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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: Gary D.] #2734956
05/07/18 11:42 PM
05/07/18 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Do your festivals allow printouts from from Petrucci?

Only the ones run by enlightened people. Most competitions are run by absolute morons.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: AZNpiano] #2735152
05/08/18 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Do your festivals allow printouts from from Petrucci?

Only the ones run by enlightened people. Most competitions are run by absolute morons.

I know!!!

My student played from MY score, meaning that as always I notated the music exactly as I prefer. That means never changing notes and making it clear when I add anything editorial.

I do adjust the notation now and then, with great care, but it never changes the music or the intent of the music. If anything I suggest might possibly change the intent of the composer, I'm very sure to say that this is my idea, and that it might not be right for anyone else. Or if I do anything I think might be a bit more controversial, I find a standard edition that is accepted as closest to what the composer wrote.

Petrucci has some pretty horrible editions, and it has some superb ones. "Buyer beware" turns into "downloader beware".

I don't teach as much late 20th and early 21st century music as I'd like because it's not in the public domain, and most of more recent music I don't like well enough to throw out money on the mostly over-priced editions.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735154
05/08/18 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ghostwind

This I'm sure is true, but I think if you can find a graded book set that is pretty good, then that's enough in my opinion to have that solid foundation.

I think you are dead wrong. I don't think there is a graded series in the universe that is anywhere near complete, and I say this with decades of experience.

I also think you missed my point, so I'll give you just one example:

As a child I used the Michael Aaron series. In comparison to what is available today, Aaron is woefully outdated. Schaum is even more so, and it has some simplifications that are damaging because they leave out notes and even transpose the music.

Thompson is a bit better about not screwing around with the music, but there are huge weaknesses. I'm most definitely not going to use any of those three series with any student.

HOWEVER: all three of these men wrote some of the materials. There is original music. You may or may no like any of it, but some students will. The same is true with John Brimhall.

In other words, there are things in all these books that do not appear any place else.
Quote

You can then always add repertoire, but it's good and nice to have the foundation there, well edited, with explanations, etc.

Yes, but suppose for a moment you had gigantic books with 10 or 50 times the selection, on each level. This would mean two things:

1. You would inevitably get more practice reading new things, and that practice is always invaluable.
2. You would not have to play everything. You could pick and choose more.

So back to these other books. In all the Aaron books there are maybe 10 things I like, and I'm talking about all the grade levels. I can't tell people to buy the books when there might be one or two things we like in the whole book, and I can't give them the individual things because of copyright. So I am practically prevented from teaching these things, even if I have young students who could use them.

There is one piece in a very early book called "Indian Dance", and I think it is a good elementary tune. However, the Politically Correct Police deemed that showing a picture of "Indians" doing an "Indian" dance is not too cool, so someone renamed the piece to something ridiculous. I'm not advocating insensitivity to minority groups. I understand the change. But now I have an old selection renamed to something that does not suit the music, and I can't show it to you because I might get sued.

What this means, on a very practical level, is that if I see anything simple that works, my only option as a teacher is to look at it very carefully, figure out what works, then try to write something with a similar principle that is not a copy, when in fact what I'd like to give to my young students is Indian Dance, with an explanation of why the title got changed.

And I believe Jane's "Masterwork Classics" does just that. Would it be nice if, as I said before, Wiener or Henle, had some sort of compilation of pieces in a graded book set? Of course, but they don't. And it would cost too. There will never be a perfect system or solution.

Quote

The biggest challenge for teachers is trying to include all these diversified materials and then get them ordered or graded in a way that is practical. Most of what I do is around that idea - what works when, in what order, then pointing students in that direction.


I'm curious if this can be something that a group of people can come up with using IMSLP/public domain scores as the source. Someone (or a group of teachers) with experience can create a sort of "playlist" of graded repertoire divided in a set number of "books" with IMSLP text. The IMSLP sources will be good editions, and this list can be online and updated any time. Anyone want to volunteer? I'm sure a lot of teachers with experience pretty much already have this list![/quote]


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: Gary D.] #2735179
05/08/18 06:24 PM
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Gary, I understood your point, but you never answered mine about using public domain music via IMSLP. No you will not have every piece you or a student may like, but so what? You have a huge selection to choose from. Just an idea.

Also I was just pointing out that there will never be a perfect system or solution, yet plenty of teachers still use inferior method books for whatever reasons (to appease students and their parents, creatures of habit, lazy, etc.). And my point was that there ARE better method books to be used as a foundation. It's your job as a teacher to figure out how to augment and supplement the material. Complaining about copyrights won't help. You seem like a fine and dedicated teacher, so this is just discussion, not aimed at you. But many teachers I've ran across are not like you. Perhaps most..


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735184
05/08/18 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ghostwind
Gary, I understood your point, but you never answered mine about using public domain music via IMSLP. No you will not have every piece you or a student may like, but so what? You have a huge selection to choose from. Just an idea.

I already do it, and have done so for years. wink

I can't answer for anyone else.
Quote

It's your job as a teacher to figure out how to augment and supplement the material. Complaining about copyrights won't help.

Was I complaining?

Maybe. But mostly I think I was talking about the reality of not being able to get some really good materials for various reasons.
Quote

You seem like a fine and dedicated teacher, so this is just discussion, not aimed at you. But many teachers I've ran across are not like you. Perhaps most..

Thank you.

In my experience most teachers simply go with whatever method book they think is best. My grandmother was my first teacher, and although there were a lot of things she did not know, she did something really smart - she used two or three method books. I used as many as 5 or 6 at the same time for a long period before completely going to my own system, where I edit everything in Finale. The word is huge. I probably notate each day as many hours as I teach, but I enjoy it. My students like it.

This does not mean I don't add other materials, both from Petrucci and from separate books.

There is a lot more to this, and there are really solid reasons for a multi-method book approach. But I won't go into it here, unless you or someone else is interested. I'll only say this: the way I now teach is linked to how I learned foreign languages. There is a huge connection.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: Gary D.] #2735262
05/09/18 08:27 AM
05/09/18 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
There is a lot more to this, and there are really solid reasons for a multi-method book approach. But I won't go into it here, unless you or someone else is interested. I'll only say this: the way I now teach is linked to how I learned foreign languages. There is a huge connection.

That might be an interesting thread all by itself.

FWIW, I also don't stay in one method. I supplement all the time, especially for the slow-moving crowd. Sometimes I get them five different books just so they can spend more time at the given level. And when that fails, we go into theory books, flash cards, and more supplementary materials. The girl who is checking out this June probably will never get past the 2A books.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: AZNpiano] #2735265
05/09/18 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Gary D.
There is a lot more to this, and there are really solid reasons for a multi-method book approach. But I won't go into it here, unless you or someone else is interested. I'll only say this: the way I now teach is linked to how I learned foreign languages. There is a huge connection.

That might be an interesting thread all by itself.

FWIW, I also don't stay in one method. I supplement all the time, especially for the slow-moving crowd. Sometimes I get them five different books just so they can spend more time at the given level. And when that fails, we go into theory books, flash cards, and more supplementary materials. The girl who is checking out this June probably will never get past the 2A books.


I understand the analogy Gary, but it's an individualized thing IMO, depending on the student, as AZNpiano points out. If a student is progressing fast and properly, adding another method is for what purpose? If it's to see a different point of view when presenting material, isn't that something the teacher would do anyways? If it's for variety in material, then why use a method book and not just supplement with repertoire? Everyone and every method book has a different style, I get that, and being exposed to different styles is always good. But again, why not just do the explaining as a teacher? I can see doing it for the slow student, where to understand a concept you s/he may need it explained in 10 different ways, but for a good student? I don't see why a good teacher would need to use 5 method books. As for my background, it's in classical guitar, which I've played since I was 12. I've also played violin and piano when I was much younger than that, but those were put on hold after moving here from Eastern Europe. But we didn't do 5 methods, or even 2 methods. Nobody did. You had some books, some materials, and the teacher. And it was just fine.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735431
05/10/18 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ghostwind

I understand the analogy Gary, but it's an individualized thing IMO, depending on the student, as AZNpiano points out.

First of all, you answered AZN, not me. Why assume he is making the same point that I am?

I've never been a slow student, and I do not believe you or anyone else in this forum understands my point, so let me attempt to flesh it out about languages, so I'll make the same offer: I'll explain if you are interested.
Quote

If a student is progressing fast and properly, adding another method is for what purpose?

Those are two huge assumptions. Would you like to know the percentage of students who learn piano "fast and properly"? I'll give you a hint: for every student who succeeds, learning to play well in a manner that will lead to lifelong success, there are an incredible number who never learn to play well, never become really fluent readers, and they quit. Some come back to lessons later, but there is no guarantee at all that things will be better "the second time around".
Quote

If it's to see a different point of view when presenting material, isn't that something the teacher would do anyways?

You can't supply a point of view without materials to use to present that point of view.
Quote

If it's for variety in material, then why use a method book and not just supplement with repertoire?

Because most of the most creative, amazing composers who have ever lived were surprisingly poor at writing materials for beginners and early intermediates. The biggest exception is probably JS Bach, which is fine if you only want to play his music, but you are stuck in one period only and in a style that is a few hundred years old.

Chopin? Chopin would not teach beginners. He only taught advanced players. Check out his easiest music. Ask yourself how much of that is appropriate for first year players.

Schumann? He tried to write materials for children. His "Album for the Young" has some great music, but don't try to use it for first year students.

Bartok? A creative genius, but I challenge anyone to use his Mikrokosmos as a fundamental teaching course for beginners.

Kabalevsky is one of the few composers I can name who really knew how to write materials for young students, but if you example his materials carefully, you will see that they are not enough.

Most of the greatest composers for piano were not in the least concerned with teaching beginners of any age. You don't want to use materials by composers like Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Debussy (and so many others) as basic level materials.

Where are you going to get all the materials you need to "supplement", when there are a lot of things you can't even download from Petrucci? It's a great site, but it doesn't have everything. Until very recently, which means for most of the time I've been teaching, you could not download anything by Bartok, Gershwin, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian and many other composers. I could not get much by Debussy. Some of these materials are now available, but many still are not. Let's not even talk about the fact that these people did not write for first year students.
Quote

Everyone and every method book has a different style, I get that, and being exposed to different styles is always good.

No. That's amazingly wrong. In fact, you can find a half dozen method books that are amazingly similar, even to the extent that much of the best music in all of them is also in the others. That's not the problem at all.

The main problem for students who are developing is getting enough practice, and that means a LOT of materials. These materials do not have to be greatly different, but they have to be interesting enough to engage the students on the level they are on at the moment, and they have to be simple enough to work at that level.

So there are two main problems:

1. Finding ENOUGH materials on a given level so that the skills being learned will be blanket covered.
2. Finding materials that do this in a way that is not amazingly boring.

There can never be too many pieces on any level that work and that are interesting. It would be wonderful if Beethoven had written 100 pieces of roughly the difficulty of Fuer Elise, but he didn't.

How many pieces did Chopin write that are accessible to even an average second year student?

None.

Debussy?

None.

Liszt, Ravel, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, and many others?

None.

That means as teachers we need to either write our own materials, things that are playable, or search for materials by teachers and method books writers. Or both.

I do both.

The problem is finding enough INTERESTING MATERIALS. Because you are looking for music that is playable, easy, without a bunch of insurmountable problems, that is also engaging, interesting, music that says: "Please play me."

The LACK of a huge amount of such materials is the number one problem we face as teachers, not the lack of text explanation about how to do it.

Last edited by Gary D.; 05/10/18 12:07 AM.

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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735436
05/10/18 01:29 AM
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And an example:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Kabalevsky%2C_Dmitry

I may or may not be still around by 2023.

So if I want to teach Kabalevsky, I can either sell whole books, even if I don't think all his selections are practical, then use what I want, or skip this composer. I will also have to change the order of the pieces in many sets, because the order in which he puts things in one book does not fit in with ordering of ALL of his music.

http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Khachaturian%2C_Aram

http://imslp.org/wiki/Mikrokosmos,_Sz.107_(Bart%C3%B3k,_B%C3%A9la)

Although we will probably not get sued in the US, note that it is not legal for us to download and use this. So I can't safely do so and give it to students.

http://imslp.org/wiki/3_Preludes_(Gershwin%2C_George)

Same thing. I can't legally print out the slow prelude, which I teach.

Not that I plan to teach this, because it is VERY difficult, but:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Rhapsody_on_a_Theme_of_Paganini,_Op.43_(Rachmaninoff,_Sergei)

I can't legally print this out either.

This does not even get into composers like John Williams, Dave Grusin, and any pop music.

PETRUCCI IS NOT THE ANSWER


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735467
05/10/18 06:54 AM
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Apologies for being off topic. (but I didn't start it <grin>)

I for one am interested in any of your ideas about language. I've just started a math course on Coursera. I'm math literate as an engineer but this is a branch I never had explored. Anyway, the symbols and terminology are new to me and it feels like starting a new language with a different alphabet.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: TimR] #2735489
05/10/18 08:38 AM
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TimR, very cool! May I ask which math course you’re taking?

Gary D, I’m also interested in your ideas about language, and in particular how they apply to learning music. I’ve read you talking before about failed ways of teaching/learning language vs. the approach that eventually was a success for you, but I’m not managing to make the connection to music teaching/learning.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: Gary D.] #2735592
05/10/18 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

The problem is finding enough INTERESTING MATERIALS. Because you are looking for music that is playable, easy, without a bunch of insurmountable problems, that is also engaging, interesting, music that says: "Please play me."

The LACK of a huge amount of such materials is the number one problem we face as teachers, not the lack of text explanation about how to do it.


I guess this is a problem in the US or with some teachers who feel the need to please everyone instead of having a system in place that's not all that complicated, but one that students follow or they don't and stay stuck, leave, etc. This is not rocket science, sorry. As I said, I studied classical guitar since a young age, violin, and some piano too, back in Eastern Europe. I had very good teachers, and we didn't need to go through 1000 "please play me" pieces, colored drawings like in Alfred, etc. Good teachers can find enough pieces that illustrate points they are trying to get across and good students progress and bad ones don't. Story of life in any discipline. I don't get your complaining to be quite frank, unless again, it's the mentality to please everyone, keep everyone happy, etc. Then I get it, but to each his own. Again, YES, it would be fantastic to have a graded series of 1000 interesting pieces, I get it, I agree, super, because everyone and their parents would be happy, etc. But I don't believe for one second it's necessary. Regarding foreign languages, I speak, read, and write 3 fluently. It's called hard work. Of course you need good teachers and conversation/immersion, but not sure what you're getting at to be honest.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735630
05/10/18 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88

Gary D, I’m also interested in your ideas about language, and in particular how they apply to learning music. I’ve read you talking before about failed ways of teaching/learning language vs. the approach that eventually was a success for you, but I’m not managing to make the connection to music teaching/learning.

I'll try to make this reasonably short, but it's not easy to explain.

I had Spanish in junior and senior high. What we studied was ALM Spanish, and this method was famous among people of my generation as being an utter joke. Everything about it was set to fail, or for us to fail.

https://www.amazon.com/LM-Spanish-Level-One/dp/B000H28D5A

We had a listening lab, and this was all new. We sat in a chair in this lab and repeated beginning text. I think some of this could actually work in a different framework, but we did not know what we were saying. We knew what the translation was.

Here is the first dialogue:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2588708/High-school-Spanish-dialogs-from-memory

Most of us at that time learned this first dialogue, but we had no idea what was going on.

By the second and third year, the people who were getting Bs and Cs actually were totally lost, and the people who got As were mostly lost. No one actually spoke the language. No one actually understood the language. No one could read a book in Spanish.

This is the model I kept of how to learn a language, and I figured I was just stupid, or lazy. It was a failure that stayed with me, because initially I was excited: "I'm going to learn another language. Cool!"

I never planned to ever look at another word in this awful language (which is actually very logical, useful, and also phonetic, with clear pronunciation, easy to hear.) Since it's very similar to Italian, which is the the best language in the world to sing opera in, we can understand why it's actually easy to decode.

After this failure, I got interested in German, which I began learning on my own. There is a really long story to this, but for now I'll only say that starting in my late 20s, with no help, I now read German fluently, and because of my knowledge of German, I can go back to those Spanish dialogues and understand them perfectly pronounce them much better, and pick up phrases from my Hispanic students. I can also decode Italian and French.

By this time I had been teaching for almost 10 years, and a couple of my students were studying German in school. One of them liked German and was getting pretty good grades, but I saw immediately that he was years behind me. One day I noticed that he had a German textbook, and I liked it. His German teacher in school, finding out that I was interested, got me an old set of the complete course - four books in all. Then another students, using a different set of books, got me another series, also four books. I went through all the books in my own fashion, mostly just absorbing big principles, and I was careful to read everything. I also got books for little children from Germany, then I got translations of books I knew in English, so that I could go back and forth and compare. Finally, I moved on to books for native Germans, young adult books, some of which I very much liked.

At the time Harry Potter became popular, my wife started reading those books. I figured they would be a nice read in German, so I bought them. They are better in English, but pretty good in German. I did not ever see the English version until around book four, when it just came out and had not yet been translated. I read the Narnia Chronicles in German. Then I started to read famous books from other countries written in languages I don't know, so I read the Count of Monte Christo in German, and books like these, in German:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_According_to_Jesus_Christ

I read no Portuguese, but the original style is probably pretty well brought across with very long, run-on sentences, very little punctuation and a very unusual style in general. By the time I got to this I was (and remain) fully fluent, since this is probably on about the same level as Faulkner.

I'm sorry about the length, but here is the point:

I got fluent by reading and reading and reading and reading. I also did a ton of listening, but the reason I was successful was that by finding so much material on each level that I was on, the whole process was effortless, intuitive and fun. It does not matter how long you stay on any level, if we can even define what "level" means, because the secret is getting fast. A lot of material ensures that.

The moment you are reading at full speed, you are ready to go up a level, and then you can stay there if it is a bit uncomfortable until that too gets easy. You pick up a ton of vocabulary, lots of idioms, and you get the rhythm of countless authors. Some materials are made in calculated way, to limit to certain words and vocabulary, and that's useful. But by continuing to explore, lots of things are not planned, and there is no substitute for experience.

So that's why I now teach as I do. I use the same logic in teaching music.

Last edited by Gary D.; 05/11/18 01:57 AM.

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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: Gary D.] #2735637
05/10/18 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by ghostwind

I guess this is a problem in the US or with some teachers who feel the need to please everyone instead of having a system in place that's not all that complicated, but one that students follow or they don't and stay stuck, leave, etc.

OK. Carry on doing whatever you are doing and forget I said anything...


Gary - honestly, I feel you are all stressed out for no reason. I have said you seem like a good teacher, one who cares, who's committed, etc. And we seem to agree on most things. I just didn't understand the "rant" and all the complaining in the last main post. I have a different background not being from the US originally, so I didn't agree that one needs that much variety to learn properly. Would definitely be nice (I wouldn't have to research and ask here) if there was a clear #1 book of graded piano repertoire, but there isn't. So we make do. You are doing this for a living, and I understand that. But I don't know - the US system is honestly a bit strange, and not just with music. Colored books, large fonts, simplistic methods, etc. A lot of emphasis on fun versus learning. I USED Mikrokosmos growing up. Most teachers here have no clue how to use it, to your point...Used that along with For Children, Etudes, ANH, etc. Anyway, let's stay civil..


2017 Boston GP-163 PE II
Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735647
05/11/18 12:04 AM
05/11/18 12:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,387
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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South Florida
Originally Posted by ghostwind

Gary - honestly, I feel you are all stressed out for no reason.

I live in the US. I deal with problems in the US. Quite obviously I was not born in an Eastern European country.

Stressed out? Where do you get off making that judgement?

I will tell you from being born in this country and having dealt with the reality of the US that there are some things we do well here, and some things we are very bad at.

Teaching foreign languages is a huge problem in this country. We live in a country where we can travel hundreds or thousands of miles without ever having to learn another language, so unless you are born into a family here where the parents speak another language and live in an area where that language is more often spoken than English, it's fine just knowing English.

That's a great advantage for someone who doesn't like foreign languages. But it is a horrendous disadvantage for people like me who are fascinated by other languages. Why? Because frankly there is almost zero chance to use them here, unless you are rich and travel.

The one language I COULD use, and wish I knew well, is Spanish. Unfortunately Spanish was horribly taught in school, and that's where I learned about 100 ways to fail with another language. If you learned several languages effortlessly, I think that's great, and I'm envious. But I'll also tell you that this is extremely rare in this country, and it's not because we are not rocket scientists.
Quote

I have said you seem like a good teacher, one who cares, who's committed, etc. And we seem to agree on most things. I just didn't understand the "rant" and all the complaining in the last main post.

Rant? I'll ask other people if they think I was ranting, and if so I'll apologize. I was speaking of what I know and need in a profession I've been in for more than 40 years.
Quote

I have a different background not being from the US originally, so I didn't agree that one needs that much variety to learn properly.

If you are highly intelligent, self-motivated and hungry to learn, no. You don't need "that much variety".

And it would be wonderful if all my students were like you. I was also such a student, and in music I didn't need much to just run with things. I was always the best in whatever group I was in, scholarships in music, won competitions I was in, that sort of thing.

This has almost nothing to do with most of the students I see daily. A few are those selected few, talented and centered, and they are easy to teach. Any half way decent teacher can lead intelligent people who want to be lead.

There are also students who don't want to learn, will never love music, will never work, and nothing I do is going to change.

But there are a lot of people who are on the fence, and some of them start out with very little desire, no support at home, and so on. A few of those can be enticed, slowly, to grow to love music, and it's a tricky business.

I didn't need that. You didn't need that.

It makes a difference to those in between.

I don't recall not being civil. So if you think this is a rant, or not civil, frankly I don't know what to tell you.

Last edited by Gary D.; 05/11/18 12:19 AM.

Piano Teacher
Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735653
05/11/18 02:40 AM
05/11/18 02:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,436
Canada
keystring Offline
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Canada
Ghostwind, I wonder if you are aware of how you're coming across.
Originally Posted by ghostwind
I guess this is a problem in the US or with some teachers who feel the need to please everyone instead of having a system in place that's not all that complicated, but one that students follow or they don't and stay stuck, leave, etc. This is not rocket science, sorry.

You write about "some teachers" in general, but you are responding to a particular teacher, and so it sounds as if you are dismissing this teacher's points, reducing them to "needing to please everyone". It becomes especially insulting when you say "It's not rocket science." Not unless you are in the field, have taught music for a number of years, and it is indeed a really easy thing to do. I'm not sure it is. Sure, lots of people "teach". They also leave behind the "bad students" they've ruined.
Quote
I had very good teachers, and we didn't need to go through 1000 "please play me" pieces, colored drawings like in Alfred, etc....

I missed the part about coloured drawings etc. Again, it sounds dismissive.
Quote
Good teachers can find enough pieces that illustrate points they are trying to get across and good students progress and bad ones don't.
Here there is a question mark for communication; I'm assuming that you don't teach music, or you would not have asked the question that started this thread. Are you aware of which criteria and goals various teachers teach - therefore why "many pieces" may be sought? You wrote of "points" being brought across. That would be one manner of teaching: a rather academic and intellectual one. One reason for wanting students to play quite a pieces is for reading skills, and to experience a variety of music early, again for such skills. Learning to play is done through the act of playing and practising, so that it comes into the body, mind, senses etc.
Quote
I don't get your complaining ....

I read the same post that you did. I have also seen these same things discussed among teachers whom I respect highly. I don't know what your field is so I can't make an analogy. Supposing you're painter who paints houses. You advise me that to paint surfaces that will be exposed to moisture one needs oil-based paints, and the EZ-Paint store doesn't carry much of that kind - stay away from water-based. Is he "complaining" or advising? Any professional in any field will know first of all:
- the criteria that he is working toward, the goals being set
- what is needed to reach those goals
- and then make a critical assessment of materials and tools available to that end
Fellow professionals will appreciate this kind of assessment.

It just didn't come across well in my view.

Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735654
05/11/18 02:42 AM
05/11/18 02:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,436
Canada
keystring Offline
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I should mention that I am not a music teacher. I am an adult studying music. I also have teacher training, have taught in the classroom and one-on-one. It was natural to become interested in music teaching and I have learned a lot about this over the past few years, via some teachers for whom I have a high respect. There are things one just won't think about.

Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735682
05/11/18 07:05 AM
05/11/18 07:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,171
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Virginia, USA
Thoughts about language: when I was in college taking the mandatory two semesters, I had a professor with an interesting story. He arrived in the US from Germany speaking no English. He bought a novel with an intriguing story line, one that grabbed him, and a stack of note cards. Each day he read a little bit, but made flashcards of the words he didn't know yet, and drilled himself on them. In a year he was fluent. Of course he was also in the US surrounded by English speakers.

Thoughts about math: Carol Dweck says we teach it badly in the US. She says we attempt to teach children a set of unrelated skills, building a toolbox of techniques with no obvious application. Then later we expect them to solve problems. She also says we assume success depends on talent or intelligence rather than effort, and fail to realize that learning takes place when we make mistakes, so these are actually good. If we gave children the problem first, and helped them learn the technique needed to solve it, it would make more sense, have more relevance. (That's exactly what I noticed about music theory. I read my wife's textbooks but it didn't stick. Then I ended up running a praise and worship team and needed to know some of it, and went back to the books with specific questions. That stuff I still remember and use.)

Why I'm taking Discrete Math, the Shanghai University version on Coursera: It's hard. That's good for me. I'm 65 and hope to continue learning new things for a good long while. 5% of people taking online courses finish them, that should include me.


gotta go practice
Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: keystring] #2735683
05/11/18 07:11 AM
05/11/18 07:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,646
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,646
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by keystring
Ghostwind, I wonder if you are aware of how you're coming across.
Originally Posted by ghostwind
I guess this is a problem in the US or with some teachers who feel the need to please everyone instead of having a system in place that's not all that complicated, but one that students follow or they don't and stay stuck, leave, etc. This is not rocket science, sorry.

You write about "some teachers" in general, but you are responding to a particular teacher, and so it sounds as if you are dismissing this teacher's points, reducing them to "needing to please everyone". It becomes especially insulting when you say "It's not rocket science." Not unless you are in the field, have taught music for a number of years, and it is indeed a really easy thing to do. I'm not sure it is. Sure, lots of people "teach". They also leave behind the "bad students" they've ruined.
Quote
I had very good teachers, and we didn't need to go through 1000 "please play me" pieces, colored drawings like in Alfred, etc....

I missed the part about coloured drawings etc. Again, it sounds dismissive.
Quote
Good teachers can find enough pieces that illustrate points they are trying to get across and good students progress and bad ones don't.
Here there is a question mark for communication; I'm assuming that you don't teach music, or you would not have asked the question that started this thread. Are you aware of which criteria and goals various teachers teach - therefore why "many pieces" may be sought? You wrote of "points" being brought across. That would be one manner of teaching: a rather academic and intellectual one. One reason for wanting students to play quite a pieces is for reading skills, and to experience a variety of music early, again for such skills. Learning to play is done through the act of playing and practising, so that it comes into the body, mind, senses etc.
Quote
I don't get your complaining ....

I read the same post that you did. I have also seen these same things discussed among teachers whom I respect highly. I don't know what your field is so I can't make an analogy. Supposing you're painter who paints houses. You advise me that to paint surfaces that will be exposed to moisture one needs oil-based paints, and the EZ-Paint store doesn't carry much of that kind - stay away from water-based. Is he "complaining" or advising? Any professional in any field will know first of all:
- the criteria that he is working toward, the goals being set
- what is needed to reach those goals
- and then make a critical assessment of materials and tools available to that end
Fellow professionals will appreciate this kind of assessment.

It just didn't come across well in my view.



I have to agree! I have been an educator my entire life (not piano). I failed to find any complaining in Gary D.'s postings. In fact, I found them educational-as I would expect from a true piano teacher! He was (is) trying to help others understand his perspective.


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Re: RCM Method Books vs. Keith Snell Method Books [Re: ghostwind] #2735685
05/11/18 07:29 AM
05/11/18 07:29 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
USA
G
ghostwind Offline OP
Full Member
ghostwind  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
USA
I was merely offering a different point of view. I wasn't trying to insult anyone, as you can see I've been nothing but complementary of Gary in the past posts. If some of my comments came across like that, I apologize, though it's an Internet forum, so "it's not rocket science" may come across quite differently than when I think about it in my mind or even say it out loud. I'm just surprised at some of the materials I see compared to what I've seen back home. I also disagree on some points as stated.

I should mention that Gary keeps editing his posts and removing parts if not entire things. The one I was replying to has been totally deleted and replaced with "OK. Carry on doing whatever you are doing and forget I said anything..." which is not very nice to say the least (you don't want to see the original post). Prior to that it was full of insults, then deleted. So the context is gone....


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