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#1919479 - 06/27/12 12:25 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 477




Edited by MaggieGirl (06/27/12 12:27 PM)

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#1919482 - 06/27/12 12:31 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1742
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: CebuKid

Really, what is so wrong about wanting her to be better than average, and then teaching this value to her??!!! By the way, I'm Asian, and this same message is preached in many an Asian household, and I was brought up the same way. We encourage our kids to take up musical instruments because it adds value to their brain and helps them excel in academics. And I think the ability to play piano and play it well does set one apart from others - young or old. For us adults, isn't it great to have such an enriching activity in life, instead of going to the bar, watching TV, eating bon-bons, etc? I think piano sets even us apart from our "average" peers.



I thought it was only in Lake Woebegone that all of the children are above average. smile

Seriously, while I don't think passion can be taught, I do think it can be *caught* -- or inspired, as noted above. How to manage that is way beyond my knowledge, though.

But while I don't believe passion can be taught, I do agree with others that it can be quashed, and that has to be the greatest challenge for any parent or teacher -- how to provide a situation where passion has the best chance of developing without pushing so hard as to kill it.


Edited by ClsscLib (06/27/12 12:45 PM)
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1919507 - 06/27/12 01:09 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
All the talk of "There is no 'I' in the word team" etc. It's seems taboo to say the word "I". In sports the individual can hide behind working hard for the team. But the artist/intellectual is seen as flying solo and therefore as being selfish.


This is also the hallmark (one of them) of Asian culture. Many Asian people would think that the American society is the home of individualism.

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#1919520 - 06/27/12 01:23 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: MaggieGirl]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl




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#1919530 - 06/27/12 01:35 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: keystring]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13775
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Passion can also be killed.


And quite easily.

A popular example:

Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1919563 - 06/27/12 02:32 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
Copake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 255
Loc: Columbia/Westchester Counties ...
I don't think so.

I don't have any evidence for this. Only anecdotal evidence -- specifically about my son.

He played both piano and violin while growing up. We took him to symphony concerts, piano recitals, and the opera. He heard me playing the piano and listening to music in the home. But once he went off to college he stopped playing his instruments and rarely listens to music. I don't think it is that important to him whereas I can't live without it.

Chacun son goût.

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#1919569 - 06/27/12 02:37 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: Kreisler]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: keystring
Passion can also be killed.


And quite easily.

A popular example:

Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.

This also depends on how the teacher tries to transmit those skills. The above example can actually be done effectively and intelligently, if the teacher is able to balance things well. Such teachers are rare.

Another example is:
Student loves music. Teacher let's student 'advance' quickly without giving skills, and also criticizes student's "mistakes". Student's efforts yield few results because of the missing skills, making student feel like a failure.

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#1919575 - 06/27/12 02:57 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
jc111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 34
I'll offer my own experience since that was the age I quit piano and I still have vivid memory like it was only yesterday.

I started learning piano since I was 5 or 6 and stopped around 3rd grade. My piano teacher was my music teacher at school so we had lessons in school pretty often. I remeber that day I was having my lesson and one of my classmate poked her head in and asked me "What you doing here? We are all playing outside." Right then I started to doubt about learning piano. Couple weeks later I told my mom that I want to stopped piano lesson and that was it.

If you ask me if I regret quitting it, honestly I would say yes. But if I can go back in time, I would still make the same decision. Because at that time, learning piano did set me "apart" from my friends and I didn't want that. However I am grateful that I had a good foundation so I am able to appreciate music and pick it up again after all these years.

And it goes the same for my son. He told me that he doesn't like to talk about learning piano in his class because none of his classmates is interested. But he also told me that he enjoys chatting with another boy on the bus who also plays piano. So maybe you will be able to fuel your daughter's passion again if you can find her some companions.

Since you mentioned the Tiger Mom book, I would like to offer my own view. I don't think she meant the book to be a manual of bringing up children but rather a look back of her own parenting style. I am Aisian myself and was brought up the similar way. I suggest you take the book with a grain of salt. Not every child could be raised the same way even Chua adimitted in her book. You can read more about it on her own web site: http://amychua.com/


Edited by jc111 (06/27/12 02:59 PM)

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#1919788 - 06/27/12 10:22 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: jc111]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Originally Posted By: jc111
I'll offer my own experience since that was the age I quit piano and I still have vivid memory like it was only yesterday.

I started learning piano since I was 5 or 6 and stopped around 3rd grade. My piano teacher was my music teacher at school so we had lessons in school pretty often. I remeber that day I was having my lesson and one of my classmate poked her head in and asked me "What you doing here? We are all playing outside." Right then I started to doubt about learning piano. Couple weeks later I told my mom that I want to stopped piano lesson and that was it.

If you ask me if I regret quitting it, honestly I would say yes. But if I can go back in time, I would still make the same decision. Because at that time, learning piano did set me "apart" from my friends and I didn't want that. However I am grateful that I had a good foundation so I am able to appreciate music and pick it up again after all these years.

And it goes the same for my son. He told me that he doesn't like to talk about learning piano in his class because none of his classmates is interested. But he also told me that he enjoys chatting with another boy on the bus who also plays piano. So maybe you will be able to fuel your daughter's passion again if you can find her some companions.

Since you mentioned the Tiger Mom book, I would like to offer my own view. I don't think she meant the book to be a manual of bringing up children but rather a look back of her own parenting style. I am Aisian myself and was brought up the similar way. I suggest you take the book with a grain of salt. Not every child could be raised the same way even Chua adimitted in her book. You can read more about it on her own web site: http://amychua.com/


I read "Tiger Mom" cover-to-cover. I realize this wasn't a guideline but rather a memoir. Kudos to her, as she is an extremely devoted mother juggling a career as a professor at Yale, and forcing both her kids to practice even while on vacation. I was amazed at how a non-musician like her knew so much about music theory and how she herself would tell both of her daughters how to interpret music or how to play a phrase or a measure.

Let me tell you guys that I ain't no "Tiger-Dad" by any means, but I do expect my kids to "give it their all" when they practice. I didn't mention that my younger daughter is also a piano student, but more on the average side in terms of ability. But even though she has less natural ability than the 9-year-old, she works her tail off at her level 1 pieces, which she's been on for over a year now. Further, I let me daughters be normal also - they get to play computer games, watch movies, and have sleep-overs and playdates. I gave the 9 Y.O. the "speech" about setting herself apart because even she herself realizes that she's different than her classmates. She even told me that most of her classmates who are in piano lessons are still playing, what she calls, the "baby books." I also told her that if she considers herself a "pianist", then she better start practicing like one. This past week, she has stepped up her game, I'm happy to say, and has been practicing on her own...

Those of you who recommended a change of teachers are also probably correct. Maybe she needs a trained teacher who will bring out the best in her and make her want to try harder, and also teach her the depth to be found in piano pieces. I don't think the "passion" can come from her alone, so I do think it's possible that it can be taught! Yes, I change my stance on this, and I guess I was thinking too much about myself when I made the statement that passion can't be taught.. I'll admit, I've lost a little of my own passion because I've achieved what I wanted to with piano, and am sort of in a been-there-done-that mode. Believe me, I have no aspirations to play a Chopin etude, and am content with my current level. Alas, it is I who can't learn passion, but my daughter has her whole life ahead of her.

PS- For those that know me, I hang out mostly in the ABF, and am an adult "re-starter". I regretted quitting at age 12, and was happy to relearn piano on my own 4 years ago, and to play at my current level. Like jc111, I had an excellent childhood foundation to work from. However, I'm still not excellent at it, and if I hadn't quit, maybe I would've been excellent, so like any parent, I want my daughter to be excellent at something....again, to be better than average and to "set herself apart."

thanks for listening... smile
_________________________
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Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
- Berthold Auerbach



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#1919828 - 06/28/12 12:53 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5458
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.


Been there, done that.

These students are also the ones who want to play Fur Elise by lesson 10 and refuse to practice more than 5 minutes per week.

They will also progress at a snail's pace and be frustrated by the fact that everyone else is flying way past them in terms of keyboard skills and level of repertoire. They'll be playing level 1 music after 5 years of painful lessons, while beginners who start with the same teacher will have played level 4 music by the end of year one.

IMO, of course.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1919836 - 06/28/12 01:14 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: AZNpiano]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.


Been there, done that.

These students are also the ones who want to play Fur Elise by lesson 10 and refuse to practice more than 5 minutes per week.

They will also progress at a snail's pace and be frustrated by the fact that everyone else is flying way past them in terms of keyboard skills and level of repertoire. They'll be playing level 1 music after 5 years of painful lessons, while beginners who start with the same teacher will have played level 4 music by the end of year one.

IMO, of course.


+ 1

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#1919922 - 06/28/12 07:11 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: CebuKid


This past week, she has stepped up her game, I'm happy to say, and has been practicing on her own...

... Yes, I change my stance on this, and I guess I was thinking too much about myself when I made the statement that passion can't be taught.. I'll admit, I've lost a little of my own passion because I've achieved what I wanted to with piano, and am sort of in a been-there-done-that mode.


Hi CebuK, glad things are looking up. I hope they continue to do so. All learner (children and adults alike) go through spells of more enthusiasm and less enthusiasm and the trick is to have some sort of base-line of routine practice which continues even through the dull patches until passion is reignited. That's my take on it anyway.

The parents' job (and I include myself in this) is to tread the middle path between allowing practice to stop completely, and insisting on so much practice that the kid wants to give up.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


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

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#1919953 - 06/28/12 08:05 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.


Been there, done that.

These students are also the ones who want to play Fur Elise by lesson 10 and refuse to practice more than 5 minutes per week..

My impression of Kreisler's post was that he was suggesting that a student who has this kind of passion should have that part of his desires accommodated rather than quashed or ignored completely. I did not have the impression that he was implying the student was a problem because of that kind of desire.

If a teacher believes strongly in reading, can the teacher also make room for the ability or desire to play by ear and improvise, or even bring this into reading?

Are there teachers out there who like to work specifically with this kind of student?

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#1919957 - 06/28/12 08:15 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: CebuKid]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2515
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I'll take joy over passion any day of the week.
Although if success is the goal, then I believe dedication to be more valuable.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1920048 - 06/28/12 11:12 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5458
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keystring
If a teacher believes strongly in reading, can the teacher also make room for the ability or desire to play by ear and improvise, or even bring this into reading?
Ideally, students should be able to read and figure things out by ear. Ideally. Both are important skills.

It is the learning of one to the exclusion of the other that is a problem. Have you tried teaching note-reading to kids who were allowed to doodle around and "learn by ear"? The process is like pulling teeth.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1920061 - 06/28/12 11:31 AM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: AZNpiano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11655
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

It is the learning of one to the exclusion of the other that is a problem. Have you tried teaching note-reading to kids who were allowed to doodle around and "learn by ear"? The process is like pulling teeth.

I have not taught instrumental lessons because I would like to be more qualified technically before I do. I have taught people who had holes in one area and ability in another so it's out of balance and tried to get at the holes. I myself had such holes and still have some. It's a w.i.p.

I was not thinking of someone who "doodles" and where you'd have to use quotation marks with "learn by ear". Someone who plays by ear should start having some foundations in theory because they would be using common chords and chord progressions. If working with a teacher who knows of this wish, the teacher could teach this strategically. I'm thinking that you can pull these two things together. A V7-I cadence by ear is also a visual V7-I cadence on paper.

How about the character in the infamous "Day in the Life of..." who comes in playing her newly invented ditties, and teacher wants to get her to follow the book - see, you wouldn't want anyone to play the ditties you invented wrong, would you? What about pointing out the structure in those ditties? Having her learn to write out what she invented, and come at reading from that angle? As well, or instead.

Obviously these are not "expert" thoughts by any means. And I have also ignored the various pressures that teachers face within their environments.

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#1920089 - 06/28/12 12:27 PM Re: Can passion be "taught?" [Re: Kreisler]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 425
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: Kreisler

A popular example:

Student loves music.
Student has a hard time reading music, but enjoys figuring things out by ear.
Teacher wants student to learn to read music.
Teacher spends 90% of the lesson time/energy on reading.
Student spends 90% of the lesson time frustrated.
Passion dies.


If you love a girl, you don't just say "I love you and see you next week same time". You want to be with the girl all week long.

Same applies to music. If a teacher has to spend 90% of the lesson time helping a student to read a couple pieces of music, the student has not been with the music much. Doesn't matter what he says, I just can't see the love there.

Teaching is a 2 way thing, it requires effort from both sides. In this case, the student has not done his part, the family has not done it's part, there is not much a teacher can do, the student will fail one way or the other.

Without actions, it is not passion.


Edited by The Monkeys (06/28/12 12:28 PM)

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