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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851528
05/23/19 03:41 PM
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The idea of "age" for approaching any aspect of piano learning or playing doesn't work for me, because it's not like having any particular attribute. I have a developing cataract and can't adjust focus from near to far in the way I used to. My hearing is fine. Memory is better than ever, because I've learned a lot of efficiency and focus things. Another person may have perfect eyes, poor ears. Another still may have no problems in any of those areas. If your playing is linked to reading, then memory may not be an issue etc.

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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2851538
05/23/19 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
The idea of "age" for approaching any aspect of piano learning or playing doesn't work for me, because it's not like having any particular attribute. I have a developing cataract and can't adjust focus from near to far in the way I used to. My hearing is fine. Memory is better than ever, because I've learned a lot of efficiency and focus things. Another person may have perfect eyes, poor ears. Another still may have no problems in any of those areas. If your playing is linked to reading, then memory may not be an issue etc.


Nahum has a specific age-related issue Which is why he wrote the thread.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: dogperson] #2851584
05/23/19 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Nahum has a specific age-related issue Which is why he wrote the thread.

Yes, I'm quite aware of that. It's also causing confusion, because folks are thinking that this is about age, and that can lead to an idea of approaches for all elderly people. This is actually also the point. If an elderly person ends up having a specific problem, then the teaching or new approach to playing has to address that problem. But the problem that an older person has will be different from person to person. There is no such thing as "age" as a problem - only problems that arise due to age. The fact of losing abilities one has always had, however, that is probably common to most people when they age.

Maybe this thread should be toward the specific problem that Nahum is experiencing, which btw sucks. Or maybe it is now already heading in that direction.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851588
05/23/19 08:20 PM
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There may be another factor that affects us as we age, and this is probably not related to Nahum's difficulty.

However, I've talked to a teacher who feels that particularly for brass players (which is his main specialty) incorrect technique can catch up with you. When young, talent and effort can produce great playing even with poor technique, but at some point the mechanism fails. This is often diagnosed as a dystonia, but he doesn't like to define it that way (though his retraining in correct technique is similar to the approach of some of the dystonia specialists.)

Nahum's issue sounds more neurological than that, and i don't know how much this would apply to piano anyway.


gotta go practice
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: TimR] #2851592
05/23/19 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
There may be another factor that affects us as we age, and this is probably not related to Nahum's difficulty.

However, I've talked to a teacher who feels that particularly for brass players (which is his main specialty) incorrect technique can catch up with you. When young, talent and effort can produce great playing even with poor technique, but at some point the mechanism fails. This is often diagnosed as a dystonia, but he doesn't like to define it that way (though his retraining in correct technique is similar to the approach of some of the dystonia specialists.)


This goes to something that I was suggesting. If you are considering teaching older students, or if you are an older student considering learning, then things of efficiency become even more important. That is why I said earlier that I'd want a teacher who teaches young students very well, but not in the sense of parent-pleasing or reputation-earning prize winners via a few select awesome pieces, but really solid foundations. That means things like learning to move well, practice effectively, and getting underlying tools of understanding in a practical way.

What we see in some "specialists in adults" is things like shortcuts in order to get at tunes you love fast, "advance" quickly etc., which does not go in that kind of direction. I'd be afraid of a new breed of teachers going after the "geriatric market" of the "aging boomers" (boomers have always been a market) would be thinking of things like "easy non-challenging songs bringing back fond memories of youth, and help wile away the long retirement hours", which might be fine if the aim is still to give those foundations I wrote about. But I don't think that is always a given and may actually be less likely.

Nahum is actually generally on track with the idea he started with: better and more efficient ways. That is the gist of the opening article.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2851850
05/24/19 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring

Nahum is actually generally on track with the idea he started with: better and more efficient ways. That is the gist of the opening article.
Exactly ! It would be interesting to see the results of 36 basketball players aged 65-80 years with an experience of playing at 1 year. Unfortunately, no one gives grants to this ...
I encountered the categorical lack of understanding of age problems for the first time at the age of 61, when I finally sat down at a computer. The first problem was the study of the alphabetic keyboard, and attempts to switch to a blind method. For this, I acquired a textbook of the sequential method, which, as it turned out, did not help at all - within three months. I turned to the author of the textbook, who assured that within a few weeks I would start typing blindly. Thirteen years have passed since then; I cannot type blindly at all; and the speed of printing by the sighted method has significantly decreased, and the number of errors has increased significantly. Nobody is engaged in the creation of relevant statistics. This is what is called an unfriendly method.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851876
05/24/19 05:41 PM
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Yes, but ............. There isn't one single thing that happens to "the aged". Different aging people will have different things going on.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2851906
05/24/19 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
There may be another factor that affects us as we age, and this is probably not related to Nahum's difficulty.

However, I've talked to a teacher who feels that particularly for brass players (which is his main specialty) incorrect technique can catch up with you. When young, talent and effort can produce great playing even with poor technique, but at some point the mechanism fails. This is often diagnosed as a dystonia, but he doesn't like to define it that way (though his retraining in correct technique is similar to the approach of some of the dystonia specialists.)


This goes to something that I was suggesting. If you are considering teaching older students, or if you are an older student considering learning, then things of efficiency become even more important. That is why I said earlier that I'd want a teacher who teaches young students very well, but not in the sense of parent-pleasing or reputation-earning prize winners via a few select awesome pieces, but really solid foundations. That means things like learning to move well, practice effectively, and getting underlying tools of understanding in a practical way.

What we see in some "specialists in adults" is things like shortcuts in order to get at tunes you love fast, "advance" quickly etc., which does not go in that kind of direction. I'd be afraid of a new breed of teachers going after the "geriatric market" of the "aging boomers" (boomers have always been a market) would be thinking of things like "easy non-challenging songs bringing back fond memories of youth, and help wile away the long retirement hours", which might be fine if the aim is still to give those foundations I wrote about. But I don't think that is always a given and may actually be less likely.

Nahum is actually generally on track with the idea he started with: better and more efficient ways. That is the gist of the opening article.
.

I’m not seeing how these two posts are related to a skilled pianist/teacher who posts that he is now having problems with not being able to learn as quickly. This is not a beginning pianist who has a teacher who wants to rush through because he is an adult. I don’t understand the OT digression that talks about poor technique and poor teaching.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: dogperson] #2851912
05/24/19 08:00 PM
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The topic introduced is teaching older students in general. BOTH topics are in there mixed together. We have someone who has taught piano for a long time and played piano and other instruments for a long time, and that particular situation, and we also have the topic of teaching any older students -- the idea of geronto etc. in general.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2851919
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Originally Posted by keystring
The topic introduced is teaching older students in general. BOTH topics are in there mixed together. We have someone who has taught piano for a long time and played piano and other instruments for a long time, and that particular situation, and we also have the topic of teaching any older students -- the idea of geronto etc. in general.


Your post 24 hours ago stated this post should get back in topic to the original question from the OP..., which is a specific age-related topic. It was not about poor teaching of older students.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: dogperson] #2851928
05/24/19 09:38 PM
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You must have misunderstood any implied "should".

If we are discussing both topics, meaning the other topic of teaching older students in general, then one factor would be good or bad or appropriate teaching. Please, let everyone make their contribution their own way. If something I say interests you, good. If you disagree with an idea - mine or someone else's - feel free to express that disagreement. But saying what one should or shouldn't post is just confusing and a bit disheartening.

I will not be discussing what I or anyone else should post.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2851935
05/24/19 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
You must have misunderstood any implied "should".

If we are discussing both topics, meaning the other topic of teaching older students in general, then one factor would be good or bad or appropriate teaching. Please, let everyone make their contribution their own way. If something I say interests you, good. If you disagree with an idea - mine or someone else's - feel free to express that disagreement. But saying what one should or shouldn't post is just confusing and a bit disheartening.

I will not be discussing what I or anyone else should post.
.

You are so right..,, the explicit word ‘should’ can be easily misunderstood

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851937
05/24/19 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Colin Miles


Aging is just another issue to deal with and again people differ in how they age and their attitude towards it. I always remember back in the fifties with our local cricket team. My parents and their peers were saying they were too old and giving up playing. This was completely at odds with how they were actually playing. But that was how they thought in those days. Once you got to a certain age you didn't do certain things.


Aging is not just another issue , but THE ISSUE that affects everything that you have devoted so much time of your life. !



I have 2 points to make in response to this post.
First, while everyone is aging, "age" is NOT (yet) an issue for people who are under 30 or possibly under 50.

Second, since people experience different degrees of deterioration in various areas, there is no single effect of aging. As keystring noted previously, individuals will experience the effects of aging on vision, hearing, cognition, motor skills, daily living skills, etc. in varying levels. While age does affect everything, it doesn't do so evenly within or across individuals.

Perhaps in addition to "pedagogy" and "androgogy" the area of "gerontogogy" needs to be developed, not just as pertains to the teaching of piano, but to the all teaching to older learners.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: malkin] #2851956
05/25/19 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Second, since people experience different degrees of deterioration in various areas, there is no single effect of aging. As keystring noted previously, individuals will experience the effects of aging on vision, hearing, cognition, motor skills, daily living skills, etc. in varying levels. While age does affect everything, it doesn't do so evenly within or across individuals.

When I read this, I thought about how children also develop in greatly varying levels. For some, motor development is much faster than language development, for others the other way around. There are huge differences in the ability to concentrate, to memorise, to understand abstractions, etc. When I compare to when I was a child, and that was ages ago, school teachers have become more aware of these differences and try to meet each individual's needs.

Originally Posted by malkin
Perhaps in addition to "pedagogy" and "androgogy" the area of "gerontogogy" needs to be developed, not just as pertains to the teaching of piano, but to the all teaching to older learners.

Yes, that would be very interesting! And I think gerontogogy could find a lot of inspiring ideas in pedagogy for special needs kids, but would need to develop these ideas in its own direction.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851972
05/25/19 02:57 AM
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There are indeed two issues involved here, that of learning a new discipline or set of skills when no longer 'young', and the effect of aging on learning within an already learnt discipline.

With the first problem, consider learning a new language. An infant is programmed to learn language, any language, and most people lose that natural ability once they are into their teens. When we moved to Wales some 17 years ago we decided to learn Welsh. It is a very difficult language but the process wasn't helped by the kind of teaching that we encountered. We were not infants exposed 24/7 to the language and the approach needed was entirely different from that with infants. And basically there are no easy answers or ways of doing this, or indeed any new set of skills.

The second problem is learning something new within a discipline you have already 'mastered', or developing within that. As mentioned above, different people age at different rates and the physical effects of that is something that can only be mitigated by the way we live, diet, exercise, etc - basically healthy living. But I say again that attitude is also a factor on all of this. Mind over matter. Nicki Lauder springs to mind.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: dogperson] #2851981
05/25/19 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
You are so right..,, the explicit word ‘should’ can be easily misunderstood


I found the quote:
"Maybe this thread should be toward the specific problem that Nahum is experiencing, which btw sucks. Or maybe it is now already heading in that direction."

There is a "maybe" in front, and it starts with a quote of you, where you were stating that the thread was about Nahum's problem - so that "maybe" statement is referring to your opinion, that maybe folks might indeed want to go in the direction ........ or maybe what you seemed to say we should do, maybe that might be the way to go. I don't usually tell people what they "should" do so I was surprised that I would have done so. Apparently the word "should" can be misunderstood. wink

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2853740
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by keystring
What I didn't get is the "shooting past students in retirement age" comment. What do you mean?
The piano technique has existed for over 400 years, has been developed by more than any other musical instrument, and has historically been used and continues to be used by many tens of millions of teachers. However, the whole methodology was built and is still aimed primarily at educating children from the age of 5; teenagers; and "adult" students - we usually have after military service, i.e. at the age of 24- 35 years. Students of retirement age never was not taken into account ; what refers to group statistical studies and, as a result, to the choice of training strategies . I know that not everyone is pleased to read about it; however, while I am alive, I have touched and will touch on this topic.


Hi Nahum, this is a very interesting topic! There is definitely a need. I taught very briefly a retirement-age student, and I recognized quickly that I did not know what to do with her. Definitely age changes things. In her case, her fingers shook and had difficulty with faster passages, and there was also her lifespan to consider. How much longer could she enjoy piano? Sorry, not pleasant, but true. Have you read the book Being Mortal? You might enjoy it, I found it very enlightening. My particular student's husband had also passed away a few years ago. She had stopped playing certain pieces because they made her sad because she used to play them for him. She brought with her many stories and many books, and often spent much of the lesson time just talking to me and showing me what she liked. She also had difficulty taking direction. I was treated more like a granddaughter with some extra skills that could help maybe give her a tip or two and motivate her and give her company. She was happy to throw money at me and was the only student I ever had to tell me specifically to charge her when she cancelled. She had a particular piece (Chopin Nocturne) she loved and wanted to learn. It was a little beyond her skill level, but because of her age, I figured, why not? In my time with her, she only got through the first page or so, and not without mistakes though not ones that would hinder her enjoyment too much (substituting notes that are still within the particular chord). To my surprise she would also tell me that she was busy doing many things and sometimes did not have time to practice as much as she would have liked (quite contrary to my view of what retirement would be like)... so I guess that doesn't change...

I get what you're saying about the repetitions. I found that to be the case for her too. It was .. a slower process. I think, philosophically, acceptance could be key here. But perhaps a part of not accepting is the drive to think outside the box and think about hey, is there something else I could do here because this repetition thing is not getting me to perfection anymore. However, I suspect that the deterioration of our body is going to cause us to not be able to achieve perfection, without much exception. Hey, I don't even achieve perfection as a young person for various reasons (super random error that I've never made before happens during our performance because anxiety? lol).

Keystring and others lol~ I think it's fair that we should learn to approach each individual as an individual, but I think specializing (this person is old, perhaps they may have trouble with x, y, z which many more old people have trouble with compared to young people) can be very useful and great as starting points, as long as we don't limit ourselves to them. I think communication is key to avoiding the problem you are describing. As for the benefits of a piano teacher educated in geriatrics, I learned in the Being Mortal book that one of the most dangerous things to an elderly person that will affect their independence is having a fall. Also, there are some things that are practically universal about aging. Your brain literally shrinks. By seventy, you've lost some gray matter that leaves about an inch in space. Your lordosis of your spine tips forward (that's why elderly people choke so often while eating). I would have had no idea, and now I know what to watch out for with my grandma. Also, the author found geriatric medicine is extremely beneficial. A study found high risk elderly patients who went to a geriatric doctor instead of just their usual physician were a "quarter less likely to become disabled and half as likely to develop depression. They were 40 percent less likely to require home health services." Wow! It's good to know. Now I know what to watch out for with my own grandma as she ages. People like me (young, never have dealt with aging directly) have no clue about these things. Clearly there is some benefit to the geriatric population to work with a doctor who specifically studies geriatric people! I would like to venture a guess that geriatric pianists might benefit from something similar.


~piano teacher in training~
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2853744
05/30/19 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
[ Clearly there is some benefit to the geriatric population to work with a doctor who specifically studies geriatric people! I would like to venture a guess that geriatric pianists might benefit from something similar.
It is safe to add, "the teacher in certain areas " .

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2854185
05/31/19 11:00 AM
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I found some interesting articles here:

https://newhorizonsmusic.org/research/


gotta go practice
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: TimR] #2854240
05/31/19 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
I found some interesting articles here:

https://newhorizonsmusic.org/research/

Thanks , Tim; it is very interesting ; and yet hidden from the radar of international music sites. I never heard of NHIMA, and nevertheless apparently there are those who wouldn't like to hear about it.
I wonder if anyone has the experience, similar to mine, to teach improvisation to very adult musicians (75-82) - from zero?

I want to introduce teachers to another topic for thoughts: the influence of age-related changes on the mechanism of coordination between the hands. In the process of studying the reasons for my own inaccurate sloppy play, I came across at the moment of transitions from playing one hand to playing both, when it became clear beyond doubt that the motoric engrams“flow” periodically from one hemisphere to another ; which, at best, causes the fingers of every hand to slide off the correct keys; and at worst, the other hand starts to play with similar fingers. And this after many years of performance of various music, including polyphony. When playing with only one hand, the number of mistakes decreases several times. This suggests, IMO, is worthy of a study that motor engrams, created as a result of repeated training, create also a specific isolated neural network; what allows to play at the same time different parts in both hands; however, age-related changes partially eliminate the boundaries of their separation.

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