Signup to the Mailing List

Subscribe to the mailing list

Monday, 29 September 2014

Reflective Learning

People learn in different ways, thats obvious. Also fairly obvious is that learning forms a huge part of getting better at making music. Learning techniques for composition, mixing, creating edits and polishing sounds, balancing elements, EQign things and the like. However however much of big part of the process this plays, it's often slomething that's overlooked. Ask yourself, what are you doing to facilitate your learning? Chances are that you do a fair bit of reading on production, and with all the information that's available online, thats a bare minimum.

However i'd like to suggest that this isn't enough. Sure, reading about techniques and watching production videos then trying out what you've learnt is important. But equally as important is reflecting on what you did in an organised manner and evaluating wether the techniques you tried to employ worked or didn't. In a number of different qualifications, such as the Bachelor of Audio Production at SAE Institute, and a Graduate Diploma in Education at UWA, reflective learning forms a vital part of the course's structure. There's a very good reason for this, identifying how you learn best and what you can do with this information will speed up your progress dramatically. Are you a person that learns by doing, and seeing what works with trial and error? Do you prefer to research and consider your options then put into practice a carefully considered technique? Are you the sort of person that prefers reading articles, or do you like seeing people demonstrate a technique in video form instead?

If you can figure out in which way you learn best, and then apply this in a structured manner whereby you set aside a certain period of time for learning each week, then evaluate and reflect on the process, you will become a much better learner and by extent, a much better producer. Most people don't have much insight into their decision making process, if you can put into place a system whereby you do have this insight, you will gain an advantage. Personally I like to keep a text document in each of my project files. In this document i'll write a number of key peices of information during my composition and mix process, including any new things I tried, such as composition or mix techniques. I'll also write things down such as any new combinations of VST plugins that I used, and my mindset going into the process along with what I was aiming for. Then at the end of the process, i'll review what I did, quickly noting down what worked and what didn't, what surprised me and so on.

You'd be surprised at how much of an effect this has on your learning. And furthermore, if you take a break from production for whatever reason, maybe your moving house or something, you can come back and instantly get back into the mindset you were in when composing your last idea by reading your text document listing all of the information dyou've put down. Many people won't like this idea, because it involves writing and setting aside time to do things that aren't strictly just music production. You may think this doesnt't have any real benefit, and indeed teaching students to be reflective learners is always met with cynicism. ou don't have to follow this process, but then again you don't have to be a succesful music producer either. So have an open mind and give yourself any advantage you can. Start a blog like I did if you like, this is another really good way to be reflective. Or you may want to keep a journal or diary of your thoughts instead. Whatever method works best for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment