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#1442267 - 05/23/10 05:59 PM Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist...
pianogal37 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 214
My 8 yr old daughter (adopted at age 1) was evaluated for a learning disability, I received the feedback friday. She has a nonverbal learning disability and scores 75 (avg is 100) for this area of learning - ie she can't read music or body language, can't do puzzles or build complex designs with blocks. The psychologist suggested I switch from piano to guides or another activity where she can work on social skills and doesn't have to learn reading (music).
I was very upset and actually cried in her office. My daughter and I do 30 min a day piano as I teach her, and it is our daily activity together. She hated group piano (4-5 yrs old) and insisted on quitting, but when I bought the Kawai grand last summer she was so enamoured with it she asked me to teach her. I never thought she would stick with it, but she has. She cannot read music/flash cards/etc but plays all her grade 1 music beautifully from memory and her clapback and playback is good. Technique is not bad, she should be fine for her exam in 3 weeks. Any suggestions on what to do? I would really appreciate them!


Edited by pianogal37 (05/23/10 06:01 PM)
_________________________
Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.

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#1442272 - 05/23/10 06:07 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
If this activity is fulfilling for both of you, I would continue. Given her disability, I would vote for learning lots of stuff by ear and by imitation. She can learn a lot this way and the two of you can still have fun together.

There are lots of creative things you can do. She might really enjoy creating her own pieces. Have her record her compositions and perhaps you can notate them for her, if you think that would be fun.

Your relationship with your daughter is the most important thing and if making music together enhances that, so be it.

I wish you much joy.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1442317 - 05/23/10 07:25 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11731
Loc: Canada
This makes no sense. If she is able to play piano and enjoys doing so, why should she stop doing so because of those particular difficulties. Working together with you daily on piano is a social activity. It is daily interaction on both a mental plane, and a physical one, including body language! Socializing isn't something that only happens in groups and especially less in formalized settings. Does this psychologist play piano and know what it entails?

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#1442322 - 05/23/10 07:36 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: keystring]
LimeFriday Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Australia
I agree with this others. If playing the piano and learning with you gives you both pleasure - then why stop? You're not forcing her to learn to read music - you've adapted your teaching to suit her needs - so in that sense there is no problem regarding learning for her.

If the psychologist suggests a social activity like guides - there is nothing to stop your daughter doing both! Why should she have to give one up to do the other?

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#1442326 - 05/23/10 07:44 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: keystring]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
She has a nonverbal learning disability and scores 75 (avg is 100) for this area of learning - ie she can't read music or body language, can't do puzzles or build complex designs with blocks. The psychologist suggested I switch from piano to guides or another activity where she can work on social skills and doesn't have to learn reading (music).


OK, I understand the diagnosis. People can be recognized as having a learning disability if some of their learning process are significantly disconnected (by a standard deviation or more) from the rest of their learning skills. But I don't get the 'suggestion' to switch away from piano. For starters, the piano is a complex mix of processes. One can learn the abstractions needed to make music without ever reading a note.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1442328 - 05/23/10 07:49 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: LimeFriday]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
The psychologist doesn't understand that music is not primarily about reading!!! It's about physical action creating sonic effect with emotional consequences!!! Let alone the fact your daughter loves it, you and she have fabulous bonding time through the piano, all that kind of thing.

Seriously, the psychologist is hung up on the idea (as are many of us) that the world is all about reading. It's not. And music is the best proof of that - how many fabulous musicians are there who CAN'T read music? Loads. So, even though of course you are better off to be able to read, life does not come to an end with reading, and in music the reading only facilitates certain kinds of music making.
_________________________
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1442353 - 05/23/10 08:30 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Elissa Milne]
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
Oh this is psycho babble.

My youngest (I have 4) has adhd, an unspecified learning disability around language and had surgery on his hand because of syndactly - his 3rd and 4th fingers of both hands were fused. I am an expert on the value of various finger exercises for increasing independence.

He is the most musical of my children. He has taken piano from a music therapist since he was 3 ( after his surgery to release his fingers from webbing) and "regular" lessons for the last year (he is ten).

Of course a child with a non-language disability should do something social - play soccer or basketball or get involved with the school play.

I think this is a situation where AND and not OR is the word
But give up piano? I don't know why the therapist would tell you to remove a success from this child.

Dorrie

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#1442360 - 05/23/10 08:39 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: pianogal37
My 8 yr old daughter (adopted at age 1) was evaluated for a learning disability, I received the feedback friday. She has a nonverbal learning disability and scores 75 (avg is 100) for this area of learning - ie she can't read music or body language, can't do puzzles or build complex designs with blocks. The psychologist suggested I switch from piano to guides or another activity where she can work on social skills and doesn't have to learn reading (music).
I was very upset and actually cried in her office. My daughter and I do 30 min a day piano as I teach her, and it is our daily activity together. She hated group piano (4-5 yrs old) and insisted on quitting, but when I bought the Kawai grand last summer she was so enamoured with it she asked me to teach her. I never thought she would stick with it, but she has. She cannot read music/flash cards/etc but plays all her grade 1 music beautifully from memory and her clapback and playback is good. Technique is not bad, she should be fine for her exam in 3 weeks. Any suggestions on what to do? I would really appreciate them!


I say screw the psychologist. You know your child better than anyone, so I think your gut instinct about music is correct. Your daughter enjoys it anyway. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1442385 - 05/23/10 09:33 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Horowitzian]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I was once asked to teach a 18 years old autism who is my student's older brother. He learn piano from another teacher who taught him by ear and doesn't know how to read music. Mom wants me to try (even though I told her that I am not experience in teaching 'special need' student) to teach him how to read music. His mom said that it was wonderful that he can play anything by ear, by imitating the teacher, but now his mom wants to know if he can be trained to read music.
I had been honest to mom that I do not know how to approach this type of student, but I will try. Basically, I treat him like normal students and try the normal approach that I normally will do to my other students.
It doesn't work, we stop lesson after 3 months of trying.
I think what I am trying to say here is that your psychologist actually [u][/u] suggested that "no need to learn to read music". I think he doesn't say "no need to learn to play piano". Am I right on this?
So, I guess, your daughter can still learn to play piano.
Are you a teacher? How long has your daughter learn piano before the diagnosis of the psychologist? Can she read music notes? What is her current level now?
I think a different approach will needed for your daughter, but please do not take piano away from her! Piano and music might be her very good gift in her life, you never know!
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

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#1442394 - 05/23/10 09:53 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Smallpiano]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
RIght, and there are so many ways to learn piano, as you know - tactile, aural, intellectual etc... and probably some ways we don't even know or understand. Your daughter needs to feel a sense of accomplishment about whatever she does - because low self esteem can easily go along with learning disabilities. So if it brings her happiness, and the two of you closeness, do it! Maybe what the psychologist is saying is don't force the reading part, because it will lead to frustration. Though maybe she'll develop her own way of reading the written music, over time. And, wouldn't it be good for her?
Good luck!
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1442399 - 05/23/10 10:07 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: CarolR]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3475
Loc: US
I'm wondering if the suggestion that the psychologist is actually making is that your daughter get more time to work on social skills with other children and expressing concern that piano, being a more solitary activity or one she primarily shares with you, won't provide that. Hopefully it doesn't have to be an either/or situation and she might be able to do both if there is time and interest? It might be worthwhile to explain to the psychologist what you have written here (perhaps you already have) and how your daughter is learning piano without the emphasis on reading. Hope it all works out!

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#1442518 - 05/24/10 04:35 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: sophial]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
It is obvious that it would be silly to stop doing musical activity with your daughter. I would think that there is a misunderstanding, I can't imagine that anyone suggest such a thing.

However, I would think that it would be useful to use written music in some fashion. You may need to be astuctious to find actvities at the measure of the situation, and evidently patient without limit. Howver reading and writing activity is important for everyone at whatever level they are capable. Even the most simple acquisitions in this domaine are a source of great pride and self-estime, and in the mind of the person in question represent an important link with his entourage.

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#1442525 - 05/24/10 05:32 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: landorrano]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: landorrano
It is obvious that it would be silly to stop doing musical activity with your daughter. I would think that there is a misunderstanding, I can't imagine that anyone suggest such a thing.

However, I would think that it would be useful to use written music in some fashion. You may need to be astuctious to find actvities at the measure of the situation, and evidently patient without limit. Howver reading and writing activity is important for everyone at whatever level they are capable. Even the most simple acquisitions in this domaine are a source of great pride and self-estime, and in the mind of the person in question represent an important link with his entourage.


LOL. You've been waiting all week to use the word astuctious (astucious) haven't you? =p
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1442538 - 05/24/10 06:41 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: stores]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: stores
LOL. You've been waiting all week to use the word astuctious (astucious) haven't you? =p


I am IMPRESSED! That's a new one to me, I had to look it up. It seems to precisely describe your meaning.

Now I need to watch for a chance to use it. Knowing I probably don't have enough years left, and certainly my audience will not understand it. But I'm gonna save it just in case.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1442540 - 05/24/10 06:45 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: stores]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: stores

LOL. You've been waiting all week to use the word astuctious (astucious) haven't you? =p


Write you are.

You see, I am the living pruf of my staytmint uhbuv.

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#1442555 - 05/24/10 07:39 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: landorrano]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
Let your daughter play the damn piano!I had it with Drs "diagnosis..if my mother listened to the Dr.s I would've never functioned in society I learned "everthing" took me way longer..but i still did it..look at Einstein..
just teach your daughter "stick to it ness"

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#1442557 - 05/24/10 07:41 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: TimR]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2469
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: TimR


I am IMPRESSED! That's a new one to me, I had to look it up. It seems to precisely describe your meaning.


Ah, now I get your point, Stores, I thought that your were making fun of my spelling.

Astucious is a perfectly normal word. Listen, guys, you need to read books from time to time and stop trying to be like your ex-president who, it seems, said that the lazy French don't even have a word for entrepreneur.

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#1442583 - 05/24/10 09:11 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: landorrano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12052
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I do wonder what the reasoning behind telling a student who has a learning disability in reading to not try reading. It's like saying "you can't do that, so don't even bother trying." I wonder what Helen Keller would think? There's an old Chinese proverb that states "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

It is clear that your daughter *is* playing piano, and while reading may not be the strong point - which I think you should continue spending a little amount of time on it with her regardless - there is absolutely no reason to discontinue as it is enjoyable for both of you. It is a wonderful way for mother and daughter to spend time together, sharing their love of music.

A diagnosis like this should not be used to limit your daughter in any way, but simply to understand where her strengths and weaknesses lie so that you can approach her weaknesses in a way that will help her understand them. I even dislike the term "learning disability". It already has a negative connotation of "you can't do this" rather than simply understanding that this is who your daughter is. It's not a problem, it just IS.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1442610 - 05/24/10 10:03 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Morodiene]
Happy Birthday Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I have worked in Special Education for many years and I have seen multiple children have their "diagnoses" changed, some more than once. This is just one person's opinion. She has seen your daughter for a relatively short amount of time. YOU know your daughter best. Go with what you feel is right.

MANY children with "disorders" benefit from music, some kids respond more to music than anything else.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1442614 - 05/24/10 10:08 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Morodiene]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Her score is 75 out of 100 - that means that her capacity at the time of testing is scoring is below average, not that it's nonexistent. Assuming the testing was valid which is a big assumption, she'll just have to work harder with the 75% that that she has. Everyone has to work harder at something. She's going to face nonverbal tasks all her life and apparently the piano is one challenge she's meeting with joy rather than frustration. That's a great gift. Don't throw it away.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1442627 - 05/24/10 10:41 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Elissa Milne]
Amosquito Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 39
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
The psychologist doesn't understand that music is not primarily about reading!!! It's about physical action creating sonic effect with emotional consequences!!! Let alone the fact your daughter loves it, you and she have fabulous bonding time through the piano, all that kind of thing.

Seriously, the psychologist is hung up on the idea (as are many of us) that the world is all about reading. It's not. And music is the best proof of that - how many fabulous musicians are there who CAN'T read music? Loads. So, even though of course you are better off to be able to read, life does not come to an end with reading, and in music the reading only facilitates certain kinds of music making.


+1

And two examples of amazing and successful musicians who have limited music reading skills:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcHNZVrxEts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-prHX8IjYE
_________________________
Amos

Facilitator of learning
Lover of pianos and singing
Wannabe singer/songwriter

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#1442628 - 05/24/10 10:44 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: -Frycek]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
Your psychologist would probably have advised Stevie Wonder to take up basket weaving f
_________________________
Rob

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#1442646 - 05/24/10 11:10 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11731
Loc: Canada
Is this a school psychologist? There is more to knowing a child than running a battery of tests. This "diagnosis" is awfully vague. For example, a student of mine (same age) struggled with spelling and as a teacher I called in the school psychologist. One could say that he had "non verbal difficulty" (which doesn't say much) but specifically he saw the letters all at once and could not settle down to lining them up in his mind one after the other. Not being able to sequence is common. The psychologist brought in an old manual typewriter. The boy had to strike one letter at a time, pay attention to which letter he was striking, and coordinate his body. All of that aligned things that were not aligned, and he started to progress.

The typewriter was a simple thing. It had a huge impact on his self esteem because he started to be able to spell. He also got some social status since he was the Keeper of the Typewriter which others got to use too. In contrast you're being told to major changes in your daughter's lifestyle: stop a mother-child activity that she enjoys where she is succeeding, and enroll in a group of strangers.

Quote:
can't do puzzles or build complex designs with blocks.

That is her performance on specific tests. So what does it imply? What skills or abilities are weak, and how will this affect real life things? If they do, what do they propose to do about it. It is unlikely that her life depends on doing puzles or that she will ever be called upon to build complex designs with blocks.

One thing that seems missing are her STRENGTHS. There is no mention of what she does well, where she excels.

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#1442652 - 05/24/10 11:20 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12052
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
PianoDad hinted to it, but playing piano actually helps with spatial IQ, and it sounds like this is the very thing that she has difficulty with. It will exercise her brain, even if she may not become the best reader ever (I won't say she "wouldn't"). The brain has amazing power. It' snot like a non-functioning liver that cannot be repaired. It can learn and grow, and everyone has a limitation as to how well thy will be able to do anything.

Personally, I'm terrible at sports, but I think that if I actually practiced at it, I'd get better. I certainly wouldn't be a great athlete, but I could be better than I am now if I wanted to be.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1442662 - 05/24/10 11:35 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Morodiene]
pianogal37 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 214
Thank you all for the helpful and thought-provoking discussion. I do not think I will stop piano with her, as she does really enjoy it and seems to derive some self-esteem from playing (she will go spontaneously to the piano). This is in spite of the fact she can't read a note. I am looking into guides to increase her social contact. Her little sister wants to be a brownie - argh! more chauffeuring smile
It is hard for me to make sense of the psychological testing and its implications for her further development. THe nonverbal learning of 75 was a shock, all other parameters high 80's to low 90's (not great either) and some ADHD features. Not good news, I will have to let it gel for awhile.
_________________________
Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.

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#1442727 - 05/24/10 01:10 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Have that test and others repeated sometime in the future.

You said you cried at the meeting when you heard this. What did the doctor say or do about that? Did you get a chance to talk about your reaction? Did you get a chance to say that you very much are going to continue in your music making time with your daughter? There are so many ways to find enjoyment and satisfaction in music besides reading from the music page at the piano. Don't discount music from your lives as it is a form of therapy also and perhaps some of her needs can be met through music as therapy to promote well being and inspiration for her.

The doctor is approaching this completely from an academic achievement focus and telling you what is unlikely to happen; the more important focus is "What "can" happen musically?"

Use this together in music time to help elevate yourselves in appreciation of the world of music and appreciation between yourselves. Obviously if you are teaching her, you play the piano and perhaps have other talents that are in the arts. If only for 15 or 30 minutes a day, you can accomplish a lot by communicating with each other.

This is an area of interest that could lead to a specialized career for you - have you considered that?

One other thing my thoughts bumped on was the "exam" she would be ready for in 3 weeks. You might want to consider whether that works for her or not - pleasure/displeasure - not just the ultimate grading of it. I think your activities could have sensational results if you will focus on the pleasures in music and not the hard parts and the grading of things. Some things take a long time to learn and there is no immediate clue that what is planted is going to bloom. But, over time, things often click and connect and she should be given that opportunity. Over time is the goal here - throughout her childhood - not just the today of it.

Best wishes to you and your daughters!

Betty

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#1442745 - 05/24/10 01:40 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Morodiene]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I do wonder what the reasoning behind telling a student who has a learning disability in reading to not try reading. It's like saying "you can't do that, so don't even bother trying." I wonder what Helen Keller would think? There's an old Chinese proverb that states "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

It is clear that your daughter *is* playing piano, and while reading may not be the strong point - which I think you should continue spending a little amount of time on it with her regardless - there is absolutely no reason to discontinue as it is enjoyable for both of you. It is a wonderful way for mother and daughter to spend time together, sharing their love of music.

A diagnosis like this should not be used to limit your daughter in any way, but simply to understand where her strengths and weaknesses lie so that you can approach her weaknesses in a way that will help her understand them. I even dislike the term "learning disability". It already has a negative connotation of "you can't do this" rather than simply understanding that this is who your daughter is. It's not a problem, it just IS.


Yeah, I can't help but feel that it would be a mistake to ditch reading simply because of a diagnosis. While you hear about success stories from the odd genius who can't read, it must be said that reading usually makes life substantially easier. I wouldn't instantly give up on it- any more than someone with dyslexia ought to be advised never to try reading or writing. To leave it out might impose a limitation where, even if she doesn't take to it as quickly as some, it might have been perfectly possible to work through it.
_________________________
http://pianoscience.blogspot.com/

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#1442927 - 05/24/10 07:12 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1233
Loc: Ohio, US
An important thing to remember, especially if the psychologist did not mention it, is that 100 being average does not mean you have to score 100 to be in the average range. 100 is simply the middle of "average" or "normal". 80's and 90's are still normal, just not at the high end of normal. If she is doing great with piano keep it up. Music may turn out to be one of her strengths whether she learns to read music or not.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1442952 - 05/24/10 07:49 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Morodiene]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Morodiene

It is clear that your daughter *is* playing piano, and while reading may not be the strong point - which I think you should continue spending a little amount of time on it with her regardless - there is absolutely no reason to discontinue as it is enjoyable for both of you. It is a wonderful way for mother and daughter to spend time together, sharing their love of music.

A diagnosis like this should not be used to limit your daughter in any way, but simply to understand where her strengths and weaknesses lie so that you can approach her weaknesses in a way that will help her understand them. I even dislike the term "learning disability". It already has a negative connotation of "you can't do this" rather than simply understanding that this is who your daughter is. It's not a problem, it just IS.


You've gotten a lot of terrific advice on this thread, and I particularly liked Morodiene's comment here. The problem with psychological tests and diagnoses is that they too often become a mental straitjacket where people think they are (a) infallible, (b) unchanging, and (c) possess enormous predictive power. In reality, they are none of these things. What they ARE good for is helping to identify sources of difficulties people might be having with their lives and suggesting areas for intervention.

I'm secretly rooting for a miscommunication, because it would be discouraging indeed to hear that a psychologist used a test score as a basis for discouraging your child from pursuing a hobby she is finding rewarding. frown In any event, let me add to the chorus of those who are saying that you should trust your knowledge of your daughter and continue with piano as long as that is rewarding to her.
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1442959 - 05/24/10 08:00 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Horowitzian]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: pianogal37
My 8 yr old daughter (adopted at age 1) was evaluated for a learning disability, I received the feedback friday. She has a nonverbal learning disability and scores 75 (avg is 100) for this area of learning - ie she can't read music or body language, can't do puzzles or build complex designs with blocks. The psychologist suggested I switch from piano to guides or another activity where she can work on social skills and doesn't have to learn reading (music).
I was very upset and actually cried in her office. My daughter and I do 30 min a day piano as I teach her, and it is our daily activity together. She hated group piano (4-5 yrs old) and insisted on quitting, but when I bought the Kawai grand last summer she was so enamoured with it she asked me to teach her. I never thought she would stick with it, but she has. She cannot read music/flash cards/etc but plays all her grade 1 music beautifully from memory and her clapback and playback is good. Technique is not bad, she should be fine for her exam in 3 weeks. Any suggestions on what to do? I would really appreciate them!


I say screw the psychologist. You know your child better than anyone, so I think your gut instinct about music is correct. Your daughter enjoys it anyway. smile


I agree with Horowitzian here... If she enjoys it, she should go ahead. Tell the psychologist you want her to enjoy what she is doing, not to become a concert pianist...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1442968 - 05/24/10 08:25 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: ChopinAddict]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
totally keep teaching her. It will only help.

i sense a bit of shock in your post. I adore my brain damaged brother... he is the best person I know.

i taught him to play years ago.

i teach (have taught some unusual people).. i really like the challenge of constantly trying to figure out what makes them tick and how to teach them.

peace and good luck
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1469427 - 07/06/10 06:04 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianogal37 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 214
Update on my daughter's piano - we elected to keep playing and she earned First Class Honors on her RCM Grade 1 last week. It was very encouraging for her, and we will proudly display the certificate when it arrives. Thanks to everyone for their words of wisdom!
_________________________
Bach French Suites No. 6, Allemande and Gigue, Beethoven's Pathetique, Chopin Nocturne 72/1, Fantaisie-Impromptu, Debussy's First Arabesque, Takacs Toccata Op 54, Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableau 33/8.

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#1469435 - 07/06/10 06:28 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: pianogal37]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Hooray!
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1469506 - 07/06/10 09:26 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: Minniemay]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
What a remarkable story. Thank you so much for sharing it. Congratulations to your wonderful daughter and to you for your very wise decision.
_________________________
Christine











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#1469558 - 07/06/10 10:52 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: GlassLove]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
There was a study done not too many years ago at the University of Irvine, Ca. It took preschoolers and divided them into groups. One had just computers, one dance, and one music/singing. The group the furthest behind was the computer group. The one that blew the others out of the water in every learning ability way was the music combined with singing. Tell your psychologist to do a bit of study and research himself before he makes suggestions that can possibly do more damage than help. Way to go!! You and your daughter both deserve a certificate. Keep it up!!! Congratulations!

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#1471924 - 07/10/10 06:46 PM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: ChopinAddict]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
If you and her are enjoying the playing together, and she isn't getting frustrated or complaining that she can't do it then why stop. Teach her to play by ear, and by rote if reading is difficult for her.
_________________________
Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!

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#1472158 - 07/11/10 05:44 AM Re: Sad suggestion from daughter's psychologist... [Re: RayE]
hippymusicman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 150
Ahhh... She's fine!

There is a fantastic musical world without reading notation and theory. Just look at Ray Charles... In my opinion, she may even be at an advantage. Not having any focus on the 'eye' aspects of music may fine tune your daughters ear. Having a good ear in music is very beneficial.

Also, if she enjoys it, End of story. She is already a winner. There should be nothing else to gain for her.

Also in my opinion... psychologists ... are great at putting labels on symptoms.. And In this case your psychologist seems to want to simply stop the symptoms from occurring.. ERRR... ?

If smiling is one of the symptoms... then forget your psychologist.
_________________________
... such a vital organ

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