Dear music teachers.
We all know that children learn and develop in different ways but it is a different skill to be able to identify these learning types and adapt your lessons to suit. Here is a short guide to help you understand your students better.
Visual, or spatial learning refers to students who learn most effectively through what they can see. Students who are visual learners often prefer to sit correctly so their view is unobstructed, and seeing the facial expressions and body language of a teacher can also be important to their learning. Visual learners also typically benefit a great deal from visual aids such as graphs, charts, pictures, and diagrams.
Aural, or auditory-musical, learners are best able to learn through hearing material. These types of students benefit from your oral teaching and often read aloud to themselves when covering material in a textbook.
Verbal, or linguistic, students typically learn best through language, both through listening and reading. These types of students benefit a great deal from language and often excel in lessons where language is optimised, such as musical expression, dynamics and note reading.
Physical, or kinaesthetic learners often learn best through doing things physically. These types of learners may do well in a class where you create more physical activities. Physical learners also tend to learn well while moving, and little movements such as tapping a pencil, tapping their toes, or shifting in their seat can sometimes enhance their learning.
Logical, or mathematical, learners tend to learn through logical understanding of how things work and relate. These types of learners often make lists and tend to excel at the mathematical and scientific elements to music; they may often ask how things are connected or relate to each other.
Social learners learn well in groups, either in full class of musicians or in smaller group environments. This is one of the key reasons we run holiday music camps in the life of Music Central.
This is pretty self explanatory. Solitary learners tend to learn best through self-study or by taking information away and working alone.
The use of multiple teaching techniques and approaches that take advantage of the various learning styles can be important for a teacher to effectively reach all the students on your roster and help them learn the range of musical material you have on offer.
What kind of a learner are you? The way you learn will tend to be the way you expect others to learn. The reason you might not be seeing your student find their “fun zone” is because you haven’t yet realised what kind of a learner they are. You may be imposing your learning type onto them without even knowing it.
I recommend you do this self analysis on your students. You might be surprised with the results.