Hi readers, Peter Tambroni here doing a guest post for DoubleBassBlog.org. I will be doing a semi-regular column from my perspective as a long time public school string teacher and bassist.
Learning does not follow a straight line or linear trajectory but rather a continuous series of plateaus. Acquiring new skills is like climbing an awkward staircase with long stairs.
It can be very frustrating! But being aware of this can help both you and your students.
Acquiring a new skill reminds me of video games with their ‘Achievements’. You don’t ‘level up’ every time you do something – it takes a while to build up the skills before you level up and get the ‘Achievement Unlocked’ badge.
Learning does not happen in a nice straight line. 🙁
Early on in learning students learn new topics at a fast rate and quickly move from one plateau to the next.
As we progress, it takes more time and practice to move to the next step.
Don’t quit, you’re about to level up!
The points labeled X are where frustration occurs. This is when students are most likely to quit. But we are so close to the next level! Don’t give up!
Students may be frustrated or want to quit but they don’t realize how close they are to leveling up.
We are all subject to frustration and wanting to give up. One of the reasons I feel learning an instrument is so important is that it instills perseverance and grit. These are traits everyone can use regardless of their educational or career path.
Thank you and keep practicin’!