Quality over Quantity

By Jesse Sullivan

My name is Jesse Sullivan and am a new member of the AWSOM team! I graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelors of Arts in Music. I learned a lot about performing and teaching music while in college and the biggest lesson I learned regarding teaching is Quality over Quantity. Being in a university environment you are expected to learn a lot of information usually in a very few period of time. Very seldom do you remember everything that you learned in a course that tries to pack a years worth of information into one semester. This dilemma pertains directly to how I teach. While university teaching methods preach quantity of information, I preach quality of information. Rather than assigning my beginning students multiple pages of music and overwhelm them, I choose to ask them to practice 2 or 3 exercises or chords at a time. One may think that this decelerates the learning process but it actually accelerates the learning process for the student. Rather than getting overwhelmed with pages of exercises that they cannot prepare, their practice efforts will be more much more focused on 2 or 3 exercises than spread out over 10 to 12. Also, the quality of the exercise after focused practice will be much better. This gives students a sense of full accomplishment, knowing that they fully learned those 3 exercises rather than half learn the 10 exercises. It also helps prevent students from developing bad habits. Assigning too much work for a student during the week can cause them to rush through practicing by not being as aware of proper technique. In all, the Quality over Quantity mentality of teaching better sets up a student for success.