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#14298 - 07/12/01 12:50 PM Re: from work to play
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
Why Jason, I'm sure you're dodging cyber-tomatoes about now. Of course we teach our students voicing..........
Remember my Vivace Vexation and how vociferous I get when my students don't voice properly? \:D
Seriously, don't you go anywhere until you share those 5 ideas with us!
You know, of course, why some teachers don't teacher their students to voice - they don't know how themselves.
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#14299 - 07/12/01 03:35 PM Re: from work to play
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
If missing notes & rhythm are sins, then not knowing how to voice is the unpardonable sin! You bet your piano I teach voicing! \:\) But, Jason, you must remember that just because certain students don't have good voicing skills doesn't necessarily mean their teachers never taught them. They could simply have been difficult students to teach. :rolleyes: Something to consider... ;\) And yes, Jason, please share those 5 ideas with us!

[ July 12, 2001: Message edited by: Jalapeno ]

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#14300 - 07/12/01 06:24 PM Re: from work to play
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
Jala
I disagree with you. IMO the students Jason is referring to have not been taught to voice and their teachers didn't know how to teach it to them. ;\) You can always tell when they give you that puzzled look, they don't have a clue and have never been taught.
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#14301 - 07/12/01 10:24 PM Re: from work to play
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Jalapeno said "But, Jason, you must remember that just because certain students don't have good voicing skills doesn't necessarily mean their teachers never taught them."

To my way of thinking, you really can't say you've taught anybody anything until they can do it.

That being said, I think we all (me included), fail miserably on a daily basis. Our students don't understand or can't do what we tell them. This is just the way things are.

This does not mean we are bad teachers or should give up. Indeed, it takes a great deal of perseverance to teach anyone anything.

My guess is that there are many teachers out there who feel they've "taught" voicing. They're wrong. Voicing is a vital part of tone quality, and the quality of tone should be addressed at every lesson. You can never have "taught" voicing, you can only "teach" voicing. That is the only effective way.

Luckily, there are only a few things like this. Tone quality is one - it must be addressed at nearly every lesson. Like 90% of the time. Rhythm is another, it is too vital and too important to be left in the past tense. Character and personality also rank rather highly for me.

Other things, like theory, music history, composition, etc... Are more expendable. They're very important of course, but if I only have 45 minutes and I have to choose between tone quality and theory. I choose tone quality, 90% of the time.
_________________________
"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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#14302 - 07/13/01 06:58 AM Re: from work to play
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
Originally posted by Jason:
Jalapeno said "But, Jason, you must remember that just because certain students don't have good voicing skills doesn't necessarily mean their teachers never taught them."

I guess I should have said, "But, Jason, you must remember that just because certain students don't have good voicing skills doesn't necessarily mean their teachers never griped at them about it." ;\)

To my way of thinking, you really can't say you've taught anybody anything until they can do it.

True.

That being said, I think we all (me included), fail miserably on a daily basis. Our students don't understand or can't do what we tell them. This is just the way things are.

This does not mean we are bad teachers or should give up. Indeed, it takes a great deal of perseverance to teach anyone anything.


True, but you forgot to mention the type of student who is almost impossible to teach because s/he won't do what we tell them to do (the ones that refuse to do their written theory assignments, don't want to learn to read notes, don't want to work on a piece long enough to master it, etc. & so on & so forth ad nauseum.) :rolleyes:

And what about the ones who have to practice on cheap electronic keyboards (i.e., Casios & similar brands sold at Wal-Mart)? :rolleyes: What about the parents who refuse to buy a decent instrument for their children? If a student has to practice on a piece of junk, how can a teacher expect him/her to learn proper voicing skills?

My guess is that there are many teachers out there who feel they've "taught" voicing. They're wrong. Voicing is a vital part of tone quality, and the quality of tone should be addressed at every lesson. You can never have "taught" voicing, you can only "teach" voicing. That is the only effective way.

Luckily, there are only a few things like this. Tone quality is one - it must be addressed at nearly every lesson. Like 90% of the time. Rhythm is another, it is too vital and too important to be left in the past tense. Character and personality also rank rather highly for me.


I agree 100%. \:D

Other things, like theory, music history, composition, etc... Are more expendable. They're very important of course, but if I only have 45 minutes and I have to choose between tone quality and theory. I choose tone quality, 90% of the time.

Amen! \:D

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#14303 - 07/19/01 09:15 AM Re: from work to play
cecilly Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 779
Loc: Illinois
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeno:

True, but you forgot to mention the type of student who is almost impossible to teach because s/he won't do what we tell them to do (the ones that refuse to do their written theory assignments, don't want to learn to read notes, don't want to work on a piece long enough to master it, etc. & so on & so forth ad nauseum


Jalapeno, you are so right. I believe that most of us teachers are doing our best to teach what we know. But, to be honest, we really don't teach anything, we simply provide a student the opportunity learn. We could say and do exactly the right things to "teach" anything, but if the student simply won't (for whatever reason) reach out and accept what we're offering, apply it to their own playing, etc., there's nothing really that we can do to "make them learn". We have the responsibility to offer the best we have, but the student also has a responsibility, if s/he wants to learn, to take the information and do something with it.

I get so very tired of the many many students who come thru my door and expect to be spoon fed. It's a real epidemic in this country. Kids today want a magical education: apply themselves minimally but expect maximum results. Something for nothing. I see this happening everywhere with growing majority of children (grown ups too).

Thanks again Jalapeno for mentioning this. It is so true.

[ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: cecilly ]

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#14304 - 07/19/01 10:36 AM Re: from work to play
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
If you couple that type of student with a parent who doesn't see to it that his/her child arrives to lessons on time, comes to lessons & practices regularly (on a decent instrument, I might add), it makes for a very difficult teaching environment, especially if the parent is only willing to pay for 30-minute lessons.

Successful piano lessons really involves 3 parties: teacher, student, & parent(s). If even 1 of these parties is not doing his/her part, then the student's progress is hampered.

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#14305 - 07/19/01 05:53 PM Re: from work to play
cecilly Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 04/11/01
Posts: 779
Loc: Illinois
Jalapeno, although I teach 30 min. lessons right now (eventually I'm going to increase that to at least 40 min. but right now I don't have the extra time to extend all my students to 40 min.), and I see that you clearly do not prefer a weekly 30 min. lesson set up, I wondered if you had ever considered offering students 2 30 min. lessons per week? I teach school music too and my elementary classes meet 2x a week for 30 min. so I thought, "why not piano?" Also, if I schedule a make-up lesson for a student during the week, which actually means s/he'll be coming in for 2 lessons, I find it works great. We usually spend the 1st session focusing on part of the assignment and the other session on whatever is left to cover plus a few games or such to round out the time. And there's so much more time for reinforcement of practice procedures and such.

Of course, scheduling 2 lessons might be tricky if a student is busy with other activities. But since your own teaching schedule is open with fewer students, the 2x/week thing might be worth trying. Just a thought.

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#14306 - 07/19/01 06:44 PM Re: from work to play
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I've thought about it, but it is so hard to get people to come more than once a week. Even scheduling make-up lessons is tough, because my students are involved in other after-school activities. It was difficult just to get them to want to come to the piano performance classes, which are only scheduled 4x/year. I certainly like the idea of 2x/wk. better than once/wk., because you can catch mistakes before they get practiced all week long. Practice makes permanent, ya know.

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