bubudi wrote:if the person who insists on notation is doing so out of a need to visualise as a visual learner, i ask you are there other ways to fulfil this learning need?
In my experience, this kind of visual learner needs the notation most when they are NOT in class. For example, there are a few of my students that I only have to give them the "hairy eyebrow" during class, and all of the "notes" go away...
As to other ways of fulfilling this need, see my comment below...
Dugafola wrote:How about watching it get played on a video?
A friend spent months in upper guinea and a majority of his footage is of the sangban and dununba player. You can see what variations correspond to the other and all the bell patterns.
Seems visual enough to me.
Ok, going off to the deep end of learning theory here...
This is going to sound strange, but watching a video works best for what is called a "kinesthetic" learner in this theory, which means that they learn by physically doing the thing. (it may seem like I'm splitting hairs here, but I am translating western learning theory to this discussion, I have a 400+ page book which outlines this specific theory, and it is now "accepted practice" in most school systems/teacher training's.)
Now to some fun stuff. (attn: bubudi!)
The visual learner in this theory tends to function in a physical "spatial" sense of sight. More like a architect then a writer. (Reading text is a "linguistic" act)
In this theory, they have a separate grouping for "musical intelligence".
(intelligence roughly translated to the type of learner in this discussion, could be translated as "musical learner", but the waters get muddy really fast at that point!)
You would think that composers, as people who write/create music would be classified in this group, but they are not, they are in what is called the "Spatial intelligence" which I usually refer to as "visual learners". As it turns out, they found that composers use the same part of their brain when composing as architects do when they are designing. So it is less about "seeing and reading" what is on the page, but more about having a visual representation of the proportions of times involved in the rhythm. (owch, that sentence hurt MY brain, and I'm the one who came up with it!)
For myself, I have a classical musical education, I've been "reading" music for decades. As it happens, when I "visualize" music, I am NOT visualizing notation, but something a lot more abstract which has to do with how I 'hear" structure, and how I feel "weight" in music and whatnot. The easiest way to translate these feelings would be to either play what I am "seeing" or to notate what I am "seeing". as you can imagine, if I am "seeing" more that one part (like a set of dunun rhythms) I can't play it all at once! (usually) So the easiest thing for me to do would be to write it down. In iether case, the writing is a translation of what is happening in my head, not an actual representation.
now on to Bubudi's question... what other ways are there?
In my opinion, this is extremely difficult to answer. I have an idea, but I need to leave soon, so I will put out a quick example, and then I will up my need to get to that blog post I've been thinking about.... [djembe learning theory!] yes, I am that much of a geek..
Singing learners (if they can sing it, they can play it) pick it up the quickest, once they hear me play it, they can usually play it back. They have a 50/50 chance of remembering it the next week.
kinesthetic learners usually get it by the midpoint of class, need to start and stop a bunch of times so they can "get in and out" of it. This group has the most memory problems from week to week, but they usually get the "feel" faster than the singing learners, I believe this has more to do with the ability to control their hands then necessarily "understanding" the timing.
Visual learners tend to learn in the kinesthetic timing, but they have GREAT retention from week to week (if I give them notation). They also tend to have more tunes "on call" than the other learners.
If you do not regularly give out notation in your class, I would suggest that you help your visual learners to find a way of notating on their own, then make sure they record the class, then make their own notations before the next class. This is mostly how I work, I record a class, only taking notes for handing issues, or important cultural information that I want to "anchor" for later. The next week, or sometime years later...
I transcribe everything, then I am set to go.
Most people use all of these learning styles and more, however one or two of the specific styles tend to dominate in the individual, for myself I am Visual first, then Kinesthetic, then Singing, but on particularly difficult material, all three come to bare.
One final example: my student who is MOST visually oriented also happens to be a photographer, more interesting is the fact that he specializes in Architectural Photography! ... I just realized that while writing this post... something to think about...
Off to get new glasses!
PS: @Afoba, no time to read your blog, but you just got on the "short list"
The book I referenced:
"Frames of Mind: The theory of Multiple Intelligences" by Howard Gardner, Published by Basic Books (at least my 20+ year old eddition of it, not sure what is current)