Bill Binder - Different Learning Styles (5 of 6)

Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation.

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Bill Binder - Different Learning Styles (5 of 6)

Postby tacotrombone » March 18th, 2013, 12:22 pm

"There are a lot of different teaching theories out there, but the most prominent one today is called VAK--visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
Improv seems to a mainly oral tradition (auditory), which actually caters to only a portion of the learners out there.
How can we incorporate visual and kinesthetic learning for the other folks?"

Bill's reply:
"We've taught at The Torch on that for a long time. I myself am a kinesthetic player more than a visual or oral player. One thing that helps out quite a bit is a discussion of this early on with students. Explain that there are different ways of teaching and learning. This helps the students not only think about their own learning, but learn to appreciate that other students learn differently.

In the early levels, you can often modify many of the basic exercises to force the students to rely on sight, sound or environment to communicate. (two students sitting in a chair with their eyes closed doing a scene for example). Just labelling some of these exercises (not constantly of course) throughout their education will help them learn in different ways.

Also, what isn't talked about as much is left brain right brain learning (yes, I know modern education has different names for these, but you know what I'm talking about). Almost all improv education is right brained. Oddly, most education in general is very left brained. Improv has the advantage here in that - I believe - it's easier to rectify. To bring more right brain thinking into general education would require a lot of reform. To bring left brain thinking into improv only really requires acknowledging that and pointing it out now and again.

On occasion, bring in a left brained instructor - not to teach a specific workshop. But just to help explain things in a more left brained way. I teach a workshop (this is not a plug) and I think other teachers teach similar workshops for left brained folks that basically says "Hey, here's how you think. I get that. So here's some of the very basics of improv explained in a slightly different way that might make more sense to you." And after that, sort of a translation guide to help hear other instruction make more sense."
"Music throws you back into your body like organic food or heroine." -- William Matthews

"The consequence of joy is a good show." -- Susan Messing
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