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#1249941 - 08/15/09 06:26 PM Priceless comment from 5yr old student
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
I took 5yr old Nicola to her lesson yesterday and found her regular teacher was off-sick so she had a stand-in tecaher instead (a bit annoying - but what cna you do?)

Afterwards I asked Nicola what she thought:
Me: "Did you like having Lisa as a teacher, or do you prefer Ben?"

Nicola: "I like Ben"

Me: "Why?"

Nicola: "When Lisa played the 3 pieces for me to chose a lot of the time she had flat fingers!" <--- said complete with disapproving scowl


Thought you might appreciate that gem! laugh
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#1249962 - 08/15/09 07:02 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: DadAgain]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
The smaller your hands, often women (especially asians), they tend to play a bit flater. Your 5-yr-old is already learning typical prejudices and stereotypes. It is important to remind children not to take the one thing they know and generalize to how good or bad someone is. It's a dangerous thing we do our whole lives and it starts young.
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#1249986 - 08/15/09 07:47 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
The smaller your hands, often women (especially asians), they tend to play a bit flater. Your 5-yr-old is already learning typical prejudices and stereotypes. It is important to remind children not to take the one thing they know and generalize to how good or bad someone is. It's a dangerous thing we do our whole lives and it starts young.

If a teacher plays really well, children do not usually make such comments. They are too impressed by the things the see and hear that they can't yet imagine doing. smile
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#1250040 - 08/15/09 09:50 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Gary D.]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
If a teacher plays really well, children do not usually make such comments. They are too impressed by the things the see and hear that they can't yet imagine doing.


In general, I think this is true.

But what if 'Ben' harped on that particular idea. Children tend to latch onto things that authority figures make important by repetition.

In any case, it is amusing, and 4evrBeginR seems to be in fight mode a little prematurely.


Edited by Piano*Dad (08/15/09 09:52 PM)
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#1250052 - 08/15/09 10:15 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

But what if 'Ben' harped on that particular idea. Children tend to latch onto things that authority figures make important by repetition.

Well, I've lost track of whether or not Ben is the usual teacher or the "sub". smile

But I talk from the very beginning about how the hand shapes itself to different needs, and I demonstrate everything from very curved fingers to very straight, showing that there are times when one or the other is the only thing that works. Then I stress the importance of not listening to morons who present themselves as experts. And I do this in front of their parents, at least one.

Call it a "preemptive strike". laugh
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#1250081 - 08/15/09 11:01 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Gary D.]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Then I stress the importance of not listening to morons who present themselves as experts


Hey, watch it, buddy, I resemble that remark! grin

Ya know, I just assumed 'Ben' was the regular teacher, but now I'm not so sure.
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#1250096 - 08/15/09 11:39 PM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Piano*Dad]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
Then I stress the importance of not listening to morons who present themselves as experts


Hey, watch it, buddy, I resemble that remark! grin

Ya know, I just assumed 'Ben' was the regular teacher, but now I'm not so sure.

I never quite figured that out either. laugh
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#1250113 - 08/16/09 12:27 AM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Gary D.]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
lol - never figured this would turn into a contraversial discussion!

For the record - Ben is the regular teacher.. and hasnt commented much on her hand position at all. It is something I've mentioned a couple of times when she's struggled with moving her thumb under during scales...

I do remember many years ago having good hand position drilled into me - and think it served me well (I did have teacher in my more advanced levels comment that I had a good solid technique without too many bad habits to 'iron out' - so something must've been right!)

Quote:
Then I stress the importance of not listening to morons who present themselves as experts

ouch.... thems fighting words! - Any teacher trys that with me will find themselves losing a student. I want a teacher who'll work with me (and I'm happy to accept their method and ideas once explained) NOT someone who dismisses me completely.
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Parent....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
Vague Guitar & Bass player.... (former minor income stream 15 yrs ago)
Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)

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#1250118 - 08/16/09 12:54 AM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Piano*Dad]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

In any case, it is amusing, and 4evrBeginR seems to be in fight mode a little prematurely.


Really? I was just reflecting on what I would tell my children.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1250128 - 08/16/09 01:37 AM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: DadAgain]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: DadAgain

ouch.... thems fighting words! - Any teacher trys that with me will find themselves losing a student. I want a teacher who'll work with me (and I'm happy to accept their method and ideas once explained) NOT someone who dismisses me completely.

Are you the kind of person who argues with someone who knows a great deal and patiently tries to work with you, as a parent, while explaining why such and such an idea may or may not be valid in such and such a situation?

I'd wager you are not such a person. smile

As I've said here several times, I love parents being involved, and with small children, I teach them along with their child. Many times I hear, "Oh, that's not the way I was taught," but usually that is followed by, "But what you are doing seems much more logical."

The fact is that there is no right "hand position", singular. There are correct *positions*, meaning that the precise shape of the hand and positioning of the fingers is something that is ever changing. If you play a chord on black notes with large stretches between notes, your fingers will be flat. They have to be. How else can you stretch your thumb and 5th finger all the way?

Now play an Eb chord, root position, basic triad. Most likely your third finger will be reasonably curved.

Check your fingers carefully playing a C scale, several octaves, then see what changes when you play a B scale, several octaves. Or play a chromatic scale but using four fingers, not three. Everything keeps changing.

Now, imagine what we face when Aunt Sue tells little Johnny to hold his hands like he's holding a ball and THEN says that anything else is wrong. laugh
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#1250659 - 08/17/09 08:33 AM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Gary D.]
Piano Again Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1162
Loc: Washington metro
Isn't it true that tone is better if you use more of the fleshy part of the finger? If fingers are really curved, you get a kind of hammering effect. Also, it's just about impossible to play fast on black keys if your fingers are curved too much, and that "claw" shape can create tension.

My first teacher was really big into curved fingers, and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't play the Bach prelude in C-sharp major.
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#1251197 - 08/18/09 07:30 AM Re: Priceless comment from 5yr old student [Re: Piano Again]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Piano Again
My first teacher was really big into curved fingers, and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't play the Bach prelude in C-sharp major.
That's really interesting. Bach played with a curled hand shape but this key hardly existed then, and maybe that's why?
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