19 principles of efffective instruction

(my easy-access study guide for Monday's mid-term exam)

from the University of North Texas:

The Nature of Expertise: 19 Principles of Effective Instruction
  • Goals and Expectations

    • 1. The repertoire assigned students is well within their technical capabilities; no student is struggling with the notes of the piece.

    • 2. Teachers have a clear auditory image of the piece that guides their judgments about the music.

    • 3. The teachers demand a consistent standard of sound quality from their students.

    • 4. The teachers select lesson targets (i.e., proximal performance goals) that are technically or musically important.

    • 5. Lesson targets are positioned at a level of difficulty that is close enough to the student’s current skill level that the targets are achievable in the short term and change is audible to the student in the moment. When errors in performance require attention, teachers guide error correction successfully.

    • 6. The teachers clearly remember students’ work in past lessons and frequently draw comparisons between present and past, pointing out both positive and negative differences.

  • Effecting Change

    • 7. Pieces are performed from beginning to end; in this sense, the lessons are like performances, with instantaneous transitions into performance character; nearly all playing is judged by a high standard, "as if we are performing."

    • 8. In general, the course of the music directs the lesson; errors in student performance elicit stops.

    • 9. The teachers are tenacious in working to accomplish lesson targets, having students repeat target passages until performance is accurate (i.e., consistent with the target goal).

    • 10. Any flaws in fundamental technique are immediately addressed; no performance trials with incorrect technique are allowed to continue.

    • 11. Lessons proceed at an intense, rapid pace. Because teachers identify targets quickly and concisely, teacher-student interactions occur frequently.

    • 12. The pace of the lessons is interrupted from time to time with what seem to be "intuitively timed" breaks, during which the teachers give an extended demonstration or tell a story.

    • 13. The teachers permit students to make interpretive choices in the performance of repertoire, but only among a limited range of options that are circumscribed by the teacher. Students are permitted no choices regarding technique.

  • Conveying Information

    • 14. Teachers make very fine discriminations about student performances; these are consistently articulated to the student, so that the student learns to make the same discriminations independently.

    • 15. Performance technique is described in terms of the effect that physical motion creates in the sound produced.

    • 16. Technical feedback is given in terms of creating an interpretive effect.

    • 17. Negative feedback is clear, pointed, frequent, and directed at very specific aspects of students’ performances, especially the musical effects created.

    • 18. There are infrequent, intermittent, unexpected instances of positive feedback, but these are most often of high magnitude and extended duration.

    • 19. The teachers play examples from the students’ repertoire to demonstrate important points. The teachers’ modeling is exquisite in every respect.

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