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#962431 - 07/23/08 05:00 PM Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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I always hear people say things that can be summed up as... "Using the metronome is bad"

For those who believe this...Please teach me how to help a beginner to understand.

I have some preliminary ideas...heartbeat, walking, etc, but I was hoping we could develop it further here.

Ready to take notes.

-P-


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#962432 - 07/23/08 05:17 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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This may be a bit off the mark, but I have come at this moment from my "self-study", to whit: Chaconne danced (actually I was after the Chaconne the Phaeton, which is very rhythmic - it's two down on the left)

As I read music history, I follow up by googling. I see courtly dances being danced, hear the strong drum beats and percussives of the early Renaissance and see how the dancers dance and are moved by the rhythms. Then invariably I come upon an instrumental version, often devoid of these rhythms and played blandly. Doesn't it make sense that if music came from dance and speech, we students become aware of these dances and visualize their rhythms as we play? Kids love to google stuff. Why not this?

#962433 - 07/23/08 05:18 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Use a metronome.

Don
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#962434 - 07/23/08 06:12 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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This was put up by a teacher in Dec. Gordon - rhythm There's a teaching video from this or something similar (solfege - rhythm part?) floating around from the same period.

#962435 - 07/23/08 06:13 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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The one-word answer = Dalcroze

Body movement generally, not just walking. With young children I've used far more movement than just about anything else. If you don't feel the beat, then imposing it with an electronic click doesn't guarantee anything. (the swinging pendulum ones are better IMO because you see the progress of the beat from one to the next, and you can anticipate when the next click will come more easily).
I use a metronome from time to time, but I don't think you should assume that simply using one all the time ensures that someone will then be able to internalise the beat. In lessons I sometimes take the role of the metronome myself, on the second piano - more part of the music than a disembodied click.

For me personally, I very rarely use a metronome (except for checking a tempo).

PS I wouldn't say "metronome=bad", just limited by itself, useful if part of a much wider rhythmic learning strategy.


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#962436 - 07/23/08 06:48 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Eye movement training is also essential to keeping a steady beat - a consistent eye movement is easily trained if you think about how you present new music in the beginning.

I do this with beginner with prechart music and the distance between "notes" is equidistant between quarter notes, but 1/8 notes are closer together and half notes and larger will occupy as many notes as their values.

0 0 0 0 is what it looks like and no one has introduced counting words yet - the placement of the notes creates the focus of eye movement.

Then the walking and pacing of tempo is very helpful.

A great introduction of note values counting down from the whole note (subtracting half) is an excellant system, and using the dot to add half of the note value is excellant too.

Get these things done, understood and retrievable in the very first few lessons.

It's empowerment!


Betty

#962437 - 07/23/08 07:02 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Rhythm in music: Medieval
It really brings out the rhythmic heritage of our Western music, literally beginning percussively. Would this not fire the imagination at any age?

#962438 - 07/23/08 08:23 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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I tried something this summer with a student: I asked her to make a verticle mark for each quarter note on a sheet with the tick of the metronome. We did this for the half-note, dotted half-note etc... I spread this over several lessons. Well, the one time we did not use the metronome she performed the task with a steady rhythm - she was feeling the beat as she marked the notes! I was very pleased with this! This idea is nothing new, but I think it works!

#962439 - 07/23/08 09:02 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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I cannot imagine why teachers would want to discourage use of a metronome. Wait, there are troglodytes who don't use computers, aren't there? So it follows that some teachers would forgo using modern technology for internalizing a steady beat.

Using the metronome just for teaching, I got to the point I could identify a beat within 1 or 2 bpm. It was somewhat frightening to realize what the brain was actually capable of doing.


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#962440 - 07/23/08 11:25 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
I cannot imagine why teachers would want to discourage use of a metronome. Wait, there are troglodytes who don't use computers, aren't there? So it follows that some teachers would forgo using modern technology for internalizing a steady beat.

Using the metronome just for teaching, I got to the point I could identify a beat within 1 or 2 bpm. It was somewhat frightening to realize what the brain was actually capable of doing.
Actually, there are specific bpms that are associated with things we do. Normal speech is at 116, for instance. Turn on the Tv where people are talking normally and then turn on the metronome to this. You will find that is matches precisely, pauses and all. Then change to like 120 or 110 and see if it matches up. It's pretty interesting.


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#962441 - 07/23/08 11:57 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Actually, there are specific bpms that are associated with things we do. Normal speech is at 116, for instance. Turn on the Tv where people are talking normally and then turn on the metronome to this. You will find that is matches precisely, pauses and all. Then change to like 120 or 110 and see if it matches up. It's pretty interesting.
That is interesting, Morodiene! I'll have to try it out and see if Aussies talk at the same rate smile .

Earlier this year I was watching the annual Anzac Day march on TV and brought out my (at that time) new toy (digital metronome) and was very surprised at the variation in tempo of the bands - from not much more than 80 for the pipe bands to a twitchy 120 for some of the younger high school marching bands. Difficult for the old soldiers who were halfway between two of them! I had expected some variation, but not so much as I found.


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#962442 - 07/24/08 12:26 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Has anyone looked at the video marked "Medieaval" that I submitted? I guess I'm a bit excited about it, and hope I'm not being pushy.

The same kids who can't get the rhythm will rock and sway, bob their heads, as they listen to popular music. It's just that our classical music isn't seen as rhythmic. It's melody and rhythm is incidental. What if music were rhythm with melody attached to it? There is motion in rhythm. How would we play it if we could clue into that?

The video I presented makes me tap my feet and nod my head, though I don't usually do that. It begins with clapping and tapping - those "beginner exercises", yet by serious playing musicians. I can see a youngster wanting to imitate that, get carried away by it. But the neat thing is that this music is at the roots of our own classical music. If rhythm is perceived as a vital part of music, rather than dutiful clapping in order to have the "correct beat" won't that change how it gets internalized?

Earlier I was watching period dancers, struck by the strong rhythms in the music and their dance. Then I heard solo performances of the same genres, and many were lacking something though the music was pretty enough. The spring in the steps of the dancer was missing in the solos. One or two performers, lutists, stood out - their music was alive. The dance was in the performance, you could imagine the drums.

I'm almost tempted to wonder - before playing a waltz, should one learn to waltz? Should a beginner march to the beat, or dance to it?

#962443 - 07/24/08 12:35 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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You've started this topic to spite me, haven't you? Morodienne, that's very interesting. Anybody have any reflexions on that.


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#962444 - 07/24/08 12:43 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by keystring:
Has anyone looked at the video marked "Medieaval" that I submitted? I guess I'm a bit excited about it, and hope I'm not being pushy.
I think you're on the same wavelength as me on this, KS. As for the video, as usual I'm back on dial-up speed and if I want to watch it I have to go away and do something else for half an hour while it loads. OK, see you in half an hour smile .


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#962445 - 07/24/08 01:22 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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keystring - much of the music from the mid-1600's to the mid-1700's is still danced to. I played Purcell and folk music for English country dances just 2 weeks ago in an ensemble with flute, fiddle, and cello - in a barn, with 2 donkeys watching smile Much of it from that era and earlier is danced to as Scottish country dance music, or contra dances. Some tunes from the Fitzwilliam virginal book - Sellenger's Round is probably the most well known - are still danced to. (Of course that's just western music - music from all over the world that is that old or older is still danced to.) I've seen people with no apparent sense of rhythm who began to dance regularly turn into quite capable dancers with a good sense of the music. And playing music for dancers likewise makes a huge difference in the musicality of musicians. It's great fun to watch some of the Jane Austen movies and the dancers in those, but it's even more fun to find a local folk or country dance group and dance to it one's self. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some kind of recreatonal folk dance group within an hour's drive of you (I say an hour's drive because here in the southwest it isn't unusual to drive even 4 hours in order to dance - make a weekend of it, and an hour is an easy commute.) And in many groups children are welcome, so it becomes a family affair. Yeah, dancing is way too much fun, and making music for dancing is a real high.

Cathy


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#962446 - 07/24/08 02:18 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Pulse is the vehicle on which we drive that camel of shared experience through the eye of the needle to the others' side. It makes us ***** (it seems the word pr*ck is not allowed! gosh!) up our ears in recognition of something not of the natural world. Still I would start the child off with the natural world. That was kinda Peztalozzi and Froebel's idea.


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#962447 - 07/24/08 02:27 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by jotur:
keystring - much of the music from the mid-1600's to the mid-1700's is still danced to. I played Purcell and folk music for English country dances just 2 weeks ago in an ensemble with flute, fiddle, and cello - in a barn, with 2 donkeys watching smile
Did the ox and lamb keep time?

#962448 - 07/24/08 02:28 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Originally posted by theJourney:
Did the ox and lamb keep time?
Are you Jesus? Or is it out of the mouths of babes... (no gender stereotype intended)?


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#962449 - 07/24/08 10:25 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Abby Whiteside writes of a "fundamental internal rhythm" that controls the playing. I remember pondering her writings, as she said...roughly..."a fundamental internal rhythm will overcome all technical difficulties"

I just wrote it off as nonsense, and kept on teaching with metronome, and slow practice, technique etc. I've had a really good experience using my style (which is certainly not unique), but now I'm kind of bored and interested in something new...especially because a steady internal beat is not always easy for all students to achieve with metronome use....it always ends up happening, but it is sometimes slow.

KBK What do you think of whiteside's work. Many things you say have a similar slant in tone. I understand that you may not be a fan of her "blended motion" or her abhorance of "reaching with the finger"


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#962450 - 07/24/08 03:25 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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I have her book. It has many good things about it. I was lucky - I had an even better teacher!


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#962451 - 07/30/08 05:14 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Metronomes are not exactly cutting edge technology - yeah, maybe the newer digital ones are, but the metronome as a tool has been in existence for a very long time, even if you had to wind it up and change the weight on the pendulum to change the tempo. Hence equating them with a computer is laughable, unless your computer also provides you with metronome beats but even then, the tool itself has existed for a long time, the computer has just added it as one of its many functions.

That having been said - use one.


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#962452 - 07/30/08 05:31 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Whether we personally advocate the use of a metronome or not, the original question pianoexcellence asked was for teachers to suggest some other ways of helping students internalize a steady beat, apart from the metronome.

And I think pianoexcellence did get some suggestions smile . I've always found it most effective to use many ways of approaching a concept rather than just one.


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#962453 - 07/30/08 07:54 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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SantaFe,

Just got back from Flagstaff - my gosh, what beautiful country you're in.

Anyway, you just made my point. The metronome has been around for nearly 200 years. In fact, 2012 will be the Bicentennial. Beethoven was the first major composer to use it, and to annotate tempi with it, and that was just 3 years after it's invention! How about that for progressive?


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#962454 - 07/30/08 08:20 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Yes, but he never dreamed someone would try and play along with one.


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#962455 - 07/30/08 08:26 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Well, I don't have a time machine, so I can't be so positive about that statement.


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#962456 - 07/30/08 10:18 PM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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For what it's worth I have come to the opinion that I actually think that playing to a metronome is a higher skill than playing on one's own. Let's go back to childhood. As a beginner I had more success playing songs I already knew and which had a strong quarter or semi tone beat: Twinkle, Twinkle, The British Grenadiers, The Toreodor's March from Carmen. Children could easily march or perform body movements in tandem with these songs. Most tempo problems occur with more advanced music: compound times, rests or tied notes or in technical areas of classical music or advanced popular music.

You may disagree, but I think that it may not be such a good thing for piano teachers to make beginners count aloud and also this includes the teacher counting aloud when they play and banging a ruler.

For many beginners piano playing and counting is equal to juggling whilst riding a bicycle. You have to learn them seperately at first. I think there is a strong case for the student to accompany music with body movement as much as possible away from the piano.

Music in the west is often created to a beat or measure, but music from other cultures such as Africa is often built up round the beat which is often the drum. And African dances related to later jazz forms show a remarkably complex rythmic interplay built over a simple drum beat.

European classical tradition being courtly and ecclesiastical in origin tries to sublimate the primal dance. But piano students need to lose the inhibition that the music is purely a mathematical exercise and they need to get body awareness of that music. This is the key I think. But how to achieve this with beginners must lie in their own musical responses and cannot be imposed by a metronome.


It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing
#962457 - 07/31/08 05:21 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Well, I don't have a time machine, so I can't be so positive about that statement.
You cannot be serious! Right on, Arabesque.


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#962458 - 07/31/08 07:52 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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KBK, I've found in life that absolutes are dangerous. Oh, oh, that sounds a lot like an absolute! laugh


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#962459 - 07/31/08 09:19 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
KBK, I've found in life that absolutes are dangerous. Oh, oh, that sounds a lot like an absolute! laugh
The only thing in life that's true is that there are no absolutes.

(OK, I don't really believe that, just a reference for you Star Wars fans) :b:


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#962460 - 07/31/08 11:19 AM Re: Helping Students to Internalize a Steady Quarter Beat...(Metronome Not Allowed)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Morodiene:
a reference for you Star Wars fans) :b: [/QB]
I thought I could escape them here!


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EPT - pretty amazing
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A Soprano on Her Head Book Study
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Can't play in front of others: probable reason.
by PianoStartsAt33. 06/29/17 05:35 AM
Maybe tuners are more into listening mode?
by johan d. 06/29/17 03:43 AM
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