This week in brief

Monday, October 22

4:00 p.m. – LS Meeting
Founders Basement

Tuesday, October 23

4:00 p .m. – Welcome Tim Hiller

8:00 p.m. – Student Composition
Wallenberg Hall

Wednesday, October 24

No events scheduled.

Thursday, October 25

11:30 a.m. – "Here We Stand: The Values of Augustana"
Tredway Library, south end
Speaker: Jason Peters

Friday, October 26

7:30 p.m. – Fall Play: The Taming of The Shrew
Potter Theatre within the BergendoffFineArtsBuilding

Saturday, October 27

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m – Crosstown Metro Bike Ride
Rock Island's SunsetPark

7:30 p.m. – Fall Play: The Taming Of The Shrew
Potter Theatre within the BergendoffFineArtsBuilding

Sunday, October 28

1:30 p.m. – Fall Play: The Taming Of The Shrew
Potter Theatre within the BergendoffFineArtsBuilding













Volume 5, Issue 8 • October 22, 2007

Augustana Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty Narrative

To colleagues unfamiliar with the process of teaching instrumental or vocal music lessons, there may seem to be little in common with learning and teaching in the classroom. But like many initial impressions, those misjudgments are allayed upon closer inspection. For example, the most important element in both situations is the necessity to teach problem-solving skills. Sooner than they realize, my cello students will find themselves without a cello teacher. So my job is to make myself expendable; to show them, early on, the strategies they will need to identify, solve and practice any musical challenge they might encounter.

The identification of the problem is usually fairly obvious—out of tune, incorrect rhythm, ugly sound quality. The “Oh Yuck!” phase. Then the questions begin: Where exactly (on the page) is the problem? What is the essence of the problem? What is its cause? How can you apply previous technical or musical skills to solve this new problem? Or do you need to learn a new skill? Once these questions have been answered, various practice techniques are enlisted to train muscle memory, refine aural acuity, and build confidence. As each solution is mastered, another level of difficulty is added—from rhythm to pitch to tempo, articulation, vibrato…. The list goes on until the student gains a new level of technical mastery, musical expression and independence.

Today at his lesson, Robert (a senior computer science major) told me that he applies this process to other areas of his life—writing computer programs, studying, etc. According to him, the quest to solve a musical problem in a variety of ways challenges his creativity and helps keep his approach to practicing (or writing a computer program) fresh and enjoyable. He doesn’t need me any more!

-Janina Ehrlich
Department of Music


Kwantlen University has a very interesting on-line eJournal entitled Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal. The link below takes you to the proceedings from a Symposium held on their campus in August of 2007. Examples of presentation topics include:

Click here to view the symposium proceedings.