<![CDATA[RONSGUITARTUITION.CO.UK - Blog]]>Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:14:52 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[How to learn better Part 3]]>Tue, 28 Jun 2022 13:44:42 GMThttp://ronsguitartuition.co.uk/blog/how-to-learn-better-part-3How do we get the material stored in our brains back out? We have a great storage capacity as humans. However, we often struggle to get the material stored back out. We call this our ability to recall, which improves with practice. Even faster with the correct practice. (Special offer at the end)

As we learn, we gradually build the ability to recall the information we have learned. What we want to be able to do is develop that recall, so it is a faster and more accurate process. To do this, we use spaced repetition.

With spaced repetition, we are deliberately recalling something we have learned, allowing time for it to no longer be in our short-term or working memory and then repeating the process.

The simplified process is:-
  • Play a section of music that you have learned to play without mistakes (It doesn’t have to be full speed or song)
  • Pay attention to any mistakes, mentally note them BUT do not try to repeat to rectify
  • Set a timer for a short period (Starting at 5 minutes) and do something else
  • When time is up, Play the section again with awareness of where the mistakes occurred last time
  • Repeat loop until practice session finished
  • Repeat each day until played from recall is correct (This can be a week or more)
  • Develop section further, join with a different section or play it faster
  • Repeat until the whole piece mastered

For most, this is not an intuitive way to practice as we like to repeat until correct.

I have secured a discount for my contacts from Musical U till the 4th July 2022 of 25% off the price of the Superlearning course run by Gregg Goodhart. In this course, he explains how to store information better, how to carry out retrieval practice, and the techniques of deliberate practice to significantly reduce the time taken to learn an instrument and perform with fewer mistakes. I recommend it, and you can get the 25% discount here.

More on learning next week]]>
<![CDATA[How to learn better Part 2]]>Tue, 21 Jun 2022 08:54:31 GMThttp://ronsguitartuition.co.uk/blog/how-to-learn-better-part-2How do we get material into our brains better? It is one of the many questions that anyone studying asks frequently. The answer is relatively simple and involves varying the information to ensure it goes into our long-term storage.

As a teacher, it is one of my roles to be able to develop these techniques with my students, and I am always on the lookout for more information. Recently I took a training programme run by Gregg Goodhart at Musical U, who managed to simplify a lot of the information and supplied the phrase “Contextual Interference.”

To get a piece that we are studying into our brains, there is not much value in repeating it in the same way. We must vary that information within its context, and the differences are then stored along with the original to enhance memory.

We want to break down what we are studying into small practical sections and apply the following sort of ideas to vary the piece:-
  • Change the rhythm – every note the same length, shuffle beat, dotted rhythms, reverse rhythms
  • Change the position it is played at but keep the same key
  • Change the key, but play in the same position
  • Change the key and position
  • Sequence all the notes in the piece
  • Play it blindfolded, backwards, in the dark, sitting down, standing up.
Anyway, you think that changes the context in which it is played.

I have heard the comment back, “But I have to keep repeating it to get it into my brain”, when teaching these methods.

I use the reply, “If you kept repeating 12 x 56 and getting the correct answer, would you get any better?” no, but you might get a sore hand writing it out…

However, if you did 10 x 56, 2 x 56, 5 x 12, 6 x 12, and 56 x 12, you would be able to do the sum more instinctively AND apply that knowledge elsewhere.

More about Recall next week.
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<![CDATA[How to learn better - Part 1]]>Tue, 14 Jun 2022 18:39:44 GMThttp://ronsguitartuition.co.uk/blog/how-to-learn-better-part-1Learning is a skill that comes naturally to everyone. However, it doesn’t always go well when we decide to learn deliberately. As a teacher/ tutor/ mentor we must know and understand the material we are presenting and how this information can be stored and recalled most quickly and reliably.

To do this, we need to understand how the learning process works. This is a simplified version in straightforward language and ideas. A multitude of material is available that explains these processes in detail, which can be accessed to get a more detailed description. The actual process involved is far more complex than this.

We have our storage which can be split into three parts: –
  • Short-Term Memory– Immediate information for simple tasks gets transferred to working is more complex
  • Working Memory – Lasts slightly longer but has limited capacity and is used for more complex information that requires manipulation. This information can be transferred to long-term memory if different from what is already there. Generally, it can only store five to seven things on a good day. Like a conveyor belt, once a new item comes in, the old item falls off the end
  • Long-term Memory – We want all our information to be stored so we can recall it later.

Learning is the process of getting what we want into our long-term memory and bringing that information back out so we can use it.

To do those, we need to develop and refine two processes to reduce our time spent learning, not necessarily our effort.
  • Encoding – The method of getting the information correctly into our long-term memory. It is not simply a cause of repeating the same thing repeatedly until it eventually happens. We must develop a deliberate process of how we encode the information.
  • Recall – The method of getting the information correctly out of our long-term memory. Often referred to as muscle memory, it is not the process of repeating the same thing repeatedly until it eventually happens.

To encode better, we need to vary the correct information, so we store it in as many ways as possible.

To Recall better, we need to practice forgetting and remembering to improve the skill of recalling information later and not just during that one learning session. We also need to apply recall in different situations to develop the flexibility of information and how to use it well.

More on encoding next week
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