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#1349152 - 01/14/10 02:14 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: DadAgain]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 14115
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: DadAgain

My daughter (age 5) ... However, following a few weeks off for xmas, she's not so keen to get back into it ...

I just looked back. Last August your daughter was in group lessons, and she was way ahead of the other kids. At this point she began one-on-one with her teacher, who put her into an advanced version of the exam (silver instead of bronze) which she aced. She was polishing off a piece in a matter of 3 days, and her learning was in imitation of you, and memorizing. There was talk of having her skip an entire grade, advancing straight into grade 3. Also, her teacher said that he did not know what to do with a gifted student such as your daughter, and he was following your advice, or something like that.

Might any of these things give a clue on your daughter having lost her enthusiasm?

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#1349167 - 01/14/10 02:54 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Elissa Milne]
Crow Wing Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 35
In grade school I would listen to adults talk about children and their traits (our traits at the time), making generalizations about who we were, and it always struck me as false. We were all so different, and they didn't see that. Even how they prefaced their remarks to us, "Now children, ....", as if we were this homogeneous group that only became unique individuals as adults. We were as different from each other then as we are now in later life. Larry in the desk next me was a mean, sneaky kid, who was lazy, and Mona was bright and always had her homework done, but she wouldn't help you with yours, and Tom was chatty and friendly and did things quick and without much concern about quality of results, and so forth. As adults, Larry killed a man and went to the state penitentiary, and Mona teaches chemistry, and the last I heard Tom was selling insurance, but I've lost track of many. We knew the personalities of each other as children far more than our teachers knew us, because we had to interact with each other at a very personal level, while teachers and principals and Mrs. Boff the neighborhood babysitter only had to train us and control us and make sure we didn't get hit by cars. They didn't know us and we knew it. I would hear similar things back then about how we were all this or all that, but we weren't all anything. Some of us were dullards and some were driven and curious. I know there are children who are brilliant. I see some of them playing Chopin on YouTube and knew another who taught himself the behavior of rats and could catch them by throwing a towel over them when they leaped at him after he cornered them in the basement, thus clearing out the various rented houses he lived in with his mother and siblings. I'm wary of theories that have as their underpinning the sameness of children.

#1349185 - 01/14/10 05:19 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Crow Wing]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Any piano teacher will agree that each child is thoroughly unique. No doubt about that. What works for one student might not be at all useful for another.

AND YET - children are all human, so there's a good commonality. And there are things that we do know about the way that children as a set are different from adults as a set. This means that we can be more knowledgeable about the kinds of strategies that might motivate, inspire or stimulate a child to spend time learning to play the piano. And about what motivates, inspires and stimulates adults to progress in their chosen field of learning also.

Most of the things that I've heard adults say about children during my (so far) 40ish years of life have either been reductive or wrong. But that's not to say that you can't say some useful things about children, such as - children's brained are wired to learn certain things better than adults.
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more

#1349215 - 01/14/10 08:06 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 14115
Loc: Canada
It is quite discouraging. frown

#1349390 - 01/14/10 01:11 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Elissa Milne]
Crow Wing Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 35
I agree with everything in your post. When you study people by sets - age, gender, education, ethnicity, whatever - there will be traits associated with the sets. As you point out, and I agree with completely, it can be useful to apply the knowledge of the traits associated with age sets to teaching strategies. I intended to make the point that grouping people by personality sets will also yield traits associated with the set (I'm using this term loosely. The word personality probably has a specific meaning in the social sciences). I believe the learning traits associated with that grouping are stronger than the traits associated with age sets. My belief is based on my experience in giving technical training to adults, which was a subset of a job I once had. I wasn't a full-time educator. I attended a week-long seminar and took a short course on training adults, so I became familiar at a surface level with the theories at that time on learning strategies. When I conducted the actual training, however, I observed that how the class participants learned - and how I had to tailor the class - had more to do with who they were (education, personality, work ethic, etc.) than with their age. People who were very analytical outside the classroom learned differently than the students who just wanted to learn the practical facts and weren't concerned with why. I believe what I'll coin a personality set would have the same people in the set over time, based on my experience that most of the people I've known since childhood don't have altered personalities as they move from one age set to another. So in a nutshell, I agree there are age-set traits, and it's useful to understand them. There are other sets people can be placed in for analysis, and it is also useful to understand those traits, but it's more difficult since while there is no disputing that a 9-year old is part of the under-10 age set, it's highly subjective as to which learning personality set the child would belong. I think the learning traits associated with age set are weaker than those associated with personality. (Once again, personality is probably the wrong word).

The topic of this thread is very broad. I agree with many of the ideas. I was reacting to a few posts with sweeping statements about "children learn this way..." I think the diversities within an age set are stronger than the commonalities.

#1349582 - 01/14/10 04:34 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Crow Wing]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
For those teachers who teach completely by a method without incorporating their own evaluation, skills and tools and ideas into the music lessons, the decisions of what to teach, the organization of when to teach it, and how to teach it has been done by the creators of the music publication being used.

Does this in any way limit piano learning?

Does a piano teacher acting on his/her own to meet the special learning needs of the child, additional materials being supplied, more remedy, more accelleration, whatever is deemed important by the teacher add a great bit to the lesson?

Does the teacher who is confident and somewhat well read in many of the components of early music education, including brain development, motor skills, writing teaching concept plans and organizing them to the program being created for each student by the teacher have the advantage?

Or, is a complete music teacher's education, combining pedagogy, theory, technique performance, music appreciation, music history and every little related part that enhances music education the very best resource of anyone starting piano lessons.

What kind of teacher qualifications get students where they are going best?

Does their progress, young or late, really have more to do with the skill sets and perspective of the teacher they have chosen then it has to do with the natural talent and continuing interest of the student.

How do teachers prepare for the random, abstract, concrete, sequential needs of any one student? Isn't the ability to choose the appropriate lesson style of the present moment an important consideration to meet the needs that the learner has. We can talk all day and miss the mark it it's not said in the students language.

Isn't this where progress is possible? With he rest of prescribed lessons (generic) being limiting toward success because they do not teach specifically to anyone. So many master teachers from the classical era taught lessons more than once a week to the same student, and they wrote their own materials with a specific student in mind.

What really counts?

#1349653 - 01/14/10 05:52 PM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: Elissa Milne]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
AGED 5, and she has already sat Grade 1 AMEB?????????
When did she start, for goodness sake?

4.5 - For six months she was obsessed with Piano and just sucked in everything thrown at her.... So we threw Gr 1 at her and she came out with a "Grade A" result...

But like I say - right *now* she's more interested in other things (mathematics seems to have her attention right now, but tomorrow it may be fine art, the day after perhaps languages? - she's destined to be an all-rounder dabbles at everything!)

Theres nothing wrong with that - she's young enough to have a go at all sorts of things and see what she really loves. If it turns out to be Piano thats fine - if it doesnt thats also fine.

Edited by DadAgain (01/14/10 05:59 PM)
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!)

#1350099 - 01/15/10 01:35 AM Re: Do children progress faster than late starters [Re: DadAgain]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
That's certainly the age to get 'em if you can. Well done on the A grade.
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

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