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A Week of Reflections: Pedagogy in Practice

In an effort to get back into posting on, I challenged myself to write “a thought a day” about basic pedagogy principles that inform teaching decisions I made this week. Each day, I added a new thought.  This week-long journey took me in unexpected directions, including a bit of research on learning temperaments.

Day 1: “DOING”


An adult student was playing “Celebration” by Roger Grove, from Music Tree 2B (Clark, Goss, distributed by Alfred Publishing). I was so pleased with her preparation. She mastered the left hand moves in one week and played at a completely steady tempo. There was just one thing to improve: she was lifting the pedal prematurely, therefore, there was a gap in her sound.


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The Makings of Musicality by Elvina Pearce

Photography by Raeleen Horn
Photography by Raeleen Horn


It’s probable that many believe musicians are born, not made.  Certainly  some individuals appear to have an innate “talent” for music-making and sometimes develop into superstars at an early age.  They somehow seem to acquire technical prowess and the ability to play expressively — but not necessarily because of how they are taught (sometimes even in spite of it!).  In this article, I am not writing about this type of “gifted” student.  Instead, I want to address music-making in terms of traditional (“average”) pre-college level students – the kind that I and others who teach at this level spend most of our teaching time working with.


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