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#21156 - 08/25/03 08:23 AM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Ya, I know those pages, but we're talking about creating assignment pages for them to take home and have daily practice with, (like Artistry at the Piano Introduction does only more fun looking) preferably without having to buy extra books on our nickel for all of those beginners I've got starting next week, LOL, or break the law by copying.

It was a good idea, though... Plus it reminded me I have a stack of Kids & Keyboards sheets that would probably be perfect for a couple of them.

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#21157 - 08/25/03 08:48 AM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
Lisa, thanks for the ideas. I don't know if I have that much energy and I don't have enough time to make a lot of materials. It seems like teacher gripe about this all the time. Obviously the method books don't address the problem. Why can't we buy what we need?
My problem is about 1/2 of my students have trouble learning notes in PA Primer, even though it's the best I've used. This thread has made me realize that, evidently, I am not preparing them enough, so I'm going to have to do something different.

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#21158 - 08/25/03 09:05 AM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Susan - Do you mean learning the notes on the staff or the key names on the piano?

Thanks for commenting. I generally like the sequencing of the method but the longer I've taught it discovered some annoying holes for some but not all students. The beautiful music and T&A, though, keep me from wanting to switch to something else.

Anything else specific you've come up with that needs addressing? Thanks!

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#21159 - 08/25/03 09:09 AM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
Ya, I know those pages, but we're talking about creating assignment pages for them to take home and have daily practice with, (like Artistry at the Piano Introduction does only more fun looking) preferably without having to buy extra books on our nickel for all of those beginners I've got starting next week, LOL, or break the law by copying.


Exactly.

Of course, one has to listen to Mary Gae's Seminar A tapes to fully understand just how great her Intro. to Music method is.

I have been wanting to come up with something similar to what Mary Gae does, only make it more appealing to my students, most of whom are not likely to want to use the Artistry at the Piano method books (nothing wrong with the Artistry books except that they are for super serious students, not the type of students who usually enroll in my studio). My children are all in school now, so theoretically I should have more free time on my hands. Unfortunately, that's not the case, as I'm doing more entertaining for the ag. dept., more editing & errands for my husband, more fitness walking for my health (particularly my chronic sciatica pain that occasionally flares up even though I take Rx medication), more cooking (girls are older & eating more now), & more housework. Lisa has so kindly stepped up to the plate & offered me some great ideas. Thanks, Lisa. \:\)

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#21160 - 08/25/03 04:10 PM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
OK, I will admit that I haven't read any of the previous posts and I'm simply responding off the cuff to the original question. Sorry if duplicate anything else said. First week of school here and you know how that is!

Preparatory activities have to be thought out with the big picture in mind. What is it that you want to accomplish in a week, month, semester, year.

Take a category, any category. Say ... technique. My year-end goal might be for the student to play major 5-finger patterns that begin on white keys with a comfortable posture and ringing tone. That's the big goal. Now break it down into steps that allow you to reach that goal, markers along the way so to speak. They might include playing comfortably between 2-3 and 3-4 and 4-5, keeping the thumb on the corner, flexible wrist, floating arm, firm fingertips, etc. These are a lot of things and tackling them all at once is overwhelming for the student. Make a plan in order of importance and build on it.

See where I'm going with this? Big picture broken down into smaller parts, then put back together.

It never hurts to start with the obvious. I think we sometimes get caught in the trap of thinking things are more complex than they are. The big picture focus really helps make the planning more manageable. Keep that end goal in mind at all times.

That's it for now!

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#21161 - 08/25/03 05:49 PM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
That helps, Arlene. I know you're busy, but I hope to hear more from you on this subject when you have time.

My goal is to introduce students to each & every concept before it is introduced in PA, so that by the time they get to those things in the books, they already know what to do & don't get confused. As I said earlier, I already do this, but would like to do more of it, esp. note reading.

Seems like most of my students in TX did well with the way I taught PA, but I had a couple of non-intuitive students who really struggled. I don't know if it's the way I was presenting the material or what. It could be that those students wouldn't have done any better no matter how the material was presented to them. But as a conscientious teacher who strives to provide each & every student with the best musical education possible, I wish to examine the way I teach & see if there are areas in which I can improve.

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#21162 - 08/27/03 01:00 PM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
cindylouwho Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 36
Loc: Dover, PA
Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the ideas and inspiration I find on the Piano Club. This thread is a perfect example, what a treasure chest of ideas! You guys are awesome!

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#21163 - 08/29/03 11:22 AM Re: Prep. activities to introduce new concepts/skills
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
For anyone who wants to make their own Blind as a Bat practice gamecard for beginners, I found this groovy free template to use!
http://maryland-info.com/bat.htm

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