Originally Posted by SugarCube
1-do you consider Bobby McFerrin's example as entertainment, instruction, both, neither;
2-do you think entertainment, to any extent, is a useful tool while teaching skiing, and
3-how to you use it (entertainment/props/humor/music) to further your students' understanding and skiing ability?
1. This is entertainment and instruction -- a powerful combination.
2. Entertainment can be very useful. You don't necessarily want to package everything in an entertainment layer, but it fits a lot of situations.
3. Entertainment in various forms establishes a memorable and personal context that makes the learning content stick.
I see this video as an excellent demonstration of general pedagogy. It shows that verbal communication is not the only way to teach something, and that words can be a less than effective way to deliver a message.
The nominal goal here was to get the audience to sound out notes, going higher or lower depending on which way he jumped.
Think of how the goal would be achieved if it was set up with only verbal communication...
"Okay everyone, when I jump here, sound out Middle C."
(What's middle C? Do you want to hear "laa" or "baa" or "hum"? How long should I hold the note?)
"When I jump to the right, sound out another note up a major second."
(Your right or my right? What's a major second? Why don't you raise your hand for a higher note?)
You've lost them. You might be able to get them back eventually, but the impression that's left probably isn't what you intended.
Bobby McFerrin's simple actions, reinforced with pretty universal hand gestures, got the point across effectively and memorably in about 10 seconds.