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Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: keystring] #1315397
11/30/09 08:26 PM
11/30/09 08:26 PM
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Betty Patnude Offline
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David, I really feel you are not getting what I'm saying at all and it bothers me greatly.

This is a less than 5 minute experience in your life time that you look at the music on it's side - not to read the music at all but to see the organization of the keyboard in relationship to the music staff - the equidistance is very important using landmarks of 8 C's.

Something I didn't mention is the seeing of 1-3-5-7-9 intervals from line to line or 2-4-6-8 for spaces.

And, this document is followed by the centerline reading of each clef and at middle C.

I am convinced that despite what you are saying to me, you don't have the perspective of what it offers the student. I have 9 year old kids who get this, understanding it, and using it. And, they find the notes they need. The kids with high visual acuity are much better at it by far - but the kids who don't have visual acuity as their dominant learning style also need the extra time with it because it will work for them too, they just won't see it immediately.

I don't like it when a good thing is being dismissed by the uninitiated. And, it seem we are in conflict about it.

The reason I posted this to a discussion of aurally gifted is because I am on the opinion that without visual and tactile senses being highly developed also, the aural skill is not going to be the vehicle to get you reading music for the piano. You may do solfeggio and sing as a singer sings, one note at a time, but you will not get all the harmony in just one beat of a measure by yourself from the singer's point of view.

It takes a great deal of experience and knowledge with intervals and reading accurately melodically and harmonically before you have that gift.

I don't believe we are talking about the same scope - I have the capacity of diagramming 88 keys of the piano keyboard to the music page in that document.

I am not trying to read music on it's side - it's conceptual only.

I am not fibbing to someone saying they are learning to read music - they are viewing an organizational flow chart - so to speak.

And, when you, David, say: "...it's a hoax in the same way that hand-position method books are a hoax: real music doesn't go like that" you are really out of your element - the 5 finger positions create the measurements of chords, arpeggios, 5 degrees of the major scale, and knowing your way around the Circle of 5th.

Each of the diagrams I do along with 5 FP is setting up measurement devices for the student to use for playing the keyboard with his body - which is the instrument that he is really using to play - brain and body movement coordinated together with thought and action.

I imagine there are quite a few people not getting my drift which makes me wonder what it is that we think we know about music making. If we don't "program" the person to the instrument how will they ever be able to master it. Teach your students how to use their bodies at the instrument in centering to it and then using physics to guide motions. Measurements (from here to there) are a very important part of piano study. You have to have a visual and tactile sense of how to accomplish that. The ear listens to the result and begins to learn about pitch on the music page - by itself the ear does not help you access any particular note on the keyboard or the music page with any given clarity, intonation or accuracy. Pitching is usually within a relationship of a given note. Someone had to play the note to establish the pitch. We know how easily it is to get off pitch in singing, don't we?

Sadly, I think a lot of glamorizing of one's aural ability is creating a false sense of security in this topic.

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Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Betty Patnude] #1315513
11/30/09 10:42 PM
11/30/09 10:42 PM
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Give me a good ear over good sight reading any day of the week. I'm ALWAYS working on my ear. I don't bother reading music at all now. It simply is not relevant, unless you play only classical and want an exact note by note representation of the piece.

Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Betty Patnude] #1315521
11/30/09 10:50 PM
11/30/09 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Betty Patnude

We need all learning styles in our ability levels to do a good job in reading and making music. To me, the aural and imitation approach are not the primary approach - they are adjuncts - often useful - but not primary.



WRONG! In jazz, the aural and imitation approach is the ONLY way to learn. Nobody in the old days learned jazz by reading sheet music. It was all aural. Call and response has always been the way to learn. No one ever learned to play the blues by sheet music, you had to HEAR it!

Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Wizard of Oz] #1316283
12/01/09 09:44 PM
12/01/09 09:44 PM
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Canonie Offline
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Been thinking...
I don't think having good aural skill (being able to hear a melody in your head, sight sing and being able to at least vaguely imagine the sound of 2 hands together) is a specialist skill only for those talented in this area. We all use our aural skills all the time, that's how we notice that we've hit a wrong note when sight reading, our ears tell us of course. Wouldn't it be good if our students could audiate as well as we can (less frustrating maybe).

It seems that teachers like to have students who are naturally "musical" because they are easier to teach, remember music well, hear mistakes, have good brain to finger pattern impulse, can follow multiple parts more easily. Wouldn't it make sense to turn every student into an aurally gifted student, or at least near to it? It also makes sense to develop this area as young as possible, which means in your first years with the student. So that means having ears lead the reading at first because if reading leads (and your finger can find the note) the student doesn't develop the ear as much.

I still think the best way would be to deliberately develop both at once right from the start. If you only read, and especially if you read well, aural can lag behind unless developed along side.

I am making assumptions aren't I, I guess we all give the student the skills we value the most, create the kind of student we identify with musically. Just some more thoughts. FWIW I think the sideway orientation could be useful, I don't see anything wrong with it as a way to show how things work. But I wouldn't use it without any aural or singing games at all, just because it might work too well frown

Keystring, you make a good point to say that using good aural skills is part of reading, just that you don't go directly from dot on page to key, but go via the brain. Score to imagined sound to piano keys, or sound to imagined score, or sound to piano keys (no reading in this case).


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Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Canonie] #1316422
12/02/09 01:15 AM
12/02/09 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Canonie
So that means having ears lead the reading at first because if reading leads (and your finger can find the note) the student doesn't develop the ear as much.


(emphasis mine)

That's the way it worked for me. It wasn't until years and years later that I started to hear smile And since music really is the sound and not the staff notation or the keyboard layout, it seems to me the sound/aural is primary.

JMO.

Cathy



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Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Betty Patnude] #1416663
04/13/10 07:12 PM
04/13/10 07:12 PM
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This is a very interesting thread, although it seems the thread disappeared into the stale thread pages of history without the issue being fully addressed, as far as really exploring methods to deal with the problem.

Could the question be expanded a little to include students beyond beginning children, to extend to anyone whose ear-brain-hand musical connection has gotten ahead of their reading skills? Surely that's a significant sub-group of all piano students, not just of beginning children?

I would think there are many older students who are further along but also having some trouble with their reading skills due to having the natural tendency to be what was described here as "aurally gifted."

Originally Posted by Betty Patnude
I think there is a possibility here that those who are more aural in their learning style tend to ignore the reading (visual) of the piece from the music staff.


I think Betty is correct there. I'm one of those whose ear-brain-hand connection is way ahead of his reading skills.

I know I have the issue so sometimes I will really force myself to read from the score but even then I might get to the bottom of the page without really having seen any of the notes.

The problem is that for us the music becomes memorized so quickly the page-eye-brain connection becomes almost vestigial. We would like teachers to show us a way to nourish it to prevent it from withering.

Of course, by relying on memorization, if we should forget something in the middle of playing a piece then we're up the creek.

It does seem hard to believe that having a good ear should be a drawback. Would you say to prospective students that those with a poor ear make better pianists? I hope not.










"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: bolt] #1416694
04/13/10 08:09 PM
04/13/10 08:09 PM
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Incidentally, while doing some googling on this I just came across the following:

"Although 86% of piano teachers polled rated sight-reading as the most important or a highly important skill, only 7% of them said they address it systematically. Reasons cited were a lack of knowledge of how to teach it, inadequacy of the training materials they use, and deficiency in their own sight-reading skills. Teachers also often emphasize rehearsed reading and repertoire building for successful recitals and auditions to the detriment of sight-reading and other functional skills."

Well it was just a quick look from wikipedia but still interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sight_reading



"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: bolt] #1416743
04/13/10 09:40 PM
04/13/10 09:40 PM
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Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Hello Bolt,

It's nice to make your acquaintance! I took a few minutes to look at your profile and read some of your previous postings.

I'm replying because you quoted something I said and I wanted to follow up with you.

When an adult student is extremely aural in their perceptions of playing piano it is very important to offer them every opportunity to learn to also read the music from the music staff notation and convert it to the piano keyboard.

The aural is certainly a great advantage to a learning musician, just think of the disadvantage of someone not being able to hear and respond to the music they are making because they might be highly visual, highly tactile, and very busy making sense of what is happening between the music page and the instrument and within themselves. They are busy learning to multiplex.

The aural learner is coming from a little more creative place and doing things from within himself so that it feels natural and fairly comfortable. He's exploring on the keyboard and using what he knows about songs to find his way around. Some people really take off on having this faculty.

II think anyone with a sense of purpose and some discipline can learn to read and make sense of reading music. Both in basis information and skills sets and then when more independent, with sight reading.

I feel that if a student can't sightread the music, that means that the teacher has failed to teach notation and keyboard orientation. Not the student failed, but the teacher failed. Both are related, but it's the basic information that is missing. There are free notation trainers available for drilling on reading and finding on a virtual keyboard and actually they are quite fun and can be set up to be simple or a fierce mental workout. Some of them keep score for you, too.

I shook my head in disbelief when I read the percentage of teachers who felt they were not good at teaching sightreading. I find that so very sad and completely unrealistic to the definition of piano teacher. We have no absolutely no business teaching piano if we cannot convey instruction in a way that the student can understand, learn and retrieve the concepts when needed. If we can't teach it, students certainly can't learn it.

I'm interested in learning how you found those statistics - what questions did you ask and what key words did you use?

Because of your 2 postings here, I was expecting to learn that you are a teacher too. You have a mind set I could identify with.

I hope to hear back from you!

Betty

Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: Betty Patnude] #1416820
04/14/10 01:50 AM
04/14/10 01:50 AM
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Hi Betty, thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I'm not a piano teacher, actually I'm a piano student. I've been a musician for almost 40 years though. Since this is the teacher's forum I tried not to make my post too much of a "help me with my problem" post. Well, I'm self taught on other instruments so I suppose in a way I'm a teacher... I have one student.

I'm glad you asked about the reference in my other post because it made me check on it more and it turned out to be quite an interesting article.

If I recall correctly the google search used key words sight reading training, then I scanned down the excerpts and that was one of the ones that looked interesting. Anyway the info I cited turns out to have come from this article on the Piano Pedagogy Forum:

http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/keyboard/PPF/1.2/1.2.PPFke.html

She did her master's thesis on the state of teaching sight reading.

I have some more thoughts on sight reading problems of the so-called aurally-gifted - let me know if you are interested.

On the way home I stopped by my local sheet music store and picked up several levels of "Sight Reading" by Lin Ling Ling and worked through the first 60 or so exercises and I have a feeling it's going to be really useful. The fact that the melodies are not that recognizable seems key.










"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: bolt] #1417058
04/14/10 11:31 AM
04/14/10 11:31 AM
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There is only one thing that has bothered me in this thread. It is actually about students who cannot sight read well, and who memorize music which they then play by memory. If they can play by memory, then they don't need to read, and if they don't practise reading they won't develop the ability to read, and will need to play by memory. It is a bad cycle. However, in this thread one gets the impression that having a gift in hearing music, or having a strong ear, is the cause of this, and is actually detrimental. I would suspect that many memorizers do not have any special gift in hearing. It is the apparent link between a good ear or aural sense of music,and poor reading abilities, that leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: keystring] #1417064
04/14/10 11:43 AM
04/14/10 11:43 AM
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+ 1, as they say.

Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: landorrano] #1417225
04/14/10 02:44 PM
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Thread should be renamed "Sight reading for the poor readers who rely on memory and need to look at their hands because they they forgot to memorize where the keys are"


"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist
Re: Reading for aurally gifted [Re: keystring] #1417309
04/14/10 04:22 PM
04/14/10 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring

There is only one thing that has bothered me in this thread. It is actually about students who cannot sight read well, and who memorize music which they then play by memory. If they can play by memory, then they don't need to read, and if they don't practise reading they won't develop the ability to read, and will need to play by memory. It is a bad cycle.

Yes.
Quote

However, in this thread one gets the impression that having a gift in hearing music, or having a strong ear, is the cause of this, and is actually detrimental.

I think that is misleading. People go to their strengths. If a player struggles through something, measure by measure, but then instantly memorizes what he (she) has done, that player may learn very difficult music by compensating for lack of reading through ear and memory. In fact, we can't really be sure how much the ear is necessary, on piano.

The only time we have to read and read well is if we have to play something we have never seen or heard, and we have to nail it either the first time.

For this reason, you will find that there are solo performing pianists, some famous, who are relatively weak readers, but accompanists are very strong readers.

So the only way to make sure someone reads really well is to make that a major priority, stress the importance, and of course know how to teach reading. I see no proof that good readers hear better than other players (or worse), and I think that people who read very well may not have really strong ears (ear-development).
Quote

I would suspect that many memorizers do not have any special gift in hearing.

I agree, and I would add that in spite of having a very good ear, memorization has NEVER been easy for me. My visual rentention is almost non-existent. smile
Quote

It is the apparent link between a good ear or aural sense of music, and poor reading abilities, that leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

Me too...


Last edited by Gary D.; 04/14/10 04:22 PM.

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