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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790209 12/11/18 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by The Monkeys
I was talking to my younger son's (grade 6) school teacher a couple of weeks ago. He asked me what suggestion I had for school. Looking at scribbles all over the wall, I said, "perhaps to help them to improve their handwritings?"
Without giving it any thought, the teacher instantly responded: " I can't justify that as long as I can read what they write. The majority of our class work are done in typing anyways"
And he is in his 60s.

Well, I guess we are heading to a digital world, and there is no return.

Not quite true. Standardized tests are still handwritten. Good luck conveying your ideas if your handwriting is illegible.

Some schools got rid of cursive writing from their curriculum. Not sure what's next on the chopping block. Poetry?


I agree with you, also, nowadays, kids can type super fast, but they write super slow. They don't have enough time to write even if they know what to write!

But In BC, the coastal province we live, they just did away *ALL* standardized tests in high school (it was called "provincials" before), replacing them with one set of Numeracy and Literacy test at grade 12. We don't know what it is as no one has seen it. But it would be in a such a low level that university's can't use them as a reference for admission.

We don't have SAT/ACT, nor the Canadian universities recognize them for Canadian students.

Also, with the new BC curriculum, elementary schools are not allowed to give out letter grades. In high school, they are replacing the accelerated honor programs with non-accelerated enrichment programs.
The university encourage students to take AP courses and take AP tests (or take IB programs). But the universities are not allowed to see the students' AP tests results until after the students is admitted. They are only allow to see the AP course grades given by the class room teachers.

So, the teacher might have a point.

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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790234 12/11/18 05:38 PM
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Trying to address the recent variety of things thrown together.

Cursive writing and poetry are two very different things. I cannot see how poetry or lack thereof would have an effect on students' ability to do well or less well in piano lessons. (which I think was the topic) As a teacher trained in primary education, and having worked in the classroom, there is a role for cursive writing. Namely, for some students it may bring together how the letters of a single word belong together. I had a "slow student" in the classroom when I taught, already 9 and still in gr. 2 because of repeating grades, and the special education specialist told me that cursive writing would help that student in particular, for that reason.

BC (British Columbia) tends to be hailed as the most progressive and enlightened province. The saying used to be "The further west you go, the more enlightened you'll find the education system."

Letter grades? We weren't doing them when I taught in the early 1980's. We had percentage scores, and more importantly, anecdotal report cards where a teacher actually had to write things about the student's progress for each subject. Nowadays I work as a translator. The report cards that have impressed me are the ones from the French "lycees" in Hong Kong. They are also anecdotal, with a lot of guidance by each teacher of each subject, semester by semester.

If we're going to talk about what is going on in school systems, maybe it can be a bit more on point, like if you think it's bad to get rid of cursive writing, or it might be bad to get rid of poetry ---- what, specifically, is lost with that in the student's learning, and how that might affect piano or music studies. It can't just be "We used to do (subject) when I went to school, so our kids should do the same thing, because I did it." wink

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790254 12/11/18 06:44 PM
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Not really at the beginner levels, but when you deal with advanced piano music, knowledge of poetry can help interpret the meaning of the music--phrasing, structure, cadence, sound device, motives, etc. It's a different level of abstract thinking with which I can challenge students to analyze their music.

Of the four English teachers I had in high school, three taught poetry horribly, and the fourth was barely proficient. I didn't really understand poetry until two different grad students in college taught it properly.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790264 12/11/18 07:16 PM
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To the Monkeys,
I think handwriting is a very important skill, as is drawing. Hand-eye coordination is very important. So I'd go back to that old teacher and tell him that.

What kids lack in their education today: cursive handwriting, memorizing, grammar, negative consequences for failing to do their homework, ability to persevere.

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790290 12/11/18 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
...
Not quite true. Standardized tests are still handwritten.


In my district they are all computer based.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: malkin] #2790293 12/11/18 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
...
Not quite true. Standardized tests are still handwritten.

In my district they are all computer based.

In the USA, because of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), can they even require students to take handwritten tests of any kind? I was under the impression that schools had to offer computer versions of every test, standardized or for a class.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2790409 12/12/18 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

In the USA, because of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), can they even require students to take handwritten tests of any kind? I was under the impression that schools had to offer computer versions of every test, standardized or for a class.


A teacher can give whatever test in whatever form to a class of students. Students with disability may have an IEP (due to IDEA) or a 504 plan (under ADA) listing accommodations that may include typing written material or using a scribe or voice to text or whatever else for whatever suits the disability. General education students are mostly stuck with whatever the teacher hands out, though.

Here's a pretty sane little list of possibilities: https://www.understood.org/en/learn...assroom-accommodations-and-modifications

But I know you can have fun looking up these terms: accommodations modifications supplemental aids IDEA


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: keystring] #2790596 12/12/18 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring

BC (British Columbia) tends to be hailed as the most progressive and enlightened province. The saying used to be "The further west you go, the more enlightened you'll find the education system."


We are so progressive, to the point that we are in an uncharted territory. We are using a system that no one in the world has ever used it before, not even Northern Europe.
The educators said they want our kids to be future proof, and then put our kids' future on the line.

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: The Monkeys] #2790760 12/13/18 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by The Monkeys
We are so progressive, to the point that we are in an uncharted territory. We are using a system that no one in the world has ever used it before, not even Northern Europe.
The educators said they want our kids to be future proof, and then put our kids' future on the line.

Well, maybe part of the "uncharted territory" came as a response to the current trend of slower kids? And schools need to make slow kids feel better about themselves?

If the updated RCM repertoire list is any indication, Canadian kids are indeed getting slower and slower.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2790762 12/13/18 03:27 AM
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The updated RCM list isn't an indication of anything in regard to Canadian kids, but may have something to do with marketing. In terms of "uncharted territory" and the rest, I would be very interested, as an educator, in seeing exactly what is being done in BC. I know that when Ontario had its "reforms", the average parent on the street didn't know that many of the "new" things were just recycled things that had always been there but never published, but as a teacher I knew what I was looking at. In my present work I get an inside look at the educational systems of half a dozen countries. Without that,I don't know if I would actually be able to compare what is happening among countries. AT best, I might hear what friends tell me they think is going on.

Quote
And schools need to make slow kids feel better about themselves?

It is supposed to be about teaching. Not making kids feel things about themselves. I know that my experiences are outdated by now, since I taught in the 1980's. But at that time we taught toward the varying levels of the students so that they actually learned. And as a teacher I made it work. The advanced kids had outlets for further learning at their level, and the kids with varying difficulties got the extra help they needed. You can't do that when you're muzzled by a top heavy administration interfering with your teaching.

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2792216 12/16/18 11:21 PM
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a friend of mine is an art teacher. She noticed a couple of years ago that students were having difficulty with a project that she had been doing since her very first years, years and years ago. It is a simple building project. she asked a father who was helping in the classroom how often his child built things. He responded that his child builds all the time and that Dad was quite proud of all his child's building accomplishments. My friend asked oh, does she do Legos, Connex, Tinker Toys, or other blocks or even pieces of wood?
The father proudly responded that all the building was done in Minecraft.
my friend now adds an extra day or two for this art project, because the majority of her students have trouble with the physical balancing of it.

For piano, I have some students that will "play" around a lot, especially if they have a digital keyboard. But, when it comes to practice, not much is done

My analogy to tell is that no one watches the sports team do repetitive drills, lift weights, study play books, etc...but they like the game!
Practice is the repetitive stuff, the work, the exercise.
It is work.

I know some people watch videos of video games bring played, but it doesn't help your game as much as real work would do.

How much work are you willing to encourage your child to do?

Parents pay a good bit for piano lessons. Why they do not encourage practice boggles my mind.

You cannot build on a weak foundation ( to bring my post back to my art teacher friend)🙂


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2792243 12/17/18 04:26 AM
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About myopia - I started on the piano at the age of 7 in 1949 and was practising 1 - 2 hours a day. My short-sightedness developed by the age of 9 or 10 and exactly matched the distance between me and the piano pieces I was always reading. Always convinced that was why I became short-sighted and I was the only one in a class of nearly 40 who wore glasses.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2792288 12/17/18 08:54 AM
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The last thing I read on myopia said yes, it's increasing, but it's not due to increased close work. It's due to decreased time outside in sunlight.

I'm not sure how definitive this conclusion is. Obviously either could be associated with piano playing.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: TimR] #2792347 12/17/18 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
The last thing I read on myopia said yes, it's increasing, but it's not due to increased close work. It's due to decreased time outside in sunlight.

Aren't they related?

Indoors, one's eyes are hardly ever focused beyond eight feet, but these days, more like eight inches.

Outdoors, the eyes are focused close enough at infinity most of the time, watching the birds & the bees......


"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."
Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: TimR] #2792352 12/17/18 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
The last thing I read on myopia said yes, it's increasing, but it's not due to increased close work. It's due to decreased time outside in sunlight.

I'm not sure how definitive this conclusion is. Obviously either could be associated with piano playing.

That was what I discovered while watching a documentary - I think the experiments that were carried out under this hypothesis were happening in some Chinese schools, but I may have the country wrong.

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: bennevis] #2792354 12/17/18 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by TimR
The last thing I read on myopia said yes, it's increasing, but it's not due to increased close work. It's due to decreased time outside in sunlight.

Aren't they related?

Indoors, one's eyes are hardly ever focused beyond eight feet, but these days, more like eight inches.

Outdoors, the eyes are focused close enough at infinity most of the time, watching the birds & the bees......


That has been the hypothesis for a long time, because that is the conclusion one would naturally draw. But in the documentary I saw, they made sure that kids spent half an hour daily, at least, in natural sunlight, and they also changed the lighting in the classroom. Statistics showed a significant change. They concluded that myopia could not be reversed once it happened, but it could be prevented to some degree.

The science part of it had to do with the chemistry that happens between the eyes and sunlight. It was almost like eyes were plants that have chemical changes going on where sunlight is a factor. When you grow plants indoor you will sometimes buy "grow lights" that have particular colours of the spectrum. It appeared that certain colours of the spectrum also affected what goes on with eyes. (It was a fascinating document).

Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2792404 12/17/18 02:10 PM
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Well, despite a lot of piano practice during the time when my myopia developed, I was never short of outside light. In those days there was no TV so we played outside. I go along more with the theory of having to gaze at 'infinity'.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: AZNpiano] #2792406 12/17/18 02:17 PM
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....and don't forget, myopia is associated with big brains: myopia = big eyeballs => big brains => ? wink

Go to CERN or anywhere where very clever people with high IQ congregate, and if you see anyone with no glasses on, ask them what brand of contact lenses they use, or what kind of laser surgery they had...... grin


"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."
Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: bennevis] #2792413 12/17/18 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Indoors, one's eyes are hardly ever focused beyond eight feet, but these days, more like eight inches.

Outdoors, the eyes are focused close enough at infinity most of the time, watching the birds & the bees......


There are actually two things going on: Focusing the lenses, and converging the two eyes. The human eye has lots of depth of field, it's the convergence that's the hard part.


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Re: Slow Progress Among Beginners [Re: JohnSprung] #2792417 12/17/18 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by bennevis
Indoors, one's eyes are hardly ever focused beyond eight feet, but these days, more like eight inches.

Outdoors, the eyes are focused close enough at infinity most of the time, watching the birds & the bees......


There are actually two things going on: Focusing the lenses, and converging the two eyes. The human eye has lots of depth of field, it's the convergence that's the hard part.



Depth of field is dependent on the size of the pupils (like a camera's aperture) - in bright sunlight, everything looks sharp. Not so in dull winter light, like.....now. Or indoor light.

I never thought converging the eyes is ever a problem: look at one index finger and gradually bring it closer to your nose - even when you can't focus, your eyes will still manage to avoid seeing double until your finger is just a few inches away.


"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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