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Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction

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In this collection of insightful essays, the author describes fundamental principles of human learning in the context of teaching music. Written in an engaging, conversational style, the individual essays outline the elements of intelligent, creative teaching. Duke effectively explains how teachers can meet the needs of individual students from a wide range of abilities by In this collection of insightful essays, the author describes fundamental principles of human learning in the context of teaching music. Written in an engaging, conversational style, the individual essays outline the elements of intelligent, creative teaching. Duke effectively explains how teachers can meet the needs of individual students from a wide range of abilities by understanding more deeply how people learn. Teachers and interested parents alike will benefit from this informative and highly readable book.


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In this collection of insightful essays, the author describes fundamental principles of human learning in the context of teaching music. Written in an engaging, conversational style, the individual essays outline the elements of intelligent, creative teaching. Duke effectively explains how teachers can meet the needs of individual students from a wide range of abilities by In this collection of insightful essays, the author describes fundamental principles of human learning in the context of teaching music. Written in an engaging, conversational style, the individual essays outline the elements of intelligent, creative teaching. Duke effectively explains how teachers can meet the needs of individual students from a wide range of abilities by understanding more deeply how people learn. Teachers and interested parents alike will benefit from this informative and highly readable book.

30 review for Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Lots of interesting insight and theories about teaching. Harder to read because it is more of a research-based book, but class discussions help with that. I'm sure I will be rereading and referencing this as I get into my teaching career.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Huish

    Fantastic set of essays, in which Duke perceives the what and how of music teaching. Relatively light reading, compared to a textbook :) I first read this in a grad school internship class and now again after two year of teaching - I found myself underlining different ideas this time around and with more understanding. Duke writes about the fundamental importance of precision in what we say about teaching and learning, which in turn affects our perceptions of our own and others teaching. So, can Fantastic set of essays, in which Duke perceives the what and how of music teaching. Relatively light reading, compared to a textbook :) I first read this in a grad school internship class and now again after two year of teaching - I found myself underlining different ideas this time around and with more understanding. Duke writes about the fundamental importance of precision in what we say about teaching and learning, which in turn affects our perceptions of our own and others teaching. So, can I explicitly explain my reasoning and actions that describe me as a teacher? Intuitions about "good teaching" are not enough. A fundamental thought that has freed my teaching: "expertise is predicated not on content but on skills" p. 30. Here, Duke raises another issue that seems to pervade education and distinguishes one teacher from another: the importance of skill versus content-based curricula. Content is crucial but we learn in order to develop skills to solve problems, create a vision or idea, and finish goals. Further teaching gems: what components make up my goal for the student? How can I best sequence tasks to help my student accomplish the goal? Small approximations with only essential information in the sequence are important. My favorite chapters were on Sequencing Instruction and Transfer. In the final chapter "A Teaching Life", Duke says the main reason teachers burn out is because students do not live up to their expectations. Though it is hard work, teachers are the ones who "have potential to create positive experiences that lead to productive change." Possibly the most enlightening are the famous lines Duke includes in the last chapter: as a teacher I must have "the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Though written for music teaching, Duke's perceptive and masterful description of the learning and teaching process is applicable for many teaching disciplines.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was given this book over a year ago and I just got around to reading it. I wish I would have taken the time to read it sooner. Duke says, “the purpose of teaching is to change students.” We can only effectively change students to the extent that we make clear goals and plans to reach those goals. I found his insight on sequencing and feedback to be particularly useful. Music teachers can so easily make an uncomfortable (and thus unproductive) learning environment without even knowing it. Duke I was given this book over a year ago and I just got around to reading it. I wish I would have taken the time to read it sooner. Duke says, “the purpose of teaching is to change students.” We can only effectively change students to the extent that we make clear goals and plans to reach those goals. I found his insight on sequencing and feedback to be particularly useful. Music teachers can so easily make an uncomfortable (and thus unproductive) learning environment without even knowing it. Duke explains how a good teacher will be very careful to create frequent opportunities for students to actively do what they are learning (in the context they will be expected to perform!) and subsequently giving frequent opportunities for feedback. It is also important that teachers are not afraid of negative feedback. Many of the principles in this book are applicable to any form of teaching or leadership and I look forward to referencing it in the future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hermes

    Read it while in grad school (and a student in Bob Duke’s class) and I come back to it regularly still - changed my life. Insightful, thought-provoking, and so so seemingly obvious (yet most of us don’t naturally do these things). Teaching is more than just the transfer of knowledge, but changing the behaviors and habits of a student to achieve success. Dr. Duke captures the essence of great teaching as a continuous, dynamic circle of interactions between the teacher and learner.

  5. 4 out of 5

    James D.

    This is without question one of the best books ever written on music education. Extremely insightful, creative, and reflective, this book challenges music educators to be the best they can be and to evaluate all that they do on the classroom. A must own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Austin Hood

    I know Dr. Mann is watching! :0 Great reminders and words to live by before the fall

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Menten

    Thought-provoking and packed with information for anyone who teaches music in the classroom or studio.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Justin Green

    TEACHING BIBLE - Joy Morin ('Color in my piano' blog) suggested this, and I was challenged and hooked the whole way through: packs a lot of punch for 178 pages. The chapter on Assessment is gold.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    lots of great ideas an information. This is not a light read! But enjoy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    This would make a reasonable textbook for Music Ed students in college, but it just took too much deciphering to be useful. Long winded is putting it mildly.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Loved this book. The writer is so clear and passionate about the subject. There is great advice in every chapter.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    This is a great book for piano teachers. Many of the ideas in the book are great - I especially enjoyed Duke's ideas about sequencing the lesson appropriately so that the student has many good chances for successes. I still am not sold on the wording for "negative" feedback - I think it's just too misleading - as teachers we really need to be providing constructive, encouraging feedback (which is, I believe, what he meant)...but calling it negative feedback is just too confusing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Wells

    Amazing book. I can't wait to get back into my classroom and use some of this stuff. I think it could really change the way I teach. This book takes a lot of the warm-fuzzy educational B.S. that's out there now and puts it into a more useful, more relevant context. I can't say enough about how much of a difference I think this book is going to make in me and in my teaching...well worth the read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan Titensor

    Finally, some insightful ideas on how to be a more effective teacher. Robert Duke really challenges you to think about ways you can modify your approach. He isn't simply describing qualities that make a good teacher.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Loved this book and wish I had known some of these principles earlier in my teaching. My favorite chapter is called Sequencing Instruction. Anyone who teaches music or is thinking about any sort of classroom would benefit from reading it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    Excellent collection of easy-to-read essays that underline the key principles of effective instruction. Although focused around music teaching, I think all teachers could glean some new ways of thinking about their profession. Loved this book and I will likely read it again!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    This book is incredible. It’s brief but packed with ideas that are already transforming how I think about teaching. The chapter on sequencing, in particular, was excellent.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    I am learning more about how people learn skills and ideas.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Maxfield

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Murphy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Melissas-Brighid

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Beckman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Harwell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gustavomartinezba

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Hoffman jr

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy Gravell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josie

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