Hyper-Focus Fosters Higher Quality Output Blogging & Technology by Joel Wagner - February 11, 2008July 2, 20107 Get your commenting skills ready, there’s lots of material to be discussed here. I will be offline for most of this coming week and would love to hear the thoughts of my readers on these subjects. This week, I will be traveling to San Antonio for the annual Texas Music Educators Association clinic and convention. I’m excited. That convention marks the beginning of the heavy push as we prepare for the UIL Concert & Sight Reading contest, which will be held in early April. It also signifies the end of my relaxed life. The next two months will be extremely hectic and crowded for me as I focus on making sure that everything is taken care of as I prepare two bands for contest. Wait, I didn’t want to read your life story! So why do I tell you all of this? I have decided to apply one of the techniques that I use most effectively in my teaching method to my blogging habits. My mind is so focused on reaching that unattainable goal of musical perfection, that I don’t do very well thinking of topics to write about on my blog. So expect the articles to slow to a slight trickle for the next 8 weeks or so. It’s not because I don’t like you, it’s just because I am busy. That’s a lame excuse Indeed, the excuse is lame. But wait, there’s more! I sound like an infomercial host here. How sad is that? I have recently been approached with a few opportunities to write for other websites. Some will be original content, others will be copies from my current blog. Whatever the case, I want to be sure that the articles I write for other sites are slightly more polished than a lot of my writing has been on here. I don’t proofread. I didn’t proofread when I was in school either. Shhh. This means that I will post even less frequently, but that when I do write something, it should be really good. At least that’s the plan. If I want to be great, I must focus on the microscopic areas of the picture. It’s the art of putting a bunch of little pictures together to form a much more refined macrocosm.A real world example All of this is an example of what I have found to be the most effective teaching technique I use. If every class used it, I am convinced that (most) students would grasp the concepts much better and be better prepared to handle the work they are presented. I have discovered that when I prepare students to perform, we have to focus on very minute details and nuances of the music in order for the overall work to sound good. The same can be said for achieving excellence in any other area. If I want to be good, I can focus on the large picture all the time. It will come together pretty well. If I want to be great, I must focus on the microscopic areas of the picture. It’s the art of putting a bunch of little pictures together to form a much more refined macrocosm. This is an area that great musicians have picked up on and great music teachers naturally do. I wonder how many core area teachers actually do this. Multiplication tables are one example that comes to mind. Occasionally history teachers or science teachers will do it with dates or scientific method or Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species (Kings Play Chess On Flat Green Spaces). But how often do we seek out ways to use repetition in our teaching? It’s one of the most effective tools for memorization and developing skills. Why do you tell me all this? I want your thoughts and feedback. If I only write one article a week, will you unsubscribe? If I were to limit my writing to one subject area (I don’t plan to, but it’s a hypothetical question), what would you want it to be? Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.