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Author Topic: Workshops and Selective Teaching  (Read 1085 times)
GreenEyes26
Mind Workers
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 110



« on: March 30, 2011, 10:48:12 AM »

I’m going to be attending a competition soon and the national amateur champions will be teaching a workshop the next day. I decided not to participate for two reasons:

1)   I’m looking to keep my teachers at a minimum to avoid confusing concepts. I took a few private lessons from teachers who weren’t my regular coaches once, and I feel as though their lesson disturbed (or side-tracked) my dancing – I started concentrating on things that my main teacher wasn’t having me focus on at the time.
2)   I’m also trying to save money in order to pay for lessons from teachers from whom I am very interested in learning.

Some things I’m also trying to keep in mind:
-   This would be an all-level workshop, which is very different from a private lesson. Usually all-level workshops are aimed at basics: things everyone can work on. These teachers probably won’t give me something that will do me any harm.
-   I’ve enjoyed some workshops that I’ve taken from other teachers. However, these teachers have retired from dancing and have many years of teaching experience. I suppose it’s a personal preference. People are impressed by their accolades as champions, but that has only a little value to me. I’m much more impressed by years of teaching in addition to accolades. To me, that means they’ve been thinking about these concepts and how to relay them to others for a long time.
-   Although, this workshop might be interesting to watch in order to see how they conduct a large group lesson (you may have noticed by now from several of my posts that I’m fascinated by teaching methods  Grin).

Many great dancers have been taught by several teachers, so I realize there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it. What is your opinion? Do you think it would be a bigger loss to not participate?
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"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 12:36:54 PM »

Few points -
1) as econ 101 tell us, it is a cost-benefit analysis. I mean, if it is free, then seriously, why not? If you don't like what they say, or if they said anything confusing, just throw it into the trash can.
2) I still quite believe that concepts are probably not confusing, it is the way/how to present the concepts confusing. Indeed, I did encounter plainly different ways of approaching dancing - that are fundamentally different. And you know what, I simply disregard their approach - Yea, I bet they could reach to the apex of the pariamid their way, but so does mine.
And I remember me having a lesson with a standard coach not my main coach - yea, it was confusing at first. Many thing does not sounds "right." So my partner and I go talked to our main coach - and she said that, it is essentially the same thing, just different wording. And I thought about the lesson for a few more months (or weeks), and I realize that there are many key point that are very similar, for instance, collect your weight, compression, usage of the standing foot, etc. and the lesson provided some new light on my understanding of dancing.
3) Related to 2), I think there is also the benefit of listening to the same thing in different way, especially if you are interested in teaching method.
4) I remember you were talking about "the amount of figuring things out by oneself vs. teaching everything." Because of the physicality, mentality, every couple has its unique way of dancing. And I think it might be easier to figure out my own way by listening to different people speaking the same thing (I mean, just statistically, I should have a better chance to hear from 10 people than, say 1 person. And there is also the repeatingly hearing the same thing in different way until it comes to the aha moment).
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Some guy
Intermediate Silver
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Posts: 1462


« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 03:18:39 PM »

If teaching is your ultimate goal, then it wouldn't hurt to increase your repertoire of other teaching methods.  Even if you don't take anything away from the lesson in terms of dancing abilities, you will at least be able to relate to students who learned under these other methods.  One of the most valuable characteristics of a teacher, I believe, is the ability to relate to the students and their experiences.  There are plenty of pros out there with really good information but they can't get it across to their students (or attract any students, in some cases) because they can't relate to what the students have gone through.  Before I met my current coach, I met someone years ago that said a lot of the same things my current coach tells me.  However, that coach back then could not relate his information in any way, shape, or form to anything I knew or anything I had been taught.  So I couldn't relate to him either, and hence, I didn't continue lessons with him.  My current coach said many of the same things to start off with, but what made me listen this time around was the fact that the new information was related to the old information in a way that I was able to evaluate which path I wanted to take.

I think for a student to gain new information, the student should be able to relate the new information to the old information and decide which path to take.  Otherwise, it's easy to stay with the old information as the new information just sounds like a different path.  Why switch to a different path when you've gone so far down your current path?  How is this new path better?  "Better" is a relative term.  A teacher that can help the student relate the new information to the old information will have a much easier time.     
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 03:25:57 PM by Some guy » Logged
cdnsalsanut
Bronze
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Posts: 256



« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 05:02:28 PM »

I'm a great believer in private lessons as opposed to group lessons. I get far more out of private lessons in the long run.

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"There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."
~Vicki Baum
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 05:26:00 PM »

I'm a great believer in private lessons as opposed to group lessons. I get far more out of private lessons in the long run.


I think we all do - but on a $by$ basis a private lesson can be 10X a group one: do you learn more in one private than 10 group?
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Bordertangoman
Gold Star
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Posts: 6088



« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 07:57:36 AM »

I read something about learning recently; that those who are creative or exploratory in the learning process retain more; it was a study done of musicians in three groups and those who were allowed to explore more the possibilities of a scale had a better retention of playing the scale by rote.

so if you consider the learning process with different teachers as that kind of improvisation.

also Conditional Learning as advocated by Richard Powers; ie the idea that this is one way you could do it but there could be others also helps..

food for thought in informing your decision.

In one study, novice piano players were introduced to a simple C major scale under two conditions, explicitly mindful or traditional practice.  All subjects were given essentially the same instruction in piano, with the following variations.  Members of group 1, the mindful instruction group, were told to be creative and to vary their playing as much as possible.  These subjects were told: " Try to keep learning new things about your piano playing.  Try to change your style every few minutes, and not lock into one particular pattern.  While you practice, attend to the context, which may include very subtle variations or any feelings, sensations, or thoughts you are having."  Then the specific lesson was given, and subjects spent twenty minutes practicing it.  The control group was taught to practice in the traditional, memorization-through-repetition of one correct technique.  The piano playing was taped for evaluation.  Musicians who had extensive keyboard and compositional experience rated the playing.  In addition, the subjects were asked how well they liked the lessons.  The findings of this study confirmed our hypotheses. In comparison with the control group, the subjects given mindful instruction were rated as more competent and more creative, and they also expressed more enjoyment of the activity.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 07:59:40 AM by Bordertangoman » Logged

”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
elisedance
Administrator
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 09:53:07 AM »

i think there are two main forms of memory - pictoral and content.  A person with a photographic memory captures all the items in theie place but does not incorporate these into the general knowledge base.  However, a person, as you describe above, that works through something to memorize integrates it into the mind and can retrieve it in many contexts.  I know this because I am hopeless at the former and rather good at the latter - an extreme case if you will. 

I am continually suprising the students in my group by remembering things from college 30 years ago that they can not recall after 2...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Bordertangoman
Gold Star
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Posts: 6088



« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 10:47:22 AM »

i think there are two main forms of memory - pictoral and content. 

aT LEASt two; plus musical, Proustian, olfactory, kinasethetic
that can be divided into vertical and lateral....
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
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Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 02:18:18 PM »

i think there are two main forms of memory - pictoral and content. 

aT LEASt two; plus musical, Proustian, olfactory, kinasethetic
that can be divided into vertical and lateral....
perhaps I wasn't clear enough: I meant in how they are stored, litterally or conceptually.  thus, you could have the same for any of the modalities you list above...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Bordertangoman
Gold Star
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Posts: 6088



« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 03:11:22 PM »

i think there are two main forms of memory - pictoral and content. 

aT LEASt two; plus musical, Proustian, olfactory, kinasethetic
that can be divided into vertical and lateral....
perhaps I wasn't clear enough: I meant in how they are stored, litterally or conceptually.  thus, you could have the same for any of the modalities you list above...

oh. I dont agree.the memory of something kinaesthetic is kinaesthetic not literal or conceptual
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”We need a witness to our lives.  There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything.  The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. "
elisedance
Administrator
Blackpool Finalist
*****
Posts: 34997


ee


« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 11:28:22 PM »

i think there are two main forms of memory - pictoral and content. 

aT LEASt two; plus musical, Proustian, olfactory, kinasethetic
that can be divided into vertical and lateral....
perhaps I wasn't clear enough: I meant in how they are stored, litterally or conceptually.  thus, you could have the same for any of the modalities you list above...

oh. I dont agree.the memory of something kinaesthetic is kinaesthetic not literal or conceptual
actually, I think you are righ - speaking as a kinesthetist!  Perhaps I should have limited myself to conscious memory...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
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