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#926314 - 02/12/04 01:25 PM Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 8
Farid Offline
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Farid  Offline
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Akron, OH USA
I learned how to play the violin as a kid based on Do-Re-Mi naming, clef de sol, Fa mineur, Do diese and Bemol etc. outside the US (teacher was Armenian and French was the second language in the country).
I have been in the US 30 years and wanted to teach my children how to play the piano. (all of my brothers and sisters learned how to play musical instruments). SO I bought a new Steinway B grand and found a Russian piano teacher who could teach my 6 year old girl and 5 year old boy piano at home. I asked her to teach them Do-Re-Mi as that is what I know and can help them with practice everyday and she did (have been learning for one year plus now). I just could not transition myself to C D A as taught in the US. My brain is hard wired now!

I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old boy who I would also like to teach them piano. The problem is that all the books and theory exercises etc. are written in C D A format and the teacher and I have to translate that or overwrite it for the kids. I am starting to wonder if my approach is wrong. I am teaching the kids piano and music for enrichment and not for them to become professional pianists.

Is there a source for books and scales in the US that instruct in Do-Re-Mi?
What should I do. I know the kids can learn quickly and adopt now althought it will be hard for me. It is like learning a new language when you are old versus being a kid.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

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#926315 - 02/12/04 05:59 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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jazpianizt Offline
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#926316 - 02/13/04 06:27 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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anacrusis Offline
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Connecticut
Hi

The children should learn piano with the CDE method, learning to read the notes on the staff and match them up with the appropriate keys. I think it's only appropriate to teach the "do re mi" system for piano if you are going to have them learn and play by ear, having no aspirations to them ever being able to sit down and play a written piece of music. Keep in mind that as they progress they will have to learn to read the staff and notes anyway, they do not write piano books or sheet music with "do re mi".

As the kids get more into piano and learn key signatures, they will learn the circle of fifths and will then be able to sight read/sight sing their songs or any other songs using "do re mi" with moveable do.

Please take the time to learn to read bass and treble clefs yourself, it's quite easy and you will help your children to learn properly. It will save your kids confusion in the long run. Hope this helps.

#926317 - 02/13/04 06:35 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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CrashTest Offline
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In college ear training class, we use do-re-mi, so I would think that is better. Altough we sometimes use letter names, but not too much.

#926318 - 02/14/04 06:58 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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minsmusic Offline
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Australia
Kids are amazing! Get the teacher to teach both! Then they can translate for you.

I teach both piano and singing. The do-re-mi system (largely encouraged by Kodaly) is excellent for ear training if done along with the appropriate hand signals is a great way to sing 'by ear'.

THe ABC note reading is the preferred method for pianists and more widely used. (That's why it's so hard to get good quality teaching methods with the Do-Re-Mi approach.) It's good for communication purposes - "you need to play the E flat, not the E natural, and the B and the Fsharp in your bass hand needs to be quieter..." and if talking to other musicians, "let's start at the A in bar 7..."

While it might be true now you don't want your kids to do any more with piano than a hobby, you don't know how they'll feel down the road. They may LOVE piano and want to teach themselves.
Learn both ways. And if you think it might confuse them, go with the ABC approach. It's more common, there are more method books available. As for you helping them, that's wonderful, but don't be too discourage if your input is limited, most of the kids I teach don't have musical parents. You can still offer encouragement, praise and advise. And don't be too quick to dismiss your 'adapting' abilities - you might surpise yourself!

All the very best.

#926319 - 02/16/04 03:58 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Farid Offline
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Farid  Offline
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Akron, OH USA
Thanks for the responses. I learned how to play the violin "reading" notes Do-Re-Mi and not by ear but I can see the point in going to CDE method for the piano for the kids especially with all textbooks in the US written for that. At this age, they could probably learn both. I'll discus this with their piano teacher. I need to start adapting too.

#926320 - 02/16/04 09:04 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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starmender Offline
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starmender  Offline
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Australia
I have been teaching Solfege to piano beginners for over twenty years. Although all our textbooks are in alphabetical note names, that makes no difference, as we only use clean music text with no note names written on it.

There are, however, wonderful books published in Belgium, France and Spain, which use solfege names. Today I have a Belgian child who has one. I will make a note of the name.

Children become musically bilingual if they are allowed to switch to alphabetical names after a couple of years. I introduce these names first as the names of scales.

The advantages of using fixed Solfege are in the wonderful ear training it offers. You can teach your children to sight sing at a level that has a lot of undergrads gasping, and they will also have excellent memories. They will also have genuine musical literacy- the ability to know how a page of music sounds without having to type it out on the piano.

#926321 - 02/17/04 10:01 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Farid Offline
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Farid  Offline
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Akron, OH USA
Starmender
Thanks for the encouragement about the do-re-mi system. A note is a note on the music sheets whatever you call it. Yesterday, as a test, I asked my 6 year old daughter if she knew that the notes are also called ABCDEFG and was stunned to learn that she did and was able to translate back and forth between do-re-mi and C-D-E. I asked her if the piano teacher taught her and she said no. She figured that out by looking at the music teaching books. My five year old boy also had a good idea but he's not as advanced. So I guess kids at this age can learn both metohds.
So what would be your advice? Let them learn the do-re-mi system for the first 2 years and then introduce the C-D-E system? In few months my third child will be 4 years old and I need to start teaching him piano.
I would also love it if you could point me to european sources of sheet music and study books.

Thanks

#926322 - 02/18/04 08:52 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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shapenotes Offline
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Tennessee
do-re-mi is used in convention gospel music, and the world of convention gospel has "singing schools" throughout the country which teachs do-re-mi in usually two weeks. look into this, it helps in the study of gospel music, but i've never noticed it evident in any other fields.

#926323 - 02/18/04 08:55 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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shapenotes Offline
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Tennessee
oh yeah... can any one link me to some pictures of the hand signals, or email them to me, I want to learn them, thanks.

#926324 - 02/19/04 12:03 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Kreisler Offline
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Iowa City, IA
It depends on the system.

Whether or not you simply name the notes CDE or do-re-mi doesn't really matter one way or the other. However, when you combine solfege (do-re-mi) with Curwen hand signs and a solid Kodaly-type sequence of instruction, then the benefits are immeasurable.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#926325 - 02/19/04 01:53 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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starmender Offline
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starmender  Offline
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Australia
Farid, ideally I would stick to Solfege names forever, since they are so musical and singable- at least until perfect pitch develops, as it frequently does when you teach this way.

However, in practice, children need to be able to communicate with the world they live in about music, so I like to encourage so bi-lingual use of note names when the solfege is very secure and when they might start working with a school ensemble, study a second instrument, join their friends in music making, or study formal theory.

Some of my students hate alphabetical names and resist learning them, so we go no further than
"F major scale starts on Fah", and so on, which is fine with me. (After all, this kind of nomenclature never did French music any harm, did it?)

Others decide that the solfege names are infantile and give them up scornfully in adolescence.

Most of the students are using alphabetical names of their own accord by the Bach Small Prelude stage.

#926326 - 02/19/04 02:03 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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starmender Offline
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starmender  Offline
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Australia
Farid, you could try Editions Henry Lemoine, Paris.

Among their books is the one my Belgian student arrived with: Herve, Charles and Pollard, Jacqueline, mi primo anno di piano, or in Italian: il mio primo anno di piano

This is a conventional beginners book, although I prefer to start with a more Kodaly type of heirarchy- falling minor third first on soh mi, developing to a triad with doh, adding la, then re, and finally adding fah to give a five finger position. I find that this gives a more secure aural ability than the middle doh centred beginning of the abovementioned book.

I must get on with it and publish my book while I'm still on the planet.

#926327 - 02/19/04 02:44 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Kreisler Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
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Iowa City, IA
Send it to me when you finish it and I'll farm it out to some US publishers.

Quote
Originally posted by starmender:
Farid, you could try Editions Henry Lemoine, Paris.

Among their books is the one my Belgian student arrived with: Herve, Charles and Pollard, Jacqueline, mi primo anno di piano, or in Italian: il mio primo anno di piano

This is a conventional beginners book, although I prefer to start with a more Kodaly type of heirarchy- falling minor third first on soh mi, developing to a triad with doh, adding la, then re, and finally adding fah to give a five finger position. I find that this gives a more secure aural ability than the middle doh centred beginning of the abovementioned book.

I must get on with it and publish my book while I'm still on the planet.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#926328 - 02/20/04 02:52 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Farid Offline
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Farid  Offline
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Akron, OH USA
Starmender
Thanks for the lead. I am having difficult time finding Henry Lemoines' books on the internet in the US. Found the publisher but I'm looking for a retail seller. I'll keep searching.

#926329 - 02/25/04 02:19 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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ethnoca Offline
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ethnoca  Offline
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Toronto, Canada
I think all my previously replying distinguished colleagues missed the point here. smile The essence of the matter is that the do-re-mi system is used in two different contexts: a) as names of the notes (in all the "Latin" countries, and others in their sphere of influence) and b) as the Kodaly "floating" system used in modern solfege (a relatively new practice).

Farid, being taught the French way, where Do means C (ALWAYS!), or G sharp is Sol diese, finds it (relatively) confusing to teach his kids the Germanic way, using letter names. If he used the suggested Francophone books to teach them, that is what they would use the syllables for, not for solfege!

In my humble opinion, it would be still wiser to make the effort and teach the kids using the terminology used here because they live in the US, and whenever they would want to interact in the future with other musicians, not to speak if they ever wanted to study music officially at an established institution, they would then have to "undo and relearn"...

#926330 - 02/25/04 10:58 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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Kreisler Offline
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Iowa City, IA
Good point, ethno. And even within solfege, there are different systems as well. Moveable or fixed do, la or do-based minor, etc...


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#926331 - 03/11/04 10:29 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or C D A for my kids  
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starmender Offline
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starmender  Offline
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Australia
Yes, it is a good point. However I find that the musical usefulness of fixed Doh, Latin style Solfege is such that the lack of match with a world that says "A B C " is not very significant.
ABC is easy to learn afterwards.

What is more problematic is the clash with institutions teaching fixed Doh, which is called "solfah" in this country. My kids with perfect pitch find this especially hard to deal with. (and confusingly, frustratingly redundant)

Kreisler, thank you. Another reason to get on with it.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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