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student suddenly forgot how to read notes #2898359
10/08/19 07:37 PM
10/08/19 07:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2
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cinephile Offline OP
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cinephile  Offline OP
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I've been teaching a recently turned 6-year-old boy for about 2 years. He has struggled with learning note recognition -- until a few weeks ago when he seemed to suddenly "get it". He practiced and it showed. I gave him random notes to identify and he could say the note names and play them on the piano. He even likened piano playing to playing video games (that is, keep your eyes on the music, not on your hands). Then, for his 6th birthday, his family traveled somewhere and stayed at a hotel. That's all I know because I don't ask a lot of non-music questions of parents. Now here's the thing: At his very next lesson, this child suddenly forgot how to read the notes. How does that happen? I have never had a student forget something they had already learned. I am baffled about this. Has anyone out there ever encountered such sudden note-reading amnesia?

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Re: student suddenly forgot how to read notes [Re: cinephile] #2898431
10/09/19 02:12 AM
10/09/19 02:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 334
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navindra Online content
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navindra  Online Content
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Posts: 334
I'm not a teacher, but to me it sounds like the boy mastered the exercise using short term memory. So he mastered your test momentarily then subsequently lost the skill since it wasn't really committed to long term memory. Is this really that unusual? As far as I know, it happens all the time.

Btw, why would you expect a 5-6 year old to master note reading? These seem to be really high expectations for a Kindergartner.

Re: student suddenly forgot how to read notes [Re: cinephile] #2898456
10/09/19 04:27 AM
10/09/19 04:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2018
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Animisha Offline
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Animisha  Offline
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It is not uncommon for young children to forget something that they have learned. At the hotel, I guess he didn't practise, and he forgot. He'll learn it again.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: student suddenly forgot how to read notes [Re: cinephile] #2898526
10/09/19 08:53 AM
10/09/19 08:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
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malkin Offline
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malkin  Offline
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I agree with Animisha that it is not unusual for kids to forget.

Regression can also be caused by serious problems, but in those cases it would be unlikely for parents to be unaware of other symptoms.


Learner
Re: student suddenly forgot how to read notes [Re: cinephile] #2898715
10/09/19 05:56 PM
10/09/19 05:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,958
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chasingrainbows Online content
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chasingrainbows  Online Content
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I have students who forget everything over "summer break" most often, b/c they don't practice. Some are away or at camps. The only student I have ever taught who never remembered notes from week to week was a true mystery to me. She did well until she moved out of primer. Despite using magnets (for spaces, lines), flashcards, composition projects, tons of easy supplemental material, etc., she couldn't even see that two notes in a row were the same. Thankfully, mom finally dropped b/c of policy issues. Your student's lapse seems normal to me.


Piano teacher, BA Music, MTNA member
Re: student suddenly forgot how to read notes [Re: navindra] #2898781
10/09/19 11:39 PM
10/09/19 11:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,229
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by navindra
Btw, why would you expect a 5-6 year old to master note reading? These seem to be really high expectations for a Kindergartner.

Well, lots of kids that age can read music fluently.

But, I would focus on intervals before I worry about note recognition.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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