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#2122354 - 07/24/13 02:13 PM What level is this piece?
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 427
Loc: Vancouver BC
Just wondering. One of the arrangements of Wreck-It Ralph.

Many thanks


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#2122420 - 07/24/13 04:28 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
I won't give you a level, but I will tell you that you have to subdivide because of the 16ths, and you have to master that syncopation.

And the piece will sound pretty awful if it is down-tempo. I would only go over this with a pretty advanced student. There are problems...
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#2122435 - 07/24/13 04:59 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: Gary D.]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
As Gary well states . . .

I'd probably not consider it until a student reached at least Int F on the Guild scale, and probably more likely Prep A.
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#2122479 - 07/24/13 07:08 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1017
Loc: Irvine, CA
Rhythm is about Level 5 and up in Certificate of Merit standard. However, notes are relatively easy, probably about Level 2 because there are no big chords or more than three notes at the same time.
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#2122570 - 07/24/13 11:16 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: ezpiano.org]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Rhythm is about Level 5 and up in Certificate of Merit standard. However, notes are relatively easy, probably about Level 2 because there are no big chords or more than three notes at the same time.

It's really a rhythm issue more than anything else; as you say, notes are relatively easy. That's what makes grading this perplexing. Some students can grasp the rhythm with hardly a bother, and others will struggle on and on with it.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2122765 - 07/25/13 11:47 AM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
My CM Level 9 students will have a hard time with this piece. I've taught maybe three or four students who can play complicated, syncopated rhythms like this without a problem. And they are really, really advanced students.

You actually can find this level of subdivision quite a bit in Bach and slow Mozart/Haydn pieces, but those are likely Level 10 as well.
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#2122875 - 07/25/13 04:08 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 427
Loc: Vancouver BC
Many thanks for the responses.

This is a continuation of my
previous post.

First let me say that I have no intention to interfere with the teaching. This is entirely for my own education and curiosity as a parent.

This is one of the outside piece the teacher assigned to my son, a 9 year old yet to complete Piano Adventure 3A, not an advanced student by any stretch. And rhythm, from my parental observation, is one of his weakest link, he has problems to maintain a steady rhythm and tend to rush. And perhaps a bigger problem is, he doesn't realize the problem frown

The piece that triggered my previous post also contains off-beat notes. The boy struggled mightily. More to it, the teacher was away for one week, and we were sick the following week. The boy was on his own for 3 weeks. He managed to play through it, barely, when he saw the teacher. The struggle was quite painful for me to listen to, and I don't think it was fun for him. I have to say that he was quite happy at the end when he finally played through it, even though it was no where near polished.

This time, the teacher ask him not to advance on his own and teaching him measure by measure during the lesson time. Yesterday was the second lesson on this, they are halfway through the 3 page piece. With more guidance, it doesn't seem be to as painful as last time, but still very hard.

I will see how it goes, but I won't hold my breath for him to "polish" the piece.

My questions are: Do you assign pieces to a student that is way above his/her current playing level? If you do, what is your purpose? What is your expectation?

Perhaps my bigger question is : if you let a student move on before he can play a piece reasonably well, do you find it discourages the student or affects the student's attitude towards work ethic?

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#2122882 - 07/25/13 04:28 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
For a kid who's still in Piano Adventures 3A, this Wreck-It Ralph piece will be sheer torture. If he's going to learn the piece measure-by-measure, it will take him four years to finish this piece. And I'm not kidding.

I don't tend to assign a piece that's more than 3 or 4 levels above the student's current level. I do it occasionally to "stretch" the student, and it has helped in a few cases (e.g., I've given a Bach Fugue to a girl in Level 5, and it really helped her with contrapuntal playing). But I would never give a piece that 8+ levels above what the kid can do. That's just cruel.
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#2122885 - 07/25/13 04:33 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
My questions are: Do you assign pieces to a student that is way above his/her current playing level? If you do, what is your purpose? What is your expectation?

Perhaps my bigger question is : if you let a student move on before he can play a piece reasonably well, do you find it discourages the student or affects the student's attitude towards work ethic?

Do you recall Aesop's Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare? It would seem that the moral of this fable applies to piano students as well. So, to answer your first question, no. It's counterproductive and wastes the student's time and is frustrating for both student and teacher. And the answer to your second question is also a "no." I find that there are a lot of skills developed in the polishing process, skills which a student needs if they're are going to play advanced music with any degree of polish.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2122891 - 07/25/13 04:44 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11706
Loc: Canada
Reading this, there is a bit of a conflict. The child's teacher has assigned the piece, the parent is seeing a struggle, the teachers here are unanimous in their concern.... but the child's teacher has assigned the piece. So what is to be done?

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#2122913 - 07/25/13 05:26 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: AZNpiano]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
For a kid who's still in Piano Adventures 3A, this Wreck-It Ralph piece will be sheer torture. If he's going to learn the piece measure-by-measure, it will take him four years to finish this piece. And I'm not kidding.

Giving that piece to a 3A student to me is beyond insane. Talk about wasting time and killing the development of reading!
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#2122946 - 07/25/13 06:37 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: keystring]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Reading this, there is a bit of a conflict. The child's teacher has assigned the piece, the parent is seeing a struggle, the teachers here are unanimous in their concern.... but the child's teacher has assigned the piece. So what is to be done?

Sometimes I give an exceptional student a stretch piece just to see what they can accomplish. Did this last Fall with two students. One of them was seriously struggling after a valiant attempt. So, we just dropped it. In this case, the parent might mention to the teacher, nonconfrontationally, that the student is really struggling and would it be possible to set it aside for a while. The teacher might be worried about losing face and this would provide them an out.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2122971 - 07/25/13 07:22 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: keystring
Reading this, there is a bit of a conflict. The child's teacher has assigned the piece, the parent is seeing a struggle, the teachers here are unanimous in their concern.... but the child's teacher has assigned the piece. So what is to be done?

Sometimes I give an exceptional student a stretch piece just to see what they can accomplish. Did this last Fall with two students. One of them was seriously struggling after a valiant attempt. So, we just dropped it. In this case, the parent might mention to the teacher, nonconfrontationally, that the student is really struggling and would it be possible to set it aside for a while. The teacher might be worried about losing face and this would provide them an out.

John said what I wanted to say, but more elegantly.


f


But...seriously...that Wreck-It Ralph piece should not be assigned to any kid who is still in method books!
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#2124932 - 07/29/13 05:35 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: Gary D.]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 427
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
For a kid who's still in Piano Adventures 3A, this Wreck-It Ralph piece will be sheer torture. If he's going to learn the piece measure-by-measure, it will take him four years to finish this piece. And I'm not kidding.

Giving that piece to a 3A student to me is beyond insane. Talk about wasting time and killing the development of reading!


How does it kill the development of reading?

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#2125043 - 07/29/13 11:01 PM Re: What level is this piece? [Re: The Monkeys]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: The Monkeys
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
For a kid who's still in Piano Adventures 3A, this Wreck-It Ralph piece will be sheer torture. If he's going to learn the piece measure-by-measure, it will take him four years to finish this piece. And I'm not kidding.

Giving that piece to a 3A student to me is beyond insane. Talk about wasting time and killing the development of reading!


How does it kill the development of reading?


I have no idea. One piece isn't going to kill the development of anything. The only way it's a problem is if the student ignores everything else on their assignment or if the teacher spends an enormous amount of time on it in the lesson.

That being said, it's unlikely that a student in Level 3 of a method series will be able to play the piece well within a reasonable time frame, but as long as the rest of their training isn't ignored, I don't see any harm in giving it a try. Worst case scenario, their arms get sore from forcing the technique and you have to put it away and rest for a week. Best case scenario, they get energized about learning the rhythms and technique, actually pull it off and learn a lot in the process.
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