Simultaneous Learning is rooted in a ‘can-do’ world where activities are always pro-actively set up to flow sequentially and so provide the greatest chance of success and therefore persistent progress and direction. This continually allows both teachers and pupils to live in in an environment of positivity. And if we explain carefully how the process is working as we are teaching it during lessons, then pupils learn to use the same process in their practice.
This doesn’t mean that things don’t go wrong from time to time, however careful we (or our pupils) are in setting up the next thing to do. Maybe a pupil struggles (in a lesson or practice) to get something technical to work or can’t quite figure out a musical point.
I’d like to suggest a way to deal with this, and I call it the Double O Mindset.
So often, musicians and others who find they can’t do things, get annoyed and frustrated: “I CAN’T do this” or maybe “Why CAN’T I do this?” they inwardly scream. This often leads to the follow-up thought: “I’m no good,” or worse, “I’m useless.”
Of course, it’s entirely the wrong reaction; the wrong response. Rather than this aggressive, subjective, and angry riposte, teach pupils (and ourselves if we need to) to go for the Double O Mindset:
Observe and be Objective.
In other words, we quietly observe what exactly is going on, and then analyse the situation in an agreeably and peacefully objective manner.
Instead of ranting “Why CAN’T I do this?”
We say, gently and thoughtfully,
Why can’t I do this?
We observe carefully what we are actually doing and we objectively search for a slightly different way that may well simply solve the problem.
The word carefully is important. When we analyse what we are doing we often don’t delve nearly deep enough. If it’s technical, try to look, for example, exactly at hand position, use of all muscles involved in the task, exactly at what is being done in relation to the intended outcome. If it’s musical, is there something not quite understood in the sequence of thought required to be at that particular point. If our pupil takes this view, they may well solve the problem or realise what it is they don’t get, and bring that with them to the next lesson when, together, we can solve it.
So, do consider the Double O Mindset: Observe and be Objective. It may well save a lot of time and emotional and misdirected negative energy.