72. The Most Ancient and Natural Way of Teaching… On a Computer!
“I saw your program on Channel 2 in Houston and was simply staggered by how well a toddler can play! But I think that you must be too dependent on this new system. I think this because I also played on piano. I studied for around 7 years, and was even the star of my teacher’s class. I suppose that if this child were asked to play the piano without the program, she wouldn’t be able to because she depends on the computer. Has this ever happened, or am I just an idiot?”
Sincerely, Ben (12 years old)
For young Ben, “star” of his class, it is hard to imagine that it is possible to learn music many times more quickly. He can hardly realize that he learned monstrously slowly and with difficulty, and that the results he achieved had nothing to do with his education. Shot for the news program, my three year old student Gracie easily played Bach’s Minuet, which, after two years of lessons, not every person could do. With the help of the program, she reached the same results that many students in ordinary lessons achieve after five to six years.
There isn’t any secret involved. Starting from the very first lesson, Gracie actively and frequently READ and PLAYED this minuet. Just like other languages, Gracie simply “talks” constantly in this one. She learns music just as every child learns the language of his parents – through constant practice. And practice is the most ancient and productive way to learn, teaching each of us! While other children study rules and “sort out” music, crawling from note to note, Gracie simply sees and plays it. And she enjoys this a lot.
The computer is capable of doing something that a teacher isn’t: it tirelessly, immediately, and precisely reacts to the activities of the student. In this regard, the computer is the ideal means of education. A good program deeply “digs” into the process of training, because it is capable of immediately scoring actions and giving valuable feedback, and can do this better than the best instructor.
Meeting with the student once or twice a week, a traditional instructor shouldn’t have to occupy himself with repetition. At the same time, the student’s inability to read music brings lessons to a dead stop. But he has to practice somehow, and soon teachers give up and act as “drill instructors.”