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#21430 - 09/15/04 07:08 AM Re: interval songs
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
Pianoannie, everything you say is true. I guess you're asking why bother to teach intervals if they are not going to be taking a state theory test?
I remember auditioning for All State chorus in high school. I was given a note and asked to sing intervals. I gave him a blank look and he said with disgust, "You've had how many years of piano and can't sing a 4th?" Then I realized what he wanted and did it. I had never done it before but I have a good ear and just did it. I made All State choir.
Later my choir teacher said she didn't know they were going to ask that.
We can only do so much in a 30 minute lesson, but intervals are so easy to teach, why not? You never know when it might come in handy.
Several of my students have auditioned for special choirs, band, or orchestra. I have had a few students major or minor in music and I had no idea when I was teaching them that is what they were going to do.

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#21431 - 09/15/04 09:31 PM Re: interval songs
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Susan:
Pianoannie, everything you say is true. I guess you're asking why bother to teach intervals if they are not going to be taking a state theory test?


Well, no, that's not really what I'm asking. I do teach intervals as do all teachers I know (which is why I said it almost felt blasphemous to ask the question). ;\) I guess I'm wondering if other teachers are doing a better job than I am at actually seeing their students USE their interval training to become better sightreaders, better pianists in general? There's got to be more reason than just scoring well on the exams!

I do think that being able to sightsing helps in sightreading piano. And I'm pretty strong at sightsinging. But that was from having years of daily classes in which it was taught and used.

I still think it's good for students to at least be exposed to the idea that they can "hear" intervals just by seeing them on the page, and to be able to recognize and sing intervals (even using the familiar song method). Unfortunately, once a week piano lessons, in my opinion and experience, don't allow this skill sufficient development to translate into much practical use in their piano playing.

I'd love to hear other teachers' specific examples of how their students do put their interval training into practical use.

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#21432 - 09/18/04 03:32 PM Re: interval songs
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
I guess I'm wondering if other teachers are doing a better job than I am at actually seeing their students USE their interval training to become better sightreaders, better pianists in
general?


I don't think of it in that way. I don't think of them just becomimg better pianists, but better musicians in general. Learning intervals is the first step to hearing music, sight singing and sight reading.

I was dictating a short melody Thursday for a student to write. I heard her sing the intervals to herself and as she wrote down the melody.

I handed a new piece to a student and she starting sight singing it by ear.

I use my ear training skills every day as a teacher, don't you? Teaching ear training is part of preparing them as musicians.

There are a lot of teachers who don't teach these skills, and then when the student goes off to major or minor in music, they last about 1 semester. I'm sure you saw this in college, too. I want my students to be able to do more than just play pretty pieces.

I suppose being able to identify a minor 6th won't help a student perform better. Otherwise, why do college professors complain all the time about students who can play very well, but can't sight read or sight sing?

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