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We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! #2391827
02/27/15 09:55 PM
02/27/15 09:55 PM
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pianoman9 Offline OP
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I don't mean to sound a bit dogmatic, but this is something
I've noticed about the young kids I have been teaching:

They play the notes, but the note durations are WAY off!

They are not counting the beats correctly, and some of them can't follow me when I count for them. I try to get them to sing the melody while counting the beats at the same time.

The better students understand what I'm getting at, and
will count the beats with me, and the phrasing gets much
better, but I surprises me that they weren't disciplined
to do this.

How can they begin to understand the rhythms of music notation if they cannot assign the correct note duration to each note?

Anyways, now I know what a tough job it is to teach music!

Probably why some piano teachers end up becoming a bit authoritarian, and dictatorial!

smirk


Last edited by pianoman9; 02/27/15 09:55 PM.
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Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391833
02/27/15 10:17 PM
02/27/15 10:17 PM
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keystring Offline
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Are these transfer students from other teachers, coming to you with these lacks?

Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: keystring] #2391836
02/27/15 10:29 PM
02/27/15 10:29 PM
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pianoman9 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by keystring
Are these transfer students from other teachers, coming to you with these lacks?


These have been kids I've taught as a substitute teacher.

It may not be the teacher's fault completely. Many
of these students don't practice at all, and just show up
for the lesson. Many are too young to really love practicing.


Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391840
02/27/15 11:02 PM
02/27/15 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoman9
I don't mean to sound a bit dogmatic, but this is something
I've noticed about the young kids I have been teaching:

They play the notes, but the note durations are WAY off!

They are not counting the beats correctly, and some of them can't follow me when I count for them. I try to get them to sing the melody while counting the beats at the same time.

The better students understand what I'm getting at, and
will count the beats with me, and the phrasing gets much
better, but I surprises me that they weren't disciplined
to do this.

How can they begin to understand the rhythms of music notation if they cannot assign the correct note duration to each note?

Anyways, now I know what a tough job it is to teach music!

Probably why some piano teachers end up becoming a bit authoritarian, and dictatorial!

smirk



It's because assigning note duration is the wrong way to get them to think about. It turns it into an additive process, rather than a divisive process.

First and foremost, you want them to feel the beat, the internal pulse. And more often than not, simple clapping will not get it done for the rhythmically challenged. It takes a whole body experience, and the physically inhibited, neurotic, perfectionist types will struggle.

Only once the beat is felt, do you then work on getting to subdivide the beat. Where you don't feel durations, but simply how you have cut the beat into different proportions. The ones who try to count durations, and not sense the subdivision are typically the ones who struggle.






Last edited by anamnesis; 02/27/15 11:03 PM.
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: anamnesis] #2391848
02/28/15 12:44 AM
02/28/15 12:44 AM
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pianoman9 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by anamnesis


It's because assigning note duration is the wrong way to get them to think about. It turns it into an additive process, rather than a divisive process.

First and foremost, you want them to feel the beat, the internal pulse. And more often than not, simple clapping will not get it done for the rhythmically challenged. It takes a whole body experience, and the physically inhibited, neurotic, perfectionist types will struggle.

Only once the beat is felt, do you then work on getting to subdivide the beat. Where you don't feel durations, but simply how you have cut the beat into different proportions. The ones who try to count durations, and not sense the subdivision are typically the ones who struggle.




That sounds like a bunch of hippie non-sense.

How can you feel a beat if you are not counting beats
yourself?

Now I know what my old music teacher in Jr. High was
trying to drill into us.

"1 e-and-a, 2 e-and-a, Tri-pl-let, tri-pl-let!"

grin

Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391850
02/28/15 12:57 AM
02/28/15 12:57 AM
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Last edited by The Monkeys; 02/28/15 01:54 AM.
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391852
02/28/15 01:02 AM
02/28/15 01:02 AM
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Last edited by The Monkeys; 02/28/15 01:55 AM.
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: anamnesis] #2391855
02/28/15 01:23 AM
02/28/15 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by anamnesis
First and foremost, you want them to feel the beat, the internal pulse. And more often than not, simple clapping will not get it done for the rhythmically challenged. It takes a whole body experience, and the physically inhibited, neurotic, perfectionist types will struggle.

In theory, yes.

But what about those kids who are TRULY challenged, in more ways than one? (i.e., low general aptitude and ZERO musical intelligence)

I pick my battles.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: The Monkeys] #2391858
02/28/15 01:47 AM
02/28/15 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
It is boring counting



That's true for a seasoned sight-reader, but
when you are first learning, and you are 6-8 years
old, YOU GOTTA COUNT BEATS!!!

NO GETTING AROUND IT!!


Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391859
02/28/15 01:56 AM
02/28/15 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoman9
That's true for a seasoned sight-reader, but
when you are first learning, and you are 6-8 years
old, YOU GOTTA COUNT BEATS!!!

NO GETTING AROUND IT!!

Actually, there are ways.

It's like 16th notes. Some kids just can't play them evenly no matter what kind of drills you do to them. Then, when they turn 14, suddenly their 16th notes come running evenly.

Teach wisely.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391860
02/28/15 01:57 AM
02/28/15 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
It is boring counting


Sorry, it was my 10 year old wrote that while I was away!
My apologies.

Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: The Monkeys] #2391862
02/28/15 02:01 AM
02/28/15 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
Sorry, it was my 10 year old wrote that while I was away!
My apologies.

While it is wrong to make a post in the guise of his mother, your son does make a good point!


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Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: anamnesis] #2391871
02/28/15 03:35 AM
02/28/15 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by anamnesis


It's because assigning note duration is the wrong way to get them to think about. It turns it into an additive process, rather than a divisive process.

First and foremost, you want them to feel the beat, the internal pulse. And more often than not, simple clapping will not get it done for the rhythmically challenged. It takes a whole body experience, and the physically inhibited, neurotic, perfectionist types will struggle.

Only once the beat is felt, do you then work on getting to subdivide the beat. Where you don't feel durations, but simply how you have cut the beat into different proportions. The ones who try to count durations, and not sense the subdivision are typically the ones who struggle.


How do you teach a piece? Do you play for them and let them get familiar to the song first before ask them to read and play? That way the student is learning by ear, not by reading, is that correct?

If a student is to read and play a brand new piece, isn't counting the duration of the notes essential?

Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391874
02/28/15 03:44 AM
02/28/15 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoman9
YOU GOTTA COUNT BEATS!!!
NO GETTING AROUND IT!!
pianoman9, on internet forums, posting in all caps is considered shouting, and is frowned upon. It makes you come across as impatient and angry. And you're not - are you? It also makes you seem like those "teachers" whose motto is "If a student doesn't understand something, say it again only louder!" (I put the word teacher in quotation marks because I don't think such a person deserves the title...)


Du holde Kunst...
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391877
02/28/15 04:01 AM
02/28/15 04:01 AM
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And yes, there are other effective ways of teaching young children to read rhythmic notation without counting numbers out loud. Maybe you haven't heard of Kodaly and his time names, for example. (This ties in with what anamnesis was saying about subdividing beats.)


Du holde Kunst...
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391879
02/28/15 04:05 AM
02/28/15 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoman9
That sounds like a bunch of hippie non-sense.


Not to me, it doesn't. To me, it sounds like anamnesis has a lot more experience than you, and therefore might deserve a little more respect than your comment afforded.

Some students find counting too difficult. The younger they are, the more this is the case, but some adults really struggle with it, too. It has nothing to do with intelligence, either.

Verbalising the rhythm can be much more effective for students like this.

Originally Posted by pianoman9
How can you feel a beat if you are not counting beats
yourself?


This, coupled with the above quotes, makes me wonder if you aren't just trolling.

Of course you can feel a beat without counting it.


Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: Ben Crosland] #2391890
02/28/15 05:10 AM
02/28/15 05:10 AM
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pianoman9 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ben Crosland
Originally Posted by pianoman9
That sounds like a bunch of hippie non-sense.


Not to me, it doesn't. To me, it sounds like anamnesis has a lot more experience than you, and therefore might deserve a little more respect than your comment afforded.

Some students find counting too difficult. The younger they are, the more this is the case, but some adults really struggle with it, too. It has nothing to do with intelligence, either.

Verbalising the rhythm can be much more effective for students like this.

Originally Posted by pianoman9
How can you feel a beat if you are not counting beats
yourself?


This, coupled with the above quotes, makes me wonder if you aren't just trolling.

Of course you can feel a beat without counting it.




The count IS the beat!


Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391897
02/28/15 05:37 AM
02/28/15 05:37 AM
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Nahum Online content
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Originally Posted by pianoman9

How can you feel a beat if you are not counting beats
yourself?

That's the way, through prosody the rhythm:


Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: pianoman9] #2391918
02/28/15 07:41 AM
02/28/15 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoman9



The count IS the beat!

It isn't. Beats counting are worthless without time intervals between them, but "one-two-three-four" do not fill the time. "Taka- tuku "- yes !.

Last edited by Nahum; 02/28/15 07:41 AM.
Re: We Have to Teach These Kids to COUNT BEATS!!!!!! [Re: The Monkeys] #2391965
02/28/15 10:17 AM
02/28/15 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
How do you teach a piece? Do you play for them and let them get familiar to the song first before ask them to read and play? That way the student is learning by ear, not by reading, is that correct?

If a student is to read and play a brand new piece, isn't counting the duration of the notes essential?

I know you didn't ask me, but I feel like chiming in, anyway.

There are many ways to teach rhythm to beginners. I'm focusing my reply on beginners because I use other tactics with more advanced students who have supremely challenging rhythm problems to tackle.

One way is to use clap-back to teach basic rhythmic patterns. Alfred Premier does a great job teaching rhythmic patterns with their "colored clouds." So, at the same time that students are clapping, I point to the series of notes, so that a GROUP of notes is learned together. This technique is similar to recognizing "sight words" for the 1st graders.

Of course, there are kids whose clap-back will reveal that they can't hold a steady beat, not even four quarter notes. We can try conducting, marching, stomping, etc. Verbalization can help, too. But there will be kids who just can't stay even. In that case, I just ignore the rhythm problem and move on to something else. Perhaps when these kids turn 16, they'll be developmentally ready to tackle rhythm.

BTW, the "TA TA titi TA" method (I don't know what name is associated with this) really works for most kids, and they even teach this in elementary schools where I work! I have private students who, by the time I introduce them to TA TA titi TA, told me they've already learned that at school. Music to my ears!!

All that being said, the traditional "ONE TWO THREE FOUR" (or "ONE ONE ONE ONE") counting works for some kids, too.

Sometimes I mix and match different strategies.

It's whatever works.

In my experience, "one-e-and-a" and "tri-pe-let" almost never works. If the students can't count 16th notes and triplets evenly by the time they encounter those in repertoire, then you might want to reconsider the repertoire choices. For these kids, I use the metronome, a lot. And there are tricks and techniques, too, associated with using a metronome. It's quite a useful tool.


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