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#1886987 - 04/26/12 02:28 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: MrsLois]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Why would you have people play for two years without teaching them how to read? <confused>


Originally Posted By: MrsLois
. . . . . the ability to simultaneously read and play does not get developed until they're 6 or 7 years old. . . . .
I am not saying that no student learns how to read in this system... they learn at the right age of their development.


Hark! Is that the recapitulation of a recent, familiar theme I am hearing?

But, do ALL students, universally develop this read-and-play skill between 6 and 7 years? What does Mr. Yamaha have to say about that?
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#1886991 - 04/26/12 02:37 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: MrsLois]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: MrsLois
This would only be with 4-year-old beginners, and solely because their ear is developing so rapidly between the ages of 4 and 7. Also, the ability to simultaneously read and play does not get developed until they're 6 or 7 years old. Check out the following for a more detailed explanation:

OK. You have the "littlies". smile

In general, playing and reading before age six is tough, and some are not ready until age seven or later.

However, there are more than a few five year-olds who are ready, and every month counts. When I get parents who ask, "Is my child ready, s/he is X years old?" my questions are:

1) Has your child said s/he is interested in playing piano/keyboard?
2) What is her/his birthday?

Group classes do not take into consideration birthdays, do they? There are always huge problems in school, where kids can be as much as a year different in age while studying the same materials, all because their birthdays just happen to fall on day X or day Y.
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#1886998 - 04/26/12 02:50 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
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Loc: CA
Actually, when I did group instruction (traditional methods, not Yamaha), we DID take birthday into consideration and grouped the children accordingly.
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#1887013 - 04/26/12 03:47 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti

But, do ALL students, universally develop this read-and-play skill between 6 and 7 years? What does Mr. Yamaha have to say about that?

Good luck talking to Mr. Yamaha, who died in 1951. laugh

I can't think how any person with a few working brain cells could possibly think that individuals do not develop ALL abilities at different times, and in different ways.

Not assuming that, however, produces the kind of mass education we have in this country and in many others. It's not a square peg in a round hole. It is pounding "pegs" (students) with an infinite number of shapes into one kind of very ugly "hole".
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#1887021 - 04/26/12 04:08 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Minniemay]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Actually, when I did group instruction (traditional methods, not Yamaha), we DID take birthday into consideration and grouped the children accordingly.

I know nothing about group teaching, so if I had to do it, I would have to start from scratch. Without a great deal of study and experience I would be totally incompetent in that area. smile

I only work with children who are ready to being reading in my opinion and in the opinion of the parent who will be involved in lessons.

At first it is slow going, obviously, for very young ones. Right now I have a boy I started at age four, but he was only a couple months shy of five. My biggest problem was with the parent, who "bailed". He didn't understand any more than his son and.

So in this case the CHILD was ready, but the parent was "music-reading-challenged". This slowed things WAY down, but an unexpected benefit was that the child realized that the parent was lost and asked to do lessons alone with me BEFORE age six.

This is just an example of how nothing is ever the same with two families. Usually parents pick up the essentials with absolute ease, and the small children are guided into catching up, but in this case the child was ready from day one. smile
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#1887030 - 04/26/12 04:30 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
TimR Offline
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Registered: 08/17/04
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Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: MrsLois
I think as well, in addition to all of this, it should be considered what kind of lessons a student started out with. I teach Yamaha group piano, and depending on the age of the student, we may not do any reading before playing for the first two years.

Why in heaven's name would you do that? Why would you have people play for two years without teaching them how to read? <confused>


Doesn't Suzuki method do this? I have no experience with it, other than to hear children of friends playing violin (some of them very impressively.)

As someone who learned to play by reading music, I've struggled to play by ear; I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have been better to do it the other way around.
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#1887044 - 04/26/12 05:12 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
LoPresti Offline
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Good luck talking to Mr. Yamaha, who died in 1951.

Just like all my entrances while playing in band and orchestra -> TOO LATE AGAIN!

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
. . . individuals do (not) develop ALL abilities at different times, and in different ways.

Not assuming that, however, produces the kind of mass education we have in this country and in many others.

I agree, except - shouldn't that be "mis-education", or perhaps "mess education"?
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#1887049 - 04/26/12 05:26 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
An initial interview and readiness test is crucial.
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#1887066 - 04/26/12 05:58 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Minniemay]
Overexposed Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Actually, when I did group instruction (traditional methods, not Yamaha), we DID take birthday into consideration and grouped the children accordingly.


The question is really how broad the birthday range is for each group. Did each group cover 1 year (as with most sports etc) or were the groupings as small as 3 months or 6 months?

In other words if you accept 5 year olds, do you only accept them a certain time of year to start or do they begin the month they turn 5?



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/26/12 07:42 PM)

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#1887075 - 04/26/12 06:06 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Thank You Both! I was beginning to have serious doubts about whether I am developmentally ready to be posting on this Forum .

Ed, you are undoubtedly referring to my first response and that communication went seriously by the wayside. Of course people's development varies. That is why some kids can walk at one year, some at 1 1/2 and some are tottering their first steps at 8 months. The idea of "readiness" (starting with Piaget) says that the optimum time to teach anything is when the child is wired to learn it, while another school suggests that kids can be hot-housed ("I can teach anyone at any age.") discounting any inner workings. In school systems which provide mass education you end up with an "average norm" which most kids fall into but it cannot do much about individual differences. This idea of readiness at different ages is what you were referring to. I agree with it. Sorry about the miscommunication and resulting confusion.

I was focused more on the "letters, words, sentences" part of reading (words - not music). Immediately everything I've done and known in this area flashed before me, with the sense that it is a combination of many things. Academics may write abstractly about "reading" as if it were one thing, but in actuality the process involves many things. And then I though that when we actually teach this skill, we tend to focus on the things behind it and not just a thing called "reading". That's where my half formed (and thus confusing) thought was coming from.

The first thing that comes to mind is how many specialists insisted that a parent reading stories to a preschooler will have a significant effect on later reading ability. Another is the eye tracking across the page. Another, where the mind may have it but fine motor control isn't there yet for forming letters, or the ability to sit still. In the early 1980's a colleague and veteran kindergarten teacher said that she now had to get kids to crawl and climb like toddlers because they did not have a sense of space which they needed to shape letters - another unexpected factor.

So summarizing the above examples, there are numerous skills and related factors rather than one thing called "reading". Even "letters" have other aspects. I don't know if it makes it more clear where my mind was going with this. I think that it's the same with music.

- I am not sure that reading words and reading music are related, or that one comes from the other. Some aspects may be related.

- If considering music reading from the aspect of word reading, it should be remembered that written English is a messed up and illogical system. It might not be a good indicator about music reading - music being set up more logically.

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#1887087 - 04/26/12 06:33 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: keystring]
Pedagogia Offline
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Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: keystring

- I am not sure that reading words and reading music are related, or that one comes from the other. Some aspects may be related.



Research goes both ways in this area. Some believe music and language is not linked in the brain, more recent research suggests that it is. Cognitive neuroscience is still uncovering so much about the brain and music, and language. It is a research area that will continue to develop as our research methods and capabilties become more sophisticated.

See: Music, Language and the Brain - Patel.


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#1887091 - 04/26/12 06:36 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
keystring Online   content
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One of the situations is where students don't get taught to read - as simple as that. Playing by imitating a recording or maybe even a teacher's example, and memorizing it would be one way this happens. Putting in finger numbers, so that the student depends on those numbers and ends up not reading, is another. Transfer students with this kind of background will then need to be taught by the next teacher, and this is when they are already playing relatively advanced music that they get to somehow. If a teacher effectively teaches such a student to read for the first time, then of course that student will advance. Except that the non-reading strategies will be a lot easier than an unfamiliar skill.

For anyone who got into reading music easily and never had to think about it, any idea how this started? Were there some kinds of instructions or opportunities? For example, I was given a pile of sonatas and knew where to find Do.

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#1887130 - 04/26/12 07:47 PM Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hi KeyString,

I am glad to come back to this. Between you and Morodiene, I was pinching my brain to see if I had dreamt all that stuff. Then I just wrote it off as a miscommunication.

In years past I was keenly interested in the subjects of development, maturation, and “readiness”, for personal reasons. As everyone knows, the public schools say, “Now is the time for everyone to begin reading.” My son struggled with (book) reading throughout elementary school. He was even placed in “remedial reading”, with all the stigmae associated with such “placement”. Now, as an adult, he reads (and thoroughly comprehends) highly technical engineering manuals as part of his business. Somewhere along the way, between ages 11 and 30, he more than “caught up”. Maybe magic?

LoPresti’s research uncovered some interesting facts: There are many children out toward the edges of this particular bell curve. It is a “fat bell” if you will. The ones who are ready to read early suffer, and others like my son, who are not ready until much later, likewise suffer. Once everyone has past her/his own chronological readiness phase, they all read pretty much the same.

I have no basis for believing that reading language and reading music are related; and I certainly would not suggest that, when a child is ready for one, s/he should be ready for the other. (I am interested in hearing more on the subject from Pedagogia.)

But here is what I was proposing for discussion: IF there is a time for each individual, when their language reading window opens, and they are now ready; and IF that readiness can occur early, late, and anywhere in between; THEN doesn’t it seem likely that the music reading window can open very early for one child, very late for another, and everywhere in between also?

Ed
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#1887134 - 04/26/12 07:52 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: LoPresti]
Overexposed Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Thank You Both! I was beginning to have serious doubts about whether I am developmentally ready to be posting on this Forum . . .
Ed


An interesting new topic. I think as long as someone usually doesn't fling their waste at other posters, they are developmentally ready to post. smile

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#1887160 - 04/26/12 08:50 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Pedagogia]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Pedagogia
Originally Posted By: keystring

- I am not sure that reading words and reading music are related, or that one comes from the other. Some aspects may be related.



Research goes both ways in this area. Some believe music and language is not linked in the brain, more recent research suggests that it is. Cognitive neuroscience is still uncovering so much about the brain and music, and language. It is a research area that will continue to develop as our research methods and capabilties become more sophisticated.

See: Music, Language and the Brain - Patel.


That is music and language. It is very likely that they are. However, the question is about reading piano music and reading words. Rather than going by research done by people who are probably not musicians or music teachers, how about looking at it for a moment. What does each entail? Reading piano music has a physical component: reading words is mostly intellectual. When someone reads out loud (mostly children) then maybe sight singing is similar.

To read piano music, you must associate the notes on the page with the notes on the keyboard, and then execute physical actions to produce that note. You may or may not use your ear to hear if it sounds as it should. These are specific skills that do not exist in reading words.

Musicality and language do have similarities, and often someone who is good in one is also good in the other. But this is different.

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#1887183 - 04/26/12 10:23 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
MrsLois Offline
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Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 75
Loc: Manitoba, Canada
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

Why in heaven's name would you do that? Why would you have people play for two years without teaching them how to read? <confused>


It's not necessary to be condescending on here. I was simply trying to offer an explanation as to why some students' reading abilities may not be up to par. I wasn't saying either that these guidelines and age groupings are absolutely true for every child.

I wasn't questioning either how anybody else teaches on here... I would appreciate the same courtesy in return.

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#1887184 - 04/26/12 10:25 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Pedagogia Offline
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Registered: 02/14/09
Posts: 53
Loc: Australia
Both reading music and language are acquired initially through auditory means. What the research is suggesting is the congitive processing for music and language are similar because of the auditory nature of both. We listen to and interpret language and music long before we see a symbol system attached to it. This does has some affect in the way we process music and language - the point where our brains begin to 'wire' for want of a better description.

The process is different when the symbolic system of music and language is introduced. Perhaps some students are able to recondile both means of auditory and symbolic systems better than others at an earlier age. Some may struggle.

Music and language as an auditory system are processed in similar ways. However, music and language as symbolic system are believed to be processed different ways. Their paths begin to differ when music becomes a symbolic system, even though both rely on an auditory stimulus.

When you read text, you are still sounding out the words in your mind - so the auditory still exists even though the system is now symbolic.

With the symbolic system of music there is much more information to process. Sounding out the 'notes' in your mind is not the same as sounding out words from a piece of text. You have to add motor skills, intepretive/affective skills, aural skills to the mix. This is not an easy task, although some seem to pick up these musical skills more readily than others. Playing a musical instrument is believed to be at the height of human capability in terms of neurologial/cognitive processing.

As previosuly mentioned, environmental factors can play a considerable part in the development of this process. Yes, schooling, previous musical education, and all issues surrounding quality of education are crucial at this early stage in a child's life.

I don't have an answer as to how to some students are better music readers than others. I think there is a whole confluence of factors to consider before determing the root cause of the issue.

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#1887224 - 04/27/12 12:23 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: MrsLois]
Gary D. Offline
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: MrsLois
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

Why in heaven's name would you do that? Why would you have people play for two years without teaching them how to read? <confused>


It's not necessary to be condescending on here. I was simply trying to offer an explanation as to why some students' reading abilities may not be up to par. I wasn't saying either that these guidelines and age groupings are absolutely true for every child.

I wasn't questioning either how anybody else teaches on here... I would appreciate the same courtesy in return.

Hold on. Did you read my reply, written BEFORE I taught today?

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: MrsLois
This would only be with 4-year-old beginners, and solely because their ear is developing so rapidly between the ages of 4 and 7. Also, the ability to simultaneously read and play does not get developed until they're 6 or 7 years old. Check out the following for a more detailed explanation:

OK. You have the "littlies". smile

In general, playing and reading before age six is tough, and some are not ready until age seven or later.

However, there are more than a few five year-olds who are ready, and every month counts. When I get parents who ask, "Is my child ready, s/he is X years old?" my questions are:

1) Has your child said s/he is interested in playing piano/keyboard?
2) What is her/his birthday?

Group classes do not take into consideration birthdays, do they? There are always huge problems in school, where kids can be as much as a year different in age while studying the same materials, all because their birthdays just happen to fall on day X or day Y.

If you think my reply was condescending, I'm sorry, but I don't believe it was.

I personally am opposed to teaching without teaching reading on SOME level, and I'd be happy to have that debate with you. smile
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#1887246 - 04/27/12 01:54 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Nikolas Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Group classes do not take into consideration birthdays, do they? There are always huge problems in school, where kids can be as much as a year different in age while studying the same materials, all because their birthdays just happen to fall on day X or day Y.
EXACTLY and thank you Gary!

My two sons have 22 months difference in age! However, the older one 'lost a year' and got late into school, while the young one 'gained a year' and got in early to school! Result: The older one feels extremely confident that pushes back our young one, while the young one is still struggling to keep up with the rest of the class! frown

Officially conservatories in Greece accept students from the age of 8 upwards! I find that ridiculous and I'm already teaching a 6 year old successfully! I wouldn't have it any other way, since he's enjoying it and has no trouble reading notes. he has trouble with keeping focused for more than 15-20 minutes but that's to be expected!

Seriously classical music is about scores. Even pop music is about scores: You get a chart sheet when doing sessions, you don't go blind with an mp3 and hope to be able to listen to what you're supposed to play! why skip that part?!?! (reply: Because it's easy for some teachers, that's why...)
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#1887256 - 04/27/12 02:32 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Nikolas]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

My two sons have 22 months difference in age! However, the older one 'lost a year' and got late into school, while the young one 'gained a year' and got in early to school! Result: The older one feels extremely confident that pushes back our young one, while the young one is still struggling to keep up with the rest of the class! frown

My brother and I were both slammed by the system. I was born in October of 1948. At that time the cut-off was January 1st, so there were students in my 1st grade class who were 10 months older than me. That disadvantage followed me through high school. At that time high school was grade 10-12, while junior high was grade 7-9. So when I started high school, I was the smallest boy in a school of 3,000 students. I looked like everyone's little brother. Being that small and immature looking is social suicide. I was 4 feet 11 inches tall. I grew a foot in high school.

My younger brother went through the same thing, but even worse. His birthday is in December. For him it was worse, because he was one of the most naturally gifted athletes I've ever seen, and if my parents had delayed starting him in school an extra year, he would have been on all star teams in baseball. In addition, he fell behind in reading and never fully caught up.

It doesn't have to be this way, but frequently it is. Groups are good for the average people in the groups. That's what groups do. Public education attempts to stamp out anything that does not fit into this "group-think" model.

I'll address your other points in a minute, but I wanted to comment on this first. And by the way, I thought very seriously about suicide. Life began for me when I entered college. If my parents had delayed my entrance into 1st grade, which they could have done, things would have been very different for me.

This is why I am absolutely opposed to expecting different people to develop at the same pace, in the same way. I was treated as an average student, as a person who was, at best, average in intelligence. I was very close to being "tracked" on a path that would have totally limited possibilities for the rest of my life. My talent and accomplishments in music were all that saved me.

Lot of kids are not so lucky...
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#1887262 - 04/27/12 02:48 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Nikolas]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida

Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Officially conservatories in Greece accept students from the age of 8 upwards! I find that ridiculous and I'm already teaching a 6 year old successfully! I wouldn't have it any other way, since he's enjoying it and has no trouble reading notes. he has trouble with keeping focused for more than 15-20 minutes but that's to be expected!

Seriously classical music is about scores. Even pop music is about scores: You get a chart sheet when doing sessions, you don't go blind with an mp3 and hope to be able to listen to what you're supposed to play! why skip that part?!?! (reply: Because it's easy for some teachers, that's why...)

First, music reading is approached illogically, most of the time.

Today I was talking to a very bright kid, someone I really like. He started recently, and he could not find Fs and Bs. Some people are able to "map" the keyboard almost immediately, even some small kids. Others struggle with this.

It is easy to assume that someone cannot read if they can't find keys, and furthermore to assume that they will not be able to read well in the future.

With this particular student I pointed to notes, at random, from A three lines below the bass and E three lines above the treble. So long as my chart was there, he found every note, immediately linked it with the proper key.

Now, you watch...

There will be people who conclude from this that I am teaching incorrectly. They will assume that someone who does not remember which note goes to which key is not learning anything. I may even get "helpful" recommendations such as how to use flash cards. Most everyone will assume that if the names of the notes and the names of the keys are not learned FIRST, reading can't start.

They will miss that the memory of where these things are and what they are called are SEPARATE from the logic of how the staves work.

For many years now I have observed that some students will take much longer to remember things but what will be FASTER at FINDING them. For those who have "memory" problems, forgetting locations and names, many stick with the chart longer, but once we put it away (which always happens), they are in no way behind many others who get away from the visual aid sooner.

Even with my six and seven year-olds, I do not have enough TIME. I move from one thing to another lightning fast, and I usually put something in their books to explore because I am unable to cover everything every week.

Also, attention span is not just about how long people can "sit". It has to do with how much they get to do (action), and how much they have to listen to (boring directions), and how often tasks are changed.

I can concentrate like a demon for hours, but I need to change my focus every 15-20 minutes, max, or I become so bored and so stressed that my mind ceases to function. Maybe I think like a seven year-old. smile
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#1887263 - 04/27/12 02:50 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
keystring Online   content
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Nikolas and Gary, that phenomenon is known by teachers, and many of them make sure that their kids start a year later if their birthdays fall on those months. Also, if a student in grade 1 or 2 seems to have wobbly handwriting showing less fine motor control and other similar things, teachers often check birthdays. It can affect a child's self-image because all he knows is that he has to try harder than everyone else and doesn't do as well - he doesn't know that it's because he is almost a year younger.

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#1887264 - 04/27/12 02:52 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring
Nikolas and Gary, that phenomenon is known by teachers, and many of them make sure that their kids start a year later if their birthdays fall on those months. Also, if a student in grade 1 or 2 seems to have wobbly handwriting showing less fine motor control and other similar things, teachers often check birthdays. It can affect a child's self-image because all he knows is that he has to try harder than everyone else and doesn't do as well - he doesn't know that it's because he is almost a year younger.

Exactly. And my brother was careful not to make the same mistake with his younger son. It made a huge difference for him, starting a year later.
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#1887293 - 04/27/12 04:34 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Nikolas Online   content
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Loc: Europe
I didn't know any better, since I was born in September ('77) and the cut off was in April, but now I do and for my grandchildren I won't make the same mistake!

Gary: I'll address this thread again after the weekend. My students recital is in 5-6 hours and I have to prepare... brrr...
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#1887370 - 04/27/12 09:42 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
When grouping children for piano groups, we looked first at birthdays, but then followed with an interview that allowed us to assess the child more carefully for maturity and development. If it's done properly, group instruction can be very successful. Of course, we always paired it with a private lesson, so that helps meet the individual needs of each child as well. Win, win!
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#1887393 - 04/27/12 10:22 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Overexposed Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
It sounds like group lessons have worked for some of you. I have not done group instruction, but have taught a lot of 5, 6 and 7 year old kids. I would say that each I accepted was ready for instruction, but they learn at different paces. There is a marked change in ability with each year of age. It would not be helpful for the younger ones to compare themselves with progress of the older ones. It is helpful though for the older ones, as they see that it is much easier for them, and that idea that "This is easy for ME" adds to their motivation.

All groupings would be harmful to those with attention deficit disorder. I have taught 4 kids now with ADD (one "borderline", another recently getting a diagnosis, 2 others previously diagnosed). In teaching them I've come to the conclusion that their problem is mild brain damage. It's mild, and not readily apparent in conversation with them. But it jumps out at you in piano lessons. The last thing these kids need is to be in a group comparing themselves to others.

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#1887400 - 04/27/12 10:31 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Overexposed Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

My brother and I were both slammed by the system. I was born in October of 1948.
My younger brother went through the same thing, but even worse. His birthday is in December. For him it was worse, because he was one of the most naturally gifted athletes I've ever seen,

I have an October 1 birthday and was always the youngest kid in the class (an October 1 school enrollment cutoff date). I think it mostly was a problem in first grade. I did not have kindergarten, and I just recall my dad getting mad at me as I mixed up the letters U,V W,Y...they were a challenge. The thing is that if I'd waited a year, I would have been in the same grade as my sister 1.5 years younger.

Other than a slow beginning I was always at the top of my class academically, but socially it's not so great being the least physically developed and last to get a driver's license.

Overall I think it's more of an issue for boys and especially those in sports.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/27/12 10:32 AM)

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#1887402 - 04/27/12 10:32 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Minniemay]
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
When grouping children for piano groups, we looked first at birthdays, but then followed with an interview that allowed us to assess the child more carefully for maturity and development.


Thanks so much for mentioning this. Children develop at very different paces and grouping just by age could cause huge problems for some. At public schools, age is generally the only factor (thus we have grades corresponding strictly to age). But in other contexts it could be more feasible to group children by development and maturity, for which age is a consideration but not the only one.

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#1887448 - 04/27/12 11:46 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Minniemay Offline
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Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Ann, your inexperience in this area colors your opinion greatly. My extensive experience in group teaching is that, if taught well, the stronger kids actually pull the weaker kids up. A positive atmosphere established by the teacher means that those that struggle with get both help and encouragement from their classmates.

I have had kids with all kinds of abilities in my classes and they have done just fine. You just have to be aware, attentive and caring to foster the right atmosphere.
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#1887493 - 04/27/12 12:58 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.


They will miss that the memory of where these things are and what they are called are SEPARATE from the logic of how the staves work.

For many years now I have observed that some students will take much longer to remember things but what will be FASTER at FINDING them. For those who have "memory" problems, forgetting locations and names, many stick with the chart longer, but once we put it away (which always happens), they are in no way behind many others who get away from the visual aid sooner.



That seems reasonable to me.

I played trombone 3 or 4 years, and sightread very well, without associating note names to what was on the page.

Sure, if you asked me what note that was I could figure it out. But it wasn't instantly available to me like the physical feel of producing that note was.
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