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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Small Chunks

From the classroom yesterday: "Ms. Metheney, why are you so smiley?"

We are working with the beauty of "small chunks" these days, still plugging away at the Permian Basin Harp Masterclass project. If you've got a large task in front of you (like learning a solo harp piece that you are totally unfamiliar with), our objective is: "Ok, guys. This week, your mission is to tackle the first two measures. Hands together. Memorized." Two measures are feasible and less daunting.

Then there are the small chunks within the small chunks. For example, first it's right hand alone until that's totally mastered. Then left hand. Then together.

And there are even small chunks within the small chunks of the small chunks. "This is a weird fingering that you've never done before. Let's do the first two notes like 20 times, then we'll add a note and do that twenty times.

I love how my students don't flinch anymore when I say, "Ok sweet. Do that 20 times and then call me back over." It's because they have found a feasible chunk!!

I'm sure the chunk methodology is applicable to the meaning of life somehow. Hmm... I will need a second cup of coffee for that one.

There is one student out of the 54 that believe their piece is too difficult. And there's one that thinks theirs is too easy. I think, slowly, that they will realize the possibilities within their own hands, both musically and technically.

May your day be filled with chunks,

1 comment:

megan said...

"May your day be filled with chunks"-interesting idea...