Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Wednesday 27 March 2013

Social learning

Social learning theories claim that we learn in a social context. I realize that when I remember how I learned to play the violin. I was five, got a small violin and imitated my father as he was playing. We played together and he demonstrated and explained how to hold my left hand and curve my fingers, how to keep the pulse of my right hand loose, use my elbow and keep my shoulder low. I had to practice alone, learn simple tunes by heart and then reproduce the modeled violin behaviour with some positive or negative reinforcement. This went on for years. Later I had other teachers, but the fun part always was playing together. Scales and exercises sounded much better: less out of tune and more volume. A bit like the Mouse and the Elephant walking over the wooden bridge, says the Mouse to the Elephant: “listen what a big noise we make!” When I had enough skills to play with others, the real fun started. Hours of daily practice were rewarded and stimulated by playing music of famous composers and by the social and sometimes competitive environment of my violin duo, the student orchestras, or for a while my piano trio. Yes, the social context.

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