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#2047284 - 03/12/13 09:51 PM Six-week lull in learning?
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1335
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I'm here in Disneyland at a big annual congress of US piano teachers called the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA); maybe 1500 of us are attending seminars, and buying materials at a companion trade show.

I went to a lecture on teaching adults led by a gal from Cincinnati, Ohio named Michelle Conda. She's a piano prof at the conservatory there, and has some experience with the adult learner. Her folksy talk was called "My Top 10 Secrets for Teaching Adults."

One nugget I found intriguing. She maintained that every six weeks there is a lull in adult learning at the piano, and a teacher should expect this. She advised us to move on to new material, or to expect less, or somehow to accommodate this lull. Whether she thought there might also be a lull in one's piano teaching every six weeks, Conda did not say, but I'd be curious about your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks,
Peter

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#2047332 - 03/12/13 10:49 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2492
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Hmmm.
Interesting idea.

Let me ponder this for about 6 weeks, and then I'll get back to you.
wink
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2049273 - 03/16/13 06:42 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: malkin]
LarryTo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 5
Thanks for passing on the advice about handle a Six- Week lull in piano learning. Very good thoughts to think about.
_________________________
Larry
pianoplayingadvice.com

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#2049277 - 03/16/13 06:46 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Sounds like a casual observation with no science behind it...

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#2049397 - 03/16/13 10:48 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
"...
I'm here in Disneyland at a big annual congress of US piano teachers called the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA); maybe 1500 of us are attending seminars, and buying materials at a companion trade show.

I went to a lecture on teaching adults led by a gal from Cincinnati, Ohio named Michelle Conda. She's a piano prof at the conservatory there, and has some experience with the adult learner. Her folksy talk was called "My Top 10 Secrets for Teaching Adults."

One nugget I found intriguing. She maintained that every six weeks there is a lull in adult learning at the piano, and a teacher should expect this. She advised us to move on to new material, or to expect less, or somehow to accommodate this lull. Whether she thought there might also be a lull in one's piano teaching every six weeks, Conda did not say, but I'd be curious about your thoughts on these issues.

Thanks,
Peter

..."

Thanks for the feedback, Peter,

One of the problems with adult learners/ing is that they are often balancing a profession/job or home life as the case may be and circumstances will dictate delay in progress at certain times as you know - and as you know - if you don't practice daily it is leathal to your progress especially given the limited time adults have to squeeze in practice time during a week between lessons. So in a word, "yes" leaving adults with the same piece for weeks can take away from the thought of progress and new material may matter to some adult learners in the bigger picture.



Edited by Michael_99 (03/16/13 10:50 PM)

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#2049480 - 03/17/13 04:09 AM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
casinitaly Offline


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4937
Loc: Italy
I haven't noticed a particular 6-week pattern for myself (or for my own students (not piano), but there are certainly periods where things seem to be at a standstill, then bursts of progress.

I don't think that is specific to adult learners though. Isn't it the same for kids? Isn't it the same for any age group, any student, in any subject?
Who has constant growth without any plateaus?

What I suspect might make the plateaus more obvious in adults than when teaching very young children is the fact that adults do actually progress more quickly when starting from zero - so while a 6 year old might take quite a long time to learn to read the notes (values and names)an adult will generally be able to manage that a faster simply because they have reading experience. So we may make more progress in a concentrated period of time (perhaps oh...six weeks? smile ) and then have a lull while assimilating.

Adults move on to (relatively) harder pieces faster than kids. If I look at my lesson notes I used to spend about 1 week on my new pieces, then 2, then 3...and now? Easily six weeks or more. But I'd say that my "lulls" don't coincide with the start of a new piece, they can hit at any time.

I'm guessing that as Mark said...this is a general comment on the cyclical nature of learning and there's no real "six-week" official statistic.

What you do find immediately if you do a search on "six week learning cycle" is that many institutions structure their programs in cycles of six weeks. If your speaker belongs to an institution like that, her observations make sense.

I'm not sure that there is a lull in a teacher's energy in 6 week cycles either. Unless the programs are set up in six week cycles and the teachers know the program is ending so start to flag?
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2049501 - 03/17/13 05:18 AM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
TBH I think a decent teacher will notice the lull and lack of beans of a student in any context.

As a teacher I'm told to watch for boredom and lulls in classes and switch to backup activities to get them re-activated.

My own teacher has got a measure of what I like and don't like and will move onto other pieces when she detects I am getting bored.

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#2049731 - 03/17/13 03:20 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 235
Loc: Maryland
I think everyone at every age has lulls in their learning and good teachers recognize this. As for the 6 weeks, sounds like an average or median. The range is probably large and the actual no. doesn't matter. Just recognizing that lulls exist is what is important and evident to all but the most insensitive.
_________________________
Piano: Brodmann PE 187 Strauss
Flute: Sankyo CF-201 with RT2 headjoint

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#2049925 - 03/17/13 08:51 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 587
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
You ask the strangest questions, Peter.

Like that other thing — the in, out and through theory — this is something that I think can and does affect children as well as adults. Cas has offered a theory on why it might be more obvious in adults that I think makes a lot of sense. But as a teacher, what you should be taking away from this, I think, is that every student has lulls, and how to deal with them. I don't think it makes much sense to stick any specific time frame onto it, or to pretend as if lulls in learning are unique to, or even significantly more prevalent in adult learners.
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Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

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#2049943 - 03/17/13 09:37 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
I can relate to this well. Just like in the gym (and I'm sure several other places wink ), changing up your routine (while still focusing on the same overall goals) every few weeks or so works wonders.

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#2049971 - 03/17/13 11:10 PM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 339
Loc: San Diego, CA
Maybe the point of this observation is not specifically "6 weeks", but that the time between lulls is rather short. The suggestion is that an adult has 6-10 lulls per year. Seems like more than I would have expected, but then I have never counted. Perhaps my frustration as an adult student stems from hitting lulls a lot more often than I realized.

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#2050079 - 03/18/13 06:48 AM Re: Six-week lull in learning? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Kristina1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 123
Loc: UK
Hello, Peter K. Mose,

Whatever anyone learns
there always comes a little stand-still after a while.

That is only natural.

If you ask for example professional golfers
they might tell you exactly the same about such a "stand-still"
where any development stops for a little while.

The danger for an adult-beginner is to stop at such a moment
- and then try to continue later on - because,
that there might have been a little fear slowly building up
that this stand-still in their further development came about because
whatever they were doing (piano playing/golfing etc)
might have been wrong for them in the first place.

I only can speak as an adult-beginner, but I feel
it is very important to continue and just "sit it out"
until development continues because I feel that
starting to learn anything as an adult-beginner
is always difficult at first and therefore it is very important
we continue despite such "stand-stills".

It is my opinion that if we are lucky enough to have a teacher,
this teacher should explain to us this problem
and then encourage and assist us to continue.

Best wishes from Kristina.


Edited by Kristina1 (03/18/13 06:55 AM)

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