I received a beautiful ball point pen from a graduating student this year. I was so excited – I LOVE pens and I haven’t stopped using it! It writes beautifully. It makes a lovely sound on the paper. (Yes! – the sound of pen on paper is more appealing than the sound of my keyboard clicking!)
At first, I thought it was a delightfully unusual gift, but I did some research and I found that quality pens and beautiful notebooks are making a HUGE comeback. Taking notes by hand is now a very trendy thing and people of all ages are enjoying writing with pen and paper.
And this is a good thing because…
There are many benefits to writing with pen and paper.
Taking hand written notes helps us retain information. We have known for years that writing on paper helps us to remember 30-40% more information. Recent research on taking notes by laptop compared to longhand concluded that the slowness of writing by hand increases conceptual understanding, application and retention.
How it helps our students
It makes sense (to me) that writing exercises are very helpful for our music students. Aren’t they always in a rush? ( I blame hectic lifestyles, texting, apps and computers for this.) They speak/read aloud/play/sing at breakneck speeds. Writing by hand makes them S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and put more thought into the writing activity. This is why we incorporated more writing exercises in the 3rd Edition FULL VOICE Workbooks!
I encourage my singers to write instructions (pencil only!) in their music too. You may notice that students will ask more questions when they write in the lesson. When a student asks questions – they are engaged in your lesson. Hooray!
Next time – The beauty of Pen on Paper (and how it helps the music teacher!)