Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
148 registered (ajames, 36251, accordeur, Alegretto, 45 invisible), 1685 Guests and 12 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#1430396 - 05/05/10 11:19 PM How much rote-teaching do you do?
NWL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 83
One of the most alarming experiences with a student occurred recently, when I asked a student to sing back to me the melody she had just played. Usually we have a great time in lessons singing along, sometimes even making up funny lyrics to go along with the pieces, and she is never embarrassed to use her voice to sing in front of me. However, this time when I asked her to sing the melody she looked at me in absolute confusion--she had not heard the notes she had played, and had no idea even how to start singing this music.

This got me thinking.

So many students play with jerky rhythm, with uncorrected mistakes, or even pausing to scratch behind the ear at the most musically inopportune time. I have a hunch that many of my little ones NEVER hear what they are playing until they have the piece learned well enough to take their eyes off the score.

So I started teaching beginners by rote.

This was a big NO-NO in my college pedagogy course, but I've been teaching for ten years now, and decided to trust my instinct. Long story short--these students have made huge progress: they play with better posture, they play with better hand shape and coordinated arm movement, they play more musically, and they like it more. It's true, they can't recognize landmark G or F in isolation, but they CAN use the printed page as a sort of map for the music, seeing easily the direction and interval of the melodic motion. I think this sets a good foundation for teaching note-reading in its own way...

But I'm curious what you all think. How much teaching do you do by ear? It seems to me that many youngsters get started by watching older siblings play--Mozart is a good historical example--but I've also been told so many times NEVER to teach by rote, that it is crippling to the student's progress, etc. Looking forward to your responses!

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1430403 - 05/06/10 12:00 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: NWL]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
I think it's a great idea! I myself learned by rote and that's what made me a pianist today. I don't think I would have ever learned well, had my teacher only used printed notes on a page.

Although I teach all my students to read from the beginning, we do a lot of exercises and imitations by rote. My main purpose is to develop technique such as arm/wrist motions, build coordination, and experience a variety of articulation right from the beginning. I usually don't teach repertoire by rote, although I do have some special needs students who learn best that way.

The only people who are against students learning by rote seem to be teachers who are frustrated by transfer students who can't read

As long as you are teaching them how to read along side with playing by ear, you're actually going to do them a great service.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

Top
#1430443 - 05/06/10 02:33 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Crayola]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Rote learning is the big undiscovered (or maybe it's an open) secret to learning to play the piano well - kids concentrate on what they are doing and the sounds they are making rather than being obsessed with being 'right' or naming the notes.

I'm really big on kids reading, but if the student can't play in flow then the reading is completely beside the point...... Rote learning is appropriate with all kinds of music, and it's only the music that is designed to teach reading that should be worked primarily from the page...... HERESY!!!
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1430470 - 05/06/10 05:54 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Elissa Milne]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
I agree (sometimes!). I usually use rote playing with kids that have a LOT of trouble following the notes, either because of learning style, skill, or just where their head is at on a given day. But I don't find that it's exclusively the best way to teach. Some of my students do much better with the music.

In the first few months of lessons I do a lot of copying games without any music or songs at all. I incorporate quite a bit of improv too, which really helps their movements.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1430501 - 05/06/10 08:59 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: danshure]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
It would be interesting to hear how some teachers go about teaching a piece by rote - i.e. what is the procedure you use.

Top
#1430503 - 05/06/10 09:06 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Phlebas]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Yes, I'm interested, too. I have a student who has a great ear, and who would prefer to learn by rote, but I generally insist he read the music. My fear is turning him into a trained monkey, who can imitate anything, but can't read notes or rhythms on his own.

The exception is if he is having trouble with a specific passage - namely rhythmic. (He has a great ear; no sense of rhythm. I have another student with a natural sense of rhythm, and no ear. If only I could merge them!) I also teach him certain fingerings (such as scales, chromatic scale, etc) by watching me, rather than trying to read it.

I'd love to hear more details on where you would use rote, and where you wouldn't.
_________________________
piano teacher

Top
#1430527 - 05/06/10 09:46 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Lollipop]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
In one instance I used rote with a 9 year old who, after a few minutes of trying a new song with the book, I could see we were beating a dead horse.

I took the book away, told him we were going to play a copying game (he didn't know I was just showing him the song he had been trying to learn, which lessened any frustration). I demonstrated it to him 2 measures at a time, having him repeat me a few times until I could tell he was comfortable with each part. He's allowed to watch me and listen. Then we assembled it 4 measures and then 8 measures, so he was playing correct notes, rhythm, articulation and dynamics all by memory.

It was a 16 measure song, but I only taught him 8 bars by rote. I pulled the book back in for the last 8 bars and he read them almost instantly, with no problems like before. He even seemed to enjoy the song, asking if he could try it a few more times.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1430642 - 05/06/10 01:02 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: danshure]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5590
Loc: Orange County, CA
I use very little rote teaching, and usually only at the beginning of method books. I want my students to read music off the page as soon as possible.

I am not against teaching by rote or "by ear," but I am against not teaching note reading. In order for students to play pieces well in the future, they must become fluent note readers. Just like reading English or any other languages in print--it is a skill that must be taught and developed to a certain fluency.

I've seen students who are the product of the "learn piano by rote" school. Their note-reading ability is 4 or 5 levels below the pieces they are being taught. I think that's the reason why many teachers avoid teaching by rote: You end up with students who play difficult music, but can't read music if their life depended on it.

Taking the analogy to languages one step further: You can teach a young child to memorize a poem by rote. But if the child never learns to sound out individual words (i.e., read), the child will never be able to read anything else.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1430657 - 05/06/10 01:20 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: AZNpiano]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I am very agree with AZN.
I teach student to read music on the first day of lesson.
I play along with them, so, they are using their "ears" too when using their "eyes" to read the music notes on the page.
At the end of the attempting a new piece, I usually play one time for them so that they know how the pieces sound like. So, that solve the problem that NWL stated:

Quote:
[/quote]I have a hunch that many of my little ones NEVER hear what they are playing until they have the piece learned well enough to take their eyes off the score.[quote]


10% of the time, I use rote too, only at certain part of the music that seems difficult to the students. For the rhythm part, if student cannot get it by reading, then they cannot get it. It doesn't matter how much I push them into reading rhythm. That is why I usually teach rhythm by rote and ask them to repeat after my clapping.
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

Top
#1430740 - 05/06/10 02:40 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: NWL]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: NWL


I have a hunch that many of my little ones NEVER hear what they are playing until they have the piece learned well enough to take their eyes off the score.

So I started teaching beginners by rote.


I think you're right. You have to learn to listen to yourself; I think it is the single biggest milestone in learning to play a brass instrument. Until you hear yourself you can't make the necessary adjustments.

Until you pointed it out I hadn't considered how much concentration being diluted hurts the hearing. Like driving when talking on the cell phone - you simply can't be as attentive, even hands free.

Sounds like maybe you've removed some "CPU overhead" and let them focus on what they need to. Very innovative!
_________________________
gotta go practice

Top
#1431265 - 05/07/10 06:21 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Phlebas]
RonO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 115
Loc: New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Phlebas
It would be interesting to hear how some teachers go about teaching a piece by rote - i.e. what is the procedure you use.


I have been waiting for a response to this question as I also would like an answer.

Does the teacher and the student keep changing places on the bench? Does the teacher lean over in front of the student? Does the teacher play in a different octave? Do you use 2 pianos? Or what?

Ron
_________________________
Now I Love Music Practice

Top
#1431273 - 05/07/10 06:57 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: danshure]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: RonO

I have been waiting for a response to this question as I also would like an answer.

Does the teacher and the student keep changing places on the bench? Does the teacher lean over in front of the student? Does the teacher play in a different octave? Do you use 2 pianos? Or what?


I thought I answered that above with...

Originally Posted By: danshure
In one instance I used rote with a 9 year old who, after a few minutes of trying a new song with the book, I could see we were beating a dead horse.

I took the book away, told him we were going to play a copying game (he didn't know I was just showing him the song he had been trying to learn, which lessened any frustration). I demonstrated it to him 2 measures at a time, having him repeat me a few times until I could tell he was comfortable with each part. He's allowed to watch me and listen. Then we assembled it 4 measures and then 8 measures, so he was playing correct notes, rhythm, articulation and dynamics all by memory.

It was a 16 measure song, but I only taught him 8 bars by rote. I pulled the book back in for the last 8 bars and he read them almost instantly, with no problems like before. He even seemed to enjoy the song, asking if he could try it a few more times.


But to further answer your more specific questions...

When I incorporate rote teaching, the student usually stays at the bench. I'll play the notes in the correct octave, reaching in from the side so the student can see fingerings and watch my basic movement. I do not use two pianos.
_________________________
Go here ---> Piano Teaching Blog

Top
#1431317 - 05/07/10 09:25 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: danshure]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Or, a different approach, and maybe not strictly teaching by 'rote' but certainly not teaching from the page....

There's a piece of mine where the left hand plays the three black notes F sharp, G sharp and A sharp, while the right hand plays only the white notes B, D and F. When I teach this piece we do a lot of work first playing these two hand positions ascending - that's the only direction the right hand goes in the piece. We try it all the way from the bottom of the piano to the top.

Only then do we look at the page and, while there is some reading to do at this point, the student is completely confident of their notes in every register across the keyboard.

Another example would be where the same rhythm occurs throughout a piece. Before the book is ever opened the student learns to clap that rhythm, drum the rhythm, then play it in a variety of ways pertinent to the piece on the keyboard. Only once the gesture has been mastered is the music introduced.

Another time when 'rote' learning is useful is when 'reading' scores that are terribly modern in their layout. By breaking it down into what one actually needs to physically do - for example, 'play this note, then that one, then play those same notes again really quickly but very softly' (that kind of verbal description of what might look like complicated score-based instructions) - one quickly memorises the physical actions as actions, not notations, and can move straight into 'performing' rather than 'reading' the music.

The term 'rote' implies repetition, learning by copying without understanding.... But in the case of learning to play a musical instrument learning without a score when appropriate to the repertoire can produce brilliant performances while actually enhancing reading and enthusiasm for learning to read better.
_________________________
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
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1431392 - 05/07/10 11:01 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Elissa Milne]
NWL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 83
How interesting to hear all of your explorations on the topic. I enjoyed reading all of your posts. Danshure's experience with teaching part of a piece by ear and allowing the student to learn the rest from the page is particularly interesting--it's as if a little bit of aural awareness unlocked the whole piece for the student. I will try this approach, it seems like a fabulous way to integrate "by ear" and "by eye" learning.

AZNPiano's comparison to language is apt--but I might be tempted to carry the analogy in a different direction. Just as we spend the first several years of speaking in our mother-tongue without reading a word, it might not hurt to delay the introduction of reading similarly in the study of music. Some students that read from the page sound as if they are reading a language they don't understand. Couldn't it help even more to teach all students the "language" of music before teaching them its notation? Perhaps we're not just "readers" of music but rather "actors" thereof--we need to understand the monologue before we can deliver it...

Thanks for the feedback. I too would be interested in the various ways many of you teach by ear.

Top
#1431719 - 05/07/10 06:33 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: danshure]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: danshure
In one instance I used rote with a 9 year old who, after a few minutes of trying a new song with the book, I could see we were beating a dead horse.

I took the book away, told him we were going to play a copying game (he didn't know I was just showing him the song he had been trying to learn, which lessened any frustration). I demonstrated it to him 2 measures at a time, having him repeat me a few times until I could tell he was comfortable with each part. He's allowed to watch me and listen. Then we assembled it 4 measures and then 8 measures, so he was playing correct notes, rhythm, articulation and dynamics all by memory.

It was a 16 measure song, but I only taught him 8 bars by rote. I pulled the book back in for the last 8 bars and he read them almost instantly, with no problems like before. He even seemed to enjoy the song, asking if he could try it a few more times.


I used that same strategy for my 6 year old who is playing a Primer peice for a recital in two weeks. I picked the piece b/c he played it well. It has totally collapsed with each week approaching the recital. He can't get his left hand to come in on time, is holding notes too long, is reading wrong notes--none of which he did weeks ago. So I took the book away and just played the first measure and asked him to copy me, until I had played most of the piece for him that way, measure by measure. He played it correctly when the book went back up. I am going to use this more often with him. I generally have my young ones tap the rhythm, saying finger numbers, note names, counting, etc., as needed, before we attempt to play a new piece.

Top
#1431856 - 05/07/10 10:09 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 358
My students usually have at least one song they're learning by rote or by ear, or a combination of both (whereas they're usually learning five to eight by reading). I agree that reading is an essential skill for musicians to learn as well, but if I can teach my students to be able to pick out a melody by ear and put chords to it themselves, how much enjoyment will that bring to them and those around them? I know that most of my students will not go on to become serious musicians. Many will not last until high school. But that skill could stay with them.

I start off by teaching beginners a song section by section. As my students get more advanced, I start asking them to see if they can figure out what comes next. As they start to master picking out the melody, I teach chord theory and help them "play" with chords to find out what sounds right. I've played the melody before and instructed them to put the chords to it.

As for how I do it, as long as I know a song, I can play it without much trouble, at least the melody and often the chords too. So I play a group of notes an octave or two higher, and wait for the student to play it. If they get it right, we play it together. If not, I demonstrate again and point out where they missed. Then they try again. I usually make them do it a few times before adding on, and always instruct them to play it again immediately when they get home so they don't forget it. I usually do the rote portion of the lesson, if I do it at all on a given day, at the very end so they can do that.

The benefits are increased dexterity—kids can often play harder songs than they can read, so they practice moving their hands and using all their fingers early on—a greater sense of fun with music, and even better sight-reading skills because they use their ears in tandem with their eyes and brains.

I do have one student who has perfect pitch and can pick up pretty much anything by ear, given enough motivation. His reading skills are poor; he transferred to me hardly reading at all but able to play early intermediate stuff he'd picked up by ear from the Beatles and movies and stuff. As far as I know, no one taught him to do this, and his previous teacher didn't know he had perfect pitch, or never told him she knew.

I sometimes wonder if I'm doing the right thing with him, but I devote some time at every one of his lessons to teaching chord theory and to listening to whatever he's learned by ear that week. My opinion is that he is far more likely to become a member of a band, writing his own music or learning to play what the band's songwriter brings to their practices, than he is to become a concert pianist. He's very rock 'n' roll in personality and taste, and he's also taking percussion lessons and learning guitar from his grandpa.

Even if I utterly fail in teaching him to read music well, if I prepare him for that life and he goes in that direction, I'll feel like I succeeded. I hope to teach him both sets of skills, though, so he can be versatile.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

Top
#1431946 - 05/08/10 01:04 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: NWL]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: NWL
I have a hunch that many of my little ones NEVER hear what they are playing until they have the piece learned well enough to take their eyes off the score.

Question: what makes you assume that it is memory that causes people, even young ones, to hear what they are playing?

I see two independent things here. If I am working with an advanced students, I will immediately detect wrong notes, as they are playing, in things I could not begin to play from memory.

On the other hand, I'm absolutely sure there are people who play from memory very accurately who can't do what I do.

Playing brass, by the way, developed my awareness of pitch, not the piano. I'm a great believer in a second instrument or singing as a way to develop the ear.

I'm not sure what you mean by "rote".
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1432198 - 05/08/10 12:21 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: TimR]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
I think before kids even START to learn reading, you need to teach them by ear. They need to learn solfege, need to be able to recognize I from V when you sing it to them. It makes everything so much better. And lots of exercises, like you sing something, and they sing it back. And when they start learning how to read, every time they get a new piece, start them off with making them sing it first. So THEY sing it - it works both ways, reading-wise and ear-wise.

I think it's true that people with better ears (people who can hear more things, or who have a very critical ear) end up being much better musicians.

If you just start them off as clunking keys on the piano, it's meaningless and, like you said, they can't really hear much.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1432201 - 05/08/10 12:25 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

I'm not sure what you mean by "rote".


Me too.

Top
#1432235 - 05/08/10 01:14 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Rote means teaching by ear and by imitation. No printed page.

I teach many things by rote. With beginning students (when they're ready), I will have them make their own map of the rote piece. It's really interesting to see what images they come up with.

I always teach technique by demonstration. I want complete awareness of the body and sound relationship.


Edited by Minniemay (05/08/10 01:16 PM)
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1432315 - 05/08/10 03:04 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Minniemay]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
I never teach by rote. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1432328 - 05/08/10 03:18 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Copake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 256
Loc: Columbia/Westchester Counties ...
I am not a piano teacher and I have no opinion on whether rote learning is good or bad. This thread simply reminded me of my very first piano lessons nearly sixty years ago.

I started taking piano lessons with a nun at a convent in our neighborhood. We didn't use music at first. All of the pieces were played on the black keys, not the white keys. My teacher would play a phrase on the piano and I would imitate what she played until I had it securely in memory. Then she proceeded to the next phrase. I would learn one or two pieces in this fashion and then go home to practice them until the next lesson.

After a few weeks in this manner I started learning to read sheet music (John Schaum and John Thompson courses).

Top
#1432354 - 05/08/10 03:52 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I never teach by rote. smile



You seem really happy about that.. how come?

I find that this method works best with kids.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1432373 - 05/08/10 04:10 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Every minute spent on rote, for me, is minute taken away from reading music, which is my focus.

But that's just *me*.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1432378 - 05/08/10 04:15 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
Yeah but don't you think reading and ear training should go hand in hand?
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1432390 - 05/08/10 04:25 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I sure do. Students need to be able to relate the ear/eye/hand. All of the pedagogy instruction I received supported this. Concepts must be established first in the ear, then the body, and then the eye. It is a very logical, solid progression.

Getting things in the ear establishes a frame of reference.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1432501 - 05/08/10 06:49 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Minniemay]
NWL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 83
Gary D., I suspect I was unclear. When the young student was unable to sing back what she had just played (accurately reading the score) she was STILL LOOKING AT THE MUSIC, which is what made it so alarming--without the help of the keyboard, she could not hear the music.

By rote, I mean by ear--we talk about steps and skips, up and down. We memorize. I do NOT mean that the student plays without understanding--to the contrary, we identify patterns and sequences when learning by ear that might escape notice when playing from the page.

The surprise for which I was totally unprepared was that some students actually started reading BETTER after learning a few pieces by ear...

By the way, I've only tried this approach with elementary level students so far.

Top
#1432627 - 05/08/10 10:10 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Yeah but don't you think reading and ear training should go hand in hand?

Yes, I do, but I don't have any magic bullet to make it happen. The development of the "ability to hear" remains a mystery to me. I had absolutely no training. I simply played, but I heard whole symphonies in my head before I took my first lesson. In fact, lessons were started for me late (age 8) because we had no piano. It was my attempt to sing things, to demonstrate what I had in my brain already, and my accurate pitch that finally got me lessons. Playing brass, starting at about age 11, gave me an incredible framework for what I apparently always had. For ear training, I would prefer my good students to get involved in choirs, orchestra and so on.

But please understand that I am telling you my personal experience. I'm very good at teaching people to read, and I taught brass very successfully for many years. I know that brass players absolutely *have* to develop an incredibly accurate pitch sense, because our lips do most of the work. Our fingers do almost nothing. If you can't hear a pitch you are about to play, in your head, you will miss it. This, by the way, is why you will hear more "clams" from French horn than any other instrument in the best of orchestras.

On the other hand, it should be possible for some people to be very accurate at the piano, even play musically, but not develop the ear very well *only* playing the piano.

My problem is time. I have so little. I go for reading first, and try to work as much of everything else as possible into the works, given the opportunity.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1432683 - 05/09/10 12:02 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: NWL]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: NWL
Gary D., I suspect I was unclear. When the young student was unable to sing back what she had just played (accurately reading the score) she was STILL LOOKING AT THE MUSIC, which is what made it so alarming--without the help of the keyboard, she could not hear the music.

As I said elsewhere, how people learn to hear continues to baffle me.
Quote:

By rote, I mean by ear--we talk about steps and skips, up and down. We memorize. I do NOT mean that the student plays without understanding--to the contrary, we identify patterns and sequences when learning by ear that might escape notice when playing from the page.

Whatever way you accomplish getting your students to hear sounds good to me. smile
Quote:

The surprise for which I was totally unprepared was that some students actually started reading BETTER after learning a few pieces by ear...

By the way, I've only tried this approach with elementary level students so far.

To be honest, everything about how children learn remains a mystery to me. I go strictly on feel, meaning that I use what works for me and trust it without being able to explain to anyone else exactly what I do. So if what you are doing is working, I'd just trust it and go with it! wink
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1432777 - 05/09/10 04:26 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: NWL]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: NWL
Gary D., I suspect I was unclear. When the young student was unable to sing back what she had just played (accurately reading the score) she was STILL LOOKING AT THE MUSIC, which is what made it so alarming--without the help of the keyboard, she could not hear the music.

By rote, I mean by ear--we talk about steps and skips, up and down. We memorize. I do NOT mean that the student plays without understanding--to the contrary, we identify patterns and sequences when learning by ear that might escape notice when playing from the page.

The surprise for which I was totally unprepared was that some students actually started reading BETTER after learning a few pieces by ear...



Gimme a S !

Gimme a o !

Gimme a L !

Gimme a F !

Gimme a È !

Gimme a G !

Gimme a E !

What's that spell? Solfège! One more time? Solfège !

This sounds like another job for Solfège Man!

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
- > Gift Ideas for Music Lovers < -
From PianoSupplies.com a division of Piano World.
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Single note with a "harsh sound"
by i1lsia
12/19/14 12:23 PM
Schaff Bros baby grand piano $300
by Paul678
12/19/14 11:24 AM
What to Practice, Given My Goal
by st23
12/19/14 09:11 AM
Roland V Combo VR-09 Question
by contented
12/19/14 09:11 AM
Rachmoninoff Piano Concertos
by RED SHIFT1
12/19/14 08:48 AM
Forum Stats
77354 Members
42 Forums
159985 Topics
2349425 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission