You’re Not An Auditory Learner

One of the most persistent myths in education is that students have a “learning style.” This misunderstanding is so pervasive that most teachers believe that their students will learn best when materials are presented to them in a manner that matches their supposed modality (most commonly broken into visual, auditory, reading, and kinesthetic). Unfortunately, this has not been shown to have any effect on student success. In fact, it’s an unnecessary approach that takes time away from presenting the materials in a manner that is consistent with the subject matter. In other words, the topic being studied should be presented correctly.

Music requires an auditory component. Some students are going to do better than others in picking up things by ear, but that doesn’t mean that students who take longer should be presented that material in a “visual” way. Some students sight read more easily than others, but that doesn’t mean that teaching music literacy in a kinesthetic manner is better for them. We are all visual learners, auditory learners, reading learners, and kinesthetic learners. We’re all analytical and intuitive.

Here’s a fun video I recently came across that describes the learning styles myth and goes into some details about the research that has (and hasn’t been) done on it.

I’ve written a bit about this topic before. It’s one of those things that a lot of people get hung up on, in spite of the evidence that it doesn’t work.

Happy Independence Day

It’s Independence Day in the U.S. The Asheville Jazz Orchestra performed our annual Patriotic Big Band Concert last night after a 1 year hiatus. He’s a chart we performed honoring all the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, a medley arrangement I wrote for the San Luis Big Band.

We recorded it last year during the pandemic by having everyone record their parts individually at home to a click track, and then I assembled each part in GarageBand. Some of us had nice microphones, some of us just used cell phones, so the sound is a little different on each player. All things considered, I think it came out OK.

Happy Independence Day to all my U.S. readers!