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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2890864 09/16/19 07:12 AM
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Growing up in the suburb of a larger city, my elementary school arranged an educational field trip to go listen/watch an outdoor performance of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. I definitely appreciate though that who grew up in more rural environments or other countries, might not have had the same opportunities.

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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
dogperson #2890881 09/16/19 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
One of my kids is learning Ode to Joy. She likes it. Neither her, nor her family, knew the piece, or had heard of the composer ...


eek

That's quite extraordinary (I hope)!!!


Nope.not extraordinary. If you are not part of a musical listening family, you would not know it existed.
I was not, and I did not.


Not knowing a piece is understandable, but they had never even heard of Beethoven.

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2890886 09/16/19 08:07 AM
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In fairness this is a family from an ethnic minority who probably had little access to western music while growing up. The father I believe played harmonium as a child, but wants his kids, now in UK, to learn piano.

I was just making the point that in order to motivate a child with music they like, you can often these days certainly where I am need to expose them to enough music for them to KNOW what they like - and that isn't always easy. The suggestion to play them something different every week is a good one.

I have considered a few times setting some 'homework' of listening to a particular piece of music, but it does in most circumstances involve the parents as most of my kids (YMMV) have restricted tablet time and internet access.

Have any of you ever tried to do such a thing?

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
johnstaf #2890888 09/16/19 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
One of my kids is learning Ode to Joy. She likes it. Neither her, nor her family, knew the piece, or had heard of the composer ...


eek

That's quite extraordinary (I hope)!!!


Nope.not extraordinary. If you are not part of a musical listening family, you would not know it existed.
I was not, and I did not.


Not knowing a piece is understandable, but they had never even heard of Beethoven.


Really? You are making assumptions. I came from an upper middle class family, in the US, but there was never music played or discussed. Never. There was not an interest. I did not attend a rural school but there were not field trips to a concert. So, I was like this child.


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2890892 09/16/19 08:49 AM
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I am surprised that many of my 29yo son's acquaintances have no zero clue as to any classical composer. He has been asked who Chopin is. Sad notice on the typical American education.



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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
dogperson #2890900 09/16/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf


Not knowing a piece is understandable, but they had never even heard of Beethoven.


Really? You are making assumptions. I came from an upper middle class family, in the US, but there was never music played or discussed. Never. There was not an interest. I did not attend a rural school but there were not field trips to a concert. So, I was like this child.


Sorry. I just assumed (wrongly as it turns out), that there was a certain level of music knowledge that everyone had.

I come from a lower socio-economic class (doesn't the term "class" for human beings make you want to gag?), but I remember we had to learn things like the instruments of the orchestra, and the great composers. I just thought it was a fundamental part of education. We didn't have music as a separate subject.

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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
johnstaf #2890904 09/16/19 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf


Not knowing a piece is understandable, but they had never even heard of Beethoven.


Really? You are making assumptions. I came from an upper middle class family, in the US, but there was never music played or discussed. Never. There was not an interest. I did not attend a rural school but there were not field trips to a concert. So, I was like this child.


Sorry. I just assumed (wrongly as it turns out), that there was a certain level of music knowledge that everyone had.

I come from a lower socio-economic class (doesn't the term "class" for human beings make you want to gag?), but I remember we had to learn things like the instruments of the orchestra, and the great composers. I just thought it was a fundamental part of education. We didn't have music as a separate subject.


No problem; we all make assumptions based on our own life experiences . Everyday 😊 and yes, the word ‘class’ is horrible on face value. Maybe group would be much better.... since class for any group doesn’t mean you are or not ‘classy’.

Coaster is actually teaching a music appreciation class in jr high, and her students seem to love it. Wish it were done more frequently.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
johnstaf #2890905 09/16/19 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
I just thought it was a fundamental part of education. We didn't have music as a separate subject.

Just because something is a fundamental part of education doesn't mean the average person would know it. As just one example in a different area, civics and/or American government are required subjects in most US school systems, yet only a quarter of Americans can name the three branches of the US Government.


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2890950 09/16/19 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by JimmyShand
In fairness this is a family from an ethnic minority who probably had little access to western music while growing up. The father I believe played harmonium as a child, but wants his kids, now in UK, to learn piano.

I was just making the point that in order to motivate a child with music they like, you can often these days certainly where I am need to expose them to enough music for them to KNOW what they like - and that isn't always easy. The suggestion to play them something different every week is a good one.


Until my first teacher played classical piano pieces for me at the end of every lesson, I'd never heard any classical music at all. There was never any music at home. I was ten, and all I ever heard was a bit of pop (from friend's radio-cassette recorders) and movie music (from, er, movies). She literally changed my outlook on music, not just by playing for me everything from Les Barricades Mystérieuses to Visions fugitives via Rondo alla turca and Spring Song, but by how she played all the pieces - with musicality, great expression and brilliance.......and always from the score. Impressionable young minds get shaped for life by such proselytization, without which I'd only ever know Love Story (which was what I kept pestering my teacher to play for me until she successfully weaned me off onto more suitable stuff......):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25z1mIDGk6E

Incidentally, about Ode to Joy, I'd guess that 99.99% of the British population have never heard it, or if they did, don't know who the composer is. Even though it has been adopted as the European Anthem for decades......


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
dogperson #2891080 09/16/19 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Don’t you think most everyone has a particular style/piece of music they like. But If they really have no interest in music of any kind, and don’t want to play anything ....., why is their teacher continuing lessons??????

Because we have bills to pay?

More seriously, it's always a judgment call on each individual student. Some kids NEED the mental discipline offered by music education, and some kids need music to raise their IQ or whatever low intelligence they came with. In those cases I let lessons continue. However, I have seen some kids who are perfectly functional and well-behaved and intelligent, who just have ZERO penchant for piano or music of any kind. In those cases, I might want to just let them go to pursue something else. However, that is extremely rare.


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
NobleHouse #2891170 09/17/19 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
I am surprised that many of my 29yo son's acquaintances have no zero clue as to any classical composer. He has been asked who Chopin is. Sad notice on the typical American education.

It depends on the school district and its priorities. Some districts face the problem of having kids who can't read/write/speak English properly, so they end up with an extra period of Language Arts for these non-fluent kids. At my district, students who are not fluent in English or failed basic math on standardized tests are REQUIRED to take extra classes of remedial English or Math, or both, and those kids do not have the option of taking an elective like orchestra or chorus or band. The last time I checked this problem went for 2/3 of the school.

Until schools can figure out a solution to their challenges, the arts will have to wait.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have these affluent school districts with middle school orchestras that will blow your mind. That's middle school. Every single student is taking private lessons and doing Suzuki level 8 or above. Many of my piano students attend such a school, and if you get a chance to talk to them, they'll tell you the Orchestra teacher is next to worthless--all the "teaching" is done by private teachers. The school teacher doesn't know a slick.


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
AZNpiano #2891239 09/17/19 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Many of my piano students attend such a school, and if you get a chance to talk to them, they'll tell you the Orchestra teacher is next to worthless--all the "teaching" is done by private teachers. The school teacher doesn't know a slick.


Tell me about it. My high school Orchestra teacher was a bassoonist, hired because he was a friend of the principal.

No offense to bassoon players, but when you have a teacher who only plays that, and not any stringed instruments that his students play, and most of the students don't take private string lessons... Need I say more? Our sound was ghastly (though I didn't realize it until after I went to university and had a competent Orchestra director).

I was, though, one of the lucky few in high school whose parents could afford private instruction, but since I didn't start viola until the end of 9th grade, the ensemble playing experience did hardly anything to prepare me for joining the orchestra at university three and a half years later. A rude awakening, upon starting college, at how incompetent a player I really was, though I had gotten to first chair in the high school orchestra by sometime in my junior year.

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2892856 09/21/19 09:27 PM
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Ode to Joy is a primer level piece in Piano Adventures.
I always play a "full" version of it and half the time they DO know it, because we have a good private school music program and chapel.
What I have learned to do:
I ask the student to write down three facts about Beethoven. "One of them may surprise you!" (some students already know)
More than once, a parent was stunned to learn of his developed deafness and yet he still composed.

As for note reading, I have drills, like math quizzes, on naming notes. 12 levels, starting in seconds only, then thirds, bass and treble clef. Sometimes I do it during lesson, and with the keys covered! I make a big deal of setting the timer, and give a prize after all 12 levels are done. (can taken months)

Also, Piano Adventures offers a Sightreading book that I am utilizing more and more, Just enough variation so as not to memorize. I often begin a lesson with sight reading warm-ups from other series books I've collected over the years.


Last edited by missbelle; 09/21/19 09:28 PM.

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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2897800 10/07/19 06:45 AM
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The younger of the two, who is the worst from a laziness perspective, I've started bringing in an easy piece each week that she must learn on her own.

I didn't know about the PA sightreading book - will have a look out for that.

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2898592 10/09/19 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Background - two young siblings, 8 and 7 years old. Fairly able, esp the older. He has just passed his G1 ABRSM, she is working towards it. I've taught them nearly a year, they had a teacher before that who retired from ill health, and I think some early lessons in pre school.

They just will not read the notes. They can, but just try to memorise. This isn't uncommon of course, but these two just take to beyond. I've tried teaching intervals, using Every Good Boy, sight reading and learning simple pieces quickly, explaining to them why it matters, holding a bit of card over their hands so they can't see them! :-) but nothing seems to stick.

Every lesson they stare at their fingers as though the meaning of life is written there, guessing notes.

The parents are keen for them to learn, aware of the issue, but with little if any musical training themselves.

Anyone got any ideas and tips to work on this?

Thanks


70% of average students are like that. Only the smart 30% students who can see the relationship between what on the book and what they are doing. Eventually, when they get older, they will get it.

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2898665 10/09/19 03:34 PM
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Has anyone here tried Piano Marvel for the kids? I once saw this wonderful setup where two of my cousins' kids practiced SASR (Standard Assessment of Sight Reading) on a MIDI keyboard connected on-line to the website, www.pianomarvel.com. (The teacher used this setup for one kid to practice sight reading by himself in a separate room while she was teaching the other kid on her acoustic grand.)

The app displays random pieces from a (seemingly rich) library according to gradually progressing levels of complexity, gives cues for the student to play along and flags the missed notes. The app keeps track of the progress (based on the number of errors, I guess) and displays the score at the end. The challenge is similar to that of simple video games, which could help keeping the kids' interest. But the interactive nature of this (instant feedback) is the main advantage compared to 'lonesome' practice with books.

There are other threads in the Adult Beginners forum about Piano Marvel (where SASR is only a small part of the program) but I haven't read enough to know if SASR is discussed there. Those who have, please chime in.

Re: Kids who will not read the notes
solo8 #2898668 10/09/19 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by solo8
There are other threads in the Adult Beginners forum about Piano Marvel (where SASR is only a small part of the program) but I haven't read enough to know if SASR is discussed there. Those who have, please chime in.

Yes, SASR is frequently discussed in that thread, including with one the the employees of PM.


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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: Kids who will not read the notes
missbelle #2899339 10/11/19 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by missbelle
Also, Piano Adventures offers a Sightreading book that I am utilizing more and more, Just enough variation so as not to memorize.

And that approach puzzles me to no end. Why would anybody do that? How is that sight reading?


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
AZNpiano #2902183 10/19/19 11:12 PM
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Each section in the site reading book by piano adventures, runs and tandem with the lesson book. There may be a song called tree in the lesson book. It may be in 3/4 time, c position, and introduce a concept of a legato phrase ending in staccato, And then have an octave jump.
The site reading book, on day one, may still have the 3/4 time signature but the entire piece might be legato.
Day 2 might be in 4/4 time signature.
Day 3 might be all staccato.
Day 4 might be in a different octave.
Day 5 might have just Dynamics trhat change and a tied rhythm to change things up.
Or a day might invert the melody. Or change the tune to another hand.
.
so, it is a bit like the theme is in the lesson book, and each new day of sight reading that corresponds is like a mini variation.
just enough that a child cannot memorize, they must notice the changes. They play it to their very best ability but only one time. The book literally says, do not practice this.
Site reading is a one and done activity. Then it becomes practice.
.
Does that help explain it?
I am using the site reading books more and more because I need more horizontal learning instead of vertical.
SIGHT, not site... (Sleep we talk text)

I sometimes ask a student to pick which day was their favorite to play and have them play it as a warm up. If they cannot recall the most basic info and stumble through, then I know that didn't practice and will have a slower lesson.
If you had a piece to work on, with a corresponding theory page, 5 different but related sight reading exercises, then you should know to say more than, "I'm, I think it was...about a tree? Yeah, I was busy, my brother had soccer game."
And so I repeat the lesson, reassign the same theory not done, muddle through, and "add" a similar piece from the performance book, plus re- assign the tech/artistry book.
Parents are happy to see a "new" piece.
3rd lesson, if still nothing done, I toss in some sheet music and perhaps a worksheet. L have them work on the dry erase board.
And, I show the parent (again) the 3 weeks of incomplete work.
.
Yes, Christmas recital music begins this coming week!!
Many kids will spend the entire lesson learning by rote.
.
Some kids, ones that practice, AND play, will use Christmas music as a fun sight reading warm up, because the ear will tell how it goes!
.
Another sight reading activity is to take a familiar tune and white out the title. See if student can identify it. Fun challenge
.
Sight reading is a learning challenge.
Notice patterns. Look ahead, be prepared.


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Re: Kids who will not read the notes
JimmyShand #2904429 10/25/19 10:25 AM
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How about theory books and flash cards. You can ask them to create a simple song writing out the melody notes on blank staff paper. Use flash cards for note reading each lesson. It can be made into a fun game for them. Even if they're using their ear when they play they will still be learning to read notes with the cards. Writing the notes out can be fun for them too.

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