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Learning Style and Mr. Holland's Opus
Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfus) is an aspiring musician who wants to compose. He takes a job as a high school music teacher to gain more time for composition. One day he has an epiphany—he realizes his students do not learn music the way he did.
Gertrude Lang (Alicia Witt) desperately wants to play the clarinet because everyone else in her family excels at something. As much as she practices, she never improves. Mr. Holland helps her understand that music is about heart and feeling and that she needs to trust herself in order to play effectively. So, she learns to play by imagining a song as a sunset.
Louis Russ (Terrence Howard) must learn to play the bass drum to remain eligible for sports. The way he learns is different; he needs action and a model to follow. Mr. Holland gets Russ to understand timing and rhythm by imitating his beat.
Each of us has a preferred learning style, a set of ways through which we like to learn by receiving, processing, and recalling new information. For Gertrude Lang, it was being able to create a mental image that allowed music to flow from her heart ...