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#1346705 - 01/11/10 12:31 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
pianonewb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/09
Posts: 220
Loc: No. Va.
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Try it. Children are not miniature adults, they often go where angels can't tread. (or am I being presumptuous?)

Yes, you are being presumptuous in assuming I have not already "tried it", or that I don't make it part of my learning approach.
_________________________
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Casio Privia PX 120

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#1346710 - 01/11/10 12:35 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Kreisler]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3168
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Children benefit from having their brains wired for learning in a way that adults do not.

Adults can benefit from experience, but I have come across adults who do not have much experience and/or don't know how to learn from it.



I think so too, and moreover I find it comforting.

I'm a slow learner because I'm an adult, not because I'm inherently untalented or unsuited to the task. I know if I keep plugging away I'll continute to make slow progress.

The adult who expects he can learn as quickly and easily as a child is the one who gives up when he finds out differently.

I don't think there's really any doubt, adults learn music and languages more slowly than children, but at least some adults can reach impressive levels of performance at both.

The question I would have is whether this implies a different approach is needed. If adult learning uses different mechanisms rather than being a slow version of the same process, which seems likely, then the optimal teaching strategy for an adult is probably substantially different.
_________________________
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#1346718 - 01/11/10 12:50 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: TimR

The question I would have is whether this implies a different approach is needed. If adult learning uses different mechanisms rather than being a slow version of the same process, which seems likely, then the optimal teaching strategy for an adult is probably substantially different.
Exactly. And how many beginner classroom teachers do you think I've seen trying to address mini-adults? It's a rare individual who, as Wordsworth says, can bind 'each [day] to each by natural piety.'
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#1346751 - 01/11/10 01:14 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: TimR]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: TimR
The question I would have is whether this implies a different approach is needed. If adult learning uses different mechanisms rather than being a slow version of the same process, which seems likely, then the optimal teaching strategy for an adult is probably substantially different.


Of course, and every adult method I know of is quite a bit different from kids' methods. There have been a ton of presentations on the subject of teaching adults at the major conferences, and it's something that continues to be discussed and studied in pedagogical circles.

That being said, one of the main problems is that since adults have such a wide range of prior experience and ability (much more so than children), it is extremely difficult to come up with anything specific regarding adult instruction that works for a large number of people.

Also, it may be better to ask some of these questions in our Adult Beginners' Forum. You'll get a lot more information from people who've "been there, done that."
_________________________
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#1346761 - 01/11/10 01:18 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Kreisler]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3168
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler


Of course, and every adult method I know of is quite a bit different from kids' methods. There have been a ton of presentations on the subject of teaching adults at the major conferences, and it's something that continues to be discussed and studied in pedagogical circles.



I've just read the Gieseking book as well as Music by Heart by Lillian Somebodyorother (we adults have a terrible time with memory) and I can't imagine a young child getting much out of the concepts or the structured memory approach both those teachers use.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1346764 - 01/11/10 01:22 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: TimR]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
You get a six or seven year old and show them something (a passage for instance) once (knowing what you're doing) and you won't need to show them again. That ability kinda disappears around seven.
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#1346773 - 01/11/10 01:32 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: musdan]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: musdan
I sometimes wonder if it's true when they say "I shoulda done it when I was six.

Some kids are able to play Chopin, Mendelsohn etc - I remember my nephew playing all the variations to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when he was about six, and concertos when he was about ten - and here I am plodding along after almost nine years. It sometimes gets to me - I do enjoy learning to play and all that it entails.

Just every once in a while it gets me thinking. Talk about a late start, I was 60. Thanks for reading this post. smile


A lot of people are down on the usefulness of Hanon...however, it's a Godsend for late starters. I started at 16 after some time playing guitar. Without Hanon, I don't think I'd be working on what's in my sig.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1346781 - 01/11/10 01:37 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
Less Rubato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 266
Loc: Washington state via OH-IO
I'm not a teacher but I am in a situation where my son and I both take lessons. He's 8 and has been studying for a few years now. I find that for him , 40 minutes of regular practice everyday keeps him moving along well. That's not nearly enough for me as an adult late starter.

I know every situation is different but this is how it is (unfortunately!) in my home.

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#1346840 - 01/11/10 02:59 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11582
Loc: Canada
Elissa, it was a pleasure to read your words this morning as a student.

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#1346906 - 01/11/10 04:14 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keystring]
mooshinator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 66
Loc: Upstate New York
Hi guys, I am an adult beginner and just wanted to throw this idea out there...

The universe of adult beginners is self-selective; it is pretty much a given that all adult beginners are very motivated to learn the piano.

The universe of child beginners is much less self-selective; some children will really learn to love the piano and others will hate it and fight it the whole way.

This may explain why there are plenty of children who fizzle out and never get anywhere learning the piano while at the same time allowing for the fact that those children who end up really loving the piano will progress faster than an adult beginner, on average, due to an inherent learning advantage.

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#1346913 - 01/11/10 04:21 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: mooshinator]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: mooshinator
The universe of adult beginners is self-selective; it is pretty much a given that all adult beginners are very motivated to learn the piano.
And dare I reiterate, it is that very motivation that can get in the way. Children don't know why they play the piano. In fact, they have no need of a reason. (I am trying to help)
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#1346920 - 01/11/10 04:24 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
mooshinator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 66
Loc: Upstate New York
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: mooshinator
The universe of adult beginners is self-selective; it is pretty much a given that all adult beginners are very motivated to learn the piano.
And dare I reiterate, it is that very motivation that can get in the way. Children don't know why they play the piano. In fact, they have no need of a reason. (I am trying to help)


Perhaps I am using the wrong term; it might have been better to say that the universe of adult beginners consists entirely of people who are *interested* in learning the piano, whereas the universe of child beginners consists of a large number of kids who really have no interest.

I am not trying to refute your point at all; in fact, your point could very explain the achievement difference between interested adults and interested children. smile

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#1346923 - 01/11/10 04:26 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: mooshinator]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I am being awkward! But maybe if someone told you to practice the piano, and you did what you're told, you wouldn't need to be *interested*.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1346975 - 01/11/10 05:22 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
I think we miss the point somewhere along the way. If an adult and a child are both interested, motivated, have the same drive; we (adults) have no chance catching them (children).

If you compare a disinterested, unmotivated child to an eager, motivated, hard-working adult, well, there shouldn’t be any comparison in the first place.

So let’s compare 2 equally motivated and interested students.

The child has all the advantages: a brand new, fresh, empty, undisturbed mind and a lot of free time (besides school, home works, video games or games, there aren’t anything else they have to do).

For us, with a strong drive, focus, motivated and hard working ethic, well, we would still lag behind because there are so many other life commitments that our brains/minds are occupied with.

Gotta pay those bills. Kids done home work yet? Did their half hour piano already? Ahh, darn it, have to get these laundry done tonight & tomorrow night. Work sucks today. Gotta see that game (Patriots vs Ravens) this weekend. This darn oil heater isn’t right, gotta convert go natural gas – yeah save energy, go Green. Mom & Dad coming over this weekend, what's for dinner? Hmmm… floor is dirty, maybe I’ll clean it tomorrow night or this weekend. Visiting your parents this weekend honey? The list is endless if everyone fills in theirs.

Having said all that, I think if we focus and do our best, we will see astounding results. Can we learn at the same rate our young counterparts do and get to advanced level? If we are rich, have nothing to worry but practice, I would like to say “YES”. Otherwise, I doubt it. Can we learn and play pieces we aspire to play one day? I hope so because the teachers here seem to be very optimistic.
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1346995 - 01/11/10 05:37 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Nguyen]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Stop wanting it!
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1347025 - 01/11/10 06:05 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11582
Loc: Canada
No. It's not a case of wanting or not wanting. Just do.

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#1347052 - 01/11/10 06:39 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Want is a word that fascinates me. 200 years ago it was a noun and meant 'a lack of'. Today it ostensibly means 'a need of' but in reality oscillates between the two.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1347072 - 01/11/10 06:53 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11582
Loc: Canada
Emphasis is on "do".

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#1347077 - 01/11/10 06:57 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keystring]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
You two make me laugh. LOL.
_________________________
Nguyen - Student Pianist

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#1347087 - 01/11/10 07:05 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Nguyen]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Nguyen
I think we miss the point somewhere along the way. If an adult and a child are both interested, motivated, have the same drive; we (adults) have no chance catching them (children).

If you compare a disinterested, unmotivated child to an eager, motivated, hard-working adult, well, there shouldn’t be any comparison in the first place.

So let’s compare 2 equally motivated and interested students.

The child has all the advantages: a brand new, fresh, empty, undisturbed mind and a lot of free time (besides school, home works, video games or games, there aren’t anything else they have to do).

For us, with a strong drive, focus, motivated and hard working ethic, well, we would still lag behind because there are so many other life commitments that our brains/minds are occupied with.

Gotta pay those bills. Kids done home work yet? Did their half hour piano already? Ahh, darn it, have to get these laundry done tonight & tomorrow night. Work sucks today. Gotta see that game (Patriots vs Ravens) this weekend. This darn oil heater isn’t right, gotta convert go natural gas – yeah save energy, go Green. Mom & Dad coming over this weekend, what's for dinner? Hmmm… floor is dirty, maybe I’ll clean it tomorrow night or this weekend. Visiting your parents this weekend honey? The list is endless if everyone fills in theirs.

Having said all that, I think if we focus and do our best, we will see astounding results. Can we learn at the same rate our young counterparts do and get to advanced level? If we are rich, have nothing to worry but practice, I would like to say “YES”. Otherwise, I doubt it. Can we learn and play pieces we aspire to play one day? I hope so because the teachers here seem to be very optimistic.


+1. Totally agree.

Just because "old" folks can't run the mile in under 4 minutes doesn't mean we should give up exercise.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1347336 - 01/12/10 12:22 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: 4evrBeginR]
MomOfBeginners Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 114
Loc: California, USA
For differences between how adults learn and how children and infants learn, the book "The Scientist in the Crib" by Dr. Alison Gopnik and her colleagues is interesting. It's not specifically about music, but it does show how a child's capacity to learn is expansive because it has not been channelled to finite possibilities by experience.
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#1347368 - 01/12/10 01:54 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: MomOfBeginners]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11582
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: MomOfBeginners
For differences between how adults learn and how children and infants learn, the book "The Scientist in the Crib" by Dr. Alison Gopnik and her colleagues is interesting. It's not specifically about music, but it does show how a child's capacity to learn is expansive because it has not been channelled to finite possibilities by experience.

How fortunate that one can choose infinite possibilities as well. smile

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#1347377 - 01/12/10 02:41 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Language acquisition is an excellent example. By the age of 9 months a child's brain has hard wired to 'filter out' non-indigenous language sounds. The infinite variety of language is no longer there - traded in instead for facility.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1347701 - 01/12/10 01:35 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: keyboardklutz]
Andromaque Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
Semantics non-withstanding, I found that approaching piano lessons as a child would has helped me a great deal. I nearly completely delegate the teaching act to the teacher and try to comply with most of what he says without second guessing or asserting that x or y does not work well for "me"..I ask questions but I actually avoid arguments. I feel that the lesson time is better used for other things. I do not necessarily admit everything he says as truth but I educate myself by reading and occasionally asking for clarification. I completly accept that piano teaching and learning is imperfect and benefits from a long tradition that has clearly worked for many, but that necessarily includes a substantial amount of dogma which may or not withstand thorough scientific testing.
Obviously the main underpinning of such a relationship is trust. I did select my teacher very carefully and only after engaging in lessons on a 6 week trial (per his request) did I commit completely.
It is not ideal but it has worked for me. I expressed my goals clearly in the beginning and then let him take charge. I will admit that this is is not very typical for me as I tend to be in a professional position where decison making is a constant order-of-the-day and my personality make-up is such that I inquire relentlessly and I trust the scientific method to approach most situations, emotional life excluded. So engaging in piano lessons in this manner was novel to me but I sensed that if I were to be more involved and "consulted" prior to every assignment, things would not evlove properly or speedily.
Granted this approach is not for everyone and sometimes I disagree strongly with some of his approach but overall it works well. I am advancing quickly enough and I enjoy not having to worry about lesson planning and discussions. I also always try his recommendations "blindly" before I decide that there could be a diferent or better way and I accept things like "that's how we do it" as a reasonable explanation !! smile Some of my friends find such compliance on my part to be completely shocking!! So do I.. But it workd for me..

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#1347713 - 01/12/10 01:49 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: TimR]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
At whatever age you are, it seems to me that what you put into roughly corresponds to what you'll get out of it.

When I first started my lessons, I was obsessed with "what can I do to maximize my learning rate." Later, I relaxed that view to "let's just 'enjoy' the journey."

Doesn't matter if adults learn faster or slower than me. Doesn't matter if kids learn faster or slower than me. Nothing I can do about either anyway...

I'll just continue on 'my' journey, however fast or slow that might be. smile

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#1348206 - 01/12/10 11:54 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Akira]
musdan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 1163
Originally Posted By: Akira
At whatever age you are, it seems to me that what you put into roughly corresponds to what you'll get out of it.

When I first started my lessons, I was obsessed with "what can I do to maximize my learning rate." Later, I relaxed that view to "let's just 'enjoy' the journey."

Doesn't matter if adults learn faster or slower than me. Doesn't matter if kids learn faster or slower than me. Nothing I can do about either anyway...

I'll just continue on 'my' journey, however fast or slow that
might be. smile


Akira, I will try to follow your good advice - thanks everyone for all your helpful posts.

I've read each of your posts and have learned so much. Thanks for being there. smile

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#1348681 - 01/13/10 03:18 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Andromaque]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I nearly completely delegate the teaching act to the teacher and try to comply with most of what he says without second guessing or asserting that x or y does not work well for "me"..I ask questions but I actually avoid arguments.
I think that's the whole point of a guru. Sadly, not really a western thing.
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snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
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#1349121 - 01/14/10 12:56 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: TimR]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
[quote=TimR.... But they were souffle makers, and the job needed a short order cook with more nerve than skill. [/quote]

I'm going to stretch this analogy too far...

My daughter (age 5) has been much praised and marvelled over as a Soulfle maker of the future (just aced AMEB Gr1 Piano )... However, following a few weeks off for xmas, she's not so keen to get back into it and I suspect may throw away her souffle skills in favour of something COMPLETELY different, carpentry perhaps?

As an ADULT learner you have the advantage. You can SEE the long term goal and know that 5 or 6 years of study isnt necessarily that long to gain a GREAT skill.

As a 5 yr old spending 5 years learning to do anything is beyond comprehension - so if it doesnt come easily. Its too easy to be distracted and find something else to try.
_________________________
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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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#1349124 - 01/14/10 12:59 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: DadAgain]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
AGED 5, and she has already sat Grade 1 AMEB?????????

When did she start, for goodness sake?
_________________________
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#1349144 - 01/14/10 01:51 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: DadAgain]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: DadAgain

As a 5 yr old spending 5 years learning to do anything is beyond comprehension - so if it doesnt come easily. Its too easy to be distracted and find something else to try.
That's why children need to do as they're told. Again, not a very western thing.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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