Hans Jensen, a world renowned cello teacher in Chicago, is sometimes referred to as a talent whisperer. People travel from all over the country just to have a single practice session with him. Jensen, as with many other great coaches and teachers, has an extraordinary sensitivity to each individual student, tailoring instruction and guidance based on personality and learning style.
Understanding how students learn is critical to providing effective education. The following Guitar Learning Style Survey provides tools and resources to help you identify learning preferences for each of your students.
Our Guitar Learning Guide is based on the VARK model (Visual, Aural, Reading/writing, and Kinesthetic) which provides a framework for four primary types of learners. I highly recommend taking the generic VARK questionnaire yourself to see what kind of learner you are.
We’ve made an easy, multiple choice guitar-focused VARK questionnaire that you can administer to your students.
But how do we figure out how our students learn best? Take a look at some traits of each type of learner below!
Before we begin, it’s important to note that this model is to give you some guidance toward the right teaching style for your students, not to give you answers that are set in stone.
If your student answered mostly A’s:
They may be an aural/auditory learner, which means they learn best through discussion and listening. Having you verbally explain something to them may be more valuable than written instructions. They also could benefit from talking things through with you, thinking out loud, and asking lots of questions. These students may thrive in collaborative group settings where they can talk about what they’ve learned, as it will help them process, and also figure out more questions to ask you. These students may also have strong ears, and may value playback tracks to be able to hear what they are playing versus what the correct sound is.
If your student answered mostly B’s:
They may be a reading/writing learner. Reading/writing learners can succeed with lots of written handouts, lists, and instructions. They may also benefit from writing out the material they’re learning. They may also benefit from a syllabus or rubric with written plans and feedback.
If your student answered mostly C’s:
They may be a visual learner, and get most of their information from graphics. Visual learners could succeed with chord charts, and benefit from visually stimulating content (i.e. color, interesting layout, etc.). Visual learners may benefit from all different types of visuals, and there may be some overlap with the materials you prepare for reading/writing students and visual students.
If your student answered mostly D’s:
They may be a kinesthetic learner, and learn by doing. Kinesthetic learners value real-world applications, and may benefit from playing their favorite songs to make the connection between theory and practice. Kinesthetic learners learn through all of their senses, and benefit from concrete concepts.
If your student had a smorgasbord of answers:
They may be a multimodal learner. Multimodal learners can be any combination of the primary 4 categories. Multimodal learners benefit from techniques across all types, and we encourage using this brief questionnaire to open a line of communication about what works for your student more specifically.
Moosiko is designed to use many multimodal techniques because we understand everyone has a different style of learning. With 170 lessons, Moosiko uses engaging charts and photos for visual learners, playback audio for aural/auditory learners, written instruction and structured practice for reading/writing learners, and a library of songs from over 20 genres from the 1950’s to now for kinesthetic learners. We constantly strive to support all kinds of learning styles and methodologies on our quest to create more musicians.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Moosiko practice tool, Click here to request a demo and start your free trial.