Keeping pupils engaged - two fun excerpts from Tim Topham TV

Have much enjoyed my sessions with Tim Topham, the great music educator from down under.

Tim has extracted a couple of excerpts from one of our talks, which I've posted below..

One major principle that underpins the thoughts expressed in these little chats is the necessity to keep out pupils really engaged.  If they become disconnected from the learning we can draw the obvious conclusion that they won’t be doing any.  Maintaining that connection is a central part of the art of the Virtuoso Teacher. 

There are two sides to keeping this all-important connection active.  Being imaginative, energetic, and fun is essential …serving up what we want our pupils to learn in a clear, relevant, logical, sequential and engaging way.  And simultaneously it’s about noticing, immediately, if the light goes off behind our pupils’ eyes.   This point is so important.  If we lose our pupils engagement – even for a moment – that essential flow of energy is broken and we will have to re-establish it (which of course takes time).

Keep up a discourse with pupils, ask them pertinent questions, ask them to explain what they just did, why they did it; and make sure lessons are conducted in such a way that they know they can tell you if they don’t understand.  Be aware of your pupils’ reactions and mood constantly.

If this two-way flow of energy is maintained lessons will always be positive, and learning will always be taking place.