Fine Discriminations

Teachers make very fine discriminations about student performances; these are consistently articulated to the student, so that the student learns to make the same discriminations independently. It is clear that the teachers know precisely what they expect to see and hear from the students, which suggests that their vivid auditory images of the repertoire leads to their detecting even the smallest deviations from the images they have in mind. Teachers articulate clearly and directly what they hear, and their attention is focused primarily on tone production and musical expression (including all of the rhythmic and dynamic variables that contribute to expressive music making). This systematic feedback guides students to listen to themselves as their teacher listens, and shapes students’ ability to make independent discriminations about their own playing. Teachers further ensure that students are making appropriate, independent discriminations by asking them to verbalize those discriminations in lessons.