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#1861131 - 03/13/12 02:56 PM I need help with a sloooooowwww learner
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
I acquired a transfer student who started with a real chip on the shoulder and in the 2 months I've had her, she's really come around. She's actually practicing and smiling now! I am very encouraged, however, she had studied with another teacher and was completely unable to read notes, and never counted. She learned by ear, I'm assuming. At first I thought it was perhaps the result of a less experienced teacher, but as I look over her prior assignments, the teacher assigned notation of notes that included middle C to treble c in Treble Clef. This child cannot even recognize Middle C. After 15 minutes of writing new note "D", explaining lines/spaces, using flashcards, circling all the repeated notes, she still could not recognize D in the next song. I don't know what else to do. I use a drawing board at every lesson, she's in a Notespeller, but I'm wondering if she is unable to read notes. Is that possible?

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#1861145 - 03/13/12 03:25 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Weird, it does seem like you are doing all the obvious things. How old is she? Seems like there was another thread here about visual problems students have. Maybe you could look that up and see if anything sounds familiar.

Other than that, off the top of my head, two other things I do that help:

1. I make the student verbalize where the note is. "D is the note written just under the first line of the treble staff." When they have to explain it in words, sometimes this helps the verbal or auditory learner.

2. I keep a book of more advanced music nearby. When a student learns a new note (or dynamic marking or anything else concerning written music), we flip through the music as I quickly scan to find a page with that item, and the student hunts for it. I find that this helps them recognize the item in context - and also gets them used to seeing it in smaller type, rather than the cartoonish introduction size.

With your student, I think it will also be necessary to teach a single note at a time. And as you introduce the next, continually point out the relationship to the previous. Some real basic numbering of the staff lines, recognizing lines and space, up and down, might help. This is all in notespeller, but has only a page or so of each, and if she didn't understand it the first time, or it didn't stick, then you need to find ways to give it to her again.
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#1861149 - 03/13/12 03:30 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
Lollipop, thanks. You always have such great ideas! I love the idea of hunting for the note in more advanced pieces. She plays by finger numbers and ear. I will also have her verbalize the location of the notes.

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#1862919 - 03/16/12 03:16 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Probably the most famous musical dyslexic is Dave Brubeck. He almost was disqualified from graduating from college because he could not read music. Somehow, he has managed without.
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#1863351 - 03/16/12 08:09 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
And Pavarotti?

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#1863490 - 03/17/12 04:25 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Hi Chasingrainbows, I have some experience teaching students with dyslexia, and it is very hard work.

Here's what I suggest:

Talk to the parents. You don't need to say 'dyslexia'. Just find out how she's doing at school. What is her reading level? The skills needed for reading English are similar to the skills needed for reading music, so it's a reasonable question. If she is behind, that's all you need to know.

In teaching, divorce 'reading' from 'playing music'. That is, don't hold her back musically to what she can and can't read. Teach by imitation, teach by ear. Teach sequences and songs. The skills needed for playing music are very different from the skills needed for reading, so just consider you are developing these skills separately. Check out the Suzuki method.

For teaching reading, expect to go slow. I have developed a game called whack-it (I didn't invent it) and it works well for teaching reading to kids generally but especially for dyslexics. You will need: flashcards (print these big, and laminate them), a flexible fish slice, a little bowl and some counters from any game, and a minute-timer (I have a large green one, bigger is better). Start with C and D. (For my most troubled I start with the letters C and D next to the staff notes, so more flashcards needed). Explain to student they have 1 minute to get as many points as they can. They get the fishslice and their job is to 'whack' the correct note. So they have a minute, you say notes 'C' and 'D' and they get a token when they get it right. It helps if they hear the clink of the token going in the bowl. Next step would be to do the same without the letters C and D to help.

One more thing, once you have some treble clef notes done, take the LH down the octave. Whatever you do, don't try to teach B below middle C because they get terribly confused with D and B and the whole mirror image thing.
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#1863544 - 03/17/12 08:03 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Ten left thumbs, I really appreciate your detailed advice. I'm going to be shopping today for a "flexible fish slice". smile Not sure where to find this sort of thing. I'll look for any flexible item that would make a fun whacker.

The paragraph about divorcing note reading from playing music is particularly helpful. Thanks!


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/17/12 08:04 AM)

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#1863558 - 03/17/12 08:57 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11721
Loc: Canada
I'm reading that this is a transfer student whose learned approach was by finger numbers and memory: I understand that both are a killer for developing the ability to read music (not dyslexia per se).

I looked up "flexible fish slice". Is this what is meant? advert for a "flexible fish slice" How about a fly swatter?

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#1863745 - 03/17/12 03:54 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Oh, I had pictured it as a flat rubber fish, similar the rubber duck dog toys. But, keystring, I have a feeling you've got a better idea of what tlt was talking about.

Anyway, I went to a hobby store earlier today and found a rubber sting ray. Thought I'd have kids hold onto the tail to whack the correct card with it. Soft enough not to damage the table, but can still make a whacking sound when it strikes.

I might call this note identification game "Note smack down".


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/17/12 03:57 PM)

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#1863767 - 03/17/12 04:30 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: Overexposed]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11721
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Oh, I had pictured it as a flat rubber fish, similar the rubber duck dog toys.

All I'll admit to is that what I pictured made me hungry. grin

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#1863781 - 03/17/12 04:54 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Ed Zuccollo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 19
Loc: Wellington, New Zealand
I totally agree with Lollipop, and also find what helps in the verbalisation is I ask the student to pretend they are the teacher and to teach me how to find the note/play something. If they give me less than exact directions I follow them literally and play it wrong or get the answer wrong, and if they're having trouble explain what their instruction is lacking then get them to try again. I find if they make up their own way of telling someone, it sticks in their memory better. Also one note at a time is key I reckon, and 'is the next note going up, or down, or staying the same?'.. Anyway, hope that helps. Sounds like you've got a hard student, well done for bringing her round! Never easy!

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#1863857 - 03/17/12 07:37 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
A fly swatter would do, as would a rubber sting ray. smile It needs to give a satisfying whack, and not cause too much damage. Though I must admit my middle C is in need of re-lamination.

My dyslexic students also have terrible trouble learning notes on the keyboard. I use whack-it for this, though they just whack with a finger.
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I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1863878 - 03/17/12 08:28 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: BDB]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: BDB
Probably the most famous musical dyslexic is Dave Brubeck. He almost was disqualified from graduating from college because he could not read music. Somehow, he has managed without.

He had to agree not to teach. His inability to read was considered an "embarrassament".

Apparently he had the last laugh!
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Piano Teacher

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#1863886 - 03/17/12 08:58 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
THanks TLT, Ed and Lollipop. Great suggestions. I will definitely use your suggestion about switching roles - I do that in ear training, never thought to do it in other areas. Interestingly, the student came to her lesson today, and I asked her if she would be able to draw a treble clef D for me, and she said she didn't think so. (She mixes up her clefs as well!) After going over the clefs again (every lesson), she wrote a perfect D. I was thrilled! We then drew line/space notes. She will go along and properly do a task, and then suddenly put a space note on a line and vice versa. It's baffling for me - but I desperately want to help her read notes.

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#1863933 - 03/17/12 11:33 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: ten left thumbs]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
In teaching, divorce 'reading' from 'playing music'. That is, don't hold her back musically to what she can and can't read. Teach by imitation, teach by ear. Teach sequences and songs. The skills needed for playing music are very different from the skills needed for reading, so just consider you are developing these skills separately. Check out the Suzuki method.

I wouldn't recommend that. Some kids will become addicted to learning by rote (imitation, play by ear, Suzuki, whatever). They will not relate note-reading to playing the piano, and the divide will become wider and wider.

Alternatively, I've recently applied some Suzuki ideas to my students who read notes fluently and sight read quickly. It actually makes teaching "musicality" easier. I don't do entire pieces at once. I might pick one phrase, or one page, to do this "copy me" stuff. It's actually pretty pointless to demonstrate an entire 4-page piece and expect the student to copy it perfectly.
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#1864039 - 03/18/12 09:18 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
piano2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/11
Posts: 82
Once again, there seems to be very little understanding of what the Suzuki method is about.
It's not a ROTE method, it's a LISTENING method. Students listen to the cd LOTS, and the music is then a part of them. They learn the music by EAR.
Here's what a Suzuki Piano Lesson might look like for a Book 1 student:
1. Play the Twinkles for warm-up (rhythmic variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Focus on posture, hand positioning and good quality tone.
2. Play through the pieces that the child already knows (this could be 8-12 pieces in one lesson), working on producing a beautiful tone, maintaining good posture and hand positioning. Different approaches to achieving these would be used, depending on the student.
Some games and finger exercises might occur on the floor during this time.
3. 5 Minutes (MAX) working on the newest piece - checking notes and fingering to make sure the student has been learning it correctly at home.
4. Playing one or two more pieces that the child already knows (Review Pieces).
5. Asking the parent and student if they have been listening to the cd, and how practicing has been going at home.
6. End of lesson.


Suzuki teachers NEVER play a 4 page piece for their student and ask them to imitate it. Suzuki teachers break things down into SMALL STEPS that the student is capable of accomplishing.
Since the students listen to their CD every day, the music is part of them and they don't need very much help learning the notes of a piece.

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#1864044 - 03/18/12 09:26 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
piano2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/11
Posts: 82
One other thought about such a stress on note reading:

As piano teachers, isn't it our goal to help ALL of our students enjoy music? It's hard to enjoy music when every note is difficult for you to read and you are reminded all the time of how difficult it is for you (if you're still in the Primer book after 4 years, then you know that you aren't good at this!).

For these students that have so much difficulty reading notation, what's the harm in learning some pieces by ear? You can work on note reading at every lesson too, but developing the ear in these students might give them more confidence and more enjoyment of music. Less drudgery = more enjoyment.

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#1864077 - 03/18/12 10:35 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: AZNpiano]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
In teaching, divorce 'reading' from 'playing music'. That is, don't hold her back musically to what she can and can't read. Teach by imitation, teach by ear. Teach sequences and songs. The skills needed for playing music are very different from the skills needed for reading, so just consider you are developing these skills separately. Check out the Suzuki method.

I wouldn't recommend that. Some kids will become addicted to learning by rote (imitation, play by ear, Suzuki, whatever). They will not relate note-reading to playing the piano, and the divide will become wider and wider.



AZN, in general I agree to focus on reading. Yet I have one student age 10 recently diagnosed as having ADD. It's been nearly 6 months and she cannot read well from a primer sightreader. So in her case I plan to spend a few minutes of the next lesson showing her an improv using dorian mode. One goal is to get her to count and use 4 beats per measure. Starting with 5th in LH on beat 1, then add chord tones (D F A) with RH for beats 2,3,4. Planning to show her chord, an upper neighbor pattern, a lower neighbor pattern and a passing tone pattern.

We will continue efforts at reading. Just supplement with patterns as described. The thing is she is improvising at home anyway, and is not doing assigned reading. May as well try to get her to count and put four counts per measure.

I am no good at improvising much less teaching patterns, so this is exploratory for me.

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#1864249 - 03/18/12 04:21 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
This child cannot even recognize Middle C. After 15 minutes of writing new note "D", explaining lines/spaces, using flashcards, circling all the repeated notes, she still could not recognize D in the next song. I don't know what else to do. I use a drawing board at every lesson, she's in a Notespeller, but I'm wondering if she is unable to read notes. Is that possible?

Anything is possible, but in my experience the complete inability to read music is almost always the result of faulty teaching. When transfer students come to me, I expect:

1) They will not know the names of the piano keys.
2) They will not know that it is possible to play a series of notes when there is no fingering.
3) That music exists outside of five-finger positions, OR
4) That very advanced music has no finger numbers.
5) That reading speed is almost always determined by success in reading the bass clef.

I have a student right now how has had the most serious "flipping" problems of any student I have ever taught. I prefer using "flipping" instead of "dyslexia" because it is more specific. She reversed her finger numbers, she reversed clefs, she played with the wrong hands. She flipped the top line with the bottom line. And so on.

This just scratches the surface. Two weeks ago she successfully read several pieces when I pointed to measures at random. She played by measures, backwards, starting with the last measure. She played both LH and RH, separately, backwards, note by note.

Each "trick" she was able to do strengthened her confidence. It would take me a hundred pages to describe how we got to this point, and that would include a lot of "brilliant ideas" that turned out to be duds, but I know what worked. I'd be glad to share a few ideas if I thought there was any chance one single teacher would consider them...


Edited by Gary D. (03/18/12 04:22 PM)
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#1864257 - 03/18/12 04:40 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: Gary D.]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'd be glad to share a few ideas if I thought there was any chance one single teacher would consider them...


We are interested in your ideas Gary.

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#1864267 - 03/18/12 05:05 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: Overexposed]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'd be glad to share a few ideas if I thought there was any chance one single teacher would consider them...


We are interested in your ideas Gary.

First of all, recognizing a note (in notation) and remembering it are two different things. As I have said numerous times, I use a keyboard chart. The students who are going to have no problems remembering where things are will be able to identify keys by names very quickly. They will link the notated representations of these notes very quickly.

D is the key between two black notes. Middle C is on one side, E is on the other. Middle is middle. No problems.

Middle C is the "note with the little line". (In the beginning we are only working with that one leger line, since even B below that leger line, or A two leger lines below the staff come later.)

D is the note that hangs from the first long line. D is the note that has the bottom line going through the middle of the circle. The fact that the circle is white (open) or solid (black) has nothing to do with how we identify what it is.

And so on.

That's how it works when there are no problems. But life is not usually that way..

There are two separate glitches that interfere, and they are very different problems.

1) For any of a bazillion reasons, a student is not able to see which note goes to which key WHEN the CHART is right there, making it clear what links to what. In other words, if I have explained that a "middle D" is the "hanging D", if the student can then not get from that note, on the page, to the same note, lined up behind the key with its picture and the letter name there, I know I am going to have to work harder.

2) A student gets the concept immediately, getting the right answer every time, but when I flip the chart over, it all "goes away". In this case the student forgets the name of the keys and/or the link between the written note when the visual aid is taken away but continues to nail the correct answer with the visual aid.

These two "problems" will delay us "getting rid of the chart". But we do continually flip it up and down and up and down, so that I never stop pushing for a permanent link without the aid.

The difference is in the time it takes to "get rid of the chart". With the naturals, the ones we all wish we always had, I have students correctly reading all notes in both clefs up to three leger lines above and below each clef within a matter of months. And when you consider the pace at which these concepts are normally taught in method books, that is VERY fast.

But for student with extreme problems linked to dyslexia (flipping) or a peculiar problem remembering names, it may take two years. This is for EXTREME problems. However, some of the "challenging students" who take much longer to remember where everything goes or where everything is, without the aid, read as well as the "naturals" once things are in place.

The dyslexic student I mentioned is one of these. It took forever to get him to remember the names of keys, and it took forever for him to remember which line or space is linked to which key. But he began catching on to the process and logic much earlier, and once he finally got it all, he really got it all.

This only scratches the surface. It is as simple as I can make it.


Edited by Gary D. (03/18/12 05:07 PM)
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#1864305 - 03/18/12 06:34 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Gary, thanks for taking the time to explain some of your strategies. Describing middle D as the "hanging D" was new to me. I think it's a good description and I intend to start using it. smile

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#1864356 - 03/18/12 08:43 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
Gary, I missed your response -- ignore the prior post. Thanks for your suggestions - they will be most helpful.

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#1865075 - 03/19/12 11:13 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
Ann,
I wrote about a similar student a few months ago. This student continues to baffle me. Week after week, I feel like we make no progress. She still cannot consistently identify treble G, or bass F. We have flashcards, we play all sorts of easy pieces and name the notes, we draw them on a whiteboard, we find them in music.
And then at the end of the lesson, after 3 months of this, she still can't remember what treble G is. Or what makes a second and what makes a third. She's getting a little better with right and left, but just recently.
Sometimes I sit there thinking to myself I just can't teach this child. I've talked to her parents, who are clueless.
I am almost afraid to try new things because I'm afraid she won't realize it's connected to what we have been doing all along, and it will completely throw her. So, I just keep giving her easy easy pieces and hope she can read up, down, seconds, and thirds by the end of the year.
If she ever gets to the end of this Marlais preparatory level book, I'm wondering what I can slide her into so she won't realize we're repeating the same material. I can't imagine her playing two hands together any time soon. But, she does have good solid tone!
It's frustrating, maybe the most frustrating student I've had. I think we've made progress sometimes - and then we're back at square one.
C
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Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
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#1865127 - 03/20/12 12:50 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: CarolR]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: CarolR
If she ever gets to the end of this Marlais preparatory level book, I'm wondering what I can slide her into so she won't realize we're repeating the same material.

The Perfect Start for Note Reading, Book 1
by Kevin and Julia Olson

Highly, highly recommended
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1865213 - 03/20/12 07:54 AM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: AZNpiano]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: CarolR
If she ever gets to the end of this Marlais preparatory level book, I'm wondering what I can slide her into so she won't realize we're repeating the same material.

The Perfect Start for Note Reading, Book 1
by Kevin and Julia Olson

Highly, highly recommended


AZN, thanks for this suggestion.
CarolR, thanks for your candor.
smile

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#1865344 - 03/20/12 12:48 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: piano2]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: piano2
Once again, there seems to be very little understanding of what the Suzuki method is about.
It's not a ROTE method, it's a LISTENING method. Students listen to the cd LOTS, and the music is then a part of them. They learn the music by EAR.


Yet, the problems with the Suzuki method have been well documented. This problem is not new. How many threads have been devoted to this topic in Piano World?????

Look. Any method, in the hands of a good piano teacher, will work. If I were shipwrecked on an island that has only Suzuki books, I could still teach it and make it work. I don't particularly like John Thompson, Bastien, The Piano Tree, or Piano Town, but if I'm stuck with a new student--who brings to her first lesson these old, hand-me-down books from an older sibling who has already quit piano lessons out of frustration and inability to learn--I can still make the material work for me. Heck, one of my best students right now came to me with these Bastien books, and I managed to make it work, and he's doing Kuhlau sonatinas after 2 years of lessons.

The big problem is with students who are "finished" with a method, playing standard repertoire, yet they have glaring holes in their piano abilities. You try teaching "level 8" students who can't sight read level 2 music. I've seen students who learn entire sonatas by rote.

The problem is with the individual teacher.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1865384 - 03/20/12 02:57 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: CarolR]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: CarolR
Ann,
I wrote about a similar student a few months ago. This student continues to baffle me. Week after week, I feel like we make no progress. She still cannot consistently identify treble G, or bass F. We have flashcards, we play all sorts of easy pieces and name the notes, we draw them on a whiteboard, we find them in music.
And then at the end of the lesson, after 3 months of this, she still can't remember what treble G is. Or what makes a second and what makes a third. She's getting a little better with right and left, but just recently.
Sometimes I sit there thinking to myself I just can't teach this child. I've talked to her parents, who are clueless.
I am almost afraid to try new things because I'm afraid she won't realize it's connected to what we have been doing all along, and it will completely throw her. So, I just keep giving her easy easy pieces and hope she can read up, down, seconds, and thirds by the end of the year.
If she ever gets to the end of this Marlais preparatory level book, I'm wondering what I can slide her into so she won't realize we're repeating the same material. I can't imagine her playing two hands together any time soon. But, she does have good solid tone!
It's frustrating, maybe the most frustrating student I've had. I think we've made progress sometimes - and then we're back at square one.
C


Carol, I'm experiencing the exact same thing, as indicated in my initial post. I feel so frustrated--just when I think she's got it, it's lost again. Perhaps she has a learning challenge. She hated her prior method book, so I moved her into PA Primer as I realized she had learned by rote, and couldn't read any notes at all. I wanted to introduce notes slowly, and as slow as we are moving, I don't feel as if I've accomplished much other than that she does practice now, and appears to enjoy lessons with me. During our first two lessons she had quite a defensive attitude. Her prior teacher had written in her assignment book "Learn better!" I wondered if the former teacher wasn't sensitive or patient enough. Those words seemed harsh to me. I won't give up though. I have many ideas from all the wonderful PW teachers!

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#1865387 - 03/20/12 03:02 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1116
Loc: NJ
Sorry to ask this, but isn't listening to a song over and over, then copying it, learning by rote? That's how I learned to play the piano many many ages ago when I took my first lessons in parochial school. When I arrived in college, having played various pieces such as Rustles of Spring and Solfegietto, I was in for a very rude awakening! My rhythm was horrid - I couldn't count properly, and couldn't read advanced music well at all. Had I learned the traditional method, I would have advanced so much further in far less time. I still tackle sonatas that I know extremely well, and play them as I feel them, rather than analyzing them and truly understanding them, which IMO is not the way to learn. Sorry, but I consider it cheating, and I feel very guilty when I do it. frown

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#1865420 - 03/20/12 04:09 PM Re: I need help with a sloooooowwww learner [Re: chasingrainbows]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3552
LOL this is interesting. Seems to me that skipping the reading part would be much easier in these cases. Makes me also wonder: can you be sure whether a student is seriously trying or just likes to behave stupid (eg, to get attention)?
_________________________

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