Discussion of Education and Technology - Your opinions and feedback please!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to reach out and wish a great 2014 to all the members and supporters of vibesworkshop. We started off the year with a tremendous vibes congress in NJ, and I'm looking forward to the things we do on this site in the coming year.

Hard to believe it's been 5+ years of this "experiment" we call vibes workshop. I won't lie; I thought Tony was nuts when he was starting this whole thing, haha. It's obvious that it's been a huge success, and I think everyone would agree that we've all benefited. Thanks to Tony not only for creating it, but finding ways to keeping it going successfully.

With that said, I've had conversations with Tony, and many other contributors on the site about the content. I realize that posting is no easy task, and it takes a little courage to put your material up for anyone to hear. However, I want to provide an opportunity for people to lay out their opinions on what they find to be the most helpful component of the site. Please provide a detailed response if you wish. Examples include:

1. Types of lessons you prefer: Videos, audio/pdf, etudes?

2. Weblinks to vibraphone related performances.

3. Reading essays of different performers, comments, etc.

It would be great to hear your opinions on this topic! Thanks!

Access: Anonymous

Comments

I feel safe posting stuff here. I'm not concerned about negative feedback, there is none. There is still a strong sense of community and a helpful additude rather the backbiting found on other websites, yet maintains a good social area.

i wouldn't tolerate negative feedback. constructive is good. but i never understood a teacher telling another student "YOU STINK", which i know of one who would say that.

when i hear that i know someone talked to that person that way when they were a kid, and this person has not got therapy to straighten this crap out. i used to be EVIL. therapy helped me get it in check. i don't have to treat someone the way i was treated to get even, or think that that's the way to talk to people.

so no negativity on this site. be constructive. i think i could say, hey pax, you didn't do a good job on that, or your must have not listened to that before you posted it, you should try it again. i can tell a student, i don't think you're working on this material. but i can't say, 'you suck, or you're a loser'. what I'm saying then is, someone told me I was a loser when i was a kid and now I'm dumping it on you.

that's my rant. the moral is: if you're screwed up, get help, don't take it out on the world. (i.e. insert evil political leader here).

I got a thick skin but negative reinforcement doesn't help learning music. How many are scare away from a stranger's misplaced comment.
You got to accentuate the positive
Alleviate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
And watch out for mister in between!

I would say, one contructs his own bad habits (defaults) as long as he (or she) will fix it.

getting a negative comment, can make you become aware that you have to fix something...anyway you'll have to do the work, and you'll get the benefits of it (not the one who critized).

I'd say you will not see your defaults until someone put it in your face.
you will not like it, but it all depends of your own goal to take it in a good or bad way.

The environment where is said something negative (like in public or in private) WILL make a big difference.

About the e-instruction, there is no need to get slammed, because everyone goes at his own pace, in his own way, IMHO.

Yes, Tifoo, I agree. Constructive criticism is what we all need -- an objective evaluation with a prescription for fixing things. "Your time tends to be shaky in this section, maybe you should practice with a metronome for a while", rather than "Man, your time is so bad you sound like an idiot -- you should forget about getting anywhere!"

We all need the first, and no one needs the latter. It'd be nice if we could get more constructive criticism here, but it's a difficult thing to do in writing. Face-to-face you can interact and get to the root of things better.

Tom P.

You know, I just hate people who hate people :-). But enough about what a supportive environment this is (it certainly is!), let's get to Behn's questions :-).

1. Types of lessons you prefer: Videos, audio/pdf, etudes?

Video is better than audio, but it's the content that's the most important. I love to hear tunes analyzed -- TOTMs are great for that. I'm not so much into licks, but I do find basic techniques -- intros, outros, montunos, etc., really helpful. For many of those things it really helps to see it as well as hear it -- there's a physicality to playing it (like on a montuno) so seeing definitely helps.

2. Weblinks to vibraphone related performances.

Weblinks are great. It's really nice to see what everyone else is doing -- don't feel quite so alone :-).

3. Reading essays of different performers, comments, etc.

I LOVE Gary's stories from the road. More of those from other people would be great. Essays about techniques are great, but it's also helpful to hear them executed.

I'd like to see more commentary on music culture, business, life, etc. When you're putting together a project, what are the kinds of things you take into consideration? How do you draw the line between art and commercialism? How do the changing technology and business landscapes affect your decisions?

How do you connect with an audience? How much should you think about your performance personality? How much physical energy is too much? Too little? How much does that change with different venues?

I guess that's enough :-).

Tom P.

I agree Tony 100% with what you said about being positive and constructive. That's important. I know many teachers have their own style and it's a personal thing. For me, it's about trying to be positive and constructive as much as possible. Our job as teachers is to motivate, inspire and help guide the students down their own path. Some need a little more guidance that others. When I first began teaching I got some great advice about teaching from Gary that I never forgot. As far as the lessons go, all of the things Behn that you mentioned are great. I think the video is preferred over the audio since our instrument is so visual. The accompanying pdfs are a real plus. I have to give it you guys for staying the course and always coming up with great stuff. Ed

The video post convey much more information. It's a great help to see how something moves, the mallets, the eyes, what's going on down below with the feet.that said it takes a lot more prep to record the lesson and the times to do the post production(editing).

I have gotten use out of pretty much every type of format at different times. I really like referring to the PDF when I can't get the sound in my ears. Everybody has a preferred sense for learning; seeing, hearing and feeling. The more of those you address, the greater your potential audience/learners.

Shorter rather than longer helps me. And it doesn't need to be perfect, I love the quick and dirty stuff, I do like to see the vibe keyboard.

It can be a challenge to 'teach' in this format since it can be anonymous, and you don't always get feedback on your gems. I do try to post a thank you from time to time, however, if I posted comments on everything that I have read or heard or seen here that I have benefited from it would fill up a lot of space. I assume that goes for others too. So don't get frustrated, you guys reach and help more people than you think probably.

--IG

Glad to hear that, thanks Glen!