Tag Archives: music theory

Kinesthetic Music Lessons


Last week, one of my new students (a longtime sculptor) said,
“Amanda, when I look at this piece of paper, something weird happens in my brain.”

Interestingly, the student/sculptor was describing the logic behind one of my teaching methods. Sure, I teach a lot of theory; but if you can’t hear and play and use intervals, what’s the point? It’s better to be able to use what you learn in music lessons. It’s better to just do stuff. Free play – playing nonsensical, weird stuff over and over; kinesthetic learning – learning by doing, and being in the moment.


Kinesthesia: the sense of motion.
In using intervals and theory, in soloing, in playing rhythm, in creating or just playing a song, kinesthesia drives us – a sense of our body’s movement. Intervals and chord progressions, are also motion. Good music lessons aren’t just about pieces of paper and going through the motions of some boring scale. It’s much more than that. It’s about learning flow.


Flow: essential for mastery of any skill.

We enter the state of flow when doing something we love. Flow is a balance between challenge and enjoyment.

Flow is more important than details or theory, it is our core essence expressed through music. I do not stop my students while they are playing unnecessarily, and when I do, I congratulate students who keep playing for a few seconds. Flow is powerful, and difficult to interrupt.
Suki: (Aikido/Kendo)
An opening or gap where one is vulnerable to attack or application of a technique, or where one’s technique is otherwise flawed. Suki may be either physical or psychological.


Kinesthetic Learning takes place when the student is allowed to process the information using their own language.
‘That’s why I don’t use a rigid “method.” I like answering questions – especially weird ones. I enjoy that each of my students, is vastly different from the next. Beethoven, Dick Dale, Dr. Dre – All music is theory, and when a student loves a song, they’ll play every day.



Wiki it: