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#33097 - 05/11/04 05:18 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
Thanks Marienne for you nice reply!

Marienne wrote:

"As you're already aware, the How To pages (pp. 8-11) are trying to fulfill those general requests. As far as those pages are concerned up to now, we include two pieces from whichever level Randy Faber is covering on the Pedagogy of Piano Adventures pages. But, I guess that's not enough. Let me give some careful thought as to how we might better meet your needs."

I appreciate this section of the newsletter so much. Two pieces is very nice, but it probably won't be enough for me until EVERY piece is done!!! If this was ever printed into a lesson planning guide, I'd be more than happy to pay for it.

Marienne, thanks for asking for our input! I use Alfred's Ornamentation guide frequently and I probably wouldn't switch to another at this time. Also, improvisation seems to be a popular topic recently. I've either heard or read about it a lot lately. I think it's a great topic and I've really gotten some great ideas I try to use but the majority of the time teachers are balancing everything else during the lesson and run out of time. So the few ideas I already have seem to be enough. Using specific Piano Adventure examples might be really fun though.
Topics I would love to learn more about - new ways to teach technical skills using the Achievement sheets (scales, arpeggios), teaching music history during a lesson that's already too short, practicing contest ideas, effective parent communication, recitals and performing ideas and more.
I enjoy these books so much I'd be happy with anything you choose! I can't wait for Time Flies to be available!!!
Thank you Marienne!

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#33098 - 05/11/04 07:19 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1572
Loc: Chicago
The thing I have the most difficulty incorporating into my lessons is ear-training. The exercises contained in the method books seem weak. Often, ear-training goes by the wayside because I don't have a clear lesson plan (not computer software). I'd like hear effective methods for covering this important aspect.

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#33099 - 05/11/04 07:33 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The best thing out there for ear-training is Kodaly. There are many good activities in some books by Lois Choksy and Jill Trinka. I've adapted some of their methods for improvisation with 5-finger patterns and pentatonic scales, too.

The big mistake piano teachers tend to make is to teach ear-training by testing it. They'll play an interval and a chord and then ask what it is. That doesn't teach it, that tests it.

The best activities are well sequenced playbacks and those that have a student make use of inner hearing.

Also heavily Kodaly/Gordon influenced is the MusikGarten series.

If you can find a MusikGarten or Kodaly training workshop near where you live this summer, by all means check it out!
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#33100 - 05/11/04 08:25 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Elbe Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 322
Loc: The Great Northwest
I have long thought that the eartraining exercises were fruitless. Jason, do you employ mnemonics as a teaching tool?

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#33101 - 05/11/04 09:06 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1572
Loc: Chicago
Jason, thanks - this has been mentioned before but I have to confess I've never followed up to the extent I should. Appreciate your comments.

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#33102 - 05/11/04 11:42 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Not much. While they may be useful to a certain degree, I'm unconvinced of their value. (They may in fact be valuable, I just haven't really seen it with my own two eyes.)

Also, most mnemonics I know of don't address the idea of context. The interval from C to Eb in an Ab chord has a little different quality than the same notes in an F7 or c minor chord.

 Quote:
Originally posted by elbe:
I have long thought that the eartraining exercises were fruitless. Jason, do you employ mnemonics as a teaching tool?
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#33103 - 05/11/04 11:49 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Also on the subject of ear-training, I should mention that I think it's impossible to do an adequate job of training the ear when you only see a student once per week.

I personally learned nothing about ear-training in piano lessons. The fact that I can play by ear, take dictation, and transcribe things off recordings comes from my experiences in choir and jazz band. Those ensembles gave me the opportunity to train my ear on a daily basis. After 6 years of choir and 3 years of jazz band in junior high and high school, I was able to sight-sing everything they put in front of me in college.

There is no substitute for this kind of daily exposure, and there is nothing you can do in a weekly lesson that comes anywhere close.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


www.pianoped.com

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#33104 - 05/11/04 01:00 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
There may be no substitute for daily exposure, but you can do plenty meeting children only once a week, whether in a group or private situation. I've had incredible results using many of Randall Hardesty's techniques in teaching inner hearing as well as solfege. In fact, I much prefer it to a straight Gordon approach. Ditto the Faber pilot program I'm currently using with 4 year olds, which has some learning theory components. Randy Hardesty is actually a disciple of Mary Somebody, can't think of her last name, grrrr - she's deceased now, but her work lives on. Maybe some of the California people know who I'm talking about. Incredible person who changed my life via Randy!

IMO Private piano teachers should never give up on ear training just because they cannot work with the child everyday. Anything you do will be of benefit. (My students love the Faber ear training and I enjoy the sequencing of it btw.) The best way to make time for ear training is to teach 45 minute lessons. It's really worth making the switch!

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#33105 - 05/12/04 05:32 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
I agree with Lisa that you CAN do a lot in weekly lessons. I also do not think most teachers test, rather than teach ear training. Maybe we should make a distinction between sight reading and ear training, for the average student. Having taught Kodaly in public school for many years, they sang beautifully and were developing good sight reading skills. Could they take melodic dictation? Not like my piano students because I work with them one on one.

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#33106 - 05/12/04 06:57 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1572
Loc: Chicago
Susan, are your piano students also voice students? What priority do you give to ear training during your weekly lessons? Is it covered at every lesson? Every student? Can you give us an example?

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