You want me to think about what?! A Discussion About Motor Skills and the Role of Attentional Focus in Studio Teaching

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Nisbet, Adele
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Harrison, Scott D.

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2010
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Abstract

Traditionally, singing teaching has relied on a teacher's content knowledge (Shulman, 1999) and performance experience to credit good teaching. Many vocal-method books appeared from notable teachers such as Caccini, Mancini, Tosi, Garcia and Lamperti, but their focus was primarily on defining good singing, describing what the singer was expected to do, and with little thought to the methods for teaching the techniques they advocated (Stark, 1999). In certain singing circles even today, it is often assumed that being a good performer means you can teach. Intuition rather than pedagogical knowledge has often informed the tactics used in the exemplary singing studio (Brown, 1996). But for all the successes of past eras, it is fair to question whether singing teachers have been aware of theories that might better direct their pedagogical behaviour and assist in planning the work with their students. Concepts worthy of consideration are implicit/procedural and explicit/declarative learning, because the acquisition of both forms of knowledge is crucial for the singer. However, theories about how singers ultimately acquire their technique seem poorly defined in relation to studio teaching and learning, and certainly do not seem to drive the practice. This paper looks at motor skill acquisition as a basic function of learning to sing and at the teaching of singing in light of the principles of attentional focus which support the acquisition of motor skills for singing.

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Perspectives on Teaching Singing: Australian Vocal Pedagogues Sing Their Stories

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1st

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1

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Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators

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