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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.


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Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2837334
04/09/19 04:13 PM
04/09/19 04:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,101
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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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
04/09/19 04:15 PM
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Orange County, CA
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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
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
04/09/19 05:00 PM
04/09/19 05:00 PM
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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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
04/09/19 05:11 PM
04/09/19 05:11 PM
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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
04/09/19 06:55 PM
04/09/19 06:55 PM
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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
04/09/19 08:53 PM
04/09/19 08:53 PM
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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.


Learner
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2837458
04/09/19 09:38 PM
04/09/19 09:38 PM
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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
04/09/19 10:04 PM
04/09/19 10:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Canada
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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
04/09/19 10:46 PM
04/09/19 10:46 PM
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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
04/09/19 11:21 PM
04/09/19 11:21 PM
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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!


Learner
Re: Teaching Ear Training to the Tone Deaf [Re: keystring] #2837479
04/09/19 11:56 PM
04/09/19 11:56 PM
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Posts: 8,101
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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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
04/10/19 12:42 AM
04/10/19 12:42 AM
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Canada
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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
04/10/19 09:07 AM
04/10/19 09:07 AM
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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
04/10/19 03:39 PM
04/10/19 03:39 PM
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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
04/10/19 08:29 PM
04/10/19 08:29 PM
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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
04/11/19 07:11 AM
04/11/19 07:11 AM
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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
04/11/19 08:35 AM
04/11/19 08:35 AM
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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
04/12/19 08:30 PM
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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


~piano teacher in training~
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