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Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf #2836610
04/08/19 01:46 AM
04/08/19 01:46 AM
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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One of my really bad piano students insists on taking the CM exam, and she can't hear anything--no chord qualities, no intervals. NOTHING. She consistently gets confused between C major triad and E major triad if I play them back to back. She hears them as two different chord qualities.

She also can't tell apart an interval that's close or far apart. If I play a minor third, she'll say the two notes are far apart. And if I play a Major seventh, she'll think the two notes are close together.

At one lesson, I got so fed up with her lack of hearing ability, I played simply two notes, a half step apart, and asked her if the note went up or down. She can do that. She can also tell if the notes are same or different. That's it. Up, down. Same or different.

I'm this close to giving her one of those online audio tests that examines deficiency in pitch perception, but that will hurt her feelings cool

Any suggestions? cursing


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836612
04/08/19 01:59 AM
04/08/19 01:59 AM
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First thing would be to find out whether she actually cannot hear or if she has a problem with short term memory or other inability to analyze the information or even ADD. Not an easy task though. If so you could try to introduce less at once, give more time and make sure the student does not get stressed.

I have a very good ear but because of my memory problems I am terrible at such exercises...

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836615
04/08/19 02:13 AM
04/08/19 02:13 AM
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Interesting.

She does very well at school, getting mostly A's. I noticed that she's very bad with audio processing of verbal instructions, so I almost always write down my instructions, step by step. She's extremely stubborn and LOVES to debate over semantics, even when she's dead wrong.

Definitely no ADD. I've worked with kids who have ADD, and she's not in the same ballpark as them. I think it's something wrong with her pitch perception.

I tried the "song openings" method to teach her intervals. To her ears, Happy Birthday and Twinkle Twinkle and Jingle Bells start on the same interval.

She thinks Happy Birthday is in a minor key.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836617
04/08/19 02:16 AM
04/08/19 02:16 AM
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How is she at singing?

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836618
04/08/19 02:17 AM
04/08/19 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I played simply two notes, a half step apart, and asked her if the note went up or down. She can do that. She can also tell if the notes are same or different. That's it. Up, down. Same or different.
If she can do same/different and up/down she is NOT tone-deaf. You might have to think of another word for it. Aurally challenged, inexperienced etc. I would start from the things she can hear and identify, and very gradually extend it. Don't think about working towards a test, just keep gradually extending what she can do, tiny steps. That would be my approach, anyway.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836627
04/08/19 02:57 AM
04/08/19 02:57 AM
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She's a monotone. Can't match pitch if her life depended on it. She must be one of those girls that mouths words in choir.

Don't get me wrong. She's actually a very pleasant student. She's enthusiastic, and actually practices piano!! Her mother can get a little pushy, but what Asian parent isn't these days?

However, she takes her a long time to learn something so simple, even my 7-year-old students can learn quickly. I inherited her from a Suzuki teacher who forgot to teach her to read music, so in the last two years I've managed to turn a non-reader into a kid who can actually sight read decently. Of course, I am THE expert at turning Transfer Wrecks into capable players, but now I've run into something that's even I can't fix. I blame genetics.

I guess I'll try baby steps. But what's the next baby step after Up/Down? Half step vs. whole step?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836639
04/08/19 04:15 AM
04/08/19 04:15 AM
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Kids who can’t match pitch often just haven’t had the vocal experience they need to do this. Start by getting her to sing a pitch, any pitch, without giving her anything to copy or match. Then find the pitch she sings and once again, go from there. If it’s D she sings, for example, you could try a little 3-note song DED and see if she can match that. It sounds slow, but it’s much more productive to start with what the child can do and not challenging her until she’s confident.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836695
04/08/19 07:39 AM
04/08/19 07:39 AM
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The other thing one might consider is an ear training app for a phone. She likely has a smart phone as most kids now do. Perhaps you assign her to work with one of the more common ear training apps that have different levels and are progressive. Something like 5 mins per day. At least she would get immediate and objective feedback on her weakness, and get this feedback daily too.

It's not as bad to have your smartphone app call you out than to have your teacher call you out, even if the latter is in the nicest way - I know that would push my anxiety button if I repeatedly were to fail in front of my teacher on something.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2836705
04/08/19 08:16 AM
04/08/19 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
The other thing one might consider is an ear training app for a phone. She likely has a smart phone as most kids now do. Perhaps you assign her to work with one of the more common ear training apps that have different levels and are progressive. Something like 5 mins per day. At least she would get immediate and objective feedback on her weakness, and get this feedback daily too.

It's not as bad to have your smartphone app call you out than to have your teacher call you out, even if the latter is in the nicest way - I know that would push my anxiety button if I repeatedly were to fail in front of my teacher on something.


I was just going to suggest this. I'm not sure what the latest apps are, but I have used musictheory.net with my students. You can customize an ear training exercise (for example, playing only major and minor thirds) and send the link to your student. The game-like quality might be appealing to her.

Not sure how your exam system compares to RCM, but in RCM the identifying intervals/chords etc. portion of the exam is not worth a huge number of points. So if the student is having huge difficulties in this area, I try not to stress too much... hopefully the student can do well in other areas of the exam.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836714
04/08/19 08:56 AM
04/08/19 08:56 AM
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Matching pitch can be very timbre dependent.

I've told this story before, but: I was in church when the pastor played the starting pitch (for an unfamiliar hymn) on the organ then started singing it, at least a fourth higher. None of us had the range to sing it. I fumed to my daughter "How is that even possible? He played the note." But my then middle school daughter said Daddy I can't do it either. But, she sings in choir and is always on pitch. She said she can match pitch to a voice, or to a piano, but not to an organ, guitar, trumpet, etc. It's a learned thing, she couldn't do piano at first but with choir experience added that skill.

So here's my thought. I think you said you have a digital in the studio. Try some different voices and see if there's a timbre that her ear responds to better. Then shape outwards from there. Maybe an oboe would work better, or a flute, or a sine wave, or a bassoon, etc.

Reinhardt (famous brass teacher, now deceased) said trombone players should develop perfect pitch by learning to recognize notes on trombone, then expand to trumpet and tuba.


gotta go practice
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836727
04/08/19 09:32 AM
04/08/19 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I guess I'll try baby steps. But what's the next baby step after Up/Down? Half step vs. whole step?


Ouch - what a bad situation. However, it sounds like there is hope. This baby steps idea is the right idea, and the next thing I would do is half step vs. whole step, then move on the larger intervals, identifying half steps, whole steps, and intervals in pieces, etc.

Question: who is actually insisting on the exam? The student herself, or the parents? If it's the student, then you might want to give her a "come to Jesus" talk: she MUST work hard at aural and take it seriously, otherwise her exam scores will suffer. If it's the parents... thankfully I've never been in that situation, even with my Asian students.


Austin Rogers, PhD
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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: pianist_lady] #2836732
04/08/19 09:33 AM
04/08/19 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
The other thing one might consider is an ear training app for a phone. She likely has a smart phone as most kids now do. Perhaps you assign her to work with one of the more common ear training apps that have different levels and are progressive. Something like 5 mins per day. At least she would get immediate and objective feedback on her weakness, and get this feedback daily too.

It's not as bad to have your smartphone app call you out than to have your teacher call you out, even if the latter is in the nicest way - I know that would push my anxiety button if I repeatedly were to fail in front of my teacher on something.


I was just going to suggest this. I'm not sure what the latest apps are, but I have used musictheory.net with my students. You can customize an ear training exercise (for example, playing only major and minor thirds) and send the link to your student. The game-like quality might be appealing to her.

Not sure how your exam system compares to RCM, but in RCM the identifying intervals/chords etc. portion of the exam is not worth a huge number of points. So if the student is having huge difficulties in this area, I try not to stress too much... hopefully the student can do well in other areas of the exam.


I’ve been working my way through meludia on my iPhone. There is also a web version: https://www.meludia.com/


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836779
04/08/19 11:07 AM
04/08/19 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Interesting.

She does very well at school, getting mostly A's. I noticed that she's very bad with audio processing of verbal instructions, so I almost always write down my instructions, step by step. She's extremely stubborn and LOVES to debate over semantics, even when she's dead wrong..


Don't be fooled by school success though...if she is intelligent she can do well despite issues in perception. School is easy compared to piano smile

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: TimR] #2836811
04/08/19 12:10 PM
04/08/19 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Reinhardt (famous brass teacher, now deceased) said trombone players should develop perfect pitch by learning to recognize notes on trombone, then expand to trumpet and tuba.

I assume you mean "relative pitch?"


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2836833
04/08/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by TimR
Reinhardt (famous brass teacher, now deceased) said trombone players should develop perfect pitch by learning to recognize notes on trombone, then expand to trumpet and tuba.

I assume you mean "relative pitch?"


No, I do not. I don't mean the ability to identify or for that matter to play a given interval.

I mean to listen to a trombone player play a simple melody, e.g., and know what notes he is playing at all times. Within the comfortable intermediate trombone range - say, the bass clef up to about third space C in the treble clef - I can usually do this if it's not too fast.

Of course there are more cues available than just the slight variations in timbre. If we can see the player there are cues from the position, there is the information from the notes that preceded, the context of the key, the changes in articulation that accompany changes in partial, etc. I don't know what all goes into it. It is harder with notes in isolation, and when they get into the super high range (F on top of treble clef to the F above) I can't do it at all. I can't play that range myself and that may have something to do with it.

I can't do it listening to trumpet, but I can tell open notes from valved notes usually, and sometimes that is enough to identify what they are playing. For example, if you hear an open note to a major second, there are lots of choices. If you hear open to open major third to open minor third, and it's midrange tone, there's only one possibility.

I'll look up the exact Reinhardt advice and post it if you're interested.


gotta go practice
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2836842
04/08/19 01:37 PM
04/08/19 01:37 PM
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AZNpiano Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Question: who is actually insisting on the exam? The student herself, or the parents? If it's the student, then you might want to give her a "come to Jesus" talk: she MUST work hard at aural and take it seriously, otherwise her exam scores will suffer. If it's the parents... thankfully I've never been in that situation, even with my Asian students.

It's both. The girl goes to a school where almost everybody who is anybody takes piano lessons, and over half take the CM test. It's tremendous social/peer pressure, I bet. There's almost a fatalistic disconnect between this girl's enthusiasm for the test and her actual ability. Not sure if I want to try the "Come to Jesus" method of direct instruction.

Mom is one of those gossipy Asian parents who gets all these stupid ideas online. She often would dig up the "achievements" of other girls on FB and ask me if her daughter can do the same. I tried to be as diplomatic as I can, but you know I'm not good at that. I tried to explain my philosophy over email so the daughter can be spared of The Truth. God knows if Mom just shows those emails to the girl and makes her feel even more worthless.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836843
04/08/19 01:38 PM
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RE: apps and online resources

Tried that. There's no follow-through at home.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2836963
04/08/19 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I'm this close to giving her one of those online audio tests that examines deficiency in pitch perception, but that will hurt her feelings :


Instead of some internet test, better to go to the best available ear doctors:

https://hei.org/

Given how diligent and successful she is in her other school work, maybe there is something physically wrong with her hearing.


-- J.S.

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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837077
04/09/19 05:18 AM
04/09/19 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I tried the "song openings" method to teach her intervals. To her ears, Happy Birthday and Twinkle Twinkle and Jingle Bells start on the same interval.

Hm - Thinking about this. Putting these two pieces into C major:

Happy birthday: G, G, A, G, C, B.....
Twinkle: C, C, G, G, A, A, G.....
Jingle Bells: E, E,E - E, E, E - E, G, C, D, E...

They do all start on the same interval: unison: G,G .... C,C .... E,E... unisons laugh

Every one of the problems you have listed has to with a verbal name for something, and verbal instructions. You say she has trouble with verbal instructions. In Happy Birthday, you are not asking her to identify what interval open the song: You are asking her to identify the first two notes that are different. But she has taken you literally.

You've got all these names of things. I might get mixed up too. How is she in playing? Does she play correctly or badly? If she makes a mistake, can she hear it and correct it?

If she debates over semantics, that may again be the comprehension thing: or aspiness. I have been accused of debating over semantics, and it's not just because I'm a linguist, but because I tend to take things literally.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837132
04/09/19 07:45 AM
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Thinking about using tunes to hear intervals: the Celebrate Piano method series uses "interval songs" to support reading and ear training. These are short tunes that the student and teacher sing and play at the lesson; all the tunes have the interval ascending and descending, as well as step-wise motion from the bottom note to the top note of the interval. Perhaps you could help your student compose short melodies (2-4 bars only) to help her hear/feel each interval? If she is not into singing, then writing and playing might help make things more concrete.

Regarding exam preparation, at times I have found it helpful to show the parent and student the breakdown of the marks for the various sections of the exam. Sometimes I get students who refuse to practice scales and/or ear training, because they think the repertoire is only thing that matters and that they will get a high score by "perfecting" all of the pieces. Usually they understand when I show them that neglecting these other areas means saying goodbye to at least 10 points, if not more.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837193
04/09/19 10:02 AM
04/09/19 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
...There's no follow-through at home.


It sounds like this is likely to be a problem no matter what you try.


Learner
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2837334
04/09/19 04:13 PM
04/09/19 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Every one of the problems you have listed has to with a verbal name for something, and verbal instructions. You say she has trouble with verbal instructions. In Happy Birthday, you are not asking her to identify what interval open the song: You are asking her to identify the first two notes that are different. But she has taken you literally.

No, I'm quite specific about the openings. And Jingle Bells starts with a M6. (Dashing through the snow)

Every one of these intervals were played a zillion times during lessons. Sometimes it makes me wonder why bother.

Originally Posted by keystring
You've got all these names of things. I might get mixed up too. How is she in playing? Does she play correctly or badly? If she makes a mistake, can she hear it and correct it?

Her playing is competent, though not very expressive. No dynamics, and very little effort at balance or voicing. It's all about getting the notes right. FWIW, she's not yet doing sonatinas, so very early intermediate stage. It also takes her several weeks to learn one piece. A bit on the slow side.

Originally Posted by keystring
If she debates over semantics, that may again be the comprehension thing: or aspiness. I have been accused of debating over semantics, and it's not just because I'm a linguist, but because I tend to take things literally.

To me, it's more about being a teenager.

This is a Transfer Wreck indeed. In total, she's been playing piano over six years now. Many of my beginners who started piano after I got her have surpassed her. It takes longer to undo the damage and then to re-teach.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2837336
04/09/19 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
...There's no follow-through at home.


It sounds like this is likely to be a problem no matter what you try.

That's what I'm up against. Both the girl and her mother do not realize how much there is to learn, and they don't put in enough effort to overcome what's apparent to me a genetic deficiency.

At this point, I might just let her get a zero for that portion of the Ear Training test. I'll pick my battles wisely. This one is unwinnable.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837342
04/09/19 04:49 PM
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Are you only using the piano? Try something that has simpler overtone profile like a flute or even a pure sine wave.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: anamnesis] #2837344
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Originally Posted by anamnesis
Are you only using the piano? Try something that has simpler overtone profile like a flute or even a pure sine wave.

I think I know what you are getting at. The overtones don't affect most people, though. I think this is a case where the girl's hearing is truly deficient.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837350
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
Every one of the problems you have listed has to with a verbal name for something, and verbal instructions. You say she has trouble with verbal instructions. In Happy Birthday, you are not asking her to identify what interval open the song: You are asking her to identify the first two notes that are different. But she has taken you literally.

No, I'm quite specific about the openings. And Jingle Bells starts with a M6. (Dashing through the snow)

Every one of these intervals were played a zillion times during lessons. Sometimes it makes me wonder why bother.


I tried the song method myself at some point. I can sing the songs fine, I can immediately hear if someone sings them flat or sharp but I can never remember which interval it is. Now that you mention that one is a sixth, fine I can sing it, but ask me tomorrow what that interval is and I will need to go to the piano and count the keys...if I have to sing a specific interval outside of context I will have to sing the scale and count the steps in my head. Melodies I can remember without much effort but If you play me two different intervals I cannot remember the first long enough to compare to the second even if can surely HEAR the difference. It's a bit hard to explain. It is some kind of a handicap with my memory, just like I cannot remember faces no matter how often I see them...and it is not a problem for me to list the interval names and handle them theoretically. For your student whatever the deeper reason behind the problems, It may indeed be that the exam is not worth all the trouble...

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: outo] #2837411
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Originally Posted by outo
Melodies I can remember without much effort but If you play me two different intervals I cannot remember the first long enough to compare to the second even if can surely HEAR the difference. It's a bit hard to explain. It is some kind of a handicap with my memory, just like I cannot remember faces no matter how often I see them...

I read the Oliver Sacks book that discussed visual agnosia and am therefore pretty sure a difficulty remembering intervals would not be neurologically related to a difficulties with faces.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837452
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by anamnesis
Are you only using the piano? Try something that has simpler overtone profile like a flute or even a pure sine wave.

I think I know what you are getting at. The overtones don't affect most people, though. I think this is a case where the girl's hearing is truly deficient.


Yes, if hearing is defined as her entire auditory system from her outer ears to her auditory cortex, and then through the magical web that would enable her to give expression to the experience.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2837458
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Another tangent, but related from today’s news. “Aphantasia” is a newly defined inability to create or hold abstract imagery in your mind. BBC story features the outgoing head of Pixar animation studio. May be similar things happening with struggling music students?

Aphantasia: Ex-Pixar chief Ed Catmull says 'my mind's eye is blind'
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47830256


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: currawong] #2837461
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Originally Posted by currawong
If she can do same/different and up/down she is NOT tone-deaf. You might have to think of another word for it. Aurally challenged, inexperienced etc. I would start from the things she can hear and identify, and very gradually extend it. Don't think about working towards a test, just keep gradually extending what she can do, tiny steps. That would be my approach, anyway.


and

Originally Posted by currawong
Kids who can’t match pitch often just haven’t had the vocal experience they need to do this. Start by getting her to sing a pitch, any pitch, without giving her anything to copy or match. Then find the pitch she sings and once again, go from there. If it’s D she sings, for example, you could try a little 3-note song DED and see if she can match that. It sounds slow, but it’s much more productive to start with what the child can do and not challenging her until she’s confident.


Both of these things make sense.

There is so much "medical diagnosis" going on here. It all seems off. There is also the matter of her having been a transfer student, needing to learn to read after two years of some version of Suzuki, and if that was ear as it must have been, you might be looking at a MIStraining of the ear.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2837469
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
Melodies I can remember without much effort but If you play me two different intervals I cannot remember the first long enough to compare to the second even if can surely HEAR the difference. It's a bit hard to explain. It is some kind of a handicap with my memory, just like I cannot remember faces no matter how often I see them...

I read the Oliver Sacks book that discussed visual agnosia and am therefore pretty sure a difficulty remembering intervals would not be neurologically related to a difficulties with faces.


I never said it was. I can recognize faces, I just cannot remember them consistently. Agnosia is a more severe condition. My problems are memory related. It was an example of how certain things do not stick. I cannot remember left and right either, even after decades of trying wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: JohnSprung] #2837476
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I'm this close to giving her one of those online audio tests that examines deficiency in pitch perception, but that will hurt her feelings :


Instead of some internet test, better to go to the best available ear doctors:

https://hei.org/

Given how diligent and successful she is in her other school work, maybe there is something physically wrong with her hearing.



I want to hear the response from the House Ear Institute when you refer her due to tone deafness!


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2837479
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Originally Posted by keystring
There is so much "medical diagnosis" going on here. It all seems off. There is also the matter of her having been a transfer student, needing to learn to read after two years of some version of Suzuki, and if that was ear as it must have been, you might be looking at a MIStraining of the ear.

What training of the ear? The girl learned to play piano by copying her teacher's demonstration. It was learning by sight, not by ear.

The girl is just now getting ready to play the stuff that her last teacher let her mimic. So much time is wasted.

Also, the girl has been in choir since 4th grade. What has she been doing the last four years if she can't even match pitch?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837482
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
There is so much "medical diagnosis" going on here. It all seems off. There is also the matter of her having been a transfer student, needing to learn to read after two years of some version of Suzuki, and if that was ear as it must have been, you might be looking at a MIStraining of the ear.

What training of the ear? The girl learned to play piano by copying her teacher's demonstration. It was learning by sight, not by ear.

I wrote MIStraining - not training. Anything you have a student do will end up creating some kind of training including a wrong kind. For copying she had to "listen" to her teacher, but it's the wrong kind of listening. It spoils the ear, depending on how she/her teacher did it.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837579
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I'll expand. I have a friend who was taught viola via Suzuki, imitating piece after piece over recordings. We met when she was relatively advanced, and we explored this and that as two strings students. She discovered that with all that imitating, she had never learned to listen and hear individual things. An interval, a motif, a pattern. In this way it had spoiled the ear and hearing had to be relearned with things unlearned. I was thinking about that kind of thing.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837707
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This article is almost 6 years old but explains very well the phenomena of congenital amusia in children. It references these four research papers:
The upshot is that not only might there be nothing to be done about this, but the condition could be hereditary - your student's parent(s) could also have congenital amusia. This research paper here includes a little summary:
Quote
It may be possible to compensate for amusia by training pitch discrimination abilities. Amusic adults show a normal range of intelligence and have no other brain deficits. They get little payoff from pitch training and typically find it annoying. Their performance on tests of pitch may even decrease with continued testing.

There is greater hope for children, especially since an understanding of amusia may have broader implications. Researchers believe that congenital amusia has similarities with dyslexia and related disorders. These findings should contribute to understanding the origins of learning disorders – the genetic causes and their neural consequences, opined the scientists of the study.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837831
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Congenital amusia...is this proof, scientific or otherwise, that some people are simply not musically talented? Sure sounds like it.

ps...thanks for the research, Tyrone.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: currawong] #2837934
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Originally Posted by currawong
Kids who can’t match pitch often just haven’t had the vocal experience they need to do this. Start by getting her to sing a pitch, any pitch, without giving her anything to copy or match. Then find the pitch she sings and once again, go from there. If it’s D she sings, for example, you could try a little 3-note song DED and see if she can match that. It sounds slow, but it’s much more productive to start with what the child can do and not challenging her until she’s confident.

This is a good tactic. Also, I will explain to the student that the problem is she isn't internalizing the note, meaning she's not singing it in her head. That is absolutely necessary in order to match pitch, and it is what allows us to determine intervals because we "sing" them in our head and can figure out if it's a large interval vs small, and narrow it down from there by figuring something like Wedding March for a perfect 4th, twinkle twinkle for a 5th, etc.

While I am explaining this, I'm sitting at the piano and playing middle C, and the surrounding octaves at the same time with the pedal over and over again. Middle C is an easy note for any female voice to sing. I with then ask her to listen to this note I've been playing, play Middle C only and then stop. I ask her if she still hears the note in her head. If not, I'll play it again, and then stop and ask again. If she says yes, then I ask her to sing it on Ah.

Chances are, she'll hit it. It's this internalization that needs to be cultivated. Usually it's something they learn at an early age if the parents sing to the child (and if they can match pitch). So if that's missing, they have to go through this enough until they can do it automatically.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2837953
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I was thinking, if G major and E major sound quite different to her, then she's hearing something that many wouldn't--just not the quality that you want her tuned into. I don't know ways to address it other than what's been suggested, though.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838534
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I knew a guy in college who I thought was tone-deaf in his singing. He had trouble matching pitches. He knew it and he loved singing, so he actually spent quite a lot of effort working on it and he is extremely better now, enough to be able to join an acapella group which I never would have imagined before. I second curra's suggestions.

I mean technically if she's thinking in absolute terms... she's right about the major7th's notes being closer together .. so she must be hearing something, maybe just not in a completely typical way. If she has had no ear training at all, I don't find it completely unusual that she can't identify intervals and that chords that are both major might sound different to her.. she doesn't know what that "different" sound is and is shooting in the dark. It's difficult for those of us who never had to really struggle at matching pitch to understand. I also had a beginning student who couldn't even identify up or down, which I had taken for granted, thinking everybody could identify that automatically. I think as she practices and she gets more of a reference, she'll be able to name what she's hearing better, it won't be an entirely lost cause.

As for CM though..... eek


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838562
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The term used by the English neurosurgeon Dr. Oliver Sacks who worked in NY is "Amusia". Being tone-death has nothing to do with having a learning disability. It describes people who cannot distinguish between different sounds. To them, the sound of different notes & chords is just noise.

1 thing I was good at in high school was having a good ear. Back then I could only pick up an instrument to an intermediate level because of lack of practice. Otherwise my music teacher in high school would play just about any chord on a piano. As long as I can figure out the first note, the rest just fall into place. Back then I was playing violin. Even if my playing wasn't perfect, I could always rely on music theory tests to help me pass the music course. I tend to memorize music since my school days so getting the finger sequences in my head would help me get through a piece even without hearing the actual notes.

Even today if I hear a piece often enough I can pick out the Key Signature like Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #5 is in D and I can relate that piece to the Orchestral Suites #3 & 4 which are also in D and so are movements from the Handel Royal Fireworks Suite.

A lot of people including myself don't have Perfect Pitch but have some sense of Relative Pitch. If you definitely feels your student is almost tone-death and may affect her future progress, the last resort is to talk to the parents to see a medical specialist like a neurosurgeon. For now she probably needs to do ear training exercises like you get another family member who is good in music to play notes at random on the piano / keyboard and get her to name them. Do this a few times a day and hopefully you can train her ears sufficiently enough to pick out a C when it is played.

When you play 2 of the same notes an octave apart like a D+D, can she tell they sounded in unison? If not, she may need to see a medical specialist.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2838564
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The term used by the English neurosurgeon Dr. Oliver Sacks who worked in NY is "Amusia". Being tone-death has nothing to do with having a learning disability. It describes people who cannot distinguish between different sounds. To them, the sound of different notes & chords is just noise.

Yes, I linked to articles on cognitive amusia, above.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2838574
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416


A lot of people including myself don't have Perfect Pitch but have some sense of Relative Pitch. If you definitely feels your student is almost tone-death and may affect her future progress, the last resort is to talk to the parents to see a medical specialist like a neurosurgeon. For now she probably needs to do ear training exercises like you get another family member who is good in music to play notes at random on the piano / keyboard and get her to name them. Do this a few times a day and hopefully you can train her ears sufficiently enough to pick out a C when it is played.


You probably know this but in case anyone is unaware: The term ear training is quite misleading. There's little to do to train ears, they either work or not. Sometimes cleaning the ears or treating for infection may help, but there's surprisingly little doctors can do to actually cure the ear when it is damaged.

It is the brain that does the actual work in tasks like this. And that's where it gets complicated. It's no easy task to find out what's working and what's not. It's a mixture of comprehension (of what one hears), understanding (what it means) and remembering (to compare and analyze) and any of those can deficient. There are no quick tests to determine slight cognitive anomalies. The case studies that Sachs uses in his books are extreme cases, which of course are easier to study but much more rare.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: outo] #2838577
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Originally Posted by outo
There are no quick tests to determine slight cognitive anomalies.

That may have been true at one time with respect to cognitive amusia, but the papers I linked above show easier ways to detect cognitive amusia today.

Originally Posted by outo
The case studies that Sachs uses in his books are extreme cases, which of course are easier to study but much more rare.

The papers I linked above show cognitive amusia occurs in 5% of the population and appears to sometimes be hereditary. This is not what I would call rare.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2838630
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
There are no quick tests to determine slight cognitive anomalies.

That may have been true at one time with respect to cognitive amusia, but the papers I linked above show easier ways to detect cognitive amusia today.

Originally Posted by outo
The case studies that Sachs uses in his books are extreme cases, which of course are easier to study but much more rare.

The papers I linked above show cognitive amusia occurs in 5% of the population and appears to sometimes be hereditary. This is not what I would call rare.

I think true amusia ("Tone-deafness") is much rarer than the case of just not being able to match pitch as I spoke about. I have never encountered amusia in my teaching. It has always been a case of not having learned at an early age to match pitch, and with each student I was able to get them to match pitch. The more they stuck with it, the better they became. Or, perhaps these all had amusia, and this is the solution to that.

I've just not encountered someone that whatever they had couldn't be fixed. Not saying there aren't people like that out there, but I do think we should not condemn those that can't do this automatically by giving it a name that sounds like a disease and making it sound like there's no hope. With effort and the proper instruction, it can be permanently resolved. wink


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838638
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It is much more likely that if a transfer student received poor instruction before coming to the present teacher, that the cause and solution lies here, and not some obscure thing that scientific papers gets written about.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2838708
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
There are no quick tests to determine slight cognitive anomalies.

That may have been true at one time with respect to cognitive amusia, but the papers I linked above show easier ways to detect cognitive amusia today.

I would not call amusia a slight anomaly, I was referring to problems associated with learning deficiences in case there's no amusia present. And while testing for amusia may be something the researchers can fairly easily do, these test are not commonly available to teachers, parents or sult students.


Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Originally Posted by outo
The case studies that Sachs uses in his books are extreme cases, which of course are easier to study but much more rare.

The papers I linked above show cognitive amusia occurs in 5% of the population and appears to sometimes be hereditary. This is not what I would call rare.

Depends on the population I guess smile


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2838710
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I think true amusia ("Tone-deafness") is much rarer than the case of just not being able to match pitch as I spoke about. I have never encountered amusia in my teaching. It has always been a case of not having learned at an early age to match pitch, and with each student I was able to get them to match pitch. The more they stuck with it, the better they became. Or, perhaps these all had amusia, and this is the solution to that.

And this may be. I can't say I've ever knowingly encountered a person with amusia.

Originally Posted by keystring
...and not some obscure thing that scientific papers gets written about.

This is not so rare if 4-5% of the population has it, and therefore being dismissive of it is unwarranted:
Quote
In an attempt to quantify this disorder and to measure its prevalence, Kalmus and Fry administered a test that required the detection of anomalous pitches inserted in popular melodies to more than 600 participants in the UK. Approximately 4% of these subjects performed as poorly as 20 self-declared amusic individuals. Since then, a similar estimate (5%), based on the low tail of the normal score distribution has been obtained in the USA with a similar test (Drayna, pers. commun.). While these estimates are based upon performance on a single measure of musical ability, which may have poor validity, they are interesting for two reasons. First, they are consistent with the prevalence of other domain-specific disabilities, such as SLI (7%). Second, the estimates have been obtained with a test that has been recently shown to tap a genetically transmitted ability. The anomalous pitch detection test has been completed by 136 identical (monozygotic) twins and 148 fraternal (dizygotic) twins. Genetic model-fitting indicates that the influence of shared genes is more important than shared environ- ments, with a heritability of 70 – 80%. This suggests that the 4 to 5% of the general population that is amusic may suffer from a genetically determined defect in perceiving pitch structure in music.

On the other hand, I do not work in this area so I am not trying to stand behind these numbers - I only "know what I read" in this case. Just saying that if the cognitive amusia research is correct, this may be obscure, but not rare, which makes it indeed relevant to this discussion. There are certainly many disorders which we talk about that are rarer than 4-5%.

Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by outo
The case studies that Sachs uses in his books are extreme cases, which of course are easier to study but much more rare.

The papers I linked above show cognitive amusia occurs in 5% of the population and appears to sometimes be hereditary. This is not what I would call rare.
Depends on the population I guess smile

The populations for the research cited above is UK and US. See quote above. The paper this quote comes from is also linked above. Again, I'm not standing behind this research or the numbers. Not my area of expertise. I'm just citing it.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838712
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In the present circumstance, I think it is the wrong tack.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2838720
04/13/19 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
In the present circumstance, I think it is the wrong tack.

Well, three thoughts.

First, cognitive amusia is either "a real thing" or it "isn't a real thing." Neither I, nor probably most of those in this thread, would be able to say one way or the other if it is a formal disorder, not being researchers. Really out of the scope of this thread on whether it's real or not.

Second, if it does exist, perhaps as morodiene pointed out, there are solutions to it. It's a relatively new thing so just because researchers haven't found a solution doesn't mean that solutions don't exist, and it is perfectly plausible that a simple solution as morodiene suggested would address the issue.

Third, the issue of cognitive amusia though is absolutely relevant to this discussion as the OP has a case where a student has problems discerning the difference between two pitches - whether one is higher or lower than the other. This is actually practically a definition of amusia. If amusia is not relevant to this student example (not saying the student has amusia, just pointing out "relevance to the conversation" here), then amusia is really not relevant to anything, in my book.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838806
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If you find certain people amusing, then it could be said that they...amusia (amuse-ya).

But seriously, why would this ability to hear, match, sing, relate to, discriminate or otherwise "get" pitch not be normally distributed across the population, with some people really good at it, some people really bad at it, and most people falling somewhere in the middle under the big part of the bell curve?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2838829
04/13/19 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
If you find certain people amusing, then it could be said that they...amusia (amuse-ya).

But seriously, why would this ability to hear, match, sing, relate to, discriminate or otherwise "get" pitch not be normally distributed across the population, with some people really good at it, some people really bad at it, and most people falling somewhere in the middle under the big part of the bell curve?

No idea... Because it's a disorder, perhaps? But fully speculating (without basis wink ) here, I suppose it could be a spectrum disorder where different people are on different parts of the spectrum? But even so, I guess there would still be people "on the spectrum" and people "not on the spectrum" like most spectrum disorders.

Anyways, without speculating wildly, the only thing I know about this (or think I know about this) are in the papers I've linked. It's possible that the researchers don't know a lot more than that either!


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838840
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Many (most?) traits are normally distributed within a population and are only considered a disorder for the members of the population who fall toward of the tails of the curve or outside the "normal range."


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2838855
04/13/19 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Many (most?) traits are normally distributed within a population and are only considered a disorder for the members of the population who fall toward of the tails of the curve or outside the "normal range."

Well then, you know more about this than I do!


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2838914
04/14/19 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Many (most?) traits are normally distributed within a population and are only considered a disorder for the members of the population who fall toward of the tails of the curve or outside the "normal range."


This is true and it even applies to being blind or deaf. You may have a little ability left or none at all. "Normal" is sometimes easier to define, but it is usually never exact.

In this case however we do not know whether the person in question actually has amusia as defined in the research or not. Let me make an analogy: The reason a person does not understand your speech may be that he is deaf, but it could also be that he does not know your language, your sentences are too elaborate and complicated or while you speak a familiar language the content is just too difficult (trying to explain string theory to a layman for example). And there's also the possibility that he is simply not motivated to listen wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: outo] #2838915
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by malkin
Many (most?) traits are normally distributed within a population and are only considered a disorder for the members of the population who fall toward of the tails of the curve or outside the "normal range."


This is true and it even applies to being blind or deaf. You may have a little ability left or none at all. "Normal" is sometimes easier to define, but it is usually never exact.

In this case however we do not know whether the person in question actually has amusia as defined in the research or not. Let me make an analogy: The reason a person does not understand your speech may be that he is deaf, but it could also be that he does not know your language, your sentences are too elaborate and complicated or while you speak a familiar language the content is just too difficult (trying to explain string theory to a layman for example). And there's also the possibility that he is simply not motivated to listen wink

All great points. As I said, I brought this up because it is clearly relevant to the conversation - "That person doesn't understand my speech. Could he be deaf?" But not to say that this is necessarily what is happening with the OP's student. It was just to say that according to certain researchers, this behavior the OP describes is also possessed by certain people that fall into a certain category to which the OP's student may or may not belong to.

Also as I said above, the research into that latter "certain category" is pretty new, so I personally don't take the remarks that it is impossible to train people in that category in something, as definitive. It may be the researchers just didn't try the method that would work, as was suggested above. After all, it was long thought that absolute pitch was not trainable either after a certain age, yet there are a few studies that have shown even this is trainable.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2838999
04/14/19 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
...as the OP has a case where a student has problems discerning the difference between two pitches - whether one is higher or lower than the other.

I have time to do more than a one-liner this time (sorry about that). I've gone back over the thread and have a list of what we know sitting there. In regard to the two pitches: That is a thing that the student can do. That is, when she is asked, with words if notes go up and down, or if two notes are different, she can do that. I have stressed "with words", because a person may have an ability, but not be able to show it per verbal command.

The picture:
Her first lessons were with another teacher, apparently poorish, and had consisted of imitation. We can assume that nothing was named or identified. I may write about this in a separate post. This in itself may muddy the waters for her. She now wants to do a test, and all this plays out in the context of preparing for a test, which throws together a bunch of concepts and terminology in a short time. This is pretty destructive to learning, and the OP isn't happy about it. If you bumped your shin, I won't suspect a rare blood disorder to be causing the bruise on the shin, even if blood disorders can cause bruises.

The problems themselves all have to do with named concepts: named chord qualities, named intervals - because these exams go after named things. Since she "argues semantics" she may have a problem in the naming area. Meanwhile, looking at the things listed.

* hearing a C major triad as being different from an E major triad

Depending on what you're listening for, they ARE different. The chord qualities are the same - they are both major. But the pitches are different. In fact, because of what influenced trained my first music-hearing, I have had to work hard to hear a G7 as being different than a C7 or Eb7 etc. because all I heard were quality and function. I heard from one angle, and not the other. She's got this in reverse; the part I was missing.

We're in the area of quality here, i.e. major vs. minor etc. This is a thing one learns to hear, and an angle for hearing things. There is also the "semantic" part - the name for the thing. There are two problems here.

* when asked how far apart an interval is, hearing m3 as far apart, and M7 as close together.

Intellectually I know that an C and the B above it are far apart. I can picture the spacing of two piano keys: I can I it as notation, and my mind can go. C,D,E,F,G,A,B and "see" all those notes in between. But in what I actually hear, I've often mistaken an m2 for an M7 because they both have that grating edgy vibrating quality.

Again, we're into concepts plus names, and a bunch of things that suddenly have to be crammed together because of an ill-advised wish to do an exam due to social pressure. Add to this the fact that the student doesn't study much at home, and I wager that even if she tried, she wouldn't know how to tackle it.

This is why I wrote that I felt other things were much more pertinent. I just didn't have the time to write out all of this. However, several piano teachers with experience teaching piano were also going in directions that made sense to me.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839028
04/14/19 10:10 AM
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Expanding more from the angle of personal experience. My exposure to music was without training, except for the brief stint with movable Do solfege in a primary grade, which the teacher probably decided on her own to do. I came into music without having names of anything, or concepts of anything, a bit like Helen Keller living in a world of her own without names until her teacher gave her language. This girl, if the version of Suzuki she got was of a lesser kind, seems to have had her own version of that.

There are things that I heard readily, in the framework of what I was exposed to, and things that I had to work to learn to hear. For those things that I had always heard, studying theory was a breeze because it was just a matter of attaching names to old friends. The book of sonatinas I was given as a child (mostly Clementi) goes hand in hand with movable Do solfege. The I IV V I "hears itself" readily as Do Fa So Do. When it modulates to the Dominant key or relative major, there's a bit of "twiddle-twiddle in the transition" and suddenly G "stops calling itself So" and "starts calling itself Do" ... you're in, in a heartbeat. That was my world.

I've had to overcome blind spots to my hearing, and am still doing so. I can hear V7-I readily. C7-F; G7-C; B7-Eb .. instant. But if you play various V7-I chords in a row, I would not catch that they were different chords ... they were all the same; the opposite problem of the OP. I had to learn to hear C as C as a pitch: G as G as another pitch; then I could hear that C7-F, then G7-C, were not the same thing being played twice. This wasn't amusia. This was trained associations.

Chord qualities: major and minor I could hear. But if I heard a diminished chord or a dim7 played as a block chord, I might call it a minor chord, because my hear honed on on one of the m3's, and was probably "unpacking" the chord as though sung melodically. Learning to hear an harmonic interval or chord, was a different hearing skill than the one I had. The dim7 now has an "edginess", a unique personality that it alone carries, which I can hear. But there was a time that I could.

Also, there was a time when I could differentiate between things .... hear a difference .... but not to the point of recognition and naming.

I could go on.

Hearing; and then naming; and also concepts; are learned skills.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2839056
04/14/19 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
If you find certain people amusing, then it could be said that they...amusia (amuse-ya).

But seriously, why would this ability to hear, match, sing, relate to, discriminate or otherwise "get" pitch not be normally distributed across the population, with some people really good at it, some people really bad at it, and most people falling somewhere in the middle under the big part of the bell curve?

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that were are all born with an instrument inside of us - the human voice (unless you cannot speak). This means that not only is speaking, but singing as well is a part of the natural human behavior. I believe all cultures that we know of have some form of singing.

In order to sing, one must first internalize a note - they must "sing" it in their head before trying to make the sound, so that their vocal cords can go to the appropriate pitch. Many of us learn to do this around age 3 or so, when the larynx starts to be able to control pitch and has a wider pitch range. Children who sing with others during these formative years of learning to speak as well learn to internalize the pitch without even realizing it. However, if a child is not sung to as a baby and doesn't have others to sing with when they are capable, then that ability lies dormant.

With work, that ability can become easy. The older the student, the longer it will take, but I've worked with a 7 year old who could do i in a matter of a month, and a 40 year old who it took roughly a year, although the first 6 months were more difficult, and over the remaining year or so it became more accurate. It's a process, and so the desire has to be there to overcome it.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839124
04/14/19 02:23 PM
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Rather "amused" just reading the discussion posts.

A number of years ago, a family member was scheduled to go to a Gr. 1 violin exam. The piece was "Minuet in G" from the Anna M Notebook. Back then the Internet wasn't around so she had to rely on listening to the teacher play and correct her mistakes during the lesson. The week before the exam, she made a few audio recordings to hear her mistakes. The exam came and she barely passed. After a few years of violin lessons she quit. Coming from a non-musical family nobody we know mastered an instrument to a high level. Every time you ask her about her music playing abilities she would say the whole family is "tone deaf".

A lot of people I know don't come from musical families. Their parents or grandparents never picked up an instrument. If you practice the right way like being focused on your mistakes instead of playing from the beginning to the end of a piece most of the time with the same issues, your problems have nothing to do with being tone deaf.

There are a few people in the family who passed their piano exams and they don't have good ears. They learned to play by reading notes. In my younger days before I got into piano playing, I was able to recall the melody of various TV theme songs and reproduce the notes on a piano. Back in 1977 a popular tune "Feel So Good" by Chuck Mangione on flugelhorn was on radio for weeks. I could reproduce the tune easily on a piano although lacking any piano training. Having a good ear is 1 thing but it would be another few decades before I got into playing piano. I don't know if having a good ear is the prerequisite for learning to play an instrument as long as someone is a good reader. I can play some version of "Happy B-day" on piano but nobody in the family who took piano lessons can reproduce some version of the melody on piano. If you put the sheet music in front of them, they can probably play.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2839226
04/14/19 09:38 PM
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Many nice thoughts here, but I'd like to focus on this particular problem:
Originally Posted by keystring
* hearing a C major triad as being different from an E major triad

Depending on what you're listening for, they ARE different. The chord qualities are the same - they are both major. But the pitches are different. In fact, because of what influenced trained my first music-hearing, I have had to work hard to hear a G7 as being different than a C7 or Eb7 etc. because all I heard were quality and function. I heard from one angle, and not the other. She's got this in reverse; the part I was missing.

We're in the area of quality here, i.e. major vs. minor etc. This is a thing one learns to hear, and an angle for hearing things. There is also the "semantic" part - the name for the thing. There are two problems here.

To be more precise, I did not ask her if the chords are same or different. Of course they are "different" in the sense that they are different notes. I asked if the chords are major or minor.

She will say C major is major, and then E major is minor.

???????????????

Obviously, she's just guessing on the quality. And if you are guessing _consistently_ wrong, at least you can just flip the switch and say, "Well, whatever you thought was major is in fact minor, and vice versa."

However, the girl is unable to guess correctly with any degree of certainty. It's literally all over the map. The chord's quality makes no difference to her ears.

What part of this problem is semantics??


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839262
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
What part of this problem is semantics?

"major" and "minor" are words that have meanings. Naming a chord quality wrongly can be due to:
- not studying and learning
- not being able to hear
- not having grasped the meaning of major and minor (semantics)

You have another transfer student here, and who knows how she learned to hear or to study. I'm thinking this is more likely than an clinical type diagnosis such as amusia.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839265
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Let's put it this way....

If you were teaching this girl words to associate with the sense of smell....

You show her chocolate. She smells it. You tell her this is chocolate.

You show her lemon. She smells it. You tell her this is lemon.

Then, with her eyes closed, she should be able to tell the difference between chocolate and lemon just by smelling. There might be small variations between dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate, and whatever varieties of lemons are out there. The girl SHOULD be able to tell the difference between the two different smells.

Is there anything to _teach_ here? Other than to associate a physical sensation with a word?

If the girl can't tell the smells apart, then it's time to get her nose checked.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839272
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Is there anything to _teach_ here?
What does lemon taste like? Is it sweet, or sour? Does it have a creamy or an astringent feel? What things do you like that have lemon in them? Why does lemon taste different from chocolate? OK, so you probably wouldn't have to do that with something that a child has such experience with as taste. But you need to give her what's needed to help her recognise the difference between major and minor. I don't just mean happy/sad. (Anyone who's ever played any Schubert will know that some of the most poignant moments in his music are when it changes from minor to major, not the reverse.)

Yes, there's plenty to _teach_ here.
It's not simply a matter of recognising the sound of major/minor. Have you worked on recognising what goes to make up the sound of a minor/major chord? Can she tell the first 3 notes of a major scale from the first 3 notes of a minor scale? Does she know about major and minor 3rds? That is, are you sure you've been giving her the tools to work out whether it's major or minor? Does she have tunes in her repertoire that are strongly major/minor? Would she know if you played a simple, well-known major key tune in the minor? Or a minor key tune in the major?

Believe me, I know what an uphill battle working with some kids can be. But in all my years teaching 5-12 year-olds in the school system I don't think I ever came across a child who couldn't make some progress with pitch perception.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839414
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Let's put it this way....

If you were teaching this girl words to associate with the sense of smell....

You show her chocolate. She smells it. You tell her this is chocolate.

You show her lemon. She smells it. You tell her this is lemon.

Then, with her eyes closed, she should be able to tell the difference between chocolate and lemon just by smelling. There might be small variations between dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate, and whatever varieties of lemons are out there. The girl SHOULD be able to tell the difference between the two different smells.

Is there anything to _teach_ here? Other than to associate a physical sensation with a word?

If the girl can't tell the smells apart, then it's time to get her nose checked.


In both examples the task is to use verbal language to describe the sensory experience of sound quality or smell. You could control for the language piece by giving her a picture or visual symbol to support her response. By allowing her to point to a picture of the items or color cards brown for chocolate and yellow for lemon, you have controlled for the possibility that she just can't hang on to the words and conjure them up when needed. To establish symbols for major and minor, I'd have her pick or draw something, and then see if she could keep them straight.

My guess is that her everyday verbal communication is good enough that no one sees or suspects that she has any difficulty learning and using the verbal labels of things in the world. I think it would be interesting to check out aspects of her auditory discrimination in addition to pitch. If she is given a set of opaque containers with different things inside (rice, gravel, sand, sunflower seeds etc.)--that is 2 containers of each item--can she find the matching pairs of them? Can she tell apart sounds made by different instruments? Can she repeat nonsense words? Is the prosody of her spontaneous conversation typical? Can she imitate various prosodic contours when speaking?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2839424
04/15/19 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
In both examples the task is to use verbal language to describe the sensory experience of sound quality or smell. You could control for the language piece by giving her a picture or visual symbol to support her response. By allowing her to point to a picture of the items or color cards brown for chocolate and yellow for lemon, you have controlled for the possibility that she just can't hang on to the words and conjure them up when needed. To establish symbols for major and minor, I'd have her pick or draw something, and then see if she could keep them straight.

My guess is that her everyday verbal communication is good enough that no one sees or suspects that she has any difficulty learning and using the verbal labels of things in the world. I think it would be interesting to check out aspects of her auditory discrimination in addition to pitch. If she is given a set of opaque containers with different things inside (rice, gravel, sand, sunflower seeds etc.)--that is 2 containers of each item--can she find the matching pairs of them? Can she tell apart sounds made by different instruments? Can she repeat nonsense words? Is the prosody of her spontaneous conversation typical? Can she imitate various prosodic contours when speaking?

Let me guess- you specialize in learning disabilities in Real Life™? thumb


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2839621
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Originally Posted by malkin
Is the prosody of her spontaneous conversation typical? Can she imitate various prosodic contours when speaking?

Huh?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839645
04/15/19 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
Is the prosody of her spontaneous conversation typical? Can she imitate various prosodic contours when speaking?

Huh?

Folks have been dabbling in areas of disabilities of various kinds and within areas of education and learning. So this time an experienced professional in the field weighed in. Plain language seems to invite ignoring. The quoted text is not at all incomprehensible. Look up the word "prosody", and "prosodic contours". It's as evident as the nose on your face. wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: currawong] #2839646
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Is there anything to _teach_ here?
What does lemon taste like? Is it sweet, or sour? Does it have a creamy or an astringent feel? What things do you like that have lemon in them? Why does lemon taste different from chocolate? OK, so you probably wouldn't have to do that with something that a child has such experience with as taste. But you need to give her what's needed to help her recognise the difference between major and minor. I don't just mean happy/sad. (Anyone who's ever played any Schubert will know that some of the most poignant moments in his music are when it changes from minor to major, not the reverse.)

Yes, there's plenty to _teach_ here.
It's not simply a matter of recognising the sound of major/minor. Have you worked on recognising what goes to make up the sound of a minor/major chord? Can she tell the first 3 notes of a major scale from the first 3 notes of a minor scale? Does she know about major and minor 3rds? That is, are you sure you've been giving her the tools to work out whether it's major or minor? Does she have tunes in her repertoire that are strongly major/minor? Would she know if you played a simple, well-known major key tune in the minor? Or a minor key tune in the major?

Believe me, I know what an uphill battle working with some kids can be. But in all my years teaching 5-12 year-olds in the school system I don't think I ever came across a child who couldn't make some progress with pitch perception.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839659
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
Is the prosody of her spontaneous conversation typical? Can she imitate various prosodic contours when speaking?

Huh?


Does she sound like a normal person when she talks? Native speakers of US English raise pitch at the end of a question and lower pitch at the end of a statement. We change pitch and stress in various ways for emphasis (GET that ball (don't just watch it); Get THAT ball (not the other one); Get that BALL (not that bell))

Native speakers of other languages do other cool things with tone, pitch, stress, vowel duration, etc. Does she sound like other people or does she sound like an artificial voice?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2839663
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Let's put it this way....

If you were teaching this girl words to associate with the sense of smell....

You show her chocolate. She smells it. You tell her this is chocolate.

You show her lemon. She smells it. You tell her this is lemon.......

Currawong gave a better response than I would. The analogy seems wrong for a number of reasons. But her response says it better than what I might write. In addition, the things that I have written so far seem to have not been gone into so far, and I'm afraid the same would happen again. I am very interested in any thoughts on your colleague's input. wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: currawong] #2839699
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Originally Posted by currawong
I don't think I ever came across a child who couldn't make some progress with pitch perception.


I agree that almost anyone can make progress with almost anything, but sometimes the increments of progress are so small and the rate of progress is so slow that the game isn't worth the candle, in other words the progress lacks social validity, or in other words the minute amount of progress isn't worth the enormous sustained effort that it required and everyone involved would have done better to focus on something else.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2839700
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop


Let me guess- you specialize in learning disabilities in Real Life™? thumb


You're quite the gambler, aren't you? wink


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2839723
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by currawong
I don't think I ever came across a child who couldn't make some progress with pitch perception.


I agree that almost anyone can make progress with almost anything, but sometimes the increments of progress are so small and the rate of progress is so slow that the game isn't worth the candle, in other words the progress lacks social validity, or in other words the minute amount of progress isn't worth the enormous sustained effort that it required and everyone involved would have done better to focus on something else.


Very well said. Which brings us back to whether she can pass the exam without this ability and whether it is worth it to work more on it.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: outo] #2839802
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by currawong
I don't think I ever came across a child who couldn't make some progress with pitch perception.


I agree that almost anyone can make progress with almost anything, but sometimes the increments of progress are so small and the rate of progress is so slow that the game isn't worth the candle, in other words the progress lacks social validity, or in other words the minute amount of progress isn't worth the enormous sustained effort that it required and everyone involved would have done better to focus on something else.


Very well said. Which brings us back to whether she can pass the exam without this ability and whether it is worth it to work more on it.


Yep.
And it sounds like her efforts have been kind of lackluster overall. If the student is interested and committed to improving, then it makes sense to explore all avenues to help her improve. But it sounds like she just needs to get through the exam, so it's probably best to help her do that.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: pianist_lady] #2839823
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by outo
Very well said. Which brings us back to whether she can pass the exam without this ability and whether it is worth it to work more on it.

Yep.
And it sounds like her efforts have been kind of lackluster overall. If the student is interested and committed to improving, then it makes sense to explore all avenues to help her improve. But it sounds like she just needs to get through the exam, so it's probably best to help her do that.

In comparison with the exam system mentioned by the OP, I was curious what percentage of the overall test score the aural component was in the international piano exams, RCM, ABRSM and Trinity, so I just looked it up:
  • RCM: aural 10% (10 out of 100, of which 60 are needed to pass)
  • ABRSM: aural 12% (18 out of 150, of which 100 are needed to pass)
  • Trinity: aural is always only one of several supporting options and no student need ever take an aural exam for any of the levels if they don't want to

I'm curious what percentage of the overall possible points on the prospective exam of the OP's student is aural and if it might not be better to focus on components of the exam, such are repertoire with the assumption the OP's student will get a zero on the aural component. For example, in comparison with the 18 points for aural, 90 of 150 points for ABRSM are for playing, while for RCM, up to 80 of 100 points are for playing (pieces + études). Depending on how the prospective exam of the OP's student is organized, it's possible, the most effective exam coaching scheme will just focus on having the student become even better at playing and pay short shrift to the aural part.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: pianist_lady] #2839837
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
But it sounds like she just needs to get through the exam, so it's probably best to help her do that.


"Need" is a funny word, because these days it seems that it can mean a bunch of things, like "wants" (she and her family do want) --- I always think of its first meaning, which is necessity. You're not saying, as a teacher, that as part of her learning and growth as a student, it is necessary for her to get through the exam, are you? But rather that since she has committed to this thing, as unwise as it probably is, she just has to get through it, right?

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2839850
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Depending on how the prospective exam of the OP's student is organized, it's possible, the most effective exam coaching scheme will just focus on having the student become even better at playing and pay short shrift to the aural part.



And in the process, the student has learned an actually valuable life skill.


gotta go practice
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: TimR] #2839864
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Originally Posted by TimR
And in the process, the student has learned an actually valuable life skill.


How do you figure? wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2839990
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
And in the process, the student has learned an actually valuable life skill.


How do you figure? wink


Set priorities?
Allocate available resources?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2840000
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
And in the process, the student has learned an actually valuable life skill.


How do you figure? wink


Set priorities?
Allocate available resources?

Yes! I agree! No better time to learn that one usually can't do everything. Good standardized test taking skill too.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2840004
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
But it sounds like she just needs to get through the exam, so it's probably best to help her do that.


"Need" is a funny word, because these days it seems that it can mean a bunch of things, like "wants" (she and her family do want) --- I always think of its first meaning, which is necessity. You're not saying, as a teacher, that as part of her learning and growth as a student, it is necessary for her to get through the exam, are you? But rather that since she has committed to this thing, as unwise as it probably is, she just has to get through it, right?


Well, nobody needs to take an exam, but that's what this student is doing.
As a teacher, you have to balance long-term learning with short-term goals like exams and recitals. I try to help all my students to become lovely well-rounded musicians with strong aural skills (and many of them are on the way there) but sometimes you have to meet a deadline and prioritize.
Sounds like AZN has had to balance doing remedial work with the student and helping her to meet the exam requirements.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: pianist_lady] #2840059
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by keystring
"Need" is a funny word, because these days it seems that it can mean a bunch of things, like "wants" (she and her family do want) --- I always think of its first meaning, which is necessity. You're not saying, as a teacher, that as part of her learning and growth as a student, it is necessary for her to get through the exam, are you? But rather that since she has committed to this thing, as unwise as it probably is, she just has to get through it, right?

Well, nobody needs to take an exam, but that's what this student is doing.
As a teacher, you have to balance long-term learning with short-term goals like exams and recitals. I try to help all my students to become lovely well-rounded musicians with strong aural skills (and many of them are on the way there) but sometimes you have to meet a deadline and prioritize.
Sounds like AZN has had to balance doing remedial work with the student and helping her to meet the exam requirements.

Exactly! As a piano student, I set the long-term goals myself, and a few of the medium-term goals and my teacher helps me set most of the short-term goals and most of the medium term goals to get me to the long-term goals which I have set.

Among the goals I've personally set for myself includes taking exams, which is not a goal of my teacher's but one which my teacher supports me to be able to achieve.

So it would be perfectly nature for my teacher to think in terms of "need to do exams" here even though it is my requirement and not that of my teacher's.

And if an exam must be done, and assuming one wants to pass, then sometimes short cuts might be called for to optimize one's ability to pass that exam, if indeed the goal of taking the exam also includes passing it.

Now if, instead, one's goals were only to "learn something" and demonstrate it, then that could be done with or without exams, and in this case, short cuts should not be taken since it would subvert the purpose of "learning something" in the first place.

But if the goal includes taking and passing an actual exam, and considering there is usually limited time and even limited teacher/student patience, than I think it is perfectly fair to consider a short cut as needed to optimize for the result being sought.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2840172
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Exactly! As a piano student, I set the long-term goals myself, and a few of the medium-term goals and my teacher helps me set most of the short-term goals and most of the medium term goals to get me to the long-term goals which I have set.

Among the goals I've personally set for myself includes taking exams, which is not a goal of my teacher's but one which my teacher supports me to be able to achieve.

There are some very important differences here. You started piano relatively recently, knew your goal of exams and also (I think) of learning to play the piano properly. You looked at what was involved and set about it intelligently. You are getting good guidance with a teacher who is ensuring your foundations while you go after this, so it's all gong a good way.

In contrast: This child had six years with another teacher where apparently she was poorly taught. Her present teacher has spent, I think, two years bringing her reading skills up to snuff. I don't know whether the repair work also extended to hearing, since you pick your battles by priority, or if this is recent - and so a real cramming effort. The first "teaching" she got may well have skewed her perception of musical sounds, making it harder than if she were starting from scratch. For the aural part, the foundations you're getting aren't there. Might you see a difference? wink

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2840228
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The discussion that never ends...

A few years ago a friend of the family got his son into a Yamaha piano program. The mother accompanied the child to his weekly lessons. Like the Suzuki, at least 1 parent is supposed to be present to reinforce learning at home. After a few years and recital(s), the parents feel that the child has no interest in music and let him quit. In the beginning, it was a big decision to buy an upright and spend all the time and money for the lessons. I've never heard the son play so can't comment on his musical abilities. The decision was made to stop playing and everybody was relieved.

I'm not sure in many cases whether the teacher is the problem. If a child really wants to learn, you can see that he/she doesn't need to be pushed to practice 1h/day. Even if the teacher is an issue, the child is eager to get a teacher in order to move ahead. A lot of times it is the parents who made the decision for the child to take music lessons. You can tell in a short time whether the child has interest and is making progress. If the child has no interest in music to begin with, stopping the lessons may not be a bad idea. If a child takes an exam and does poorly, it would hurt his/her self-esteem than simply keep practicing for another few months until he/she is ready.

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2840235
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The discussion that never ends...

A few years ago a friend of the family got his son into a Yamaha piano program. The mother accompanied the child to his weekly lessons. Like the Suzuki, at least 1 parent is supposed to be present to reinforce learning at home. After a few years and recital(s), the parents feel that the child has no interest in music and let him quit. In the beginning, it was a big decision to buy an upright and spend all the time and money for the lessons. I've never heard the son play so can't comment on his musical abilities. The decision was made to stop playing and everybody was relieved.

I'm not sure in many cases whether the teacher is the problem. If a child really wants to learn, you can see that he/she doesn't need to be pushed to practice 1h/day. Even if the teacher is an issue, the child is eager to get a teacher in order to move ahead. A lot of times it is the parents who made the decision for the child to take music lessons. You can tell in a short time whether the child has interest and is making progress. If the child has no interest in music to begin with, stopping the lessons may not be a bad idea. If a child takes an exam and does poorly, it would hurt his/her self-esteem than simply keep practicing for another few months until he/she is ready.

I don't believe the OP has said the student in question wants to quit or that practicing is the issue. It seems the issue raised is only concerning aural skills or lack of them.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2840256
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I don't believe the OP has said the student in question wants to quit or that practicing is the issue. It seems the issue raised is only concerning aural skills or lack of them.

And, if anything, the student seems to enjoy piano, and music in general. She must be one of those kids who is completely aloof to their musical incompetence. She's been to my studio recitals several times, and I don't think she even realizes how poorly she plays, comparatively.

In some cases, ignorance IS bliss.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2840271
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
..., and I don't think she even realizes how poorly she plays, comparatively. ...


How about recording and playing it back for her? Could that be an eye opener?


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2840294
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
And in the process, the student has learned an actually valuable life skill.


How do you figure? wink


Set priorities?
Allocate available resources?

Yes! I agree! No better time to learn that one usually can't do everything. Good standardized test taking skill too.

I've taken this tack when I have a student who couldn't do the aural stuff. We just made sure they got the theory and performance as good as possible, knowing that they'd not get the aural component (or some section of theory).

It wasn't for a lack fo trying, but sometimes the lightbulb moment doesn't coincide with taking tests.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2840301
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I don't believe the OP has said the student in question wants to quit or that practicing is the issue. It seems the issue raised is only concerning aural skills or lack of them.

And, if anything, the student seems to enjoy piano, and music in general. She must be one of those kids who is completely aloof to their musical incompetence. She's been to my studio recitals several times, and I don't think she even realizes how poorly she plays, comparatively.

In some cases, ignorance IS bliss.


I want to learn THAT!


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: AZNpiano] #2840403
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
And, if anything, the student seems to enjoy piano, and music in general....

I am getting the impression recently that the problem has been solved, or solutions are not being sought? What is the status?

Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2840508
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
And, if anything, the student seems to enjoy piano, and music in general....

I am getting the impression recently that the problem has been solved, or solutions are not being sought? What is the status?



The problem never was that the student didn't like piano or didn't like music. The problem is that the kid can't demonstrate understanding or discrimination of major/minor or of intervals or ...ok, I'm too lazy to go back and look.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: malkin] #2840544
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
And, if anything, the student seems to enjoy piano, and music in general....

I am getting the impression recently that the problem has been solved, or solutions are not being sought? What is the status?

The problem never was that the student didn't like piano or didn't like music. The problem is that the kid can't demonstrate understanding or discrimination of major/minor or of intervals or ...ok, I'm too lazy to go back and look.

I didn't even entertain the idea of liking piano or music. I was addressing AZNpiano, and asking whether the original problem had been solved.

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Playing fast for adult returners
by KevinM. 05/19/19 12:52 PM
Chinese international Music Competition
by kbrod1. 05/19/19 12:36 PM
What's Hot!!
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