Learning styles in vocal lessons

Which learning style suits you best? You may ask yourself? As a singing teacher I think it’s important to know which learning style suits my student, in order to respond to this style during the singing lessons. You can find a number of theories about learning styles on the internet or in the old school libraries. Personally, I think the learning styles Kolb made are very interesting and useful. Kolb uses the following four learning styles (Source: “Handbook for Teachers,” Geerts and Kralingen)
– Accommodaters; strong in “hands-on” practical doing
– Convergers; strong in practical “hands-on” application of theories
– Divergers; strong in imaginative ability and discussion
– Assimilators: strong in inductive reasoning and creation of theories

He also distributed a learning process into four stages:
– Concrete experience
– Reflective observation
– Abstract conceptualization
– Active experimentation

In a learning process all four phases are used, and this cycle can be started at each stage. To decide what stage is most appropriate to start with, depends on the learning style of the student. An example; an accommodator is likely to have a practical “hands-on” mentality and would like an concrete experience. He or she will benefit starting a learning process at the stage “concrete experience”. He or she will initially have less interest in an abstract or a reflective approach, but perhaps at a later stage of the learning process he or she will gain interest in these approaches. According to Kolb you go through all four of them in a cycle. Of course there are theories which refute this and say that the cycles are rather random.
Learning styles and learning processes are complex and can therefore differ per person. There are many online tests one can do to get an idea which learning style suits you best. To me these tests are a tool, but the total absolute truth?

At Vocal Studio ROBB we always start with an interview and an extensive questionnaire, to get an overall impression of the potential vocal student. So we can connect with the students needs during the singing lessons and when a particular learning process do not seem to work, we’re able to switch quickly towards another approach where necessary.

Are you curious about what learning style suits you best? Then do the Kolbtest on this website.

Have fun, sing and learn!

This post is also available in Nederlands

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