“Mistakes are just information”: A case study of a highly successful violin pedagogue

Jennifer Blackwell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined the instructional context, pedagogical techniques, interpersonal dynamics, and personal characteristics of a teacher and her collegiate students in a renowned private violin studio. Through lesson observations, interviews, and analysis of artifacts, the following themes emerged: (1) a nurturing, non-judgmental environment, characterized by “neutral” teacher feedback; (2) clearly defined learning expectations, lesson structure, and work habits that are mutually understood by student and teacher; (3) a clear emphasis on learning to practice effectively in the student’s own time, including “practicing practicing” within the lesson; and (4) explicit instruction on how to teach others. Analysis of the data suggests that this studio might be best understood through Bruner’s conception of a spiral curriculum, as the structure and content of all student lessons were virtually the same regardless of student level, but the complexity of the tasks increases greatly as students progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-89
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Applied music teaching
  • metacognition
  • pedagogy
  • spiral curriculum
  • violin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


Dive into the research topics of '“Mistakes are just information”: A case study of a highly successful violin pedagogue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this