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#1243879 - 08/05/09 10:13 AM Do your students have myopia?
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Do you think the font (notes) in music sheets are too small for children? The piano adventures series have bigger notes, but other books my son is using have really small notes. My son told me he feels his vision is not as good as it was a year ago (before he started lessons). I guess I could make a copy of music and make the notes bigger.

We always have plenty of lights on the music when he plays. But I also read that too much light is not good for eyes either (get reflected from the music to eyes). How's your lighting condition in your studio?

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#1243948 - 08/05/09 11:17 AM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: C.Y.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Get editions that have bigger notes. Henle Urtext is really good about spacing and pagination. Despite its flaws, the Snell series also benefit from generous spacing and sound pagination. Use those editions for your son. I stopped buying the Peters/Schirmer edition of "Sonatina Album" a long time ago after I found better options.
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#1244080 - 08/05/09 02:17 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
How old is your child? How far advanced?

Usually the Primers have larger notes than the Level Ones. Simpler versions of pieces tend to usually have larger fonts than original or more complicated pieces.

Has your child had an eye test? If and when he does be sure to mention your concerns to the examiner that this is for music reading, not blackboard vision. I've had myopia since the age of 12 when I noticed the writing on my teacher's blackboard was fuzzy. Now, as an adult I still need glasses for driving - near-sightedness, but not reading books... However I need intermediate range glasses for reading my music on the piano. So the distance of what he's reading makes a difference as well as the size of the notes.

Hope this helps.

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1244104 - 08/05/09 03:08 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: EDWARDIAN]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
My son is 7. The current books are Czerny Op599 by Schirmer, Burgmuller Op100 and Sonatina Album by Alfred.

He said he used to be able to see things far away (like numbers on a small clock across the room) clearly. He can read small notes fine, but maybe reading small notes would cause eye strain (overaccommodation of the ciliary muscles). I just found these interesting articles. http://www.fortherecordmag.com/archives/ftr_050905p38.shtml

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/myopia-nearsightedness-children

It seems the doctors in American tend to think myopia can't be cured and just give children minus prescription lenses. In Asia, doctors think the early stage of myopia in children can be cured with plus prescription lenses (reading glasses) and dilating eyedrops like atropine.

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#1244118 - 08/05/09 03:38 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: C.Y.]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
Well, he's definitely not a beginner! Czerny and Burgmuller after one year - and a seven-year-old at that!

Rather advanced for his age I'd say. It's hard to say without knowing him, but an eye exam wouldn't hurt. Is his teacher aware of the problem? Is the music too hard and not seeing it a polite way to opt out? Again, it's hard to know, not being there.

As for treatment of myopia, if indeed that is the diagnosis, I didn't know of the Asian cure. For my own case, I got stronger glasses from age 12 to 18 when I stopped growing. My eyesight actually improved in my forties when most people become far-sighted and need glasses for that because the elongation of the eye reverses. Too short (eyeball-wise) causes far-sighted vision and difficulty reading.

I hope you find the answer. Your son sounds like a very talented child.

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1244124 - 08/05/09 03:51 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: EDWARDIAN]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Well, the Schirmer has tiny print. I wouldn't bother with that. If you go to www.imslp.org and download the Czerny, you can enlarge it and print enlarged versions off your computer.

The Alfred edition of the Sonatina Album isn't much bigger than the Peters/Schirmer. I'd opt for Snell or the newly revised Schirmer for the sonatinas.
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#1244170 - 08/05/09 05:11 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Get editions that have bigger notes. Henle Urtext is really good about spacing and pagination. Despite its flaws, the Snell series also benefit from generous spacing and sound pagination. Use those editions for your son. I stopped buying the Peters/Schirmer edition of "Sonatina Album" a long time ago after I found better options.


+1
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1244369 - 08/05/09 11:08 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Well, the Schirmer has tiny print. I wouldn't bother with that. If you go to www.imslp.org and download the Czerny, you can enlarge it and print enlarged versions off your computer.

The Alfred edition of the Sonatina Album isn't much bigger than the Peters/Schirmer. I'd opt for Snell or the newly revised Schirmer for the sonatinas.


I could get Czerny from this link. http://www.pingspiano.com/learningpiano23416327223762829748/czerny365542924623612.html

I will check the Snell for the sonatinas. Is this the one?

But Alfred has lots of pieces other than the Clementi sonatinas.

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#1244383 - 08/05/09 11:30 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: EDWARDIAN]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN

It's hard to say without knowing him, but an eye exam wouldn't hurt. Is his teacher aware of the problem? Is the music too hard and not seeing it a polite way to opt out? Again, it's hard to know, not being there.

I guess I didn't write it correctly. He doesn't have problems seeing the small notes right now. He just feels his vision of seeing objects far away is not as good as it used to be. And I wonder could it be the small notes in the music sheets. I don't think he feels the music is too hard, he seems no problem practicing the pieces he learns.

I am just wondering do the students study piano (or any other instruments) have higher percentage of becoming myopia?

Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN

I hope you find the answer. Your son sounds like a very talented child.

Thanks for the encourgement. I put his public performance and auditioning several grand pianos in his youtube channel here if you are interested.

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#1244393 - 08/06/09 12:22 AM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: C.Y.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
I will check the Snell for the sonatinas. Is this the one?

But Alfred has lots of pieces other than the Clementi sonatinas.


Snell has albums as well, but I prefer the composer-specific books like Kuhlau, Clementi, Diabelli, Lichner, or Lynes. Diabelli is especially good for kids with small hands. Lichner is surprisingly rich in Romantic-sounding repertoire.

Do you rather have many pieces in small font or fewer pieces in large font? Take your pick.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1244972 - 08/06/09 07:11 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I caught at least three students with vision problems, and a fourth one I knew about. Especially if they have still have difficulty with sight-reading very easy stuff after about 3-6 months. And sometimes music for other instruments is printed quite small, even the clarinet method I use with most beginning students I think is too small, and sometimes I will copy the pages slightly larger. Also paper colour may make a difference, I find off-white easier to read than plain white.

Meri
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Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1245112 - 08/06/09 10:29 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Snell has albums as well, but I prefer the composer-specific books like Kuhlau, Clementi, Diabelli, Lichner, or Lynes. Diabelli is especially good for kids with small hands. Lichner is surprisingly rich in Romantic-sounding repertoire.

Are books in this master composer library series by Snell all good?
http://www.kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=5&series=11
My son is learning K545 now, and it seems the Mozart book has it.

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Get editions that have bigger notes. Henle Urtext is really good about spacing and pagination. Despite its flaws, the Snell series also benefit from generous spacing and sound pagination.

What are the flaws of Snell series?

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#1245129 - 08/06/09 11:12 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: C.Y.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
What are the flaws of Snell series?


Many wrong notes. Missing accidentals. Using da capo or repeat signs for sections that the composer wrote out. Strange articulation suggestions. Questionable inclusion of certain pieces in a given level. Recycling pieces between books (repeated repertoire).

You just don't find these problems in Henle urtext editions.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1245199 - 08/07/09 03:06 AM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I think you should get him booked in for an eye test but the chances are there is nothing wrong. I find this problem quite common with younger students who advance quickly. Once you are out of the first couple of lesson books the notation of 'real' music is all pretty standard sized although as others have noted some editions are clearer than others. I have students who want to lean forward when sight reading and I have to remind them to sit back. There is nothing wrong with their eyesight but it's just more difficult for them to determine the exact position of notes on a small stave.
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#1245349 - 08/07/09 12:43 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: Chris H.]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA
Bravo! Checked out the YouTube of Harmony of the Angels. Lovely, particularly for one so young.

I'm still a big advocate of an eye exam, especially if in general things at a distance are suddenly fuzzy. If he has a problem with the blackboard in school - that's a big clue. I don't think playing an instrument and reading notes promotes myopia. I think for some - like myself - it's an anatomical problem that can thankfully be remedied. smile

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1245350 - 08/07/09 12:46 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: AZNpiano]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Many wrong notes. Missing accidentals.

With those problems, Snell is still better than Alfred? I can always make a copy and enlarge the notes if Alfred at least has the right notes.

Just check the Henle Urtext, why are they so expensive?
http://www.sheetmusic1.com/henlesearch.sql.html

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#1245355 - 08/07/09 12:53 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: EDWARDIAN]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: EDWARDIAN
Bravo! Checked out the YouTube of Harmony of the Angels. Lovely, particularly for one so young.

I'm still a big advocate of an eye exam, especially if in general things at a distance are suddenly fuzzy.


Thanks! I have already made an appointment for eye exam. Hopely it's not the real myopia.

I have seen many kids of my friends' wear eyeglasses. And they all play some instruments. I just hope it won't happen to my son.

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#1245356 - 08/07/09 12:56 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: musiclady]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: musiclady
Also paper colour may make a difference, I find off-white easier to read than plain white.

I read about it too (because of the strong contrast of white paper and black font). Where do you get the off-white 8x11 paper for printers?

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#1245370 - 08/07/09 01:25 PM Re: Do your students have myopia? [Re: C.Y.]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5557
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Thanks! I have already made an appointment for eye exam. Hopely it's not the real myopia.

I have seen many kids of my friends' wear eyeglasses. And they all play some instruments. I just hope it won't happen to my son.


Having worn glasses since I was 10, I can say that myopia's not the worst thing a kid can have smile In my case, the dr. said it was a matter of being born with the eyeball big enough that I already had the focal point on the eyeball - 20/20 vision (most kids are born far-sighted and grow into vision). Then, as I grew, the eyeball grew, too, but the focal point didn't change as much - voila! short-sightedness. When I quit growing my eyes quit changing. Until, as we all know, I got old enough that parts of my body start shriveling frown But now my eyesight's gotten a little better laugh I also have, as do many, astigmatism, which actually is harder to see with if I have my glasses off. But it's all correctable in this day and age, and it's not life-threatening. If your child needs glasses, he'll probably love having them. There's nothing like being able to read things at a distance that you couldn't read before - it's like magic!

Cathy
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