Follow by Email

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What we can learn from John Wooden XIV

It's been fun to look into John Wooden's career, techniques, and writing about him and his methods--and how it might apply to us as conductors. This final post summarizes the series and also suggests reading for those of you who wish to explore further on your own. I hope you've enjoyed it and gotten something worthwhile from it.
The first book I'd go to is Gallimore and Nater's You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned--much of what I wrote in the series draws upon this book or the earlier research by Gallimore and Tharp (which is included in the book). I think the next one I'd get is Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden and Steve Jamison (Jamison was closely associated with Wooden and co-authored a number of books with him). It tells much of Wooden's journey, early life, and coaching philosophy, and is as complete a look at all of this as you'll find from Wooden. An additional bonus are actual excerpts (copied directly) from Wooden's journals, practice plans, etc.--they're sometimes hard to read, but are a great first-hand look at his life's source material. A shorter book, but still worthwhile, is Wooden and Jamison's The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership.
I've listed the whole series below in order:
  1. Introduction - the difference between scrimmage and drill
  2. Efficiency of Wooden's practice--incredibly instruction-dense
  3. More about instruction dense practice (rehearsal) -- positive vs. negative feedback
  4. More on Wooden's methods for correcting mistakes
  5. Wooden's planning for practices (rehearsals)
  6. How Wooden made his verbal instructions clearer and shorter
  7. Wooden's pedagogy and how he uses drill
  8. More about pedagogy and drill
  9. Teacher/student relationships -- use of individual feedback
  10. Wooden's definition of success -- his "pyramid of success"
  11. Conditioning: moral, mental, and physical -- and how that relates to singers
  12. Wooden's off-season intensive research projects
  13. What great teachers have in common
I hope you'll take what you find valuable from the example of a great coach and teacher--and apply it to your own teaching. I know I have more work to do.
Time to take a break, so I'll begin again sometime in January. If you have suggestions for topics, please write!

No comments: