Two weeks ago I was in a music group I had just joined and I brought my clarinet with me for the first time. One woman welcomed me and said I could use the song music that she was singing with. I said I couldn’t because it needed to be ‘transposed’ (basically moved up a note and the key changed) so that I could play it on a clarinet. She said to me –‘ No its easy, you can do it, you just need to be more confident. Your trouble is you’re not confident enough.’ I knew that she was not listening to what I said. I made a couple of attempts at explaining that I needed to write out the music again before I could use it. She carried on not listening so I stopped trying to convince her.
If I were a teacher in that group (rather than a participant) how would I have behaved differently? I think I would have done exactly the same . I would not have insisted that I was right and she was wrong. I would have printed out some information from the internet about how and why you have to transpose music for a clarinet and I would have given her a copy of the information to read at her leisure. So she could learn the new knowledge in private when she was feeling relaxed. After all its easier to learn from observing something than from being told something. Also - maybe she did know something I did not