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Posted By: JimmyShand Kids who will not read the notes - 09/10/19 12:15 PM
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
Posted By: bennevis Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/10/19 12:49 PM
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.



I assume the boy passed his sight-reading test in Grade 1? If so, he already has acceptable reading skills, and he needs to be challenged with something he really likes and want to play - maybe Für Elise (the easy parts of it) - which he'll have to read to get the right notes. The reward is there for his taking, but you won't help him 'find' the notes. He has to sight-read in front of you.

Do you ever play advanced appealing pieces for them, reading from the score? (Never play from memory - he'll think that's what good pianists should do). My first teacher did, at the end of every lesson, when I was a kid. She never played any classical piece from memory, and even let me choose (from the volumes she always brought to the lessons at my home) which piece I wanted her to play for me. It was ingrained into my mind that reading skills were of prime importance in being able to play a huge range of advanced music, and I followed her example.

And she never played for me any piece that I was learning, until after I'd learnt it and she was ready to move me on. She would put each new piece on the music rest, and I would be expected to sight-read it, however slowly, in front of her, without any prompting or directions from her. (All my four teachers did the same). The only way I could hear the music was if I played it myself. If you play the piece for them first - even if only once - they already know how the piece goes, and they can start guessing the notes (not difficult when there are only a few easy notes). Don't give them a chance to take the easy way out.
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/10/19 02:48 PM
Thanks for your thoughts.

He DID pass the sight reading - just :-)

I don't know if some previous teacher encouraged them to memorise - I know the only time I've played them a piece before learning was if they had to make a choice, eg the exam pieces.

They try to 'practise' a new piece from memory, even after only one to two play throughs ...
Posted By: bennevis Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/10/19 04:31 PM
The 'trick' is to get them to enjoy reading music for fun, just like a child might enjoy reading Noddy books (or even Harry Potter) for fun - because the story is interesting, and they want to find out what happens next.

Not so easy these days, when it seems that kids prefer FB to chatting to friends or kicking a ball. As well as adults (yes, many adult beginners also find memorising easier than reading, to the detriment of their reading skills - have a look at the Adult Beginners Forum). Do you give them lots of easy pieces to sight-read and play for themselves? Like the volume of Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns https://www.amazon.co.uk/Easy-Classics-Moderns-Music-Millions/dp/0825640172 (all original Grade 1 to 3 short 'classical' pieces by great composers) in a bright red cover. The second volume (More Easy Classics to Moderns) is in blue, for the boys.

When I was a kid, though my teacher (who gave me the book) taught me some pieces from it, I eventually sight-read through all of them by myself for fun. Another thing is that they should have a few pieces on the go at any one time, and try to push them through a lot of rep fairly quickly. There's no need for them to be able to play every piece note-perfect before they move to something else - only their exam pieces need to be perfected. Students who only learn a few pieces a year will inevitably have very poor reading skills (as well as get bored) because they'll memorise every piece even without trying.
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/10/19 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Anyone got any ideas and tips to work on this?

This is indeed common. It's a communicable disease.

I would immediately take these kids off the exam track. I would say that, "Until you learn to read notes fluently, we are going to play very easy pieces out of method books."

Don't let the kids move on until reading is mastered. You're the adult here, so you should take charge of the situation.

These kids might need to revisit intervallic reading. They are probably very weak in 4th and 5th intervals. Also, make sure they know what octave they are playing in, in relation to middle C.
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/11/19 10:21 AM
Thanks for your ideas.

I don't think any kids I teach ever sit down on their own and try to play a piece that hasn't been set ...

I don't know if its they have so much more to entertain them these days, all the various clubs and devices and parents devoted to their amusement that they never find themselves in the position we regularly used to of having to fill a rainy afternoon with our own plans :-) or if kids are so regimented now they are afraid of showing any initiative. Or both perhaps.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/11/19 11:59 AM
I am not a teacher, but have a thought anyway
....,. Find at least one piece of music they yearn to play ( could be a current pop tune) but keep it for their lessons a few minutes at a time

When they can fluently read it all, let them take it home
Posted By: keystring Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/12/19 02:51 PM
A general thought. Skills are developed through daily practice. If a skill is not reinforced in regular practice at home, it will not develop. Working on new pieces of music is supposed to be the thing that helps develop reading abilities - but since the kids learned to do that differently, which is now the "easier" and familiar habit; this is not happening at home. Every time a piece is taken home, the child will "practise" that piece in a way that circumvents reading. (I know, I'm being Captain Obvious.) ............ Would it make sense to outline how practice, with reading, should happen - showing this to the parents - giving the parents guidelines - so that something along those lines happen at home?
Posted By: Candywoman Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/12/19 04:36 PM
bennevis, your tips would be correct if kids today were as curious as you were. You might have even been special for your time. wink

I believe Jimmy Shand's suggestion that many kids never get bored enough to be inventive. I think video games have ruined a lot of their brains. They're used to having to deal with being whisked from one place to another, so it's harder for them to be in one place. They often have to deal with parents splitting up or really crazy things at school even well before puberty.

Also, their parents have few hobbies, so it's not being modelled for them. I'm from a large family in which my parents worked all the time, and still I saw my mother sewing one day per week and my father reading. They had time for Church and visiting friends on Sunday.

When parents are sitting in the studio, they're hooked on their smart phones. Why not bring a book or some embroidery? Because their interest lies in keeping up with the world. When they put on music in the van, it's junk. Really, like I said in another post, many of them are ruining their kid's music education without knowing it.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/13/19 01:32 AM
Originally Posted by Candywoman
bennevis, your tips would be correct if kids today were as curious as you were. You might have even been special for your time. wink.

I wish I was......I might even be a concert pianist now, if so. grin

But in reality, when I was a student, I wasn't the only one who thought of the piano as the principal means of entertaining myself. Once I'd started lessons, every time I visited my cousins (who lived 100 miles away) during school holidays, I looked forward to trying out their music books, as well as playing duets with them (frequently, when I wanted to try out a piece that looked difficult, I'd ask one of them to play the RH or LH notes while I played 'the other part' with my two hands, thereby turning a tricky solo piano piece into a somewhat easier duet). I also loved partnering one of my cousins who played the violin as well as the piano. We sight-read through lots of fun stuff in his violin books.

Later on, at high school (with its well-stocked music library), I borrowed volumes of scores (not just of piano music - organ, chamber, even orchestral music in piano reduction were all fair game) to try out on the piano, either by myself or with like-minded friends.

It probably helped that I was hopeless at sports, and kicking a football or throwing balls around wasn't my idea of fun.

Quote
I believe Jimmy Shand's suggestion that many kids never get bored enough to be inventive. I think video games have ruined a lot of their brains.
When parents are sitting in the studio, they're hooked on their smart phones.

I agree.

Sometimes, I cannot believe how people today seem to have lost the human touch, preferring to go on FB or whatever social media they use, than actually listening and engaging in social discourse with those around them. A family sitting at the dinner table (rare enough these days), every one of them lost in their own world gazing at their mobile devices......
Posted By: joggerjazz Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/13/19 12:46 PM
I have some students with same problem. Try also having them write some random notes on the grand staff you give letters to. Also, some basic harmony populating a melody makes them think.
In the end, I think they are afraid of making a mistake if they don't look at the keys.
I tell them it's a balance, look down when needed but know where you're at on the music.
I do like the advice of not playing the piece for them until after they try learning it themselves.
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/13/19 02:27 PM
Thanks for your ideas everyone, much food for thought.
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/14/19 02:15 PM
Bennevis - it was the same when I was a kid. Certainly none of my teachers would have described me as an overzealous student :-) but I would try to play the pieces my brother did if I liked them, and also as you did my friends and I made duets out of random pieces - we had a book of Strauss waltzes often pulled out for this (in fact if memory serves we tried it as a trio also).
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/14/19 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Bennevis - it was the same when I was a kid. Certainly none of my teachers would have described me as an overzealous student :-) but I would try to play the pieces my brother did if I liked them, and also as you did my friends and I made duets out of random pieces - we had a book of Strauss waltzes often pulled out for this (in fact if memory serves we tried it as a trio also).


But isn’t this the underlying point of your OP: you have students who are not as eager to play LOTS of music. If you did, they would not be memorizing but would doing everything possible to learn to read as well and as quickly as possible. . . so they could read that big stack of music that is waiting for them.

So what can you do to make reading more appealing to them than memorizing ???? Do you know what music they listen to? What music they REALLY want yo play? Find a 🥕
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 05:10 AM
Originally Posted by dogperson
So what can you do to make reading more appealing to them than memorizing ???? Do you know what music they listen to? What music they REALLY want yo play? Find a 🥕

What if the kid doesn't want to play anything? Or doesn't listen to ANY music?

Some people have zero penchant for music.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 08:25 AM
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by dogperson
So what can you do to make reading more appealing to them than memorizing ???? Do you know what music they listen to? What music they REALLY want yo play? Find a 🥕

What if the kid doesn't want to play anything? Or doesn't listen to ANY music?

Some people have zero penchant for music.


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??????
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 09:17 AM
Good thoughts and suggestions thanks
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 09:46 AM
In order though for a child to be able to articulate what kind of music they enjoy, they actually need to have been exposed to that kind of music. I feel that many kids - at least the ones in the school system round here - are exposed to very little. None have ever been to a classical concert. Most of my students don't have parents that play anything. They don't seem to sing much either in school or out of it. They only know what they want to play when they play something and enjoy it. 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 ...
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 10:38 AM
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)!!!
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 10:58 AM
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.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 11:12 AM
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.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 11:51 AM
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.
Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 12:07 PM
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?
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 12:25 PM
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.
Posted By: NobleHouse Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 12:49 PM
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.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 01:13 PM
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.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 01:26 PM
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.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 01:28 PM
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.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 03:42 PM
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......
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/16/19 09:40 PM
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.
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/17/19 06:30 AM
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.
Posted By: Andamento Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/17/19 01:00 PM
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.
Posted By: missbelle Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 09/22/19 01:27 AM
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.

Posted By: JimmyShand Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/07/19 10:45 AM
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.
Posted By: RonaldSteinway Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/09/19 03:38 PM
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.
Posted By: solo8 Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/09/19 07:34 PM
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.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/09/19 07:40 PM
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.
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/11/19 09:33 PM
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?
Posted By: missbelle Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/20/19 03:12 AM
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.
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Yes, Christmas recital music begins this coming week!!
Many kids will spend the entire lesson learning by rote.
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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!
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Another sight reading activity is to take a familiar tune and white out the title. See if student can identify it. Fun challenge
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Sight reading is a learning challenge.
Notice patterns. Look ahead, be prepared.
Posted By: RayR3004 Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/25/19 02:25 PM
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.
Posted By: Brinestone Re: Kids who will not read the notes - 10/27/19 02:28 AM
One thing I do when I realize a new beginner is spending a lot of time looking at their hands and memorizing everything rather than reading is to hold a book over their hands, about 6 inches, to block the view. They can look down, but they can't see anything. Pretty soon they give up trying and look at the music, and invariably they do better that way and realize it. I also have them write their name on the back of their notebook--with their eyes closed. They can do that too, even 5 year olds. I tell them that, even though they've lived their whole life using eyes and hands in tandem, their hands are actually more capable of working independently than they think--and the piano is built so that you can tell where you are by feel quite a bit of the time. I remind them to trust their hands and to watch the page because every glance down means you might lose your spot or miss something.
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