This is the fifth article in a series on How to get better at scratching by using the Learning Zone vs Performance Zone.
Here are the previous articles so you can get up to speed if you haven’t already read them:
- How to Get Better at Scratching – Learning Zone vs Performance Zone
- Scratching: Learning Zone Ideas
- Scratch Learning Zone: Deliberate Practice
- Scratch Learning Zone: Performance Zone Value
I recommend checking out the above articles in the series before you read any further, so you have the full context, and to get the very most from the knowledge below.
We previously talked about how the Learning Zone can help us improve our scratching and the value of the Performance Zone.
I am using the framework outlined in the previous four articles which is based on the TED talk “How to get better at the things you care about” by Eduardo Briceño.
Now that we know how important it is so spend time in the Learning Zone, let’s take a look at how we can spend more time in it.
How we can spend more time in the scratch learning zone
In his TED talk, Eduardo Briceño describes how we can spend more time in the learning zone:
So how can we spend more time in the learning zone?
- We must believe and understand that we can improve, what we call a growth mindset.
- We must want to improve at that particular skill. There has to be a purpose we care about, because it takes time and effort.
- We must have an idea about how to improve, what we can do to improve, not how I used to practice the guitar as a teenager, performing songs over and over again, but doing deliberate practice.
- We must be in a low-stakes situation, because if mistakes are to be expected, then the consequence of making them must not be catastrophic, or even very significant. A tightrope walker doesn’t practice new tricks without a net underneath, and an athlete wouldn’t set out to first try a new move during a championship match.
How to apply this to scratching
1 – Believe and understand that you can improve
Believe and understand that it is absolutely 100% possible to improve your scratching.
I have personally witnessed 100’s of students go from barely being able to perform a baby scratch to being able to freestyle and express themselves using many different scratch techniques in their own unique style. Check out #schoolofscratchstudent on instagram to see some of my students making progress.
When I first started scratching, I was in exactly the same position and I am proof of what is possible. Let this be fuel for your belief fire.
2 – Desire to improve
You must want to improve your scratching. It does take time and effort. Your desire to improve is your fuel and it will get you through the tough spots and frustration that can come with learning and practicing anything new.
If you truly care about any art form, you will continue to put the time in to explore and learn how you can improve and then implement the actions necessary to help you move forward.
3 – Understand How to improve and what to do to improve (including Deliberate Practice)
When it comes to having an idea of how to improve and what we do to improve, there are tried and tested methods you can use.
There are many scratch tutorials you can use and people you can ask for help.
I recommend the following process which I teach in my online School of Scratch:
- Learn the mechanics of each scratch technique.
- Practice slowly without a beat so you lock in the physical movements.
- Start to practice to a slow beat.
- Explore the different timings that are possible and practice those.
- Deliberately practice to improve your technique, timing and speed.
- Freestyle using that scratch to help you develop your own voice and style.
- Start to combining that scratch with other scratch techniques in your freestyles.
Check out my articles on deliberate practice for more:
My online School of Scratch was specifically designed to help you with this.
I teach students exactly how to improve and what to do to improve.
Specifically, I break down each individual scratch technique step-by-step and give students methods to practice and make progress, in an order that makes the most sense. I help students build upon everything they are learning in a logical order.
I have created a complete, tried and tested scratch curriculum that walks students through exactly what to practice in what order so they do not need to invest extra time and energy searching the internet for tutorials trying ti figure out how best to learn, what to do and what order to do it in. They get to focus on the most important things that has them learning and making progress from the day one.
I teach students deliberate practice techniques to help them make progress and our students prove time and time again that our teaching and training works. They make real progress!
4 – Be in a Low Stakes Situation
Create a low stakes situation for yourself where you are free to learn, practice and make mistakes without any negative consequences.
I recommend giving yourself space and time away from social media and needing to showcase and perform, so that you can focus specifically on deliberate practice. Let yourself make mistakes as part of your learning. This is where the real growth happens.
School of Scratch helps students to create and be in their own low-stakes situation where it is expected that they will make mistakes. Mistakes are normal and encouraged.
There are zero consequences in our community when mistakes are made. Other than students learning from those mistakes and receiving continued support and encouragement to keep practicing. Both when they are practicing alone and when they are sharing in our school. Students know that this is all part of the process and there is a spirit of understanding and
Our School and online community is specifically set up so you that students can share their learning process and mistakes and get input from other students so that they can learn together and from one another.
School of Scratch itself is a low-stakes environment and provides a safety net where students can try out new techniques and be supported every step of the way.
We also share what is to be expected in the learning process so that you can support yourself to make progress and talk to yourself in a way that is gentle and sympathetic during any frustrating times.
That wraps up this article on how to spend more time in the Scratch Learning Zone. Now you can start to take the ideas shown here and implement them to help you make continued progress.
My students who follow the guidelines in this article are most definitely the ones who end up making the most progress.