Learning by Teaching: Children’s musical and emotional skills development through a piano teacher role
The teaching experience is a communication process that nurtures social intelligence, encourages self-knowledge and improves one’s learning abilities. Teachers experience this on a daily basis – but the same benefits of teaching can also be enjoyed by the students themselves. The object of my research paper is to observe how a child can learn by “Practicing the Role of the Teacher”, an approach to music that applies a different, enriching perspective that is free of conditioning factors normally associated with personal study. Such an experience enables the child to learn to value and share the teachinglearning process with others. This practical unit was carried out with piano students of the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Zaragoza (Spain) over the entire course of the 2016/17 academic year. The “teaching child” and the “learning child” are roles that can be adopted and interchanged under teacher supervision. Children participated in this activity on a periodical basis. They approached the experimental situation with a high degree of motivation, support and mutual respect. Through the “Practicing the Role of the Teacher” method (PRT), these children improved their emotional communication skills and progressively became more receptive and involved in their own learning. They also became more autonomous and displayed significant progress in applying tools and concrete resources, in acquiring music-specific vocabulary and cognition, and in developing a critical attitude while forming their own well-founded opinions.