Professional musicians and teachers know this map instinctively – it’s where we live. Most of our pupils don’t… our job is to help them know it too.
Lessons are therefore very much a voyage of discovery around this map. We effortlessly flow from one area to another as a lesson unfolds and at each short stop at an appropriate area, we devise a connected activity. Maybe beginning with a scale (of the piece or song we are teaching) and then we connect with some technique, then notation and then aural and so on, building up a series of sequential and logical activities. This is at the heart of Simultaneous Learning. There is no best route – the next destination is dependent on our pupil’s responses and what we think will enhance and develop the learning most effectively. Having this map on our desk as we teach, and encouraging pupils to have one on theirs when they practice, will help to make the learning journey more imaginative, interesting, thoughtful and musical.
For pupils it will help them to manage their learning much more effectively. Especially when they are practicing. What to do next is such an important question. Just playing or singing through pieces or songs is not practice. Instead, they learn to create a sequence of well-related activities with the aid of this map – and it will bring about real engagement and involvement. Practice will become so much more enjoyable!