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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3030798 10/01/20 03:08 AM
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The issue wasn't whether we discount the student. It's what to do with them when all attempts to get them to read notes take forever, one note at a time.

Any Nobel laureate worth his salt will be able to play simple pieces, albeit unmusically. Piano is not rocket science.

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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3030834 10/01/20 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
The issue wasn't whether we discount the student. It's what to do with them when all attempts to get them to read notes take forever, one note at a time.
You know, there are computer games that teach kids to read notes. Maybe learning it in a form of a video game will be more successful?

https://www.teachingideas.co.uk/notation/name-that-note
https://tptmusiccrew.com/five-online-games-to-help-students-learn-music-staff-notes/

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3030883 10/01/20 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
The issue wasn't whether we discount the student. It's what to do with them when all attempts to get them to read notes take forever, one note at a time.

Any Nobel laureate worth his salt will be able to play simple pieces, albeit unmusically. Piano is not rocket science.

If you are working with students with identified special needs, it is likely that members of their school team could be helpful. Try asking the parent to sign a release of information so that the general ed. teacher, the special ed. teacher, the speech-language pathologist, reading specialist or anyone else who knows the kid can share info with you.


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
malkin #3030890 10/01/20 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by rkzhao
Originally Posted by malkin
Clearly, a person who struggles at math is not likely to be a brilliant mathematician, but might turn out to be a fabulous pianist.

You seem to be misunderstanding. The OP isn't talking about Piano students that suck at math. She's talking about piano students that struggle with learning piano....

My understanding is that we are talking about human beings who are only marginally successful or less with learning piano. Perhaps these people excel in another area. Or perhaps not. Are we to discount them based on their lack of achievement in piano only? Perhaps they would be Nobel laureates who just can't work out how to please their piano teacher.

It seems highly likely there are people in this category - they may even practice well and just not ever get it. They would probably be better off with a different hobby.

But I don't think this is the category the OP was thinking of. I think a large number of piano students, maybe in the 95 - 99% range, never get to the point of being able to actually play, even something simple like Happy Birthday or a national anthem. They may still be gaining something from the lessons.


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3030976 10/01/20 12:49 PM
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Hi Vasiliev, that's a good idea in theory. But essentially it's flash cards. And to me, they don't work. It is just like me pointing to a note on the music and asking, yet again, what note is it?

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
TimR #3030982 10/01/20 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
I think a large number of piano students, maybe in the 95 - 99% range, never get to the point of being able to actually play, even something simple like Happy Birthday or a national anthem.

Where do you get stats like this?


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
AZNpiano #3030984 10/01/20 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
I think a large number of piano students, maybe in the 95 - 99% range, never get to the point of being able to actually play, even something simple like Happy Birthday or a national anthem.

Where do you get stats like this?

95 - 99% of stats are made up wink

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3031001 10/01/20 01:47 PM
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If you say 95-99% of the entire population of Earth, maybe that would be more accurate.

If people bother to start the learning process, it would be kind of sad to say that 95% of them failed. This is not the Chinese Civil Service Exam.


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3031080 10/01/20 06:15 PM
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I for one have no interest in playing Happy Birthday or any national anthem. I imagine that if I wanted to do so, I could learn either one of them.


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
AZNpiano #3031145 10/02/20 12:08 AM
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Nevertheless I think the statistic accurately reflects the number of people who really PLAY the piano, about 1-5%.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3031240 10/02/20 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Nevertheless I think the statistic accurately reflects the number of people who really PLAY the piano, about 1-5%.

Of course I made the statistic up, but it does reflect my experience with friends, relatives, and adults who've taken piano lessons, sometimes for years, but can't actually play anything.

I'm not talking about achieving virtuoso technical skills, just basic competence and confidence.

When I was in high school in the 60s, the choirs always had student accompanists, the stage band etc had student piano players. It was just assumed there would always be piano students who could play during rehearsals and concerts. The teacher taught rather than playing. None of those students that I know of went on to musical careers.


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3032028 10/04/20 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
The fundamental problem is the students do not practice either enough or effectively. Many of them are actually talented if not brilliant but they never get anywhere because they don't work at it.

The parents are very encouraging at the lesson but they don't have the kind of relationship with their child that leads to practice at home.

When the student has not practiced, you just turn the lesson into a practice session, using it as an opportunity to teach the student how to practice.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3032144 10/04/20 09:26 PM
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How is that different than teaching a lesson, especially with a young person who cannot read notes? All lessons teach children how to practice.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3032152 10/04/20 10:17 PM
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If a student cannot read notes, then it is unreasonable to expect them to practice pieces at home. If the student did not accomplish at home whatever it was that was reasonable and expected, then the lesson becomes doing whatever should have been done at home to help them understand how to do it.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
AZNpiano #3032155 10/04/20 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I think the problem is that one poster tries to connect complainers to their lack of teaching ability.

I'm trying to separate the two issues. The two might not even be remotely correlated. You can be the best teacher in the world, and complain about bad students every single day. Alternatively, you can say nothing (because you think it's bad to complain, whatever), and at the same time you are an ineffective teacher. And there are obviously overlaps in both areas.

Some people believe that a good teacher can reach any student, and that the reason a student fails is the teacher can't teach. I've seen this with my own eyes in my days working in public schools. Teachers are the scapegoats for bad students, horrible parents, and lazy/lame administrators. It's easy to blame the teachers. There are even scientific studies that "prove" that the teacher is the biggest indicator of a child's success in learning. I'm not even sure how the researchers of that study quantified each indicator.

That was true for me. I had a rather unsatisfactory experience with my childhood piano teacher. Had I not switched to classical organ, I would have given up on music. But it was the change of teacher and not the change of instruments that made the difference.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Sweelinck #3032174 10/04/20 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
That was true for me. I had a rather unsatisfactory experience with my childhood piano teacher. Had I not switched to classical organ, I would have given up on music. But it was the change of teacher and not the change of instruments that made the difference.

Okay. Try teaching 160 students a subject that they would rather not learn. These students take the class because they are forced to (English, History, Algebra, Biology, etc.). Maybe 3 kids actually want to learn the subject matter. The other 157 would rather die.

I don't think the teacher makes an ounce of difference. In fact, I have observed some excellent teachers with moving corpses for students. You can't get anything through to the walking dead.

My point in the previous post is that the teacher is the easiest scapegoat. There is one teacher. You can't change 160 students and the 200 parents. So you blame the teacher. Easy!


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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Candywoman #3032399 10/05/20 04:51 PM
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Music study is discretionary, not mandatory in the US.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
Sweelinck #3032462 10/05/20 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Music study is discretionary, not mandatory in the US.


If a private piano student doesn’t progress, does fault really need to be ascribed to either the student or the teacher? IMHO, a different teacher may have a different approach which better fits the student. It doesn’t mean that either one is to blame.


"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
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Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
dogperson #3032487 10/06/20 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Music study is discretionary, not mandatory in the US.


If a private piano student doesn’t progress, does fault really need to be ascribed to either the student or the teacher? IMHO, a different teacher may have a different approach which better fits the student. It doesn’t mean that either one is to blame.
If one or the other is culpable, then it may be useful to understand it, otherwise, no.

Re: If piano teaching were compared to flight instruction
AZNpiano #3032611 10/06/20 10:10 AM
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The turn toward who "is to blame" is a useless one. If something goes wrong, you figure out what, in fact, is going wrong, and what, precisely, needs to be done to fix or prevent it. Furthermore, music studies where there is a student and teacher (and maybe parent) is an interaction, which gives more than three variables if you put this on a Venn diagram.

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