Targeted teaching is supplementing and improving existing knowledge, interests, and abilities. Too often I experience the true interest of a student is significantly different from their education. Given the fact that almost all knowledge is just a click away, I see it as the teacher’s duty (especially in music and art) to inspire and motivate a student, based on their dreams and imagination, rather than deactivating their passion and annoying them with old methods.

Targeted relevant teaching is a way to empower students creatively, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically based on their knowledge, skills, and attitudes. It is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ interests in all aspects of learning. Culturally relevant teaching aims to be aware of how culture and interests may impact students’ learning experiences.

Therefore, culturally relevant, and targeted teaching requires teachers to be reflective of their own interests and biases, and to learn about the cultures and interests of their students. It also requires teachers to use culturally responsive instructional strategies that connect with students’ prior knowledge, interests, and strengths. By doing so, teachers can create more meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for students.

One of the challenges of teaching music is to build on existing knowledge and skills that students already have. Many students come to music classes with a passion for a certain genre or style of music, and they may not be interested in learning about other types of music that they are not familiar with. However, as music teachers, we want to expose our students to a variety of musical expressions and cultures and help them develop a broader musical understanding and appreciation.

My method is to start with what the students already know and love, and use that as a bridge to connect them to new musical experiences. For example, if a student is a fan of grind metal music, I would not force them to listen to classical music right away. Instead, I would also try to find some examples of metal musicians who have incorporated classical elements into their compositions. By doing this, I hope to spark the curiosity and interest of the student in exploring different musical genres.

I believe that this method is more effective than trying to teach classical structures in isolation, without any connection to the students’ existing knowledge. By building on what the students already know and love, I can help them develop their musical skills and knowledge in a more meaningful and engaging way. I can also help them discover new musical possibilities and perspectives that they may not have considered before. Only after the student has enough self-motivation and knowledge to understand larger and more complicated concepts, can I introduce them to more traditional structures and methods.

My goal is not to impose my musical preferences or opinions on the students, but to help them develop their own musical identity and voice. I want to inspire them to explore different musical genres and cultures, and to appreciate the diversity and richness of musical expression. By building on existing knowledge, I can help them ignite their musical passion and potential.

One of the biggest challenges in education is to bridge the gap between the teacher and the student world. I do not realize what I do not know about the different values, beliefs and norms that shape their worldviews and behaviours. Although I dislike metaphors, sometimes, a metaphor can help me to illustrate this point.

Imagine that an architect, a painter, and a womanizer climb a mountain together. They all see the same landscape, but they focus on different aspects of it. The architect sees buildings, bridges, and construction materials that he could use to create new structures. The painter sees colors, light and shadows that he could capture in his canvas. The womanizer recognizes every woman walking past and evaluates her attractiveness and availability.

When they reach the top of the mountain, they sit in a café and talk about their climb. The architect and the painter can still have some common ground in their conversation. The architect can appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the painter’s observations, and the painter can also notice some interesting architectural features in the environment. The painter may even pay attention to some of the women passing by to paint them.

However, for the architect and the womanizer, there is almost no exchange possible. They have such different perspectives on reality that they cannot relate to each other’s experiences or interests. The womanizer does not care about buildings or colors, he only cares about women. The architect does not understand why the womanizer wastes his time and energy chasing after women, when he could be designing and building something useful and lasting.

This metaphor shows how different people can perceive the same reality in very different ways, depending on their cultural background, values, and interests. If the teacher and student relationship is culturally too far apart, it is almost impossible to produce a result that gives the student access to growth and development. It is the teacher’s duty to understand the culture a student is growing up within, and to adapt the teaching methods and content accordingly. Otherwise, the teacher will be like the architect talking to the womanizer, or vice versa: speaking a different language that does not resonate with the student’s needs or aspirations.

Understand learning curves …

Knowledge Curve

Understanding the moment when learning becomes easy. Making students understand when learning becomes easy helps enormously. Learning happens exponentially. Once someone is aware of this, education can happen on a completely different level.

Activity Curve

Understanding that activities are achieved in periods. An activity deploys itself within stages. Usually we make a jump over a hurdle and land on the next stage.

George Leonard

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases the than which preceded it. The curve (below) is necessarily idealized.  In the actual learning experience, progress is less regular; the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way.  But the general progression is almost always the same.   To take the masters journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence.  But while doing so – and this is the inexorable fact of the journey – you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (p14-15)

Music education || some thoughts…

The way we learn music today is based on the traditions of the past. Those traditions were stable for centuries until jazz challenged them with its innovation. Soon after, the old structures collapsed even more when rock and pop music emerged as new forms of expression. Nowadays, the preservation of the ancient edifices is mainly done by nostalgics (admirers of the past), who try to slow down the decay, patching it up with metaphorical duct tape. I think their attempts to maintain the past alive, with some modern adaptations and flashy decorations, do little to prevent culture and technology from transforming music and how we enjoy it. To me this is nothing but cosmetic changes, the core is still old music, and people are gradually losing interest.

In my view we need to be curious about musical ideas that reflect the time and culture that we live in NOW. But most importantly, we should give artists, composers and performers who are alive today, the chance to create something of their own. There is amazing music happening out there today. But sadly, hindering the progress are authorities and academics who still cling to the past. The music played in a today’s Opera Hall is as original as it was 100 years ago, and the teaching methods in schools today are as dull as they were when I was a student.

One can only wonder what could be possible if the current generation was encouraged in their interests and passions, as well as supported in their journey in discovering what art means to them. (Of course, there are also exceptions!)

Music is a powerful and universal language that can connect, inspire and transform people. As music creators and educators, we have the ability to communicate and inform at the most intellectual and emotional levels. But this only works if we speak in a language that can be understood and wants to be heard.

In the modern world, music is constantly evolving and adapting to new technologies and contexts. Music creators need to be aware of the latest trends and tools that can enhance their musical expression and reach new audiences. Music educators need to be flexible and responsive to the diverse needs and interests of their students, who come from different backgrounds and cultures.

From my first experience teaching within an establishment (2004), I was so surprised at how little consideration was taken regarding meeting students’ needs. In addition to their social and cultural relevance and in keeping in line with the times, the most essential aspect, is the curiosity of the individual, the student. That curiosity only unfolds when their interest can be aroused in the first place. And it is up to educators, to ignite their curiosity.

I can help musicians who wish to explore music within a technological and modern environment. I have extensive experience in composing and performing music using various hardware and software tools. I can teach the traditional way as well as how to use digital audio workstations, synthesizers, samplers, effects, controllers and more. I can also help you develop your musical skills, creativity and style in various genres and formats.

Music is a powerful and universal form of expression that transcends boundaries and connects people. As a music educator, we may face the challenge of adapting to the changing musical landscape and engaging your students in meaningful and relevant ways. That’s where I can help.

I have extensive experience and expertise in today’s music environment, including digital technologies, contemporary genres, and cross-cultural collaborations. I can help you understand and develop your knowledge of these aspects and how they can enrich your teaching practice and your students’ learning outcomes.

I offer customized workshops or individual lessons that cater to your specific needs and goals. Whether you want to learn how to use music software, explore new musical styles, or integrate traditional instruments into modern contexts, I can provide you with practical ideas, insights and solutions that respect and include their cultural importance.

I have witnessed the evolution of music in my lifetime. I went through the pain of classical music. I have experienced the bureaucratization of Jazz and its culture. I have seen the disappearing of “Rock Stars” and I have embraced the rise of electronic music, where technology and creativity opened new possibilities and challenges. I have seen the music industry disappearing and the recording scene collapsing.

Yet, I do not despair. I see this as an opportunity, not a crisis because from within the rubble, it is an exciting time, that I’m happy to be living in. To me, it’s the most important change that has happened to date – and that is, every musician now has the chance to be fully self-sufficient.

My experience and cultural references do not just come from books. They come from growing up in Europe and they were homed in its center. These days I live within the two extremes of Australia and Europe.

If you are interested in learning with me, please get in touch via the contact form.

Drum Lesson in – Open Handed Playing – Alternation Motion – Freehand Technique