Teachers and parents use them worldwide and kids just love playing flashcard games, but why? What are the benefits of using flashcards? Here are four powerful,little known reasons why using flashcards should be an essential part of every Music Teacher's curriculum. 1.Using musical flashcards allows the learner to focus on "bite sized" pieces of relevant information at a time. Too much information or having to wade through too much irrelevant information can be really distracting to anyone trying to learn about a new concept. Have you ever been distracted with irrelevant information on the Internet.
A job that should take minutes can sometimes turn into hours, just because the information is hard to find or you get distracted in finding it. You can place small amounts of relevant information which are easily accessible on flashcards. You can learn the material you need to learn without any distraction or extra time spent. 2.Information can be easily reviewed and repeated. There are many ways and systems of using flashcards in your music lessons which enable you to repeat the same content and information in various ways.
After all, our students have many learning styles and have different ways of connecting with materials learned. Flashcards can be used in games or as a deck of cards. The possibilities are endless and vary to suit your students and their learning styles. The point is that the same information is taught in different ways through repetition- a highly effective way of communicating new information.
3.Flashcards "actively" involve you in the process of learning. Think about the times where you enjoyed learning most.
Were you sitting in a "passive" style lecture where you sat and listened, nodded off to sleep in between and woke up to find you had still another hour to go? or. Were you "actively" involved in an activity where you may have been asking questions, shouting out, getting excited about the content and playing games? In this active style of learning you often catch yourself saying something like "time flies when you're having fun" and it does not feel like you're having to work hard to take in and remember the new information. The advantage of this active style of lesson is that you actually retain more than 80% of the information presented instead of the usual 10% in a lecture style "passive" session.
Flashcards are an excellent tool to encourage highly "active" learning. They encourage a student to see the information, use it hands on straight away and then recall the information later. They are self checking. This gives a student added confidence when learning new material. Best of all they're fun! 4.Flashcards provide you with Immediate Feedback on results.
I remember this scene vividly in my beginning years as a teacher. It was the day before one of my students exam. We'd worked really hard all year on the pieces and technical issues and scales, so I thought I'd just run through a little bit of general knowledge.
I asked "What's that?" as I pointed to a crotchet/quarter note?". My student gave me a blank look and every other possibility except for the correct answer! Of course I spent another hour that lesson explaining it to my student and making sure they understood and could talk about it in their exam, but it could have all been solved if I had used flashcards consistently throughout that exam preparation time and it would have been a lot less stressful at the last minute. Needless to say from that time on, that's exactly what I did. Flashcards let you know exactly what information your student does know and helps your students to explain relevant information exactly in the way in which the examiner wants to hear it. Best of all, flashcards give you insight into what you need to work on further way before it's too late like I experienced way back then.
Janice Tuck and her husband Kevin, own and operate The Fun Music Company which is committed to providing the best in fun musical education resources for teachers and parents. You can find out more about using flashcards at their music education blog.