- Play the examples on the CDs while following the score excerpts. If CDs aren't provided, look in the well-stocked music library.
- Even better, play the examples on the piano or sing them.
- Then read the descriptions again, check to see if you understand.
- Work on the practice exercises and check your answers in the back of the book.
- Look up words you don't know in the glossary or in other reference books.
- Look up composers or pieces you don't know, listen to recordings and look at scores.
- Read the explanations in the beginning of the chapter, especially if you are struggling with the topic. (For the first-year students, that would be the Aural Skills book.)
- Don't wait for an invitation from the professor to read from the book. Read ahead, or behind, as your curiosity and/or confusion impell you.
- Also read the next chapter before the professor lectures on the topic, and then read it again after the lecture.
- Highlight, underline, or write in margins. It is your textbook, so don't be shy.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
How to use a textbook
As part of my natural Satan-spawned evilness, I assigned my seminar students to write reviews of their textbooks during their week-long fall break. One thing I realized is that I don't emphasize how to use textbooks enough in class. Here are things the students should be doing, and usually aren't.