened, and how they can produce different results the next time. Simple though it may sound, it took me years to figure this out. Yet it remains the most valuable and enduring lesson I learned from my 23 years of training. In the dozen or so years since I put down my violin, the principles of deliberate practice have remained relevant no matter what skill I must learn next. Be it the practice of psychology, building an audience for a blog, parenting, or making the perfect smoothie, how I spend my practice time remains more important than how much time I spend practicing.

How to Accelerate Skill Development


Here are the five principles I would want to share with a younger version of myself. I hope you find something of value on this list as well.

1. Focus is everything
Keep practice sessions limited to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as short as 10-20 minutes, and as long as 45-60+ minutes.

2. Timing is everything, too


Keep track of times during the day when you tend to have the most energy. This may be first thing in the morning, or right before lunch. Try to do your practicing during these naturally productive periods, when you are able to focus and think most clearly. What to do in your naturally unproductive times? I say take a guilt-free nap.

3. Don't trust your memory


Use a practice notebook. Plan out your practice, and keep track of your practice goals and what you discover during your practice sessions. The key to getting into flow when practicing is to constantly strive for clarity of intention. Have a crystal clear idea of what you want (e.g. the sound you want to produce, or particular phrasing youd like to try, or specific articulation, intonation, etc. that youd like to be able to execute consistently), and be relentless in your search for ever better solutions.

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Page 4 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

When you stumble onto a new insight or discover a solution to a problem, write it down! As you practice more mindfully, you'll began making so many micro-discoveries that you will need written reminders to remember them all.

4. Smarter, not harder


When things aren't working, sometimes we simply have to practice more. And then there are times when it means we have to go in a different direction. I remember struggling with the left-hand pizzicato variation in Paganinis 24th Caprice when I was studying at Juilliard. I kept trying harder and harder to make the notes speak, but all I got was sore fingers, a couple of which actually started to bleed (well, just a tiny bit). Instead of stubbornly persisting with a strategy that clearly wasnt working, I forced myself to stop. I brainstormed solutions to the problem for a day or two, and wrote down ideas as they occurred to me. When I had a list of some promising solutions, I started experimenting. I eventually came up with a solution that worked, and the next time I played for my teacher, he actually asked me to show him how I made the notes speak so clearly!

5. Stay on target with a problem-solving model


It's extraordinarily easy to drift into mindless practice mode. Keep yourself on task using the 6-step problem solving model below. 1. Define the problem (What result did I just get? What do I want this note/phrase to sound like instead?) 2. Analyze the problem (What is causing it to sound like this?) 3. Identify potential solutions (What can I tweak to make it sound more like I want?) 4. Test the potential solutions and select the most effective one (What tweaks seem to work best?) 5. Implement the best solution (Reinforce these tweaks to make the changes permanent) 6. Monitor implementation (Do these changes continue to produce the results Im looking for?) Or simpler yet, try out this model from Daniel Coyles excellent book The Talent Code. 1. Pick a target 2. Reach for it 3. Evaluate the gap between the target and the reach 4. Return to step one

Make Your Time Count


It doesnt matter if we are talking about perfecting violin technique, improving your golf game, becoming a better writer, improving your marketing skills, or becoming a more effective surgeon. Life is short. Time is our most valuable commodity. If you're going to practice, you might as well do it right.

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Page 5 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

Adapted from an article that originally appeared at The Bulletproof Musician.

Tags: learning, music, practice, psychology

Recommended for you

August 17, 2013

August 10, 2013

July 30, 2013

July 21, 2013

Inanna and the Creative Descent

Artists as Healers

Making Time for the Arts

The Lottery of Birth

42 comments Leave a message...


Best Community Joberhol

31

Share

a year ago

Right on and nicely put! One thing I wish would have been emphasized and said differently is this phrase- "practice this passage until it sounds like XYZ, or practice this passage until you can figure out how to make it sound like ABC." I tell my students not to practice UNTIL they can do something, I tell them the practice begins AFTER they can do something. If you practice only until you can do something, you have probably spent most of your time not quite reaching your goal and have played what you want only once or twice. So what did you actually practice? Doing it the way you don't want to do it. Repetition/practice begins once you have reached your goal. This is a big change in perspective for many people.
20 1 Wesley Reply
>

Share

Joberhol a month ago

Or to put it another way: good players practice until they get it right; great players practice until they cannot get it wrong.
5 Elly
>

Reply

Share

Joberhol a year ago

darn academics!!!
1 Pat
>

Reply

Share

Joberhol 4 months ago

This is so true. Well put.


Elly
>

Reply

Share

Joberhol a year ago

Absolute!


Mark Bennett

Reply
a year ago

Share

I've often wondered why the 60s and early 70s produced so many amazing and creative musicians. I believe it had something to do with the origin of the music being rooted in passion for the music and not in some Steven Covey plan for attaining mastery. Mindfulness comes naturally when the heart is engaged.
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 6 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

attaining mastery. Mindfulness comes naturally when the heart is engaged.


8 1 Jam Reply
>

Share

Mark Bennett a year ago

I agree. Passion drives one to excellency. I remembered when I was still 16 years old; I was able to play Chopin's Op 69 no. 1 and 2 without any assistance from any teachers or my mother. What drove me into completing it was purely passion and the feeling of contentment that it would give me,it's like a drug to my system. Now looking back at the old me; I'd say I was better before, now I'm only doing it for an ''exam'' so I can get a diploma. It's like I have lost everything the passion and puzzle. Music is something you should be doing not for the sake of assurance but for the sake of having something valuable, something you can express yourself with.
7 1
>

Reply

Share

enness

Mark Bennett a month ago

Haha...well, even the most passionate musicians experience tedium at inconvenient times. The difference is whether we see it as temporary and keep playing, or not. It is a bit like a marriage: the honeymoon's going to end and reality will set in eventually, but it does not mean the love for one's spouse is over.
1

Reply

Share

William D Rusk Jr

11 months ago

That may be the best description of deliberate practice I have ever read. I particularly like the way you walk us through the process of your own practice with such great detail and clarity. And you give several ideas for implementing deliberate practice I don't recall reading anywhere else. The practice notebook is one I will begin using today. I've been wondering how I can apply the concepts of deliberate practice to my meditation practice, and I think you've finally given me the handle I need. Thank you!
4

RK

Reply
>

Share

William D Rusk Jr a month ago

Repeating "That may be the best description of deliberate practice I have ever read" x 100.
1

Reply
>

Share
William D Rusk Jr a month ago

Soizic Du Vignoul

totally agreed :-)


Richard Hendrix

Reply

Share

a month ago

Whatever was that story about Heifetz, it's not true. I knew people who studied with him and he recommended to them six hours a day to be their best. I don't know of any auditioning person or competitor who doesn't carry an angry red mark under the neck, and three hours doesn't cut it for making a mark that color for that red-brown-black bruise: it takes 5 to 6 hours to get that and more for the black-red mark. Besides.you DO have to practice with the fingers as well so that they move on their own. In an audition, the fingers are SUPPOSED to go into remote control in case you freak out inside. If it's all there, you might be freaked, but the fingers won't fail you, and mine certainly never betrayed me when I worked hard to achieve a worthy goal. I remember Heifetz saying that he did three hours of scales alone, and that scales should be half of your practicing. I did two to two and a half hours a day with every bowing and every key and every octave, fingered octaves, tenths, sixths, thirds and all of it in three octaves if not four up to the C# or D-flat major key........and now I don't have to practice my intonation anymore when I play the
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 7 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

key........and now I don't have to practice my intonation anymore when I play the same violin: it's already there. My fingered octaves are so pure, the top note disappears into the sound and it becomes a timbre instead of two pitches. It's rare today to hear that. Heifetz was one of the few who did it. But my teacher had the good sense to make sure the fingers worked and I began at 12, a late start. Muscle memory is important. I can guarantee you they worked harder than they said..........ALL of them.
3

Reply

Share

Justin Locke

a month ago

I did a whole chapter on practicing in my Pops memoir, "Real Men Don't Rehearse" . . . For me, it was mainly about the fundamentals (scales, arps, intervals). Also the legend was, it was Fritz Kreisler who never practiced. :-)
2

Reply

Share

Keith Collyer

a year ago

Great article. The only nit I have (and it is truly trivial) is the bit about practising just the first note of a solo. That note has to be taken in context of everything before and after it, so the practice also has to take that into account - even if you only actually play the note. This is why John Cage's 4'33" is a piece of music, not just silence. You probably intended that all along, so I hope I am clarifying, not just being picky.
2

Reply

Share

HarshRao

a year ago

Insightful. I agree with the point "Smarter not harder". Personally have experienced this and got fruitful outputs. It's better to stop for a moment when nothing is going our way.
2

Reply

Share

Deborah A. Sullivan

11 months ago

Music is a extension of ourselves ... I say just let it flow through you ... ~Debbie:)
2 1

Reply
a year ago

Share

Korinthia

This is an excellent piece! Thank you so much for sharing your insights. But I have to say, the musician and violin teacher in me got snagged on the words "in the dozen or so years since I put down my violin." Do you really no longer play? (I hope you just mean that you only play casually now and did not give it up entirely after so many years of work.)
1 Lyla

Reply

Share

a year ago

This sounds pretty on point. I try to tell my daughter, who plays the violin, if you're going to practice then do it right. She get so mad at me. She just 'lost' her violin shoulder pad so she doesn't have to practice. She'll thank me one day because she really does have a great talent for it.
2 Albert 4

Reply

Share

14 days ago

How true.How true.Hmm...


Jackie

Reply

Share

19 days ago

How did you make the left hand pizzicato speak so clearly?


Ron Casal

Reply

Share

24 days ago

somewhere in time maestro!...saludos! thanks for your insight and out shares!
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 8 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

somewhere in time maestro!...saludos! thanks for your insight and out shares!


JMML

Reply

Share

a month ago

I agree with what Joberhol says. D'ont forget you only know what you want to do, if you can analysis musically your work, have found your technical solutions, you can listen very well what you play...and you know what you want to say (or what the music seems to say)...feel emphaty with the music...that's why this take a lot of years to get there. This article is important (and I subscribe) in telling you: D'ont repeat errors...Think by yourself (if possible) how to get it bettter. Very good article. Abraos Jose Mesquita Lopes


enness

Reply

Share

a month ago

It does sound like work, but after a while you start to do it automatically. If you are ruthlessly efficient, you can do wonders with 20 minutes. Of course, you do have to turn the mentality off for an audition. That takes its own kind of preparation. It is possible to overwork when things aren't going right and you are frustrated. One of the most important things is to know when to call it a day. Our minds and our fingers do sometimes need a break to absorb what we've been trying so hard to bash into them. Now and then when one *does* have the luxury of time, it's perfectly fine to let the mind wander off on a musical tangent and the fingers follow. Improvising is an extremely valuable skill that can get you out of trouble if you need. The only other thing I want to say is that I wish educational programs were structured so that people could work when they want and take a nap when they want. More often than not, you have to conform to somebody else's idea of when you ought to be doing it, which usually precludes times like 3:00 in the morning (likely to get yourself kicked out of the building by campus police).

Reply

Share
a month ago

Darin R. Molnar

Coyle's work speaks to creative tension, something we all need (even when we're using the Scientific Method) to achieve our goals.


Guest

Reply

Share

a month ago

Coyle's work speaks to creative tension, something we all need (even when we're using the Scientific Method to achieve our goals).


Raquel

Reply

Share

a month ago

Thak yu very much... |-)

Reply

Share

Sam Anstice Brown

a month ago

Excellent article. I'll be sharing this! Dan Coyle's book is a must-read for players AND teachers - I wish I'd read it 30 years ago. All ties in with my Musicians Hypnosis iPhone App and CD etc.


parker15

Reply

Share

a month ago

What better person to take practicing advice from that someone who clearly did not achieve success in said creative endeavor.

Reply

Share
>

Darin R. Molnar

parker15 a month ago

Wow.
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 9 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

Wow.


Soizic Du Vignoul

Reply

Share

a month ago

i think this is the most useful thing i have ever read.thank you.i have downloaded it.shared it etc..i have no doubt that shall be referring back to it again..thank you once again


Stanley

Reply

Share

a month ago

Fantastic article!!

Reply

Share
a year ago

S.M. Hutchins

This is really insightful. I never gave much thought to how to practice something. I'm going to try some of these methods, including the practice notebook.

Reply

Share

Colleen MacDonald Lee

a year ago

This was a wonderfully inspiring article. Though I have not played professionally in years, I now have a more effective way to utilize my time when it comes to learning any new skill. I thank you for your wisdom and insight and the years of practice it took to get to the point where you could share your knowledge with your fellow man.


Richard

Reply

Share

a year ago

Great article - thank you! How did you manage to make your pizzicato speak so clearly?

Reply Noa
>

Share

Richard a year ago

Hi Richard - it's a super duper secret technique, but if you email me directly I'll do my best to explain. ~Noa


Lea Pearson

Reply
a year ago

Share

Great article! this is why in Body Mapping we talk about finding the movements that will create the sounds you want. For more, read this article on Embodied Practicing - http://www.flutefocus.com/443-...

Reply

Share
a year ago

eugenecantera

Thanks Noa - great post! We've built many of these ideas into the courses at Discover, Learn, and Play - it makes complete sense to 'have a plan', however, most people work haphazardly and equate 'time spent practicing' with progress, and that's just not always true. To maximize music learning, get the concepts in your head BEFORE you try to apply them to the instrument. As my partners and I often tell our students and members 'if you don't have it upstairs (in the brain) it won't come out downstairs (on your instrument). At DLP we've put together a sequential 'lesson plan' for each lesson whereby musical concepts are introduced first (Discover), reviewed via a series of quizzes including ear-training (Learn) and then....apply those to your instrument via a series of songs that reinforce said concepts (Play). No method is perfect for everyone, but having a plan and using great tools can go a long way to helping you reach your goals!

Reply

Share
a year ago

Karen Mahon

One additional piece is that deliberate practice requires ongoing feedback. And then making adjustments according to that feedback. Your point about recording
http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin Page 10 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post

17/09/13 11:35 PM

then making adjustments according to that feedback. Your point about recording your performance and listening back is close, I think, but I believe that in the definition of deliberate practice feedback from another person is part of the requirement.

Reply Bart
>

Share

Karen Mahon a year ago

I think you've missed the point. It's you who should be questioning everything you do and not be relaying on others. Feedback will come with results.

Reply

Share
>

Karen Mahon

Bart a year ago

I didn't miss the point and I agree with pretty much the entire article. I think there are many learning situations where the feedback provided by the outcome itself can be enough, and through a series of trial and error the learner can reach the target performance. Especially if the learner is experienced, but not yet expert. But I think there are also many learning situations where feedback from an expert is key, not only in terms of efficiency, but also effectiveness. Some performances require very small discriminations...some extreme examples might include playing the violin, conducting laser surgery, learning to speak a second language. I'm not suggesting that a learner could NEVER get to mastery without feedback from an expert. I'm just suggesting that it will take longer and create more frustration due to more errors. But it sounds like you have an objection to getting expert feedback, Bart, is that true? If so, why?

Reply Bart
>

Share

Karen Mahon a year ago

I just think that too much guidance can kill creativity and letting someone explore new horizons instead of showing the "right" way can bring something new, something fresh. Feedback? Yes, but not right in the very moment of focusing and practising and that's what the article is about. If you're always told what to do and how to do it, how you're gonna come up with something creative?

Reply
>

Share
Bart a year ago

Karen Mahon

Bart, are you talking about music or art, in particular? Because I can think of many examples where I don't want my learners to get "creative" when learning and practicing; where these is, in fact, a "right" way of doing something. One example is learning a new language. There is a "right" way to speak Chinese, for example, and I don't see the advantage to allowing learners (or practicers) to struggle with it on their own. As a learner, and native English speaker, the last thing I want is to try to learn Chinese on my own. The auditory discriminations are difficult and imitating the tonal nuance is challenging. It would be extremely frustrating to keep trying to do it when I can't hear the difference between my correct and incorrect vocalizations. After a learner achieves a certain level of mastery, I can totally see them providing feedback to themselves, if you will. Perhaps in my example with Chinese language, I could provide my own feedback as soon as I could demonstrate
see more

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Page 11 of 12

The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned from Playing the Violin | The Creativity Post
see more

17/09/13 11:35 PM

Reply

Share

Arts

Pop Culture

Science

Tech

Philosophy

Psychology

Business

Education

Activism

Create!
TWITTER FACEBOOK GOOGLE+ RSS JOIN US

HOME

SEARCH

ABOUT EVENTS CONTACT ARCHIVES

2013 The Creativity Post. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.creativitypost.com/arts/the_most_valuable_lesson_i_learned_from_playing_the_violin

Page 12 of 12