Task 2: Thinking about Attention
- How important is attention to the learning process?
- How hard is it to keep students' attention engaged in what is happening in the classroom?
- What can we do to help our students pay attention?
- Attention is what makes the difference in learning.
- In my case, I have only one student in the class during the lesson (I teach piano) so, it's usually not so hard to keep his / her attention. It's hard before and during the public playing (concerts), because they tend to feel frightened and nervous.
- We talk a lot during the lessons as well as before the actual public appearance. I tend to direct their thoughts to music they are to play. My students always have sheet music with themselves, so that they have some material to keep their mind busy. Also, I showed to them some breathing and meditation techniques to focus and calm their mind. The main suggestion is not to be surrounded by others, so not to receive nervousness from others and make their own peace.
- Special technique for releasing the stage fright is to put them on the place of the audience. When they worry about playing, I suggest them to imagine that they are very benevolent listeners, who really will not criticize if players don't do their best. They should feel what feel their parents and friends while listening to them. In most cases, it's their audience - their parents, their friends. They love them and love to see them, to watch them, to listen to them. They are always graceful and often feel very sad when see them frightened. I instruct my students to give music full of love to their audience. Concentrating to music, instead of to themselves and their feeling helps them a lot. I also ask them to imagine what would be the extreme consequence if they play very badly. Usual conclusion is that the worst thing is to feel bad. Nothing else on the world would change. :)