In praise of mistakes (no. 2)

I like my students to make the same mistake more than once. In fact I insist that they try! To explain.

In my previous post I mentioned how useful mistakes can be … so long as you realise that more often than not the mistake happened before you heard it – not at the point where you actually stumbled. It was something you did just before that point that made you stumble.

So now you know WHERE it was, your mission is to work out WHAT it was. And the best way to do that is to try and stumble in the same way again, while paying a LOT of very close attention to what is going on beforehand.

You might very well surprise yourself. It could be something as simple as using a less than ideal finger on a particular note makes you lose focus for a moment, or maybe you messed up a bit of pedalling, tried to compensate – and disaster! Actually it can be a lot of fun trying to find out, and it’s even more fun putting it right because then, miraculously, that tricky passage is suddenly a breeze 

Not exactly related to the above , but students will LOVE this. If they drop something small (like a coin which rolls away) and can’t find it, the best thing to do is drop another one! You will be astounded how often and accurately the second item will end up in (roughly) the same place. Try it.