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Originally Posted by bennevis
But I'm sure people have noticed my quirky English which can be traced back to

That's a real disappointment. I was sure that you're native speaker and I read your posts carefully to improve my own English. eek

smile

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Originally Posted by bennevis
...none of my previous languages are known in any country where one would know at least some letters of the alphabet from an early age.

Well, at least you came from a country with an alphabet! Not all of us are so fortunate. grin


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by bennevis
...none of my previous languages are known in any country where one would know at least some letters of the alphabet from an early age.

Well, at least you came from a country with an alphabet! Not all of us are so fortunate. grin

lol smile

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by bennevis
...none of my previous languages are known in any country where one would know at least some letters of the alphabet from an early age.

Well, at least you came from a country with an alphabet! Not all of us are so fortunate. grin

lol smile


So True!!



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Wow, a lot of comments here. I thought I'd put my two cents in.

I don't think piano playing ability is based upon race or nationality. The fact is, that students coming to the US from other countries have parents who are the best and brightest. Many are recruited by hospitals, universities and engineering firms.

It stands to reason that these students have learning ability and the value of education passed down from their parents. My "American" (whatever that means) students with the same type of family dynamics do just as well as their counterparts from across the globe.

There are some cultural distinctions and the piano is very popular in China right now. But I believe that is largely due to the fact that two of the biggest names in the concert world right now Chinese.

Best wishes to all!


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Originally Posted by pavane1
I don't think piano playing ability is based upon race or nationality.

Nobody is making that statement here. Is that what you gathered by reading through the posts?


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Originally Posted by pavane1
Wow, a lot of comments here. I thought I'd put my two cents in.

I don't think piano playing ability is based upon race or nationality. ....


I think that part of the discussion veered off topic, and became simply a curiosity about "perfect pitch" (which may not even be useful for a pretuned instrument like piano) and tonal languages.

Otoh - I did address the topic, and responded to you inviting further thought - bumped the post (which was then drowned out by more on the pitch idea. I am still interested in your thoughts on this, and have some impressions in mind which is why I brought this forth. This:

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by pavane1
There are also many more adult beginning students especially seniors.

For obvious reasons, I have particular interest in this part. Where I am cautious is if "adult beginning students" are seen as a group. When you get a student, you also have to teach that student - how, and toward what goals will you be teaching that student? Is there a tendency to have a single generic portrait of that group, and teach accordingly? Is this even more so for "seniors"?

In what I have seen, there are problems in this area. Do you have any thoughts on this?

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Pavane1, I think the conversation is related to how different cultures value music. This conversation is not addressing ability related to ethnicity. I asked the studio owner what is the percentage of Caucasian students that take at her studio, it is about 25%, the majority are foreign students. From her experience, most foreign parents were more involved in making sure the child was at every lesson and had practiced, she felt the parents were involved.

I copied excerpts from study.com (clarifying this is not my writing and giving credit to where needed). So for example,

Music serves a critical function in many Native American cultures. While it is difficult to make generalizations about the voluminous number of cultures and ethnic groups that contribute to Native American music, a large proportion of Native American music focuses on complex vocal chanting and percussion. Music often serves a religious function in Native American cultures, telling stories or guiding religious rituals. Hopi dancers and musicians in 1897. For the Hopi people, music is intimately tied to the rituals associated with kachinas, supernatural sprits that they believe protect their communities.


I think because of historic traditions, music in different cultures may hold a higher value than in the U.S. One person pointed out, music is seen as educational in their culture. I think in the US in most cases it is viewed as recreation and or a hobby. I asked a Caucasian parent who sends their child for music lessons, is this for educational purposes. She said, no it is more for recreation, I would think down the line he may enjoy playing.

I think the value of music lessons is based on the perception on how it is viewed. For those parents that consider it a tradition or a type of rite of passage that their kids learn to play an instrument, it is more valued as important as it is for those who think it is for child's educational development. Those that view music lessons as something extra and recreational probably do not value it as much.

It is like an expectation, for example some families college is an expectation, and in other families it is not. For some families playing an instrument and taking lessons is an expectation.


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For me, when I was a kid, the difference between an activity/recreation and an education was wide.

Piano was an education, with grades to pass - I went on to study Music at high school and achieved my performance diploma, despite my total lack of talent (which also meant that I could never consider a career in music). And I still play now, and perform a monthly recital.
Swimming was an education, with grades to be achieved. (Each badge was sewn into our swimming costumes and thus proudly displayed). I had lessons for three years from age six. I can swim four different strokes perfectly and can swim in open water for miles with no problem.

Diving (into the pool) was an activity taught by our swimming teacher for a couple of weeks as a break from swimming. I never learnt to dive properly, and still can't dive now. I normally just jump feet first into the water.

Art was an activity that my mother thought would be good for us kids. I had lessons for two years and actually won an art competition (because of lack of serious contenders). I've not painted since then, and never took up Art at high school.

Soccer was an activity that I did as a kid. I was never any good at it, never could kick a ball with my left foot, and can't kick a ball properly now.

Fortunately for me, the important activities in my life are the ones that were considered part of my education when I was a kid. I will always be able to swim well, including into arthritic old age, and have even saved a life once while holidaying at a beach resort (though I was never taught lifesaving as part of my swimming lessons). And piano - and classical music - will always be a big part of my life......


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Originally Posted by DFSRN
I asked the studio owner what is the percentage of Caucasian students that take at her studio, it is about 25%, the majority are foreign students. From her experience, most foreign parents were more involved in making sure the child was at every lesson and had practiced, she felt the parents were involved.

Of course, it depends on the area and the ethnic breakdown. Over here in Orange County where we have more than 15 language groups, you'd see maybe 4 or 5 white kids TOTAL at a music school. It's like 90% Asian students and 10% others combined. And when you go to local festivals, it's like you stepped into Beijing. I see some Armenians (they're technically Asian, but consider themselves white) at these events since I take it that their culture values music heavily. Some kids are mixed, but it's always half-Asian mix.

I know many piano studios would be defunct if it weren't for the heavy influx of Asian piano students.


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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Pavane1, I think the conversation is related to how different cultures value music. This conversation is not addressing ability related to ethnicity. I asked the studio owner what is the percentage of Caucasian students that take at her studio, it is about 25%, the majority are foreign students. From her experience, most foreign parents were more involved in making sure the child was at every lesson and had practiced, she felt the parents were involved.


Can you clarify what you mean by "foreign?"
Caucasian is racial and foreign is geopolitical.


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Can someone help me orient? I've lost the connection to "future of the piano teaching profession". I've been lost for a couple of pages.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Can someone help me orient? I've lost the connection to "future of the piano teaching profession". I've been lost for a couple of pages.

Is there a pun in your use of the word "orient"??

I think the thread took a turn because that is precisely the future of the piano teaching profession: globalization. People move, immigrate, but not always assimilate. For better or for worse, Asian (and I mean this in a purely geographic sense) students are taking over the clientele, and it would be wise for non-Asian teachers to understand some aspects of other cultures in order to better accommodate emerging clients. I am Asian myself, and I am learning many things about different Asian cultures in the process of becoming a better teacher to serve the needs of a shifting clientele, one that is becoming ever so diverse.

For example, today I am teaching seven students, representing five different cultures, and only one speaks the same native language as I do.


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The pun occurred to me after I used it, but decided to keep it.

The later turn makes some sense, but the original one about pitch recognition did not. If you have a good sense of pitch, the tuning of piano may become an irritant.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
it would be wise for non-Asian teachers to understand some aspects of other cultures in order to better accommodate emerging clients. I am Asian myself, and I am learning many things about different Asian cultures in the process of becoming a better teacher to serve the needs of a shifting clientele, one that is becoming ever so diverse.

That makes sense. Thank you.

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My piano teacher recently mentioned that she thinks the uptick in digital pianos is a godsend, because they're always in tune. Apparently she just gave up reminding a family to tune their piano after one year.

We had a look at a new iOS app called "Tonic", which is a "augmented reality chord directory", as in you select a chord on the screen and point the camera of your phone (or tablet) at the piano and it visually highlights the keys to press. I believe augmented reality will do a lot for learning piano, but it will probably need something like Microsoft Hololens to really be helpful.

Videos and apps provide 24/7 "always on" support. The student can learn whenever they want. What I do not see here, though is teachers actually using apps in their teaching. In school this is starting, but I do not see it in piano lessons. I find this curious because the pianos learning apps I have seen and used tend to be a lot better than all the other school related apps I have seen. Order of magnitude better. (except "Math" by onebillion)


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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
My piano teacher recently mentioned that she thinks the uptick in digital pianos is a godsend, because they're always in tune. Apparently she just gave up reminding a family to tune their piano after one year.

We had a look at a new iOS app called "Tonic", which is a "augmented reality chord directory", as in you select a chord on the screen and point the camera of your phone (or tablet) at the piano and it visually highlights the keys to press. I believe augmented reality will do a lot for learning piano

Really?

How is that different from those toy keyboards which 'teach' you how to play tunes by lighting up the keys that you need to press? Does anyone ever bother to learn how to read music from it?

If there is a concert pianist (dead or alive) - or even a half-decent amateur pianist - who learnt using piano apps rather than real-live teachers, I'd like to know about it.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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