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#2018153 - 01/21/13 03:08 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1043
Loc: California, USA
It sound to me like this isn't a problem with the fact that the terminology uses the same words, but that the students either aren't retaining the information or didn't comprehend it in the first place.

So my guess is you're barking up the wrong tree with latching onto the fact that the word "half" is used for different things. I think the problem may be more that they are confusing intervals (steps) with cadences and note types.
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#2018236 - 01/21/13 09:14 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
I am sorry for late reply.
Here is the order of presentation (the length of lesson is approximately and differ from students to students)
Half note is two beat by 2nd month of lesson.
Eighth note is half a beat by 5th month of lesson.
Then some student would confuse that half note is only half beat, or call eighth note a half note.
Half step by about 8th month of lesson.
When asked what is a half step, some students will tell me half step is 2 beats. In that case, I would then play a half step then a whole step on piano then ask him which one is a half step, the student would get it right.
Mostly those that confused will get the right answer if I provide them some choices in the answer, but they won't get it right without choices.
Half cadences by 2 years of lesson.
When asked what is half cadences, again, some students will tell me 2 beats. In this case, then I have to provide them the list of V-I, or I-V, or IV-I, then they will get the right answer for half cadence.
So, again, those confused will get right answer only if I provide the choices. They can't get it right if I only ask: "What is half cadence?"
I hope I make sense here.


I am less concerned that a student can tell me verbally what a minim is, and more concerned that they hold it for the correct amount of time. Again, as long that they can find F# for me, it doesn't matter too much that they forget what a semitone is.

But what I am discovering is that I really need to test and assess them on concepts I expect them to know. It's not enough that I taught it, and that they knew it, they need to keep on knowing it. So one thing you could do, is test they know what they should know, and if they don't consistently give the right answer, don't teach the new concept yet.
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#2018244 - 01/21/13 09:27 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ten left thumbs]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs

I am less concerned that a student can tell me verbally what a minim is, and more concerned that they hold it for the correct amount of time. Again, as long that they can find F# for me, it doesn't matter too much that they forget what a semitone is.

TLT, am I guessing right that you would start mentioning these terms on and off as they work on music with you over the months and years, so that if they move up a half step, you might use the word "half step" or whatever and the word gels after a while? I understand that teaching theory actually begins at a concrete, practical level. The student has played lots of V7-I chords with a grand finish long before ever working theoretically with "cadences" for example.

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#2018278 - 01/21/13 10:22 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Yes, the drip drip approach. I would not use 'half step' so I don't get that particular confusion. But I'm distinguishing between understanding the concept and knowing the name for it.

I don't have anyone advanced enough for cadences.
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#2018285 - 01/21/13 10:31 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
I am sorry for late reply.
Here is the order of presentation (the length of lesson is approximately and differ from students to students)
Half note is two beat by 2nd month of lesson.
Eighth note is half a beat by 5th month of lesson.
Then some student would confuse that half note is only half beat, or call eighth note a half note.
Half step by about 8th month of lesson.
When asked what is a half step, some students will tell me half step is 2 beats. In that case, I would then play a half step then a whole step on piano then ask him which one is a half step, the student would get it right.
Mostly those that confused will get the right answer if I provide them some choices in the answer, but they won't get it right without choices.
Half cadences by 2 years of lesson.
When asked what is half cadences, again, some students will tell me 2 beats. In this case, then I have to provide them the list of V-I, or I-V, or IV-I, then they will get the right answer for half cadence.
So, again, those confused will get right answer only if I provide the choices. They can't get it right if I only ask: "What is half cadence?"
I hope I make sense here.


They may not be listening properly. If a student answers "two beats" to the question "what is a half step" then I would say "No, that is a half NOTE. What is a half STEP?" Perhaps even take out some flash cards or a board to draw on and show them a half note and say this gets two beats. Then draw a series of half steps on the staff using all different kinds of note values they are familiar with and show them that a half step can involve any kind of note value.
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#2018343 - 01/21/13 11:39 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: Morodiene]
ROMagister Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 518
Loc: Bucuresti, Romania
Half step ;-) In guitar or MIDI it's THE step.

It's an artefact the diatonic scale, and so of the almost universal keyboard, that 5 of the 7 second intervals in an octave are really a whole step (or 2 MIDI steps).

Piano/keyboard forms a different kind of challenge. Of adapting hand positions to scales in the 12 different keys.

In guitar one has to form any diatonic scale 'by hand' (1 or 2 frets at a time) but then transposition is just mechanical shifting. But that's still not what one reads in traditional notation... if something's confusing to many, THAT's confusing.

Who had that grand idea to make a diatonic-independent piano keyboard, forming scales 'by hand' but then transposing mechanically ?
(Or maybe with 6 black keys per octave ? BUT that would lose the nice recognizable pattern of 2, 3, 2, 3 helping orientation)

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#2018353 - 01/21/13 11:56 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Half cadences by 2 years of lesson.
When asked what is half cadences, again, some students will tell me 2 beats. In this case, then I have to provide them the list of V-I, or I-V, or IV-I, then they will get the right answer for half cadence.

Here's your problem: You are introducing half cadences way too soon! How old are these kids? Seven?

Also, knowing V-I, I-V, or IV-I does NOT equate the understanding of these cadences. The students are just associating a bunch of Roman numerals with the names of the cadences.

Why don't you ask these confused students to draw a half cadence in F major?
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#2018396 - 01/21/13 01:05 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
They may not be listening properly.


Yes, maybe is the listening problem. Once they hear the word "half" first thing they think is 2 beats and without paying attention to if it is a cadence, or step, or note.

As I said, only a few of my students are constantly confused, not all of them.
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#2018397 - 01/21/13 01:08 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Why don't you ask these confused students to draw a half cadence in F major?


Yes, given a work book of Peggy Odell, Level 2 at the cadence section, these confused students are able to draw a half cadence.

As I said with visualize aid they are capable of giving correct answer, and with given choices of the answer to choose from, they usually get it right.
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#2018399 - 01/21/13 01:09 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Also, knowing V-I, I-V, or IV-I does NOT equate the understanding of these cadences. The students are just associating a bunch of Roman numerals with the names of the cadences.


Agree with you, that is why they also play these cadence at the side in technique part. During lesson in regular repertoire or method book, I pointed out what is half cadence if I can find one.
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#2018400 - 01/21/13 01:11 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1023
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Here's your problem: You are introducing half cadences way too soon! How old are these kids? Seven?


Yes, maybe that is my problem. But as I said so many times, only a few students in this age group (6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) that confused this. I do have 6YO totally cool with cadance, no confuse, but it is just a few students confuse.
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#2018505 - 01/21/13 04:30 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
But as I said so many times, only a few students in this age group (6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) that confused this. I do have 6YO totally cool with cadance, no confuse, but it is just a few students confuse.

shocked
You must have the most gifted bunch of little kids.
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#2018525 - 01/21/13 05:23 PM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Why bother at all with the terminology at this point? Use only what terms are necessary.
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#2018866 - 01/22/13 08:47 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I also wonder at why it's necessary to teach them cadences at this point. Really, they can play very well if you just say "Ok it's the end of the phrase/idea, so let's give a little lift after it..." or whatever suggestion that is suitable in that instance. Get them used to the function of the cadences, and you can even talk about how this sounds like it ends in a question (half cadence) and that the answer happens right after it. I don't think that would confuse them because the terms are being left out, and you're focusing on how it sounds. The terms can come much later, and it will be easy for them because they will know the sound of a cadence when they hear it.
_________________________
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MTNA member
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#2018888 - 01/22/13 09:36 AM Re: My students is so confused... [Re: ezpiano.org]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2610
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
half step
half note
half cadences
eight note is half a beat

They are not the same thing, but somehow some of my students keep thinking they are related.

Any tips when deliver these concepts?


Make sure the kids know the category that each one belongs to.

Say something like: We are talking about intervals.
This is a half step. This is a whole step; this is a third,
etc.

Then there will be no need for any other use of 'half' anything else.
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