For Instructors



Each week as I lead instructor training workshops, a person always asks me if it is better to create a ride prior to selecting music or is it better to simply select songs they like and teach to what the music "feels" like. My answer is that there is no correct or incorrect order to plan a ride but there are variables that must be considered.

First: repetitive activities and/or prompts: The main reason I prefer to create my ride first is to make sure I'm bringing a different skill/emphasis to each piece of music. I plan to provide variety because I think it keeps students more engaged. Riding to what music is communicating can lead a less-experienced instructor toward overly repetitive coaching prompts or intensity-building activities.

Second: transitions: An experienced instructor has a variety of interesting, challenging transitions. Planning a ride prior to selecting music allows the instructor an opportunity to see the entire landscape of the class. When viewing the entire ride, an instructor is better able to avoid repetitive transitional prompts (the song is over, let's go back to a Seated Flat). She can increase the class awareness and intensity by simply planning various transitional movements throughout the ride as terrains change.

Third: awareness: When I write something out, it frees my mind to focus on the tasks needing to be accomplished prior to the event. When I lead a class, my profile design (sitting on my water bottle holder) is right in front of me. It allows me to have increased awareness of: the time (where we are and where we're all going), the environment (lights, sound, temperature), and the participants (they need more, they need less, a few need to lower their intensity). When I decide to teach to the feel of the music, then that can become my only focus. It takes energy and attention away from these other vital areas.




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