Riva Capellari

[email protected]

Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

How to get our Motors Running!

Like many teachers, I am daily challenged by my students to find a multitude of approaches to teaching. Recent research on motor learning has given me great insight into new ways to reach and teach my students!

Phonation is a motor function. Successful motor learning is a process that leads to relatively permanent changes that result from practice and/or exposure rather than developments that occur during normal maturation. Sometimes during this learning process, our brain benefits from trials (attempts) that include errors (failures).

Declarative learning handles “facts about the world” and is a conscious process while the unconscious retention of skills such as driving a car or riding a bike is the product of  procedural learning. We don’t have to remember how we acquired these abilities in order to execute them. Procedural learning developed early in humans and tends to remain stable over time whereas our “factual” knowledge may become hazy through the years.

Developing general “motor learning” programs in our brain allows us to learn new motor skills. For example, the balance needed for water skiing is different from that required for walking. However, a generalized motor program set up to handle balance issues enables us to adjust and adapt to new criteria.

Essential to the motor learning process is the act of attention. Paying attention to the results of our efforts (trials) to achieve success has been shown to facilitate long term retention of skills more effectively than the act of concentrating on the mechanics of that effort.

Research has also discovered that the timing and amount of augmented (outside one’s own experiences) feedback is crucial to motor learning.

Next month we go into the voice studio to see how this information can be applied to teaching voice.

Vocology: The Scinece and Practice of Vocal Habilitation. Titze, I. & K. Verdolini-Abbott. NATS. 2012

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>