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#2035292 - 02/18/13 01:50 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: keystring]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: keystring
How many children going to school cannot read at all? How many cannot do basic arithmetic? In that sense, I think that almost every child can potentially play music up to a given level.


In my world, there are quite a few children and young adults who cannot read or do arithmetic, (or communicate or use the toilet reliably) but even my most profoundly disabled friends can learn and make progress.

I agree with your statement 'up to a given level.'
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#2035328 - 02/18/13 03:20 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: malkin]
Nikolas Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: malkin
I agree with your statement 'up to a given level.'
I'm not sure if it's clear from my posts, but I also agree with this sentiment.

But this idea is what I do NOT like very much...



You get 6 examples of people who made it huge and are given the idea that if you want something bad enough you'll make it happen... I don't know about you but I don't buy that...
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#2035330 - 02/18/13 03:23 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: keystring]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: keystring
How many children going to school cannot read at all? How many cannot do basic arithmetic? In that sense, I think that almost every child can potentially play music up to a given level.


Agreed, and especially with parental support and commitment, which is fundamental in the Suzuki method (at least for violin, when I was a student and from what I know of the program today). Commitment =Love.
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#2035334 - 02/18/13 03:32 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: Nikolas]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11183
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

You get 6 examples of people who made it huge and are given the idea that if you want something bad enough you'll make it happen... I don't know about you but I don't buy that...

Nikolas, you have totally misunderstood the message. It is not about making it big. It is about the un-truth of ideas like instant success, luck, talent, and a self-image that sees oneself either as "a success" or "a failure". The point is that:
a) It takes diligence and perseverance to achieve anything
b) If you try a new thing, first you will do badly at it, and that is not a sign that you "suck" and should give up. It means that it is normal.
c) People who have achieved things in life often fell down a lot.

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#2035340 - 02/18/13 03:41 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: asenicz]
Nikolas Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
keystring: As you probably know, I feel pretty much the same way with you. Not only because of this thread and my mentioning that I do, but because of my various comments on talent, etc...

But I will stand by my comment that providing 6 examples with Einsteins, Jordan, etc is giving exactly the message of 'making it big'. There's no bigger than disney or the Beatles, is there? And if I've come to misunderstood the message, and I'm a grown up guy with a tiny bit of career and am rather happy with who I am, imagine what it's doing to all those who'd dream of being huge...
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#2035357 - 02/18/13 04:11 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: asenicz]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Never mind success and failure. The point is to be a decent human being.
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#2035363 - 02/18/13 04:23 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: asenicz]
A2mom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 102
Loc: Northern California
I wonder if we are communicating past each other. I doubt that anyone here would say that "all people/anyone can" play piano at the level of Horowitz, Schiff, Gould, enter the player of your preference. No one would say that "anyone can" write a play as well as Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, enter the writer of your choice. No one would say that "anyone can" deliver a speech as well as Pericles or Churchill, or sing as well as Caruso, Callas, enter the great voices/vocal cords of your choice. However, language and music are essentially universal amongst humans and we all have the neural circuitry and physical apparatus to allow us to speak, manipulate symbols for language, and to sing/make music. Not all of us do these things (by choice/brain injury/damage to the apparatus/disinterest), and we certainly don't all do these things at the same level, well or expertly, but all humans (except the neurally or physically injured/disabled/unlucky minority) have the capability to vocalize through speech or singing and to use language/symbols. Pretty much all humans think it is possible for their children to learn to speak (we run to the doctor in a panic if we think they can't speak). They pretty much can all sing (yes, not all on pitch and few might recognize my singing as such). Internationally educators assume that it is possible and even a good thing to try to teach everyone that 2+2=4, but the educational system does not assume that we can all solve Fermat's last theorem. I think it is in this sense that I have been using the words "anyone can": non-disabled, typical humans possess the human musical brain/neural circuitry and physical apparatus which enables them with the help of teachers and parents and their own applied efforts to learn to play music/piano/sing. Saying "anyone can" does not deny "failure" as a fact of reality, the importance of learning ones limits/deficiencies, acceptance of average performance, or imply at what level one sings, plays piano, speaks, or manipulates symbols for writing.

"Anyone can" does not equate to "anyone can do it at a professional level, an "A" level, or a given standard. "Anyone can" coexists with "anyone can fail" and even "few goes" or "few succeed". "Anyone can" allows "anyone to fail". "Anyone can" does convey that as humans, we possess the necessary attributes to learn speaking, singing, and music/playing an instrument - the extent to which we have the resources/help and personal interest in developing any of our human attributes or capabilities is clearly different.
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Northern California
Shigeru Kawai SK3, Clavinova CVP207

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#2035387 - 02/18/13 05:19 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: asenicz]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 261
Ok - coming back late to the party. I was the other Suzuki parent who posted above.

My Suzuki kid has never performed solo repertoire like this with other students in 7 years of lessons. He has learned duets or accompaniments, and is advanced enough to look at concerti now if he had the interest.

Interestingly enough, one of our biggest local piano competitions involves playing in unison in stage with other "winners" in unison. Run entirely by traditional teachers. Sure it's a gimmick. Sometimes gimmick-y things bring out motivation in kids. And unless you hear the kids play as individuals, I'm not sure a judgment can be made on the quality of the students. The kids are judged as individuals, but then must go through a rehearsal process to play in unison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gArg6uT-Z6Q

Just as you cannot judge all traditional teachers, you cannot judge all Suzuki teachers.

I agree not every piano student is going to be a career concert pianist, be an amazing solo performer, and be a creative interpreter of music. There is much value in engaging a child in music lessons beyond creating a musician IMO. Different approaches may take different children further. I'm not sure why anyone thinks a one size fits all approach to education of any type is the right way to go.

Again, I'm happy to share some videos of my kid privately. This week he is playing in an honors recital he had to audition against traditional kids of many instruments and somehow he still managed to finagle himself a spot.
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#2035401 - 02/18/13 05:42 PM Re: How are songs taught/learned in Suzuki? [Re: asenicz]
A2mom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 102
Loc: Northern California
Vis a vis Einstein, Jordan et al., I agree with Keystring's interpretation of the take home message. What comes through for me is that these people worked really hard/kept plugging to achieve things despite initial difficulties or other people's dismissal of their first efforts. I don't think the message is anyone can make it huge just by wishing it or without hard work. Seems to me that some of these examples are famous examples of hardwork or driven workaholics (maybe their "success" also has an element of good fortune as icing).

It is a myth (Internet myth?) that Einstein in particular failed math; he worked hard at it from an early age. Einstein worked hard for his achievement. From a TIME magazine article: "In 1935, a rabbi in Princeton showed him a clipping of the Ripley's column with the headline "Greatest living mathematician failed in mathematics." Einstein laughed. "I never failed in mathematics," he replied, correctly. "Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus." In primary school, he was at the top of his class and "far above the school requirements" in math. By age 12, his sister recalled, "he already had a predilection for solving complicated problems in applied arithmetic," and he decided to see if he could jump ahead by learning geometry and algebra on his own."

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1936731_1936743_1936758,00.html

In truth, these people are not necessarily anymore a "success" than the child I described with a physical limitation on playing the piano who amazed me. Their achievement is not necessarily "greater". She could just as well be on that poster in my opinion because the message is the same: work hard and look what we can do. Furthermore, my opinion of the child's success is minor compared to her own sense of achievement for herself.
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A2mom
Northern California
Shigeru Kawai SK3, Clavinova CVP207

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