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#1594365 - 01/10/11 12:59 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I think using suicide as a marker of dissatisfaction is problematic. Aside from the fact that mental illness can hit anybody, previously abused or not, it doesn't take into account the unhappiness of those who survive abuse. Many years can go into the healing process for these survivors. Then too, many years go into overcoming a lax parenting style that left you without skills.

In another room, another mother of a seven year old was paying for an extra lesson on how to join rh and lh for the Little Donkey, and having a lot more fun.

To the writer who was overly sensitive about racism in our replies, this is nothing like the Aryan philosophy. People innocuously discuss stereotypes about different races all the time. The reason stereotypes become stereotypes is because there is some basis of truth, albeit insufficient for strident generalizations.

Last edited by Candywoman; 01/10/11 02:25 AM.
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#1594565 - 01/10/11 11:06 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Candywoman]  
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There is certainly a tongue in cheek quality in Prof. Chua's article. If she was advocating discipline, hard working and stronger parental supervision then I am for them. Rote learning and drills work only to an extent, but last time I checked Hannon was not Chinese.

The problem is she took it to the extreme and lost sight to what ends her authoritarian tactics serve.

No play dates at all? No school plays at all? Aren't social skills and ability to function in a team matter?

Only piano and violin allowed? Soon we will not have any symphony orchestras? No more Rostropovich?

All As but gym class? Physical strength, agility and health do not count?

Even in the scope of academics, don't you want to figure out what is your child's particular strength? Some are better in biology then in physics, others are good in history and social sciences. If you want to be pushy, don't you want your push to be more tolerable and effective, instead of using the invariant "excoriation" technique?

Also, Prof. Chua's tactics work only if most parents do not do the same, or if her kids are inherently smarter than most of their classmates. If your children have about average IQs among their peers and all parents of their peers try to excoriate their kids into straight As, chances are your kids may not get the praise and admiration Prof Chua's kids got, they may not get straight As unless there is a grade inflation, their self confidence may not be that high, and last but not least, they will not have the opportunity to find their own callings.






Last edited by EastRock; 01/10/11 11:10 AM.
#1594590 - 01/10/11 11:49 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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ANY statement of what "ought" to be done in such a black and white way is wrong. The article is full of stereotypes and assumptions, and it deliberately uses negative emotion in a provocative way. There is a book to sell, I understand.

Some of us have raised our children using exactly the opposite approach. I would not tell everyone to do what I did. I suspect, however, that it is the sensitive and intelligent child who has a strong natural drive who potentially can be damaged by bullying. That same child might do quite well otherwise.

Lots of assumptions are made. There is one kind of Western parent (and one kind of Chinese parent). This parent considers her child to be fragile, and protects the child from difficulty, etc. Good heavens! How can there be one single mindset?

Although we are opposite in approach, I think there are some commonalities: belief in the child's strength, involvement with the child, and understanding that real enjoyment comes from a certain mastery. The difference is whether the child is pushed into it, or whether he pushes himself into it and is helped in that effort.

Getting good grades is not a sign of mastering a subject. Winning a Nobel or other prize does not necessarily show who is the greatest in what: but who has been noticed. Some of the most remarkable men and women with various abilities will never be known, while some who are by far more mediocre will be quite known.

In any case, I would rather read an article written by somebody whose children are adults. It is easy to speculate when they are young. Childhood has so many twists and turns.

#1594595 - 01/10/11 11:51 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?


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#1594601 - 01/10/11 11:56 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: EastRock]  
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Quote
If your children have about average IQs among their peers and all parents of their peers try to excoriate their kids into straight As, chances are your kids may not get the praise and admiration Prof Chua's kids got ....


Two things: The child with the high IQ and high potential is also the child who might be the most badly marked through such tactics. Awareness and sensitivity will be toward anything.

More importantly: wanting one's children to get praise and admiration should NOT be any parent's goal.

#1594709 - 01/10/11 02:43 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: eweiss]  
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Originally Posted by eweiss

Nothing is fun until you're good at it? Huh?


I think this is true for learning violin. Piano is much easier for beginners, at least you can still make good sound if you hit the right key at the right time. For violin, it takes time to be able to control your bowing (right hand) and get the pitch right (left hand position). Since my son learnt piano first and he knows what good sound should be (in his mind), he just could't make that sound and it was really not fun for him playing violin the first year. Now he is able to control bow much better (better tone quality) and the left hand positions has been an instinct (right pitch for all notes), he is really having fun playing now.

If anyone knows how to make playing violin fun during the first year or so, please do share (but it doesn't count if you consider making scratching and off-pitch sound fun.)


#1594717 - 01/10/11 02:51 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
Winning a Nobel or other prize does not necessarily show who is the greatest in what: but who has been noticed. Some of the most remarkable men and women with various abilities will never be known, while some who are by far more mediocre will be quite known.


One need only look at the 2009 Peace Prize that was awarded to Barrack Obama vs someone less well known like Greg Mortenson. Not saying that Obama is "mediocre" in any way, just that the prize itself is also a reflection of those awarding it, not just those who receive it.

The timing of this thread is amusing. My wife just this morning forwarded me an article on the importance of "imaginary play" in childhood development and questioned whether or not we push our kids too hard. Definitely an interesting and often divisive topic.

#1594731 - 01/10/11 03:13 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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I have seen some American parents treat their kids in sports just like the author. Yelling at the kids if they made mistakes, yelling at the coaches if kids getting pulled, year-round training with private lessons. Should I stereotype this with American parents too?

Come on guys, the author is trying to sell a book. playing dates are not allowed? None of my Chinese parents friends do that. Actually one of my neighbors (American parents) don't allow their kids playing outside of their property with other kids.

As far as why most Chinese kids get good grades, I think there are several reasons. Usually most Asian parents put great value in education, we teach kids to respect others (especially teachers) and expect they will do their best in school.

Another is the curriculum in American public school (especially in math and science), it's way too easy compared to Asian countries. Most parents would just teach their kids (1 or 2 grade level up) and give them extra homeworks.

Also the authoer is a law school professor, I am sure most college professors (Chinese parents or not) would not expect their kids to get low grades in school.

#1594746 - 01/10/11 03:44 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
I suspect, however, that it is the sensitive and intelligent child who has a strong natural drive who potentially can be damaged by bullying.


Yes, KS, only thing that I can think after reading the article is that the mom is bullying the child.


English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks
#1594749 - 01/10/11 03:48 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
Another is the curriculum in American public school (especially in math and science), it's way too easy compared to Asian countries.

You don't see the entire picture. In the US, why would you want to teach math and science in public schools when you can make (easily) double the money and have much, much less headache working in math/science industries?? It's a no-brainer!

The union is partially to blame for this. It doesn't matter if you teach Calculus or P.E.--the payscale is the same. Years of experience and post-B.A. units of education ALONE determine your salary. Ouch.


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#1594769 - 01/10/11 04:15 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?


Yes, yes, and much more extreme.

I wonder where the author grew up/raised her children. I know many who grew up in this type of household. However, the majority are from rural areas. Also, I believe rather than "Chinese Mothers" it should be immigrant families and the first few generations.

I do agree that most like playing pieces after they become "easy." There are few students, as least the young ones, who enjoy practicing.

#1594774 - 01/10/11 04:22 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I'd like to know from our Asian teachers and students.... is this how you learned piano? Is this what you experienced as a child (no play dates, no dating, etc...)?


I was 8 when I was first taken to a piano lesson. The reason my mom took me there was because I had begun playing tunes by ear on a little toy keyboard that my Aunt had gifted me. I loved playing for people when they came over to visit. My parents didn't know a thing about Western Classical music or the tradition of piano studies or whatever. They had heard of this Anglo-Indian lady nearby who offered lessons and so I was fortunate enough to get started in the right direction. My first book was John Thompson.

I didn't have a piano at home. It was way too expensive for us. I had lessons everyday for the first year though. The lessons started 10 minutes after school closing time. My mom and I would run to the lesson (we didn't have a car then and the piano lesson was not far enough for public transportation and there wasn't any for that distance). We would run and make it just in time. The teacher wouldn't let us in if we were late by 1 minute. Needless to say, I got tired of all the running at 8 years of age after school. We then moved to another State where I found a better teacher at a music academy. I now went there every day to practice. My parents didn't even know how well I progressed. They trusted my teacher with that and he did a good job as far as I was concerned. I didn't progress as well as the students of the teachers here probably progress because most teachers in my country are not half as qualified as you guys are. However I was lucky to have the best available teacher then.

All the things I did in my life, starting at the age of 8, was the result of my own decisions. My parents supported me in whatever ways they could. I wanted to go study the piano in college but I had to go outside the country to do that (no western music programs in college in our country) and our financial situation just wasn't right (and my parents were going through a divorce) and I also wasn't prepared enough to get admitted to a decent enough music program. So that dream ended there and I went on to study Physics, also of my own accord. As a child, I had most fun doing two things: playing the piano and playing chess. I played chess competitively until the age of 14 or so and then I had to choose between them as time was limited with increasing academic responsibilities. I chose the piano.

So as an Asian kid (not Chinese though), I enjoyed my music and my chess because they were my choice completely. My parents didn't bother about my grades in school either. In our country the 10th grade and the 12th grade final exams are the most important ones in our school lives. The school conducts model exams prior to that and advises parents based on what the model exams indicate. My math teachers called up my Mother and told her that I would fail the 12th grade test. My mother was worried but I think she trusted me enough not to bother me about it. I ended up getting a 97% on that exam, and it was the second highest score in the school. From my experience, these so called "methods" employed by schools and Asian parents (as described in this article) don't necessarily represent the best approach to education. I believe in giving a lot more freedom to the students. Since I was lucky enough to experience that freedom, I intend to make that available for my kids too. I don't care if people call me lax. I know what I'm doing. I think you American parents are doing just fine!


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Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
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Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
#1594786 - 01/10/11 04:35 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!

I think the author is definitely very extreme. The Asian kids that I know from my kids' school all seem to have play dates, watch TV, play video games (sometimes way too much). Most learn piano, but many stay away from violin when picking an orchestral instrument because the competition will be too fierce later on. Most do sports. So...

#1594801 - 01/10/11 04:49 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
You don't see the entire picture. In the US, why would you want to teach math and science in public schools when you can make (easily) double the money and have much, much less headache working in math/science industries?? It's a no-brainer!

I am not even talking about the secondary education. Any teacher (even a bad one) is capable of teaching primary level math/science. I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math" (IMO a terrible curriculum)? That's the main reason we switched from the charter school to local school.
How many 4th grade kids still can't get the basic skills right? There is a reason American students' test score on math/science ranks behind so many countries.
I even read somewhere that more than half of US engineering graduate students were born in other countires.

Last edited by C.Y.; 01/10/11 07:30 PM.
#1594809 - 01/10/11 05:02 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Haha, how about this?
Being unmarried after a certain age is socially unacceptable in most Asian culture......

http://nyc.gov/html/nycmg/nyctvod/html/home/aa_marriage_pressure.html


English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks
#1594810 - 01/10/11 05:02 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
I am not even talking about the secondary education. Any teacher (even a bad one) is capable of teaching primary level math/science.


What? You've got to be kidding me. Why would I want a "bad" teacher to teach my kids math and science? You are so joking.

By the way, the payscale is the same for primary and secondary education in the US. Both dismal compared to all the other professions requiring similar level of education.

Originally Posted by C.Y.
I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math"?


Of course! That's the dumbest thing ever invented, beside the concept of "open classrooms." Still, I would argue that if you re-invented the payscale, public schools would attract much more qualified teachers to teach math and science.

Okay, this is getting off-topic.


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#1594846 - 01/10/11 05:47 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: childofparadise2002]  
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Originally Posted by childofparadise2002
Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!


I hope I won't get yelled at this:
Maybe we can all go and buy her book and read and make sure that we won't treat our children the same way that she suggested in her book.....

ha laugh

Last edited by Smallpiano; 01/10/11 06:34 PM.

English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks
#1594865 - 01/10/11 06:10 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Any culture or sub-culture (not only Asian, not only American, but anywhere) that has as one of its main rules "hard work is the only way to success" has to be very careful and conscious about how it defines "hard work" and how it defines "success". Sadly, this is not usually the case.

By any measurements except stress & anxiety, learning to play the piano is not hard work. In fact, if it's hard, you're doing it wrong. Intentionally creating stress and anxiety as a means of making easy work seem hard, in order to fulfill a false prophecy, is harmful.

Either a direct personal memory, or a cultural-conditioning memory, that leads a parent to say "I did not (or, we do not) achieve success without hard work; therefore my child must be made to work hard also" is missing an extremely important point: namely, that in some fields, music among them, hard work brings only wasted time and failure. What is needed is intelligent, patient, truly productive work, without the distraction and harm that come from artificially-created pain.

There is enough legitimate pain in the world. Every child will suffer in life. It will not "do them good" for you to add extra pain, nor will it "teach them about the real world" - unless what you really want them to learn is "first, crush your parents; the rest of the world will be easy by comparison". Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1594879 - 01/10/11 06:33 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: Smallpiano]  
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Originally Posted by Smallpiano
Originally Posted by childofparadise2002
Well, it got everyone's attention, didn't it? She has a book to sell, what publicity!


I hope you won't get yell at this:
Maybe we can all go and buy her book and read and make sure that we won't treat our children the same way that she suggested in her book.....

ha laugh


You don't need to buy her book to learn how to avoid her methods. smile

#1594894 - 01/10/11 06:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]  
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David, well put. Thank you for writing that. thumb

#1594921 - 01/10/11 07:53 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
What? You've got to be kidding me. Why would I want a "bad" teacher to teach my kids math and science? You are so joking.

What I meant is with a curriculum similar to ones in Asian countries, it would be hard to screw up by a teacher (even a bad one). Primary level math is not rocket science.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Originally Posted by C.Y.
I still think it's the curriculum to blame. Have you heard of the term "new math"?


Of course! That's the dumbest thing ever invented, beside the concept of "open classrooms." Still, I would argue that if you re-invented the payscale, public schools would attract much more qualified teachers to teach math and science.


With the "new math" curriculum, it would be hard to prepare kids for secondary level without any extra supplements (even the teacher is a great one). The "new math" doesn't even ask students to memorize the time table.

#1594925 - 01/10/11 07:59 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]  
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Originally Posted by david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?

#1594935 - 01/10/11 08:18 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
Originally Posted by david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?
1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1594948 - 01/10/11 08:46 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]  
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Originally Posted by david_a
Originally Posted by C.Y.
Originally Posted by david_a

Teach your children how to succeed, and what success is, by setting a good example. Let them decide if the work is hard.

Just curious how do you teach your children how to succeed? And what if they decide the work is hard (like 30 min daily piano practice)?
1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


I can see that you're a very good teacher, David!


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
#1594954 - 01/10/11 08:56 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
With the "new math" curriculum, it would be hard to prepare kids for secondary level without any extra supplements (even the teacher is a great one). The "new math" doesn't even ask students to memorize the time table.


Just curious where you are located that this "new math" is taught? We have experiences with two school districts in the area as well as a few private schools and every single one of them focuses heavily on memorizing multiplication tables.

From my own personal experience with my kids, I would lean towards having a better teacher with weaker curriculum vs worse teachers with better curriculum. We've experienced both and from that definitely prefer the former vs the latter.

The range of responses to parenting are of course interesting and diverse. Being the parent of two very different kiddos, it seems apparent to me that there is no "one" way that works best in all cases, no matter how good it sounds. Heck, as kids age a parent has to be able to also change their parenting style as necessary. I'm always dubious of anyone who says "I will raise my kids like X" as if it were written in stone that X is the "best" way, regardless of what X happens to be.

#1594968 - 01/10/11 09:14 PM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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Monica K. Offline

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Monica K.  Offline

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Lexington, Kentucky
The Chicago Math method ("Everyday Math") used in many districts explicitly frowns on memorizing multiplication tables and other drills. My kids' teachers all independently supplemented the official curriculum with lots of drills and memorization just to remedy that gap.



Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1595044 - 01/11/11 12:22 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: david_a]  
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C.Y. Offline
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C.Y.  Offline
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Originally Posted by david_a

1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


1 piano practice may be easy, but doing it day after day could be hard. I call daily piano practice hardwork (compared to watching TV, playing video games, etc). How many kids can do daily practice on their own without reminding? My son loves playing piano once he is on the bench and he is used to daily practice (part of his routine). But sometimes I still need to remind him that it's practice time.

#1595046 - 01/11/11 12:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
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C.Y. Offline
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Anyone interested in "new math" curriculum (everryday Math is one of them), check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI

#1595106 - 01/11/11 02:46 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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david_a Offline
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david_a  Offline
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
Originally Posted by david_a

1. By setting a good example, just as I said.

2. If 30 min daily piano practice is hard, why is it hard? Without the correct answer(s) to that question (different answer in each student's situation), any attempt to fix the problem will have a high probability of failing. Example: if piano practice is hard because the child has bad eyes and can't see, no amount of encouragement or explaining will help him.


1 piano practice may be easy, but doing it day after day could be hard. I call daily piano practice hardwork (compared to watching TV, playing video games, etc). How many kids can do daily practice on their own without reminding? My son loves playing piano once he is on the bench and he is used to daily practice (part of his routine). But sometimes I still need to remind him that it's practice time.
There's nothing at all wrong with reminding a young student (and I mean simply reminding and not getting into a big fight) that he needs to practice. That has almost nothing to do with this topic.

In fact, once in a while there might be a fight. Kids are kids after all. But serious fights, or frequent fights, means something is wrong and it's necessary to find out what that is.

The "hard" part of piano practice is not the practice itself. The "hard" part is "sit down on the piano bench now, open your book to the proper page, and start". Ask your grandfather if that is hard work. smile

It does take a willingness to keep at it, and a lot of time. But in my book, that does not equal hard work. For me, piano is a heck of a lot easier, and a lot more fun, than Super Mario. wink


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1595118 - 01/11/11 04:25 AM Re: Article: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior to Western Mothers [Re: C.Y.]  
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keyboardklutz Offline
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London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted by C.Y.
Anyone interested in "new math" curriculum (everryday Math is one of them), check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI
I watched with great interest (I'm also a Maths tutor at the moment). I can see what the new maths is getting at and in some ways it's quite laudable but I doubt the curriculum time is available to do anything other than hobble kids. Times tables are indispensable - all my tutees suffer from lack of fluency because of poor primary teaching in this area. It's like trying to understand music without knowing your scales and arpeggios.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

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