Note Taking in Massage School

Note Taking in Massage School

How to Take Notes In Massage School

At the core of most lecture or observation based classwork is the material.  For me, this includes how the material is presented, but also, and perhaps more importantly, how I incorporate that material into notes for study and review at a later time.

There are note taking strategies abound and even when I teach, I always tell students that they need to do what works for them.

This is why it is important to know and understand your learning style.  There are many schools of thought on learning styles…I’ll be sharing some tips on note taking and study skills for the main ones today.

  • Visual – Visual learners need to see the topic. These are people who need to see a picture (image, map, etc.).   Taking notes is difficult in a traditional classroom structure can be difficult for visual learners.Instead of an outline of factual information, you may want to re-organize your notes into some type of diagram…using colors, shapes, and visually pleasing images. Visual learners are also people who need to doodle or draw in order to maintain their attention on the topic at hand.
  • Auditory – Auditory learners need to hear the topic. There are individuals who learn best by listening to the information…whether in the form of a lecture, a video, or through music.  Some people who are strong auditory learners find that they learn best when they can study their material with no other sound based distractions.Others feel like they need to have some type of background noise in order to focus.  A strong study skill for an auditory learner is to read the material to themselves or verbally teach the material to another student.
  • Kinesthetic – Kinesthetic learners learn in a movement based environment. These are people who need to continuously tap their feet or twirl their pencils to remain focused in a traditional classroom.Kinesthetic learners do best when they are able to move around and physically touch and experience the topic. These are also people who may needs to fidget and engage in other activities physically to stay focused on a lecture

Many people believe that these are the three key learning styles.  There are certainly others as well.  Individual learning and group learning are others.  Obviously group learners tend to do best when working with others.

These may also be auditory learners who need to talk through and idea or teach another person in order to learn most effectively.  Individual learners tend to do best on their own without others present.

In my experience of teaching and learning, I have found that most people tend to fall into a combination of learning styles with aspects of a couple that tend to make the most sense.  For example, unless the material is scientific in nature…I prefer to listen to the lecture or material while knitting or bouncing on a physioball.  I also prefer to study alone.

So, how does this relate to your choice of massage education program?  Knowing your learning style can help you to select a program that will best meet your needs.  The school I attended made significant efforts to teach the relevant information in visual, auditory, and kinesthetic  presentations.

At any point in time within our classroom one could see students lying on the floor, bouncing on physioballs, studiously taking notes, or walking in the back of the classroom.  Additionally we received information to assist us as students in determining what our strongest learning styles were.

Not all schools operate this way.  I teach at a very traditional technically oriented college.  I instruct students in my classes on learning style and I try to understand what works best for them to learn.

I believe that as an instructor, I have a responsibility to teach the material in a way that students will best elicit comprehension.  This makes me and my classes the exception rather than the rule.  This can also be the case in searching for a massage and bodywork program to meet your needs.

Your success in school (and in the workplace) is in some ways dependent upon your knowledge of yourself and what you need to be successful.   Asking the admissions representative how the school will support your needs as a student is an integral part of your search for the perfect educational program.

Take your time and ask the questions!  Until next time….breathe!


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