Understand the different stages in Indian Guitar learning, Indian Guitar learning goals so that you will not just remain at the basic stage of remembering and repeating.
These learning objectives are not just for Indian Guitar, but are also Guitar lesson objectives or Music lesson goals in general. As reported by students, generic guitar lessons often avoid anything beyond push here press here kind of learning.
The day I learnt about Dr.Benjamin Bloom’s (+ Krathwohl and others) learning objectives, heirarchy of learning goals and the associated verbs, was a day I was a very happy and… aha! 🙂
Indian Guitar Learning Goals and Dr.Bloom
I have always been talking about how one has to go beyond looking at TABs and just playing from rote memorization.
- How one can use the songs they are learning, to get better at ear training by at times deciding the string on their own from videos, without depending on exact tabs
- how one can note down the notes used in the song and infer the scale – a higher step music learning goal
- how you can learn to figure out other scales starting from one scale you know, extend it to play on any string
- how one can consciously go through the chittai swaras of carnatic songs to figure out how the original composer was thinking and to understand the recommended moves of the particular raga, so that in a short time one can start improvising authentically in that raga
Of course, each of the above steps can have their sub divisions. and there are a lot of other possibilities one has, to use the songs they are learning, to achieve better learning goals than just somehow playing from rote memorization.
Bloom, Krathwohl, Harrow Learning Objectives
Dr. Benjamin Bloom and friends had many decades ago (1956), already had put all this and more into his learning taxonomies. His learning goals were being used all this time for lesson design. In 2001 the revised taxonomy was published. Here is a page with the details.
Krathwohl and Harrow are said to have contributed much to the affective and pyschomotor part of the taxonomy. Since related to movement related skills, the psychomotor part is of importance to us as Guitar players.
Indian Guitar Learning Goals Example
Take the example of the song Alaipayuthe.
Just like the student learns music, a teacher also has learnt to be better, reaching the adapting and creating stages of teaching.
The first four notes: S S R P usually leads to
- a conversation on scales
- the C major scale
- the fingering logic behind scale playing
- best practices when playing in general, up and down strokes etc
- how we can infer the scale from the song notes
- modify the C major scale to other scales as we want, understanding scales in a connected manner, ready to play with the knowledge of playing one scale
- the fretboard logic based on the tuning steps of standard tuned guitar
the next phrase in the song has slides in it leading to
- talk about how the lesson can be customized for the students need, how that is an important teacher ability – to adapt and give optimal learning for the student
- how the slides can be reduced to simple chunks when needed
- how o remove delay when connecting the phrases
- the physical part of better slide execution – thumb, finger angle etc
- how the horizontal playing notes are indeed still part of the vertically played scale. compare and confirm
- how the slide from this song can be used as signature for Raga kaanada based songs
- the relation between parent melakarta and derivative Janya ragas
- the art and science of effective practice and practice time management
similarly one can use the single song to get to a lot of different useful learning tangents, which the student can use with other songs he or she will practice during his or her lifetime.
Set your Indian Guitar Learning GOals
It could be a lullaby, a film song, a traditional song…
A good language teacher can teach you the synonyms, grammar, sentence structure etc using a part of a given lesson, and lead you to independence by enabling you to adapt and create on your own.
Similarly you or your teacher can use the songs you are learning to help you understand, analyze and lead you to create and confirm on your own. This helps you make use of your learning efforts better, transforming your experience from somehow playing to one of feeling like you are a musician, an insider to music!