My students is so confused...

Posted by: ezpiano.org

My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 03:11 PM

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?
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 03:43 PM

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?

How are you presenting them presently, and in what manner are they confused?
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 03:47 PM

I've never encountered this problem before. I've seen kids who confuse finger numbers with beat numbers (counts).

Hold off on explaining note values and beats until the kid has had learned division and fractions in school.

You don't have to explain all the concepts if the student struggles. One can still play the piano fine without knowing what a half cadence is. In the grand scheme of things, it's really no big deal if the student doesn't know what a half step is.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: keystring
How are you presenting them presently, and in what manner are they confused?

This might be a problem with understanding multiple denotations. Some kids automatically shut down when they get overwhelmed with too much information.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 04:38 PM

For once I'm grateful for UK-speak.

What's a half-cadence then?

Students will confuse anything, given half a chance.
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 04:42 PM

Wikipedia says a half-cadence is "any cadence ending on V" and says an alternate name is semicadence.

What do you call it in the UK?

I had to look it up because I have never yet succeeded in memorizing all the cadence names (apart from plagal), partly because every time I try, I soon find another source which uses a different set of cadence names. I think what I need to learn is the function and significance of different cadence patterns, regardless of names, and then it would be easier for me to hang names on them.
Posted by: drumour

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 06:09 PM

It's generally referred to as Imperfect Cadence or Half-close.
Posted by: currawong

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 06:51 PM

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
half step
half note
half cadences
eight note is half a beat

Where I am it's:

Semitone
Minim
Imperfect cadence
quaver is half a (crotchet) beat

No worries. (well, not the same worries, anyway) smile
Posted by: rocket88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/18/13 07:53 PM

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?


If a student is unsure about what is a half-step, or that a 1/8 note is half a beat (but not in 6/8 or 12/8 time!), then the concept of a half cadence is too advanced for them. For them it is rocket science.

Stick with the fundamentals until they are well established.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 03:44 AM

As has been said, if a cadence ends on V, it is imperfect.

I'm with rocket, surely by the time they are on to cadences, they have internalised the rest?
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 03:44 AM

As has been said, if a cadence ends on V, it is imperfect.

I'm with rocket, surely by the time they are on to cadences, they have internalised the rest?
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 10:48 AM

Nobody has talked about this, which concerns me:

Quote:
eight note is half a beat?


An eighth note is NOT a half beat. No note in and of itself is any proportion of a beat. That depends on the time signature.

What happens is that students get music in the beginning that always has 4 in the signature: 4/4, 3/4, 2/4 They learn that the "quarter note gets the beat", and they associate the quarter note with the beat. They think the quarter IS the beat. Then when they get 3/8 etc. it is mass confusion.

An eighth note is half of a quarter note. Two eighth notes fit in the time of one quarter note. If the quarter note gets the beat, then two eighth notes will fit into that beat, but the relationship is with the quarter note, not with the beat.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 11:57 AM

Rocket addressed it above.
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Rocket addressed it above.

I see what you are referring to - this:
Quote:
If a student is unsure about what is a half-step, or that a 1/8 note is half a beat (but not in 6/8 or 12/8 time!),


But this involves compound vs. simple time. Also, the same kind of terminology is being used, that equates notes with beats. When teaching rudiments I make very sure that the student makes a difference between relationship between note values, and beats. They tend to fuse, and they shouldn't.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 12:43 PM


I didn't get into a thorough dissertation about the fact that a note is not a beat because that is not the topic of this thread. (Good catch, though, Keystring!)

The topic as I see it is that a teacher appears to be teaching a somewhat advanced concept (half cadences) to students who are so ungrounded in the basics that they are confused about elementary things such as a half-step and a half-note, and perhaps also with whatever other musical terms happen to begin with the word "half".
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: keystring
But this involves compound vs. simple time. Also, the same kind of terminology is being used, that equates notes with beats. When teaching rudiments I make very sure that the student makes a difference between relationship between note values, and beats. They tend to fuse, and they shouldn't.

If the student confuses half notes with half beats, then this simple vs. compound meter stuff will just fly over her head. I steer clear of explaining simple vs. compound meter until the student is in the 4th or 5th grade (or later).
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 12:57 PM

Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
As has been said, if a cadence ends on V, it is imperfect.

Well, "perfect" vs. "imperfect" cadence means a totally different thing here in the states. You want to look that up, too?
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 02:29 PM

Wikipedia gives definitions using the set of terminology where perfect and imperfect refer to types of voicing of a V-I cadence. Unfortunately, the article doesn't seem to talk about the different sets of terminologies where the same words mean completely different things. Here is a page using the set of terms where perfect vs. imperfect refers to V-I vs. I-V, but it doesn't say if there are any terms in that set to describe the voicings of V-I cadences, in particular to distinguish the bass & soprano = tonic from the other voicings.
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: keystring
But this involves compound vs. simple time. Also, the same kind of terminology is being used, that equates notes with beats. When teaching rudiments I make very sure that the student makes a difference between relationship between note values, and beats. They tend to fuse, and they shouldn't.

If the student confuses half notes with half beats, then this simple vs. compound meter stuff will just fly over her head. I steer clear of explaining simple vs. compound meter until the student is in the 4th or 5th grade (or later).


My point was that compound vs. simple meter was being stressed, but that is not the problem. The problem is in stating that a NOTE VALUE EQUALS A FRACTION OF A BEAT. It doesn't. (emphasizing - not shouting smile )
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 02:48 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
As has been said, if a cadence ends on V, it is imperfect.

Well, "perfect" vs. "imperfect" cadence means a totally different thing here in the states. You want to look that up, too?


Good to know, thanks for alerting me. According to this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadence_(music)
and imperfect cadence can be a kind of 'authentic' cadence (which I would have called a 'perfect' cadence).

Confusion abounds!
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 02:48 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
As has been said, if a cadence ends on V, it is imperfect.

Well, "perfect" vs. "imperfect" cadence means a totally different thing here in the states. You want to look that up, too?

Could you clarify, AZN? What does it mean in the US?

In RCM we learn that a "perfect" cadence is the type that ends a phrase, i.e. it ends on I. V-I, V7-I. Then there are subgroups such as the "authentic" where the melody note is 1.

"imperfect" ends on V, such as I-V and IV-V - it gives a pause or idea that there is a second half (other phrase) and similar.

"plagal" is the "amen chord"

"deceptive cadence" fools you ... you think you're going to I, but instead it goes to vi ... V-vi.

These are basic concepts taught over here. How do they compare to the US? I have never heard of a "half cadence" before this week.
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 03:13 PM

The Wikipedia page I linked to earlier gives the terminology that I believe AZNPiano is referring to, where perfect/imperfect refer to voicings of a V-I cadence, and V-I cadences vs. I-V cadences are called authentic vs. half cadences.

This is helping me, because I had never quite realized that the different terminology might be English (Commonwealth) vs. American. I have a variety of harmony books; now I'm curious as to which terms they use, and if it correlates with where they were published.
Posted by: PianoStudent88

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 03:15 PM

Am I imagining this, or are V-I cadences sometimes called closed cadences, and I-V cadences are sometimes called open cadences?

And if I-V cadences are called half-cadences in one system, why aren't V-I cadences called full cadences in that system?

[ETA: yikes! I just spotted what keystring said about authentic cadences in the system she learned. So in both systems a V-I cadence with the melody ending on the tonic is a perfect authentic cadence, but in one system perfect means V-I and authentic means melody ends on tonic. And in the other system it's exactly the reverse: perfect means the melody ends on tonic and authentic means V-I. Horrible, horrible, horrible. No wonder I've always been confused when I tried to learn the terminology.]
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 05:38 PM

LOL

This thread has truly evolved. Way OT.

I did not know what a perfect authentic cadence is, either, until some kid put that answer on his CM theory test, and the entire grading room was clueless, so we had to consult the expert. It turns out that perfect/imperfect (at least in the American system) is used to describe the voicing of the final chord, to have the tonic on the top and bottom. So the kid's answer was actually correct. The concept of perfect/imperfect is not part of the CM curriculum.

Now who's confused???
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 05:53 PM

Ah, I found the half cadence in my (literally) dusty Sarnecki.

Perfect - V-I
denotes resolution. (So if in the start of your music you have a bunch of V-I-V-I-V-I to establish the tonic, that's note a cadence).
- If the I chord has the melody end on the tonic, then it is "closed" and it's the strongest kind of cadence. Well obviously, if a song ends on the tonic that's pretty final.
- If the melody ends on the 3 or 5 of the I chord, then it is "semi-closed". In other words, you expect the music to continue.

Perfect is also called "authentic" in this system.

Imperfect of Half Cadence (here's where they use this) I-V
- It's designated as "open" because you expect the music to continue even if a section might be finished.

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
So the kid's answer was actually correct.

So kid got his mark for the answer, I take it?

I am guessing that Sarnecki is being "bilingual" or "bi-geographic" by using Perfect as well as Authentic, and then Imperfect as well as Half. Are Authentic and Half used in the US?

(This might be a question for Kreisler).
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/19/13 06:41 PM

I learned about perfect and imperfect authentic cadences back in my college days. Not that I really have much use for that information, 30 years later . . .
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/20/13 06:11 AM

We have not yet heard back from ezpiano, to find out exactly where the problem lies, or how these things are being presented.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/20/13 08:22 AM

Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Rocket addressed it above.

I see what you are referring to - this:
Quote:
If a student is unsure about what is a half-step, or that a 1/8 note is half a beat (but not in 6/8 or 12/8 time!),


But this involves compound vs. simple time. Also, the same kind of terminology is being used, that equates notes with beats. When teaching rudiments I make very sure that the student makes a difference between relationship between note values, and beats. They tend to fuse, and they shouldn't.


When you are first introducing note values to a student, you are going to tell them that a quarter note gets one beat, half note gets, two, etc. Same with 1/8 notes. Issues of compound meter opens up a whole new can of worms that the student may not be ready to process yet, and so I see no problem avoiding the topic altogether by speaking only in the time signatures that the student is currently working with when learning a new note.

With that said, why are they learning about cadences at this point? I can see learning how to play I IV V I progressions, but I wouldn't introduce the word "cadence" at all for a while.

Same goes for half steps, although these can be introduced as long as they are taught alongside whole steps. Then there is little room for confusion with half notes. It's half step vs. whole step. And neither should be taught prior to a good understanding of intervals, IMO.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 01:52 AM

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.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 03:00 AM

Originally Posted By: keystring
I am guessing that Sarnecki is being "bilingual" or "bi-geographic" by using Perfect as well as Authentic, and then Imperfect as well as Half. Are Authentic and Half used in the US?


No it's not repeating the same thing.

In the U.S. the term Authentic is describing the harmonic movement of V-I. Perfect is describing how the chord is voiced, specifically that the tonic is in the upper or soprano voice in the I chord. So a Perfect Authentic Cadence means the harmonic progression is V - I, and the ending I chord has scale degree one in the soprano voice. (It seems you have the terminology of calling this a "closed cadence"?) An Imperfect Authentic Cadence would still have the harmonic movement of V - I, but would have either scale degree 3 or 5 in the soprano voice.

So the student on his CM test knew exactly what he was talking about.

The Aldwell/Schachter Harmony and Voice Leading also identifies "semicadence" as another name for "half cadence", but I've heard "half cadence" used more often by U.S. educated musicians.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 03:08 AM

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.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 09:14 AM

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.
Posted by: keystring

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 09:27 AM

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.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 10:22 AM

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.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 10:31 AM

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.
Posted by: ROMagister

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 11:39 AM

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)
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 11:56 AM

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?
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 01:05 PM

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.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 01:08 PM

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.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 01:09 PM

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.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 01:11 PM

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.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 04:30 PM

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.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/21/13 05:23 PM

Why bother at all with the terminology at this point? Use only what terms are necessary.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/22/13 08:47 AM

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.
Posted by: malkin

Re: My students is so confused... - 01/22/13 09:36 AM

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.