SACRAMENTO, CA- California State University’s String Project (a part of the National String Project Consortium) provides low cost instruction on violin, viola, cello and bass to children from third through ninth grade. The String Project trains undergraduate and graduate music students to teach string instruments to younger students while earning credit towards their music degree and a stipend.
Instructor Tim Stanley is introducing learning processes as described in The Art of Learning to the undergraduate and graduate student teachers in order to encourage a deeper reflection on learning in a wider context than instrumental instruction. He says, “I have come to rely on it as part of my curriculum for helping students understand how they learn, and how they were taught. This then leads to the exploration of how they will teach. It can be very powerful, and lead to some pretty profound introspection from these 18 and 19 year-olds. We then often use this as a springboard to developing their teaching persona; They cultivate the attitude they think is best when teaching children. “
Through his work with The Art of Learning Project he has learned about working with one’s strengths as a learner and as a teacher, rather than focusing on weaknesses and trying to strengthen them at the outset. He says that this has caused a dramatic shift in his own approach as a master teacher on the project.