As some of you know I am going the route of self taught, and while I know that is not the best or even right way to go, it is what it is.
One of my favorite motto’s is from Googles development team, “Fail Fast, Fail often”. It says what so many people don’t realize. We as a society frown on failure, while we should do the exact opposite, we should applaud failure and encourage learning from it. Try things and learn from them. We only learn by making mistakes and then reviewing those mistakes and taking corrective action.
Here is my idea:
Being self taught one of the big things I miss by not having a teacher is feedback. Feedback is critical to learning anything.
Would there be interest in a project – let’s call it a cooperative learning program for Cello:
A web based application (I don’t think I can do this on Facebook, but I could setup a website, or use one of my websites) where people can post recordings of their practice pieces. Then other people would listen and critique/rate it providing feedback that we can use to improve. But it is not simply a “YouTube” it is a structured learning experience – read on:
Some of the ideas:
1. Open and free to the public
2. In order to have a piece reviewed, the submitter must first review other participants submissions. Say 2 to 5 other submissions must be reviewed to enable your piece to be reviewed.
3. Submissions and/or reviews would be by your name or anonymous, the choice is the submitters. (The moderators might need to know the names in order to banned anyone abusing the site)
4. Feedback would be structured – in other words, a rating system based on tone, bowing, crossings, tempo, etc etc with simple ratings on a scale of say 1 to 10. A series of a dozen or so defined criteria that a reviewer would check. Enough to be “useful” not to much that it becomes a burden to review. And maybe a small free text field that the reviewer would be able to leave an optional comment in. Reviewers would be anonymous or not at their own option.
5. The reviewed data would be accumulated and a “leader” board would be created. A page which lists submitters accumulated (averaged?) ratings compared to other submitters (this is where being anonymous might appeal to some – an alias or the submitters real name based on the submitters choice)
6. A small profile of each submitter would be maintained – this would have information like how long they have been playing, etc. This could be used combined with playing review statistics to group submitters – so, advanced players would be grouped with advanced players, and beginners grouped with beginners for purposes of reviews and comparisons/contests (see below)
7. While doing a minimum number of reviews of other submitters would be required to have your submission reviewed, anyone could review more submissions than required if desired. Especially encouraged would be advanced players reviewing beginners. Beginners ratings of more advanced players would be allowed but scaled some how to reduce the affect on the advanced players scores.
8. Reviews would/could be banked – in other words, if the number of required reviews to have your submission reviewed is 5, you could do 15 reviews at one sitting and then submit up to 3 pieces for review later before having to do any more reviews.
9. Contests could be organized where the review rating would be used to determine winners. The contests would have a time frame to practice a specific piece, and then all entries would be reviewed and ranked from “best” to “least best”.
10. The contests could be regularly scheduled (automated) and progressive within groups – one idea is to work through “Schroeder – 170 Foundation Studies – Volume 1 For Cello”, one study each week, month? Progress to the next study would require getting at least some number/average rating of positive reviews, so a submitter would have to continue submitting the same study until they receive a high enough score to move to the next.
Anyway, this is running on and on, but that is sort of the gist of the idea. I would prefer to do this on Facebook itself, but I don’t see the ability to do it here. I would be willing to do the programming as open source to set this up, and would look for associates/volunteers to work with me, so the project would not be dependent on any one person (me) to maintain it. But would be community maintained and supported.