Sunday, April 1, 2012

Leaving Cues to Ignite Deep Practice

    In my continuing study of the book "The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle, I am trying a more overt message that I value hard work in my piano studio. A study by Dr. Carol Dweck dealing with the aspect of motivation reveals some important information.

  "When we get a clear cue, a message that sends a spark, then "boing", we respond". 

  Four hundred fifth graders were given verbal cues of praise and the cues they most responded to dealt with their hard work not the acknowledgement of their intellect.

  "When we praise children for their intelligence we tell them that that's the name of the game: look smart and don't risk by making mistakes".

    Deep practice is about digging into a piece and working through it even when it is hard. I am going to be more diligent about giving the message that I care how much my students practice and how well they practice.

"We are exquisitely attuned to the messages that tell us what is valued."

                   "You really worked hard, it was a struggle, but you conquered it."
   I am tracking practice minutes very carefully for the next months and I hope to send a clear signal that work at the piano can be fun and the reward is more beautiful music.

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