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#1890543 - 05/03/12 02:34 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: AZNpiano]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4738
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: btb
It’s a game we all try at some time ... trying to divert any spotlight from our own weak ability to promote sight-reading acquisition.

Unfortunately, I've seen way too many examples to support Gary's observations.

The way our state testing is set up, kids can literally fail sight reading every single year and still "pass" and get shoved along to the next level. So I routinely get transfer students who are sight reading 5 or 6 levels below their repertoire level. Routinely!

I've seen so many examples, I start to see patterns. Weak sight readers usually:

1) study with teachers who don't teach theory and don't teach sight reading at all;

2) transition out of method books way too early (or don't use method books at all!);

3) were assigned pieces way above their true level in order to impress the evaluators/judges;

4) don't practice very much;

5) started in group lessons where "copy me" is the predominant method of instruction;

6) started in a certain "method" that over-relies on developing the ears and overlooks the importance of note-reading;

7) took lessons at one of those "music schools" (a.k.a. student factories) where individual attention is seldom given to the needs of every student.

and on, and on, and on...

thumb
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#1890863 - 05/04/12 03:58 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
What a load of codswallops!!

AZN lists (bottom of the barrel ) teachers who

1. don’t teach theory or sight-reading
2. don’t use method books
3. assigned pieces above level to impress judges
4. don’t practice very much
5. started in "copy me" group lessons
6. “method” that over-relies on developing ears
7. took lessons at student factories

WHEN WE ALL KNOW (or should know) that youthful students
are ALWAYS bum at sight-reading (being so fresh in the game) ...
and that they quickly discover that quality rendition depends on
oodles of hard practice to MEMORIZE the keyboard piece.

You chaps should stop passing the buck!

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#1890868 - 05/04/12 04:07 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: btb]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4738
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: btb
What a load of codswallops!!

AZN lists (bottom of the barrel ) teachers who

1. don’t teach theory or sight-reading
2. don’t use method books
3. assigned pieces above level to impress judges
4. don’t practice very much
5. started in "copy me" group lessons
6. “method” that over-relies on developing ears
7. took lessons at student factories

WHEN WE ALL KNOW (or should know) that youthful students
are ALWAYS bum at sight-reading (being so fresh in the game) ...
and that they quickly discover that quality rendition depends on
oodles of hard practice to MEMORIZE the keyboard piece.

You chaps should stop passing the buck!

I don't even allow my students to play from memory until they have played five times, with music, and have had success. I give them new music to try each week, and they come back with it mostly learned, on their own. If I take the music away, they have no idea how to play it.

I teach memorization later, when they have learned to play fluently, with music AND have also experimented with playing by ear, which is the other side of music.

By the way, if you are torturing all of us, again, with your never-ending championing of an alternate system of notation, I will state, for the record, that the traditional notation system is horrendously flawed.

Where I differ with you is about the practical chances of changing it. Once upon a time I thought Esperanto was a great idea. I still do.

The problem is, you can't find anyone to talk to in Esperanto.

Do you have ANYTHING postive to add, or is your sole reason for posting just to annoy us? laugh
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#1890881 - 05/04/12 05:09 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Gary D,

You seem to be shooting yourself in the foot, by admitting that the current system of notation has “horrendous flaws” and insisting on students playing a fresh keyboard score 5 times to
improve sight-reading skills (but just locking in memorisation with each repeat!).

Please see my comments as being constructive ... what I object to is the ducking and diving
by teachers who point to the weak teaching skills of other teachers ... sheer baloney!

Any annoyance you might experience is of your own making.

PS I’m presently bowled over by the recent announcement of a painting by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch whose painting “The Scream” sold for a record $120 million.
However, it is his poignant painting “The Sick Child” which presently has me bowled over.
Thought you might like to share a masterpiece.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/TheSickChild-by-EdvardMunch-.jpg

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#1890965 - 05/04/12 09:23 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: btb]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: btb
What a load of codswallops!!


I learned a new word today. smile
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1890975 - 05/04/12 09:39 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: btb]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: btb


PS I’m presently bowled over by the recent announcement of a painting by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch whose painting “The Scream” sold for a record $120 million.
However, it is his poignant painting “The Sick Child” which presently has me bowled over.


If 2 people want a painting the value goes up. If I had those millions to spend I'd buy art too. I hope the buyers are also buying art from living artists.

Thanks for sharing the link to the painting.

Edit: I just read about "The Scream" on wikipedia. What drama for these four paintings with the same name. I especially love that art thieves who first stole "The Scream" left behind this note: "Thanks for the poor security". LOL! There may be inspiration for a movie script here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_scream


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (05/04/12 12:35 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1891094 - 05/04/12 01:02 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: btb]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11549
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: btb

You seem to be shooting yourself in the foot, by admitting that the current system of notation has “horrendous flaws” and insisting on students playing a fresh keyboard score 5 times to
improve sight-reading skills (but just locking in memorisation with each repeat!).

I read this as being what these students might DO --- not what the teacher wants them to do.

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#1891773 - 05/05/12 03:13 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Gary D.]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 350
What do you do about students who memorize and practice their pieces from memory at home, even against your orders?
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#1891816 - 05/05/12 04:56 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Brinestone]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4738
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Brinestone
What do you do about students who memorize and practice their pieces from memory at home, even against your orders?

Refuse to continue to teach them. It's OVER for me, if they do this. Period.
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#1891826 - 05/05/12 05:26 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: btb]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: btb
WHEN WE ALL KNOW (or should know) that youthful students are ALWAYS bum at sight-reading (being so fresh in the game) ... and that they quickly discover that quality rendition depends on oodles of hard practice to MEMORIZE the keyboard piece.


yawn

"ALWAYS"???

yawn
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1891830 - 05/05/12 05:30 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Brinestone]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Brinestone
What do you do about students who memorize and practice their pieces from memory at home, even against your orders?


There is a difference between these memorizers:

1) Those who learn everything correctly the first time and memorize all the correct notes, fingering, dynamics, etc.

2) Those who learn everything wrong the first time--wrong notes, wrong fingering, wrong articulations, wrong dynamics, wrong phrasing.

I love teaching Type 1. Type 2 drives me nuts! It takes so much longer for these kids to un-learn the wrong notes.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1891845 - 05/05/12 05:53 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Brinestone]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Edit: Deleted. I had missed the sarcasm.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (05/05/12 09:43 PM)
_________________________
piano teacher

"She played upon her music box
a fancy air by chance,
And straightaway all her polka dots
began a lively dance."
-- Peter Newell

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#1891863 - 05/05/12 06:30 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 350
Sometimes I feel like a lot of you drop students for not being ideal. For instance, I had a student who finally quit a month or so ago. He'd been playing a total of five years, four with me. He was never a good practicer. Sometimes he'd forget his books. It took over a year to teach him to feel rhythms. When he quit he was finally, finally starting to read music well. Other students of mine who started over a year after him were passing him up.

But you know what? He was always pleasant at lessons. His mom was super supportive and grateful for what I did for him. She told me specifically that she would keep her son with me even if I moved half an hour away because she knew that other teachers would make him feel so bad about not practicing that he would just quit. She said if he'd had one of those kind to begin with, he'd have quit years ago. Even though his progress wasn't as fast or as far as it could have been, he made progress. He was about at the level of playing hymns, which was his goal to begin with.

Not every student is going to be Great with a capital G. Sometimes we can make a difference even with the less exceptional kids.

[/soapbox rant]
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Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#1891891 - 05/05/12 07:20 PM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: Brinestone]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5899
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Brinestone
Not every student is going to be Great with a capital G. Sometimes we can make a difference even with the less exceptional kids.
I think you're absolutely right about that.

I'm not sure about the dropping students because they're not ideal. I guess some do. Because they're draining perhaps. Some of the teachers you talk about are actually being tough on themselves rather than the students, and continually questioning whether they're doing something the best way, and beating themselves up when a student fails to progress. I think that's what I found totally exhausting about school teaching - you could never say you'd done enough. There was always something more you could have done.

If you were superwoman that is. I wasn't, so I got out of it. smile
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1892014 - 05/06/12 12:48 AM Re: Why Johnny and Jill can't read ...[ahem}... music [Re: currawong]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4738
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: currawong

I'm not sure about the dropping students because they're not ideal. I guess some do.

If I dropped all my students who are not ideal, I wouldn't have any students. wink

But if students refuse to even TRY to do the things I recommend, then I don't see how I can teach them. I'm used to resistance, but usually not much from students I start.

It seems to me that if we know what we are doing and can demonstrate that what we teach works, most people are rather excited about doing those things that work. Usually when they do not cooperate, it is really fear that those things won't work for them, or that they just can't do it. I think I'm pretty patient with those kinds of obstacles.

But complete refusal to TRY the things I recommend long enough to find it if they will work - that I can't handle. That's where I draw the line.

I think that if student A or student B drains us of so much energy that it begins to adversely affect how we work with other students, we actually OWE it to the other students - the ones who are showing a reasonable degree of cooperation - to let the troublesome student go.
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