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#33107 - 05/13/04 03:45 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Marienne Uszler Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 10
Well, it seems as if improvisation and ear training are key items. Those of you interested in ear training will be happy to know that I address this subject quite directly in the upcoming book TIME FLIES. I talk about ear training as "ear games," and I offer lots of suggestions for ear and rhythm games for the beginner, the elementary student, the early-intermediate student, and the mid to upper-intermediate student. I also discuss how you can fit these into a lesson at any level.

I can't really summarize everything here, of course, but I think (I hope) these practical suggestions will be of some help. I also hope I can convince you how easy this is!

Although it's also good to look into using some of the excellent software out there now, that's no substitute for what you and your students can do together in their lessons.

What we are really talking about is getting students to LISTEN ... to everything! Ear training is not just about intervals, or chords, or harmonic progressions.

Besides asking questions and listening to answers, the matter of developing good listening habits is another of my own favorite topics!

Keep watching the FJH Pedagogy Newsletter. In addition to the article on improvisation by Arthur Houle (in the March 2004 issue), we'll be offering further articles on that subject in upcoming issues.

I'm so happy to have your feedback and learn from you what you'd really like to know more about! Thanks!

#33108 - 05/25/04 08:02 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
Marienne, please update me. What are the names of the books you have written? Thanks.

#33109 - 05/26/04 04:51 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
Originally posted by Marienne Uszler:
I'm a little bit stumped on what exactly is meant by teaching sequence suggestions, Jalapeņa. I guess I feel that since method books like Piano Adventures are set up so carefully not only in the Lesson Book, but also in the Technique & Artistry, Performance, and Theory books, that the sequence is pretty much "there." Or are you talking about "teaching sequence suggestions" as related especially to making lesson plans?

Yes, I was referring to teaching sequence as related to making lesson plans. Also, any creative teaching ideas not included in the PA books (i.e., teaching strategies, games, activities, etc.) that Randy & Nancy use with their students would be very helpful. I know they can't possibly print everything in the PA books. Can you imagine how thick the books would be? Thus the need for newsletters, & eventually for a teacher's manual. \:\)

#33110 - 05/26/04 05:23 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Marienne Uszler Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 10
Hi, Everyone!

I wrote a long response last week and was disappointed to find that somehow it did not make its way on to the website. So, I'll try again and see if I can remember most of what I said.

First of all, I'm very happy for your input and ideas about the newsletter and also about my books. Thanks much! It's valuable to hear from readers because that's the only way to know whether we're providing something of interest and value.

Glad to know that the teachhing suggestions for specific pieces are useful. We'll certainly continue those, but as you already see, we tailor them to the Level that Randy Faber is targeting in his Pedagogy of Piano Adventures article.

When I was talking to many different people at the past MTNA convention in Kansas City in March, quite a few teachers mentioned that they wish some of these examples would also be for more difficult music (perhaps like Bach Inventions) instead of just for earlier-level pieces. What do you all think of that?

I see that teaching ear training is a topic of interest, too. I'm afraid that most teachers think of this as something extra they have to do in the lesson. In truth, every part of the lesson should be ear training. If students don't hear what they're doing (and what you're doing and playing for them), how can they practice with any sense of planning or attending to details when they're at home during the week?

In the next of my little books Time Flies (it's in production right now), I discuss how to prioritize lesson time. And one of the big topics IS how to incorporate ear training in a natural and painless (but effective) way. I call them ear games and rhythm games, and I offer lists of things you can do for the beginning, elementary, early-intermediate, and mid/upper-intermediate student. None of this has to take a lot of time, and it DOES need to relate to what the student is doing and playing at the time, not something tacked on as added, separate ear "tests."

I noticed on the other websites that how to plan a lesson was also a topic of major interest. I'm not quite sure I understand what seems to be lacking. An excellent method like Piano Adventures does such a good job of sequencing and reinforcing materials that a great deal of preparation has already been done for the teacher. Is this a matter of how much time to spend on what at each lesson, or is it more a matter of how to plan for longer periods of time like a month, or a term, or a year? That's addressed, too, in Time Flies. I offer actual sample lesson plans for 30 and 45 minute lessons at different levels. I hope the book will get printed soon because I think it may offer some solutions to topics like this.

Many thanks, too, to those of you who offered suggestions for what you'd like to see as the next book topic. I'm still sorting through a number of different ideas and haven't yet made a decision. Please keep those suggestions coming because I'm listening!

#33111 - 05/26/04 05:31 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Marienne Uszler Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 10
Oops. I see that my earlier reply DID make it on to the website. Sorry about the repetition. I forgot to click on page 2.

For Carole: the names of the books that have been published so far are: That's a Good Question: How to Teach By Asking Questions and Play It Again, Sam: What, Why, and When to Repeat. They're both available from FJH. They're small, and they're cheap!

Happy Holiday Weekend, Everyone!

#33112 - 05/27/04 04:46 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
Marienne, thank you very much for responding to us! Time Flies sounds like a wonderful book and i can't wait to purchase it! As far as lesson ideas for teaching more difficult pieces, this is a great idea but not one of my priorites considering the majority of my students ar below level 4. I want to second jalapena's post. There are so many good ideas already given to us in the lesson materials and now the newsletter, but by attending a FJH workshop or reading this bulletin board I've picked up so many more teaching tips. Those are the ideas I'd like to see more of! Jalapena - was that what you meant too? Marienne, I think the reason we keep wanting more and more of this type of thing is because we teach Level Primer, One, 2A, etc. DOZENS of times and could use fresh ideas so we don't get a little lazy or burned out. Of course now I'm just speaking for myself! Randall and Nancy seem like very creative and fun teachersand they chose all these pieces for specific teachng ideas. I'd like to know how they approach every single piece in all 5 levels of Piano Adventures. This would take forever to do but I'd be happy to pay them for it!

#33113 - 05/27/04 04:53 AM Re: Survey of Methods
Dolce Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
I, personally, would LOVE to be able to purchase a Teaching Guide - NOT a book - but a VIDEO. I think we can learn so much more by actually seeing concepts being taught, than by reading about how to do it.

I have been to MTNA Conventions and seen the videos that the Fabers present, and ALWAYS learn so much from them - things I could never learn just from a book.

If the Fabers were to put out Teacher Workshop Videos for Piano Adventures, I'd be first in line to buy the whole set!!!

#33114 - 05/27/04 02:54 PM Re: Survey of Methods
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
Yes, the PA books are very well sequenced, & chock full of teaching ideas. However, I'm always open & ready for still more teaching ideas. \:\) Specifically, I could use more ways to teach the same concepts so that necessary review & reinforcement can be done in a fresh, interesting way to capture the student's attention.

As for teaching videos, make sure to sell DVDs. When my girls decided to pool their money to buy a Play Station 2, it came with a DVD player. Good thing, as it's becoming increasingly difficult to find movies in VHS format.

In a nutshell, any teaching ideas the Fabers can publish & sell will be welcomed with open arms!

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