During these uncertain times, industries have shifted, jobs have changed.
Reevaluate what you are doing and deal with what is.
Your ability to build a bridge between what you know and don’t know will highlight your ability to be flexible and indispensable. Your ability to teach others that same skill will make you essential in everyone’s eyes.
It has never been easier to access the vast knowledge of experts, living or dead, than it is today. You can learn a new skill one of three ways:
- In person
- Via recorded book, audio, or video.
There is one huge challenge when you have so much information at your fingertips; you need to be specific on what you want and what you don’t want.
Many years ago, my nine year old son, came home from school looking defeated and depressed.
He said, “I can’t do fractions and decimals… and I’m a failure.” (He also said, “My entire class is failing fractions and my teacher does not know how to teach it!”
I also knew that can’t is camouflage for “I don’t know how to”. I needed to build the bridge between what he knew and what he wanted to know.
“I quickly hugged my son and told him we would figure out a way for him to understand fractions.” I remember my teacher and mentor at the Juilliard School, Mr. William Lincer saying, “Math is rhythm and rhythm is math.” My son always enjoyed music and was taking violin lessons. What makes music special is the rhythm.
I quickly grabbed a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and drew a circle and said “in music the circle represents a whole note, 4 counts held.”
The Circle is equal to 4/4 or 1 whole unit.
= whole note
Let’s sing it together.
“Then I divided the circle in half.”
= 2 counts held = . 50 = 50/100 1/2 = 2 counts held 50 = 50/100 = ½
.50 =1/2 (.50 = 50 cents). .50 + .50 = ½ + ½ = 2/2= 1
Let’s sing a half note two counts held + two counts held.
Then I divided the circle into 4 equal parts.
Each part was ¼ of the whole= to a quarter note in music.
Dividing it into 4 equal parts. ¼ + ¼ + ¼ + ¼ = 4/4.
(.25 + .25 + .25 + .25 = 100/100 = 1 whole unit or $1
= 1 beat + 1 beat + 1 beat + 1 beat
Let’s sing 4 beats.
As I showed him how to do it he got it and a smile lit his face. We worked on this each day.
We did it step by step, so he could visualize the math to rhythm combination. We clapped, tapped, and sang the rhythm to math combination. We made it into a game. That was the moment he understood fractions.
A few days later, his math teacher called and said, “How come your son now understands fractions?” I explained the concept to him. He then said, “Can you come and “show me” how to teach my class fractions?”
I went to the public school the next day and showed my son’s teacher how to teach fractions through rhythm. After that, my son’s class all understood fractions.
I received a call from the head of the education department at the local college where I taught.
The Dean asked, “Did you just write “a math to rhythm program” to teach fractions to one of your children?”
“Yes, I replied. (I had written it for my son who was having trouble with learning fractions in his fourth-grade class at the local public school.)
She asked me the name of his teacher at the school.” I told her and she said, “He’s trying to pass off your work as his in my class!”
She told me to immediately publish my “Math to rhythm program” and send her a copy.
I asked my Mom what she thought we should call my new “Math to rhythm” book that teaches fractions and decimals through the rhythm of music to children. She said, call it “Musical Notes On Math”. In 2014, I wrote a new updated edition available on kindle, Nook, and iBooks.)
It all began with; my son was not understanding the way his teacher was teaching fractions. He was “upset, frustrated, and fearful “. He felt like a failure!
I had to remove his fear! Make it a game! Make it fun for him!
My son could not see it. The power of someone outside to help him “understand”. A third party! In this case, his Mother, me!!
We made it into a game using the bridge of what he knew, musical rhythm from studying his violin to understanding fractions to connect to what he didn’t understand, fractions.
I had no intentions of writing this book. Other people started taking notice. It became an unintentional best seller winning the Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Award. Many great things happen when you help someone else even when you are forced into it!!
What can you do, starting today to learn a new skill whether in person, virtually, via recorded book, audio, or video?
Reevaluate what you are doing and deal with what is by writing down, to find your bridge, (in one column) “what you do know”, and writing down in another column, “what you don’t know”.
Reminder: People, inside of them, have the ability to learn a new skill and improve their lives to build the foundation of new habit.
What first step will you take to learn a new skill, or a new language, or a new hobby?
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You can visit Dr. Frank, get acquainted with her work, and buy copies of her books by clicking on one of the website links below.