Teaching Music to Adults and Children – Why Use Different Methods to Teach the Same Subject?

In teaching music there is a perception that you need to teach adults with different methods than children. My experience is, that although you need to adapt to the maturity level for any given subject, the methods used to teach children can and are as effective for adults.Lets take the case where I learned the music master staff along with other adults and children.The Old
When I was young I was taught with the pneumonic methods of FACE and Every Good Boy Does Fine. Although it worked to a point it never went far enough to give a solid basis in recognition other than to relate lines and spaces and a word game.The New
Years later I started from scratch with a teacher promoting power learning techniques. The technique used was in story telling creating a new land that explored music. The story wove a tail of patterns and associations that put the entire master staff in perspective.The Testing
When I later talked about why the adults were taught with the children in this group setting, we discussed how she had tested teaching methods with adults.The conclusion of the test for adults with these two different methods revealed that the story had profoundly better results. The adults retention rate was far superior when using the abstract story.The Ego
The big concern with teaching adults is getting past ego. The trick is to use the same child teaching methods but without alienating the adults and their egos.Of course that takes tact, diplomacy, and persuasion in many cases to help the adult over their mind set.Experience – 15 plus years later
For me the story stuck far more than the academic logic approach. That’s how I teach it to others today. I can recall the story or a version similar to it with very little effort.Of course it’s more than just story telling. There are additional techniques, such as flash cards, that are used to reinforce the story and this concept of learning.Give it a go
So I submit that you might try your own hand at this idea. If you are an adult student, see if you can sit in on some child classes. Observe if you don’t have a new perspective on what you are learning.If you’re a teacher, invite your adults to participate in a child’s class or experiment with two sets of adults and test the results.If you have a method that works well with adults, share it with the rest of us. We’d like to consider it as well.Of course there is no way to please everyone. I believe the idea is to accomplish a quicker, faster, higher retention rate. Student and teacher satisfaction is really the goal, because with that your more likely to keep them coming back for more.