*This series of posts explores the interdisciplinary and meta-learning theories and their relevance to piano study.
**The photo above is a core processing unit (CPU), sometimes know as the “brain of the computer”, sometimes referred to as the “heart of the computer” , and acts to process information.

“Interdisciplinary” or sometimes called “Integrated” Learning in a classroom setting involves studying several subjects using one “theme”. An example of a theme would be creating a garden where the students would study the subjects of ecology, nutrition, and community development as well as reinforcing math and science.  The theme is used to teach and integrate the curriculum. This kind of learning enables the student to make connections between subjects, and also between knowledge and skills. Notice that the arrows point from the theme outwards to the subjects

Meta- learning focuses on developing thinking skills, discernment, and developing the ability to learn.  “Meta” then in this context would be learning about how to learn.

Examples would be thinking skills such as problem solving, decision-making, physical skills such as performing, social skills such as working independently and cooperatively, and emotional intelligence skills. So, the subjects in the curriculum are used to teach and reinforce the Meta-learning. Notice that the arrows point from the subjects inwards to the meta-Learning.

The Core Piano curriculum utilizes both of these learning theories.  In relation to Interdisciplinary learning diagram, the “theme”  in the center of the diagram is playing the piano with fluency. In relation to the Meta-learning diagram, the “learning how to learn”  is the development of fluency and Life Ability*.

The curriculum is divided into sections rather than subjects, according to the natural learning process. The sequential component of the curriculum is taken into consideration so that the process of learning moves clockwise on the diagram. In this diagram, fluency at the piano and life ability are at the core. The arrows are pointing in both directions showing that each part of the curriculum develops fluency and life ability,  and in turn the abilities then enable the student to attain a higher level of learning.
In the following posts, we’ll look at each part of the curriculum, and how the integration of each part to the whole creates an optimum learning experience.

*Life Ability: Life ability forms the macrocosm of how we live, interact, create, adapt, and grow. Examples of life abilities developed in piano study are body posture and small motor physical coordination, mental focus, memorization ability, an internal sense of motivation, as well as feelings including confidence and happiness.  Core Education develops this “Life Ability”.

Links to Articles for further reading on Integrative and Meta-Learning:
Wikipedia on Integrative Learning
Integrating Thinking and Learning Skills across the Curriculum
Creating the Metacurriculum