Studies have shown that the more of the five senses (see, hear, touch, taste, smell) used during learning, the more likely the knowledge will be retained. As a music teacher, it is my goal to use as many of these senses as possible in a weekly lesson.
So for this post and the next 4 posts, I'll go through the senses and give some ideas on how to incorporate them into your musician's practice time or lesson time. (Make sure you check back each day and especially on the taste and smell posts---they're very interesting!)
Next time you have a minute, pull out a piano lesson book (or other instrument), open it up and look at the songs. Start at the top of the page and point out and read every word written on the page--from the title of the song or unit at the top, to the last little word at the bottom of the page. Each one of these words are printed there to help your musician. Words at the top, usually describe what is going to be played in the song, the mood of the song, speed or tempo, as well as review the main point of the lesson which is sure to be used often in the song. The words written in the music itself describe what is going on at that time and give instruction on what to do or what to change immediately. The words at the end of the song or at the bottom of the page refer back to the lesson "meat" itself, and many times issue a challenge based on the lesson, the song and the upcoming application of that lesson.
Highlighters are great tools to use to make important instructions stand out!