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#960143 - 05/12/08 10:20 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
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In my day Ontario was all high school band. I do hope they've enlightened since, though they will have probably thrown out all the babies too.
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#960144 - 05/12/08 10:42 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Morodiene Online   content
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I also teach Kindermusik, and can see this as a continuation of this curriculum, as Kreisler pointed how. However, Kmusik is for early childhood, whereas SM doesn't necessarily appear to be geared toward that. Is that correct?
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#960145 - 05/12/08 10:57 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
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Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
In my day Ontario was all high school band. I do hope they've enlightened since, though they will have probably thrown out all the babies too. [/b]
Careful, Ontario is the size of 5 or 6 European countries. The Toronto area, however, strikes me as insular, and could be called "Ontario 'R Us". Since the bid for centralization the whole province has come under the thumb of Toronto. I'm talking about public education as a whole. The danger is to local initiatives where they went well.

But we were discussing curriculum and your teacher's input in B.C. Among homeschoolers around the early 1990's when I was involved, B.C. was known to be open-minded and embraced various streams of educational thought. Instead of suppressing homeschooling or trying to intimidate or control parents, they created a system to work with the families. I had a general sense of a province that was less conservative, maybe more enlightened, so it doesn't surprise me that your teacher gave his input in that province.

My impression of music here is colored because I know it only through the arts magnet school which by its nature was not of the band mentality. I have often wished that it could clone itself, population attitude and all. It sometimes seems like a beacon in an otherwise murky place.

Apologies to all for the OT.

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#960146 - 05/12/08 02:52 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
dumdumdiddle Offline
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There are a few programs out there that are more 'experiential' in nature, ear before eye, etc... I teach one such program. Elementary students learn to improvise, compose, transpose, and 'comp'. It sounds like SM is similar in that respect. My students can also sit down and play without written music in front of them.

My concern (and I haven't reviewed the actual SM books), is that note reading is delayed until much later. And also the whole thing about teachers 'not needing to be advanced musicians or have any formal music study'. While I don't expect all piano teachers to be concert pianists, we do have to be proficient and knowledgeable if we are to teach.
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#960147 - 05/12/08 03:29 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Loc: Ringwood, NJ
 Quote:
Originally posted by dumdumdiddle:
There are a few programs out there that are more 'experiential' in nature, ear before eye, etc... I teach one such program. Elementary students learn to improvise, compose, transpose, and 'comp'. [/b]
Dumdumdiddle - can you tell us what specific programs you are referring to and which one you use?

I am very attracted to the SM approach, as I was trained in the typical classical route - reading notes from day one, 20 years of lessons and unable to play Happy Birthday without music (I've since addressed these deficiencies). I looked into the SM program as a teacher, but the cost is way too high for me, as I plan on teaching only a few students. When I return to teaching I am planning on a dual, simultaneous program of non-reading and reading approaches - think they are both invaluable. I am even considering delaying the reading as in SM to allow the student to build a direct relationship with the instrument and making music first.

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#960148 - 05/12/08 04:26 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
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Jerry, as a possible tool if not program, did you see my post on Guhl's "Keyboard Proficiency" that someone gave me and I began using? It was developed by a professor in a university music program for music majors and takes a different angle. I am sight reading while transposing keys and into minors, and modes at this point (chapter 3), working with rhythms which are challenging to me, and I given melodies to which I am to add a base line with suggested rhythms on top of the rhythms of the melody which to me are challenging. Music theory which must be applied is taught throughout. This book is meant to be taught through a teacher. Some of the teachers here seem to be impressed by the author's credentials so I am daring to offer my student experience.

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#960149 - 05/12/08 04:45 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Loc: Ringwood, NJ
Thanks for the suggestion, Keystring. I have the Guhl book, but have not looked at it thoroughly - I'll give it a closer look. From what I recall, though, it is quite different from the SM approach, which is more about being taught to play tunes in many styles by rote, with (hopefully) concepts of music composition and improvisation being acquired along the way and leading to the ability of students to become not just RECREATIVE, but CREATIVE pianists - being able to play their own arrangements from lead sheets, improvise, compose, play by ear, etc. etc. (Don't actually know how far SM goes in all these areas - I only have their first 3 DVDs).

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#960150 - 05/12/08 05:16 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
dumdumdiddle Offline
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Loc: California
The following piano programs are very non-traditional and taught in a group setting w/digital pianos. All teachers must be trained. They offer a curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers and then group piano from about age 4.5 on up to adult. I teach HR.

www.harmonyroadmusic.com

www.yamaha.com

www.myc.com
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#960151 - 05/12/08 06:15 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
Originally posted by JerryS88:
Thanks for the suggestion, Keystring. I have the Guhl book, but have not looked at it thoroughly - I'll give it a closer look......with (hopefully) concepts of music composition and improvisation being acquired along the way and leading to the ability of students to become not just RECREATIVE, but CREATIVE pianists - being able to play their own arrangements from lead sheets, improvise, compose, play by ear, etc. etc. ...[/b]
It probably is different, and does not start by rote. I'm only into the start of chapter 3. However, my impression is that the best way to understand how the book works and what it teaches is by actually going through it. She talks about the concepts but when you do the exercises they start to form and things jump out at you in surprising places.

I don't think it's for the casual student because you have to work at it, and it moves fast. But you are transposing, improvising from the beginning. She gives the opportunity and the tools.

Your first improvisation actually happens on p. 13. You've been given some rhythms to tap and suddenly you're expected to turn that into LH and RH music. Jericho (p. 22) introduces I V chords and asks for improvisation as well as transposiiotn. Popping over to p. 134 you have a row of chords and you're asked to improvise a melody in various time signatures. It does address some of that.

Sorry, I don't want to hijack the SM thread.

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#960152 - 05/13/08 11:08 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
CindyB - Musicmaker Offline
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Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 132
Loc: south central IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by dumdumdiddle:
My concern (and I haven't reviewed the actual SM books), is that note reading is delayed until much later. And also the whole thing about teachers 'not needing to be advanced musicians or have any formal music study'. While I don't expect all piano teachers to be concert pianists, we do have to be proficient and knowledgeable if we are to teach. [/b]
As far as the delay in reading, it's no different than how the traditional approach delays, if it ever gets around to, playing the piano without the reading. Which is the cart and which is the horse? I believe that playing the piano is more valuable than reading music, and if they can both be taught, IN THE RIGHT ORDER, then that's the way I'll teach.

As far as proficiency and knowledge in teachers - proficient and knowledgeable in what? If a teacher has at his disposal a well laid out curriculum that is proven effective in covering everything that's necessary for a well rounded music education, and if the one-on-one training with the founder of the method provides him with more understanding in the actual science of teaching than 4.5 yrs of college did - then I don't see a problem.

I think what really bugs teachers in the traditional world, and what was a huge shock to my world view as far as teaching goes, at least at first, is that anyone who wants to teach piano is now enabled to with a program that basically costs less than a semester of college and is accessible to EVERYONE - not just the ones "with talent" or "natural ability" or 4 plus yrs of college. It's kind of like saying that in order to preach, a person must have a degree from seminary. It's a good thing John the Baptist didn't know that.

Cindy, feeling somewhat combative but not meaning to be offensive.
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#960153 - 05/13/08 01:27 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Registered: 04/15/06
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Loc: Ringwood, NJ
 Quote:
Originally posted by CindyB - Musicmaker:
[QUOTE]As far as the delay in reading, it's no different than how the traditional approach delays, if it ever gets around to, playing the piano without the reading.[/b]
Good point, Cindy (and so true). I think the key is balance - they are BOTH important. I am very attracted to the idea of teaching rote first, reading later, but I also think reading does need to be introduced fairly early - it's very complex. I have read that good book readers are ones who start early. I have mixed feelings about proficiency of teacher - I'd rather have a teacher who can teach well than one who can play the Rach. 3rd but has no clue how to teach. However, just as children learn language by imitating, I do think it's important for a teacher to be able to demonstrate what they wish to teach.

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#960154 - 05/13/08 02:26 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
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I've just started using a tutor book (Fanny Waterman) because after years of putting kids through grade 1 with minimal reading I've come to feel it's a bit of a wrench when we do start. I've always been concerned that musical playing comes first. I still am, but reading and roting can coexist.
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#960155 - 05/13/08 03:00 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
.... However, just as children learn language by imitating ....
I'd like to make a point about language learning. Suzuki developed a teaching approach using imitation and called it the "mother tongue" approach. It's probably a good approach, and I understand others have followed suit. I've read Mr. Suzuki's description of how he thinks language is acquired. That does not seem to be the whole picture of how language is acquired, although it is how Suzuki taught himself to play the violin, and how many adults teach themselves a second language.

It is true that adults spend a lot of effort saying things in front of children and the children do imitate. But that's far from the whole picture.

A child has a sequence in which he acquires language and it seems to be internally driven. He has a strong inner drive to learn and counters failure after failure through whatever pushes him forward. External stimulus helps but he tries to acquire language regardless. If he gets no response, however, he may give up eventually. He is also a social creature.

Some of the child's endeavours are abstract, and I have a feeling that if we copied some of his approaches we could go far. He explores what his body can do and becomes intimately familiar and takes great pleasure. Should we not do the same? He blows bubbles, sets his lips vibrating, squeals and rumbles. He discovers a phenomenon and tries it in all variations. He is getting physical and audial feedback. These are the tools of language. He explores them freely and I would hate someone to try to "organize" this for him. What if we explored musical instruments as freely? What if wild banging is actually a sign of a child having been cut off from innate and sensitive exploration so that he must constantly be directed?

Next a child begins to chant single syllables: dadada mama pffffft! You will hear rhythms and cadences emerge. It is musical. Eventually he figures out how many "ma's" there are in Mama. It's sort of like the first ED#ED#ED#ED#.. of Fuer Elise and knowing where to stop.

If you listen to babies saying "mama" there is a difference to the melody and rhythm depending on the child's nationality. The child is picking up the inflection of his language. You can practically use that rhythm and melody (cadence?) as a template to guide you in making your speaking of that language sound more native. In fact, with language # 6 I have done so.

When the child does imitate others he draws on this wealth of personal physical internal experience. He also does not imitate purely what is presented to him. You may say "I have a cup of milk" but he says "me mil'" He is conceptualizating and forming, creating. The structure of his language grows in sophistication and he brings in new elements. Yet people don't talk to him that way. He is selecting actively.

So there is this approach based on imitation, role models, and extensive listening experiences, which are all good. These are elements of primary language learning. But if it really seeks to mimic how a child learns a language, what about the other elements I mentioned? Are they also brought in (in any system)? Is there a place? Are they missing?

Just some thoughts.

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#960156 - 05/13/08 04:51 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
CindyB - Musicmaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 132
Loc: south central IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by JerryS88:
 Quote:
Originally posted by CindyB - Musicmaker:
[QUOTE]As far as the delay in reading, it's no different than how the traditional approach delays, if it ever gets around to, playing the piano without the reading.[/b]
Good point, Cindy (and so true). I think the key is balance - they are BOTH important. I am very attracted to the idea of teaching rote first, reading later, but I also think reading does need to be introduced fairly early - it's very complex. [/b]
Let me add that Simply Music is by no means rote learning. The page has been reduced to a bare minimum of reminders in all different visual forms, and reading "fake music" and corresponding chord symbols begins in level 1. They are reading, but at a very elemental level to begin.
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#960157 - 05/13/08 05:50 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 638
Loc: Ringwood, NJ
 Quote:
Originally posted by CindyB - Musicmaker:
[QUOTE]Let me add that Simply Music is by no means rote learning. The page has been reduced to a bare minimum of reminders in all different visual forms, and reading "fake music" and corresponding chord symbols begins in level 1. They are reading, but at a very elemental level to begin. [/b]
Thanks for that correction, Cindy - that's great.

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#960158 - 05/13/08 06:43 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
jukeboxjim Offline
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Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Waynesboro, Va.
I wish I lived in S. Illinois....I know a good teacher there!

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#960159 - 05/14/08 04:56 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Chris H. Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: UK.
So Morodiene, how is the research going?

SM is a system which I also know nothing about. I have scanned through the very slick website and am none the wiser. In fact I am confused. Almost every page you click on tells you the same things:

- It is revolutionary.
- It is way better than any traditional method.
- It will have you playing exciting repertoire within weeks.
- It is easy.

etc.

There are a lot of impressive claims and promises. What I can't seem to find is how this is achieved other than by being different and superior to other methods.

Cindy, you are saying that with SM you do not introduce note reading and yet it is also not playing by rote or by ear. So could you tell us what exactly does happen in those first few weeks?

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it but why the secrecy? That curriculum overview doesn't really tell you anything except what elements you will study (impro, composing, arranging etc.). With traditional methods at least you can browse the materials and see what they are about. What I would like to see is some examples from the books or some indication of what the lessons involve. What is the first thing you would do with a SM student in order to get them to play with freedom and ease?
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#960160 - 05/14/08 07:12 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Posts: 638
Loc: Ringwood, NJ
Chris - I hope Cindy will answer your questions, but in the meantime I will offer my observation based on having viewed the first three DVDs which I purchased last year out of my own interest in the program. I referred to the method as rote learning, and Cindy corrected me by pointing out that they learn to read what I would call clever "cue" sheets. To be more accurate, what I saw was that pieces WERE being taught by rote - the teacher showing the student which notes to play by breaking the pieces down into small sections and lots of show and tell along with physically touching the students fingers in the order they are to play. ALONG with this process, the students are given the "cue sheet," which acts as a reminder of what they were taught to play by rote, and thus it becomes a combination of rote and "cue sheet" reading. Mind you, this refers only to the first set of lessons, and Cindy has pointed out that they do move on to reading chord symbols (and I know they do learn to read notes as time goes on).

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#960161 - 05/14/08 07:28 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Chris H. Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: UK.
Thanks for that Jerry. Is it possible to post one of these 'cue sheets' or a link to it so we can have a look? I'm not sure if this would be breaking some kind of copyright laws or rules would it?

So by the sounds of it they would be playing the music using a combination of physical and aural memory with the aid of a visual prompt in the form of the cue sheet? Isn't this what you do when you read a piece of standard sheet music after the initial sight read?
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#960162 - 05/14/08 07:38 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
JerryS88 Offline
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Loc: Ringwood, NJ
Chris - I don't remember getting printed cue sheets with the DVDs - they are shown "on screen" as you watch the DVD (students actually studying with a SM teacher do get printouts, I'm sure). I'll see if I get a chance to take a look and then perhaps I can describe one - I would not copy it here - the program is very proprietary, which they have every right to be.

There is a big difference between learning to read sheet music and being shown how to play a piece be rote and given a cue sheet along with it. If you were given the cue sheet alone there is no way you would know what to play - its purpose is not to show specifically what to play, but rather to remind the student what to play that they had been taught by rote and in what order. It could be as simple as AABA, but I do believe there is some more information - perhaps cues about starting notes, arrows indicating direction - but my memory is a little vague about the specifics. Of course Cindy can provide much more accurate information.

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#960163 - 05/14/08 08:35 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
CindyB - Musicmaker Offline
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Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 132
Loc: south central IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Cindy, you are saying that with SM you do not introduce note reading and yet it is also not playing by rote or by ear. So could you tell us what exactly does happen in those first few weeks?[/b]
Basically, in the first 2 weeks, I spend the time training the parents and students in how to achieve the success promised, making sure they are able to play basic elements of music like a 3 note chord, and teaching them the first song in the curriculum, "Dreams Come True", which uses both hands and is quite advanced when compared to all other "first songs" in other methods.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it but why the secrecy? That curriculum overview doesn't really tell you anything except what elements you will study (impro, composing, arranging etc.). With traditional methods at least you can browse the materials and see what they are about. What I would like to see is some examples from the books or some indication of what the lessons involve. What is the first thing you would do with a SM student in order to get them to play with freedom and ease? [/b]
Chris, I'm glad to answer your questions. That very "slickness" put me off when I was first investigating Simply Music too. The purpose of giving you so little specific information is to protect the curriculum, essentially, from being disseminated in any part by untrained traditional teachers.

I don't know if you are familiar with how the majority of piano teachers operate - but those I know and in my own experience, they are always looking at new materials and taking what they like and mixing it in with what they're already using. So, for example, the Suzuki method offers all of it's materials to the public in the music stores and anyone, trained or not, can get these materials and lay claim to be using the Suzuki method. The result is always the same... the new information/materials are diluted and mixed into the big pot of "what I already know and teach" and doesn't resemble the original method at all.

At the Simply Music website you can browse sound files of songs from levels 1-6 and hear for yourself what kind of music they'll be playing from the very first lessons, and in the curriculum overview you can see that they'll achieve these results within 2-3 years. You don't need to see the music - the telling is in the sound. You can also read testimonies from students and teachers, and peruse teacher webpages - every teacher has a webpage in the SM website. Beyond that, you can acquire the learn at home materials and get a taste of how Neil approaches the learning process at the piano.

If you are a teacher who thinks that this method is a better fit for you, the only way to learn the techniques and get the materials is by signing up and paying the tuition for the training. If you are a student who thinks this method will work for you, then you must find a teacher. For me - it boiled down to what amounts to a leap of faith - are all the testimonies and claims a bunch of lies, or is this for real? Having taken the plunge, all I can tell you is that it's for real, and it makes piano music making and/or teaching accessible to anyone who wants it.
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#960164 - 05/14/08 09:05 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: UK.
Thanks for the info Cindy. I can't seem to find those sound files on the website. Which link takes you to them?
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#960165 - 05/14/08 09:27 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: UK.


I just found the page about tuition fees. Not only are you looking at thousands of $ for training but also annual registration fees and even a charge per student per week.

Cindy, that is one heck of a leap of faith.
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#960166 - 05/14/08 09:33 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
.. You don't need to see the music - the telling is in the sound
Do these examples demonstrate the playing of actual students? As a potential student I would like to hear what is inside the playing. Often you can hear what is taught. Hearing the demonstration of a teacher would also be helpful because you would hear what you are aiming toward. A midi file would not be helpful in this context.

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#960167 - 05/14/08 05:23 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Morodiene Online   content
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Chris H.
To answer your question, Cindy and other SM teachers have been very helpful in answering my questions. However, since I will be out of the country for the month of June, I won't be doing any further research into it at this point. There seems to be a lot that I agree with. And as far as tuition, the costs are similar to what you'd pay going to college for a semester, or for other training programs (a bit pricier than Kindermusik). So I guess I understand where they're coming from.
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#960168 - 05/14/08 09:40 PM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
Late Beginner Offline
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Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 588
Loc: West Australia
SIMPLY MUSIC & TRADITIONAL METHODS

Hi all,

I am a student of both Simply Music and other styles. I began earlier this year. About a month or so ago I completed the first level of Simply Music. At the same time I also worked through the start of Alfred’s Adult Beginner All in One course. I also like to experiment a lot in my own way, and try to develop some ‘ear’ skills.

IS IT ROTE LEARNING?

In my opinion, when you start you have no real alternative to building some neural pathways by careful repetition. A brand new beginner is likely to have some very basic understanding of what rhythm and melody is, but no skills at physically translating them onto a keyboard. The difference between methods seems to be largely a choice between acquiring the missing skills in a different order and using a variety of techniques.

With Simply Music I was shown some simple short phrases. Some might call them patterns, SM called them sentences. I learned what to do with both hands and how to combine them. The cue sheet has no information about what the content of those sentences are, so would be meaningless if you hadn’t had the lesson. The cue sheet is just a few numbers and arrows that represent which sentence to play and which direction the hands go in.

Meanwhile, over at Alfreds I was immediately introduced to the staff and reading notation. It looked fiercely off-putting and strange and initially it seemed insanely hard to pick which line or space represented which note name and then find the right key to press. It took a LOT of purely of mechanical repeats before I could look at the dots and think “that’s C and that’s an F” and combine that with the knowledge of which keys to press.

However, the curve was fairly gentle and I was slowly able to play the simple one hand melodies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both systems introduced a section of Ode to Joy fairly quickly. Alfred’s used it as the very first piece, but with one hand. SM used it as piece #6 but used both hands (SM uses both hands right from piece #1). Alfred’s began with the right hand and quickly introduced the left, but kept you on one or the other until about piece #10.

By piece #3 in SM the cue sheet was using traditional symbols – I, IV, I, I. Again, the cue sheet did not say precisely what these meant, except to tell you that number I stood for C, IV meant F and V stood for G. What C, F and G represented was covered in the lesson. The material included video versions of the lesson sections, and a CD of the complete pieces. If I forgot exactly what the teacher had said (and what student doesn’t?? \:D ) I could refer to the DVD/CD.

CONCLUSION:

Most students of any kind of music will not end up as concert soloists. A large percentage will lose motivation and drop out fairly early. Another chunk will lumber doggedly up and down the runway for a couple of years or more but never take flight in the way they’d hoped. They mostly drift off too. The big challenge for any system is to get the student motivated and enthusiastic and to KEEP them that way.

As far as I can see, Simply Music seeks to get the student playing things that feel and sound like “real music” as soon as possible, and to make the journey as painless and rewarding as possible. Naturally enough, the work still has to be put in, and they claim that everything is eventually covered.

If I had to choose between using the system that SM begins with and standard notation, then I’d choose standard notation. But I’m not being asked to make that choice, just delay the reading for a while (However, standard notation of all the pieces was provided in an additional book, right from the start, if I wished to see what it would look like when notated). Similarly, if I had to make a choice between developing only ‘play by ear’ skills or just the ability to play from a score, then I would probably choose to play by ear. Fortunately, there’s no barrier to my learning them all – so that’s what I do. I love being able to read music even though I know that I’ll never be a fast sight reader. But for me the Main Game is not the way the information is encoded, it’s being able to make the noises. I’ll take every single tool that I can find to use, provided it keeps me motivated, enthusiastic and moving forwards without actually undermining or interfering with any other strands.

Cheers,

Chris
_________________________
Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...

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#960169 - 05/15/08 12:06 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
There hasn't been new wine in quite a while, but there are always new combinations.

Simply Music, like MFYC, Edwin Gordon's approach, Kindermusik, and other "alternatives" to traditional instruction all borrow heavily from practices that have been fairly common in general music curricula for awhile. They owe a strong debt to Orff/Schulwerk, Kodaly, Suzuki, and Dalcroze.

They can be very effective, though. But as always, their effectiveness ultimately lies in the hands of the teacher. [/b]
I agree.

And if I may put in my 2 cents, and okay... I'm going to be critical...

What I saw of SM when it was first swirling around this forum a year (or maybe more) ago, there was a link to a video, I think it was on their website. What caught my eye and ears, was that the students' technique was not very good, and the music consequently sounded as such.

So maybe if they taught more about tone, musical phrasing with an emphasis on technique, it may not be such a bad thing. But just learning notes to "songs" is not learning piano, imo.

There is no instruction, I do not think, for the teacher in training on how to teach technique for the young student, which I feel is the basics for playing the piano well.

Therefore, I'm personally not impressed with the program.
_________________________
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#960170 - 05/15/08 09:26 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
CindyB - Musicmaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 132
Loc: south central IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Thanks for that Jerry. Is it possible to post one of these 'cue sheets' or a link to it so we can have a look? I'm not sure if this would be breaking some kind of copyright laws or rules would it? [/b]
To post an actual copy of a sheet from the student book would be a break of copyright, but to describe it like Jerry did is not. I'll give you another. If the melody you are learning has 5 notes moving upwards by steps, you could illustrate that with a single arrow pointing straight up, or slanted to the right, or going from right to left - I've just described one series of notes 3 different ways. That's what the cues are like in SM.
_________________________
Everyone is musical. No exceptions. www.PlayPianoNow.info

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#960171 - 05/15/08 09:30 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by CindyB - Musicmaker:
If the melody you are learning has 5 notes moving upwards by steps, you could illustrate that with a single arrow pointing straight up, [/b]
I believe those are called 'neumes' and are neither original, new nor costly.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#960172 - 05/15/08 09:31 AM Re: Anyone heard of/use the Simply Music curricula?
CindyB - Musicmaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 132
Loc: south central IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Thanks for the info Cindy. I can't seem to find those sound files on the website. Which link takes you to them? [/b]
go to the http://www.simplymusic.com/LearnWithaTeacher
and on the left you can click a link that says hear what students play - that'll take you to access to sound files from 6 levels
_________________________
Everyone is musical. No exceptions. www.PlayPianoNow.info

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