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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
It has to be taught? I'm asking because I genuinely don't know.


So, to answer your question, intervallic reading does not HAVE to be taught.


Just a clarification--AZN when you say it does not have to be taught, are you saying that one can play piano without intervallic reading or that one can learn intervallic reading without direct instruction?

The former, but the latter is true as well.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
[quote=Pinkiepie][quote=AZNpiano][quote=Pinkiepie]
Oh, yeah, absolutely!! The girl is laughing and giggling every step of the way. PLEASE ask for more intervals.


Oh...this kind of "natural" happiness is indeed the most beautiful of all.


Quote
She's on Hal Leonard because she started young and she isn't the brightest specimen on Earth. It took her a good six months to finally plow through Book 1. She's also incredibly lazy, so she will fall back on memory whenever possible. The path of least resistance. She's also extremely hyperactive, so the ONLY reason she is still doing piano is that she actually likes music. She has more intrinsic motivation than her older siblings.


Why is she lazy then?

That's somehow contradicting ...

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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
It has to be taught? I'm asking because I genuinely don't know.

When I first started teaching piano, I didn't include intervallic reading. Many of those students got extremely advanced. But, of course, those are kids with extremely high musicality and general intelligence.

With intervallic reading, even the ordinary kids can get good at sight reading. If they bothered to practice more, maybe they can get to advanced repertoire faster, too. Faster reading = faster learning.



Hold on......are you just saying, Intervallic reading is especially for the stupid ones?! shocked

Of course are there different ways of learning to read.
I did it myself...to be exact, I can`t even remember, how I learned it, it just was never an issue for me.

But why should anybody learn something in a "more" difficult way, only because it`s possible, when there is a much easier one as well?

Wouldnt it, in the contrary, even be "stupid" to do so?

(No offence to anyone, who teaches in a different way. I am not a teacher and therefore have no experience with different teachings styles (and their results)...
I am totally convinced, that there are methods which work for some better than for others (and vice versa). A good teacher will propably find out and teach the student the way that suits him best.)

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Thank you for answering. However, I don't think my question was understood. smile

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
It has to be taught? I'm asking because I genuinely don't know.

When I first started teaching piano, I didn't include intervallic reading. Many of those students got extremely advanced. But, of course, those are kids with extremely high musicality and general intelligence.

With intervallic reading, even the ordinary kids can get good at sight reading

........ Notes do not appear in isolation..........

I started my question by describing how, when I first came to music, it was just normal to notice that note 4 was above note 3 was above note 2 was above note 1, each time line space line space (i.e. 2nds) ---- say in a scalar passage. It seems normal to just see this, and after the first note, go "to the right", "to the right", to the right again..." mentally and physically. I was asking [i]Isn't it normal to notice a note being higher or lower than the previous note, and just naturally end up playing intervallically much of the time anyway? Does it actually have to be taught much? Wouldn't one do that ANYWAY?"

Like, it would seem strange to me, if you see noteheads climbing up neatly in a row, to hunt up each note one by one, and not just go "one higher, one higher, one higher". To me this was a natural thing you'd do. But is it natural? I was surprised thishad to be taught.

You are explaining why this (to me, natural thing) is better than finding one note at a time. I agree with that. But I'm wondering why someone would go at one note at a time in the first place, when the "picture" seems so clear. At least for small intervals. But I may just be wired differently.

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That didn't come across clearly. I'm wondering if kids would normally also notice intervals on their own, at least for the smaller ones. For large intervals, esp. 6ths, 7ths, octaves, or maybe everything above a 3rd, these are things that one needs to learn to see. Also thinking: when "steps" and "skips" are taught, might one think of those as seeing notes as intervals (step = 2nd, skip = 3rd)?

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Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering if kids would normally also notice intervals on their own, at least for the smaller ones.


In my experience, yes, even for my "slowest" students.


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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm wondering if kids would normally also notice intervals on their own, at least for the smaller ones.


In my experience, yes, even for my "slowest" students.


But do they also notice the size of an interval? And how fast do they notice them?

I can only speak for my daughter, but her ability to not only recognize but distinguish between intervals (melodic as well as harmonic) has increased enormously.

And of course I'm talking about the ability to sight-read them correctly (on the first try).

But maybe it's a coincidence and I think the method has a bigger influence than it actually has. Honestly, I can't say for sure.

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Originally Posted by keystring
That didn't come across clearly. I'm wondering if kids would normally also notice intervals on their own, at least for the smaller ones. For large intervals, esp. 6ths, 7ths, octaves, or maybe everything above a 3rd, these are things that one needs to learn to see. Also thinking: when "steps" and "skips" are taught, might one think of those as seeing notes as intervals (step = 2nd, skip = 3rd)?

No, what I am talking about is how intervallic reading is _intentionally_ taught. You certainly don't need the explicit instruction of intervals in order to play piano--millions of people have played piano without it.

However, the specific exercises for each interval (as laid out in the method books) will teach those shapes and angles that other students (may or may not) get intuitively.

Furthermore (and I know you didn't ask this, but here it goes), intervallic reading actually delays the learning of letter names. There is somewhat of a gap when all the intervals are learned and when all the staff notes are taught. Most students by then will have intuitively picked up all the letter names across the grand staff, because they will have played three books of notes by then. I have seen the tiniest of adjustment in a few kids, but it didn't take them long to be fully fluent in both intervals and letter names.

This is kind of like being fluent in letter names and both types of solfege. When you train your brain to go back and forth between each system, you have more neural networks built up.


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Originally Posted by Pinkiepie
Why is she lazy then?

That's somehow contradicting ...

Lazy as in refusing to use her brain. But at some point I wonder maybe there's just not much upstairs.


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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Pinkiepie
Why is she lazy then?

That's somehow contradicting ...

Lazy as in refusing to use her brain. But at some point I wonder maybe there's just not much upstairs.


Maybe not yet.
I don`t know how old she is.
But that can still change for the better.

Children often develop in episodes and some are just late bloomers compared to others.
The brain of children is highly plastically. There is nothing carved in stone yet.
By teaching her, you are definitely making a positive contribution to her cognitive development.
And one day she might surprise you. wink

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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
No, what I am talking about is how intervallic reading is _intentionally_ taught. You certainly don't need the explicit instruction of intervals in order to play piano--millions of people have played piano without it.

I'm afraid that my question still did not come across. I am asking whether a certain degree of intervalic reading might happen naturally anyway. Like if you see the first 5 notes of a scale on a page, so you see a row of dots gradually going up as a visual picture - might that not translate into something for a student? If an ordinary student sees C, D, E, F - will that student really look for C, then look for D, or look for F? Or would that ordinary student go "next up", "next up", "next up" - naturally and without thinking about it - because that's the "picture"?

I'm asking about what happens naturally without being taught - and whether it does. NOT whether intervalic reading is a good thing to teach, which I'm not questioning. I'm thinking in particular of small intervals, seconds and thirds. Dr. Rogers did answer that question, by thinking that this does happen.

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(exploration) I've learned that there are all kinds of different aspects of reading.

- learning letter names, first on the staff, then the keyboard, and then a process that's sort of "If this is G (notation), and that is G (piano key), then I will press that key." - do same for next note -- seems the poorest way, but a common one, as I understand it.

- landmark notes (G, F, C's per clef signs). "Counting up" from a landmark note is tedious. The intervalic reading would have a role here

- intervalic reading (how do you find the first note, though?)

- "positions" and "fingering" (C is 1, D is 2 ........... F is 1, G is 2 .......); the bane of good teachers inheriting transfer students who "learned" this way. But when we play music on piano, we do use this aspect - you see a little 1 over the F, scoot your RH over to a new position, and carry on. But you haven't internalized F = 1.

- patterns: (as you develop) If you see a scale or Alberti bass, or a melody repeating, you will probably identify that cluster of notes, like you do a written word. By sight and muscle memory patterns; maybe by pre-hearing.

- anticipation through pattern or form. If it's ABA form; sonata form - after a while you know what to expect, and that joins the reading.

I am wondering:
If a student is taught stringently to read every note on the page, relating that note to the letter name, or just as "that note - that piano key", could this actually prevent or delay any natural catching on to intervals, because of that tight focus?

Is a "perfect pitch" type person, who hears A4 as A4,less likely to to look for and resort to intervalic clues, than a strongly "relative pitch" person?

----
I really liked this:
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
When you train your brain to go back and forth between each system, you have more neural networks built up.

The idea of having a bunch of different things cross-wired, instead of one single point of reference. This makes sense.

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When I was teaching myself to read music, I noticed that that notes could be played by just skipping keys based on distance between notes, without having to know even the name of the note being played. I assumed this must be the wrong way to read music because it seemed lazier, easier and therefore would harm my understanding of note reading when it got more complicated.

This is a consequence of being taught to say the name of each note out loud when pressed during beginner lessons. My 5 year old is already doing the same, thinking he has to know the name of the note (in solfege) then look at the keyboard to ensure he presses the right key.

I’m looking at notes using an intervallic eye now and not only is it easier, it also helps me to recognise patterns in music as well.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
No, what I am talking about is how intervallic reading is _intentionally_ taught. You certainly don't need the explicit instruction of intervals in order to play piano--millions of people have played piano without it.

I'm afraid that my question still did not come across. I am asking whether a certain degree of intervalic reading might happen naturally anyway.


Of course it does (at some point). Unlike you, I think AZN has already answered that.
It has "happened" to you, to me, to thousands of others who are intuitively able to recognize intervals without ever having been taught intervallic reading.


This way of reading makes things just easier (for beginners), especially in view of future, larger intervals.
That's why children are encouraged from the beginning to take notes in relation to others.
(Which does not exclude that some would do it on their own anyway. But just as many probably won't.)

As counter example:
just think of the pieces in "Tastenträume 1". There, the notes are introduced and played individually. For every new note there is a piece that only consists of this new one.
So children are forced to perceive and play the notes in isolation.
For a long time, no "picture of the whole” can emerge that would give children a natural feeling for reading music (in steps and skips).


Quote
I'm asking about what happens naturally without being taught


Uhm...how should a teacher (who usually teaches) know that? laugh


Based on my experience:

It depends on the individual child and his abilities.

"Natural "it is that children are very different and learning does not work the same for everyone. But one can aim for a common denominator.
Intervallic reading is something like that, I guess (or at least an attempt of it).
It helps children to become secure readers at a quite early stage (what's very motivating)

As you just said, there is a "picture" and logic in it, everyone should be able to recognize.
However, for many beginners (often young) it is still not that obvious and they`ll need (many) exercises and guidance first, to see the big picture.
So it helps, to raise their awareness right from the start.

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Originally Posted by Pinkiepie
hm...how should a teacher (who usually teaches) know that?


In teaching, part of teacher training in fact, is to have an idea of learning processes and how to work with these. That includes knowing what kinds of things happen naturally, which you reinforce, and other things. Meanwhile teachers who have dozens of students whom they teach individually, and do so for one, two, or three decades, will also observe tendencies and patterns.

One thing, too, you will hear some teachers talk about is that they don't want to over-teach to the point of turning what is natural and good into something unnatural and awkward.

That is why I felt comfortable in asking my question, in an open-ended kind of way.

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Originally Posted by keystring


That is why I felt comfortable in asking my question, in an open-ended kind of way.



That comment was not meant to be taken too serious. (Therefore I used the smiley).
I truly think, you should question whom and whatever you like...that's at least what I am doing wink


(Actually, I am even interested in the answer myself.)

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
No, what I am talking about is how intervallic reading is _intentionally_ taught. You certainly don't need the explicit instruction of intervals in order to play piano--millions of people have played piano without it.

I'm afraid that my question still did not come across. I am asking whether a certain degree of intervalic reading might happen naturally anyway. Like if you see the first 5 notes of a scale on a page, so you see a row of dots gradually going up as a visual picture - might that not translate into something for a student?


These are good questions and I'm glad you're asking them, because I still don't really understand this process.

When I started playing brass in a beginner band, I didn't know note names solidly though I could figure them out if given time. But there arrived a one-to-one correspondence between an image of a note on a page, and how to produce that note. Later that had to be refined with consideration for key signatures, but beginners only play in a few easy keys.

By the time I took piano lessons I was a good sightsinger and knew note names, keys, degrees of the scale, a little (very little) theory, but there was no link between note on the staff and finger on the key. That geography had to be built and was very frustrating.


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Originally Posted by TimR


By the time I took piano lessons I was a good sightsinger and knew note names, keys, degrees of the scale, a little (very little) theory, but there was no link between note on the staff and finger on the key. That geography had to be built and was very frustrating.





Thanks for sharing your experience with it.
I heard of such problems a couple of times before.

Some call it for instance confusing that a "descending melody" must be read from left to right, but played in the opposite direction.

My (older) daughter had a similiar kind of problem for a while, especially in the left hand.
(But that's over now, luckily ...)

In contrast, my younger (four year old) daughter got it right away.
She seems to have a more intuitive understanding of it.
But I can not say why.
Except that she is rather quick in everything.

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Originally Posted by Pinkiepie
Originally Posted by TimR


By the time I took piano lessons I was a good sightsinger and knew note names, keys, degrees of the scale, a little (very little) theory, but there was no link between note on the staff and finger on the key. That geography had to be built and was very frustrating.





Thanks for sharing your experience with it.
I heard of such problems a couple of times before.

Some call it for instance confusing that a "descending melody" must be read from left to right, but played in the opposite direction.



No, that's not what I mean. As a beginner, I see F on the page, I recognize F as a note, I may even know it is the tonic, I hear the pitch in my mind, but now I have to move a finger through three dimensional space to land on it. Keyboard geography. It's not a problem per se, it's simply a skill to master.

The movies this weekend reminded me of a distantly related problem. I watched the new movie the Beatles. I won't tell you anything, no spoilers, except to relate that there was some music that at my age was very familiar to me. At home I played a few tunes by ear. How do you do that? and in what key? this again is intuitive to people who learned that way, not so much to people like me who started with sheet music.


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keystring, I don’t know why you would expect that some degree of any musical skill would develop naturally and without instruction for every student. Specifically, no, intervallic sense does not necessarily develop without instruction for everyone.

In regards to developing any sense of intervallic reading by some intuitive process without specific instruction, I offer myself as a counterexample. I had no observation or sense of intervallic ideas whatsoever until reading about it here on PianoWorld. Since then, I’ve occasionally tried to read intervalically, and it quickly makes me feel confused and disoriented.

But then I’m that weird unicorn who learned to read by Every Good Boy Does Fine (and the other three acronyms) in a way that seems completely normal to me: initially you count up, eventually you get all the lines and spaces memorized (and later, leger lines), and then you don’t count up any more because you don’t need to.


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