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Wrist Staccato (Read 7050 times)

Offline dinulip

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Wrist Staccato
« on: February 08, 2014, 01:09:34 AM »
Any brilliant suggestion on how to teach a young student (10yo) to play a 'wrist staccato'? 

Thank you!

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 03:51:11 PM »
Detached articulation comes from hearing the space in between the notes.

It is better to teach this concept rather than anything about 'wrist staccato'.


Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 04:39:21 PM »
Detached articulation comes from hearing the space in between the notes.

It is better to teach this concept rather than anything about 'wrist staccato'.



I really can't agree here. There are more ways to get this wrong than I'd care to list- most of which have plenty of space between notes. It only becomes about the ear after the basic movement is learned and this really isn't an easy one to feel. There are ways to teach this via such analogies as a basketball, but nothing works better than the the Russian approach - of simply grabbing their finger and hand and doing the movement for them, so they can experience it.

Remember that the wrist can't play staccato properly unless the finger actually moves positively, at least a little. This is where most students go wrong.

Offline philb

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #3 on: February 10, 2014, 02:21:37 AM »
There are ways to teach this via such analogies as a basketball, but nothing works better than the the Russian approach - of simply grabbing their finger and hand and doing the movement for them, so they can experience it.

That's all fine and well, but it's impossible for a student to truly feel the feeling of weight being supported by their knuckle or the pushing off when you are the one moving their hands. The best way to teach them is to describe the sensations so they can attempt to replicate them.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 02:52:34 AM »
I really can't agree here. There are more ways to get this wrong than I'd care to list-

Are you suggesting that staccato is a physical quality rather than a musical quality?

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 04:54:53 AM »
Are you suggesting that staccato is a physical quality rather than a musical quality?

At the first stage, quite sincerely, yes. What's hard about figuring out that holding a key for less time makes it shorter? Nothing. What's hard about conceiving a short sound musically, after such sounds have been demonstrated to you? Nothing. We'd be talking significant learning difficulties for any child of more than 5 to struggle on either count.

The difficulty is in controlling the sound of each staccato (both in duration and intensity) and moving healthily. That's down to whether you use a quality of movement that can reliably achieve a specific quality of sound. If you never know exactly what result will come from your movement, you cannot reliably sculpt a musical whole. The first step is to learn a movement that makes consistent results and to observe what sounds result from it, for later recall. There's nothing hard about either the musical concept of staccato or physically making a note short. All the difficulty is in learning a movement that can reliably cause the exact sound you intend- rather than a different one. Without that starting point, musical intention will never be realised.

Kids do all kinds of bizarre things when you simply talk about making a note short. They don't struggle with that concept at all, but only with finding a reliable action to make that happen in a consistent and comfortable fashion.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 06:56:40 AM »
Are you suggesting that staccato is a physical quality rather than a musical quality?
Probably it's a mix of both. If you're simply not experienced enough to know how to achieve something, I don't see how "just listening" can help. On the otger hand, to always show the student how things are done won't teach them as much, and it will most probably be difficult for them to use it for a different spot.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 02:14:51 PM »
As soon as you start talking about anatomy as it relates to playing, you're into some dangerous territory, especially with younger students.

I'm not saying it cannot be done!

I just think it's less confusing overall if we teach that the only body part that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that detached articulation occurs is the ear!

If we teach that the wrist is responsible, or the fingers, or the arm, kids focus too much on the movement itself!

They need to focus on the music!

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 02:33:22 PM »
As soon as you start talking about anatomy as it relates to playing, you're into some dangerous territory, especially with younger students.

I'm not saying it cannot be done!

I just think it's less confusing overall if we teach that the only body part that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that detached articulation occurs is the ear!

If we teach that the wrist is responsible, or the fingers, or the arm, kids focus too much on the movement itself!


Not only kids actually...My teacher always manages to confuse me when she starts talking about movements of body parts. We understand our anatomy quite differently. The best results I get when I know what I am trying to achieve (tonally and musically) and then just find a way to do that with her checking for anything unwanted. Even her showing me doesn't always work, our hands are so different.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 03:45:12 PM »
As soon as you start talking about anatomy as it relates to playing, you're into some dangerous territory, especially with younger students.

I'm not saying it cannot be done!

I just think it's less confusing overall if we teach that the only body part that is ultimately responsible for ensuring that detached articulation occurs is the ear!

If we teach that the wrist is responsible, or the fingers, or the arm, kids focus too much on the movement itself!

They need to focus on the music!

If I started out on the music, after asking for an even sound from each of the staccato notes then I'd be unable to continue that way by doing anything other than telling the kid over and over that he's failing to get it. Unless we're talking about a genius. It makes little difference whether this is done outwardly negatively or in a cheery patronising voice. It still indirectly amounts to saying "no, you're not getting it right- make it sound like this" unless you first give them tools to be capable of doing so.

You don't need to talk about movement all that much. This is where using touch to train the "feel" for a movement is so important and virtually irreplaceable. Once they feel something that gives consistent results in sound, they will be in a position to construct a musical line. Without it, they usually make a very uneven line that is done from a stiff arm and with no rhythmic flow. That's not about conception but about ability to transfer intent into sound. All I could do would be to bombard them with criticism (without giving them the first clue about how to achieve what I'm asking them to do) unless the movement is trained first. You might as well argue that a pianist who plays parallel thirds for the first time with no guidance isn't a good musician if they can't do them evenly. If they can play a smooth chromatic scale in single notes, that would be nonsense. The problem is in the ability to move in a way that gives control over the result. Likewise, a child who plays evenly in legato has no musical problems in staccato but only technical ones. It would be nice if we only needed to work in sound, but the world isn't an ideal place. Expecting the child to figure out something genuinely difficult from music alone is the evolutionary approach to piano playing- that eliminates the weak and allows only a lucky few to succeed. Anyone can do it well if they learn the basic movement quality first, however and then apply it to music straight after.

On these lines, I'm pretty baffled by the poster who suggests that a poorly connected hand and arm would require explanations. Although I believe firmly in specific instructions, this is exactly where touch is invaluable and where explanations are too indirect and too easily misunderstood. When a hand flops onto the keys or lands stiffly, there's nothing quicker and more reliable than using touch to create a better alignment that the kid can feel. What rational advice would that poster give in this situation, that is supposed to be quicker than helping them into a good alignment?

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 06:49:45 PM »
Not only kids actually...My teacher always manages to confuse me when she starts talking about movements of body parts. We understand our anatomy quite differently. The best results I get when I know what I am trying to achieve (tonally and musically) and then just find a way to do that with her checking for anything unwanted. Even her showing me doesn't always work, our hands are so different.

That's a spectacular example of how learning styles differ.

Your style is to be results oriented, and anything else confuses you; her style is to be process oriented, and anything else confuses her.

I believe learning styles to be essentially hardwired, or at least fixed at an early age.  A good teacher is adept at matching style to student.
Tim

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 07:03:28 PM »
That's a spectacular example of how learning styles differ.

Your style is to be results oriented, and anything else confuses you; her style is to be process oriented, and anything else confuses her.


Yes, the other thing I have noticed is that my tone often gets a lot better after listening to someone really good. Then when I start thinking about how exactly I did it, it's gone...

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #12 on: February 12, 2014, 03:21:57 AM »
That's a spectacular example of how learning styles differ.

Your style is to be results oriented, and anything else confuses you; her style is to be process oriented, and anything else confuses her.

I believe learning styles to be essentially hardwired, or at least fixed at an early age.  A good teacher is adept at matching style to student.

Is that a difference in learning style or a difference in how pragmatically long term goals are approached? I won't make any simplistic assumptions about any specific parties here, but my own experience of students who are only interested in the sound (minus interest in the practicalities of getting it) is that they are typically very hard to teach in a way that leads to significant long term progress, unless they are willing to step outside of how they typically like to think, by considering the pragmatic issues that determine control over sound.

Take the first movement of the moonlight sonata. Even the most musical and technically advanced students almost never succeed in truly differentiating between melody and thumb on the octaves. Inspiration never makes any notable difference to this basic ingredient, without which the movement cannot even begin to truly work. They learn to play the other accompaniment notes soft but not to get the thumb voiced softly. I can demonstrate what extreme voicing sounds like, ask them to sing more and whatever else. At the end of it, I still get an inspired pianist who still either fails to bring the melody out at all or who now hits it too hard, still with a heavy thumb underneath.

I never start with the inspirational side any more for the piece or for any other that depends on basic voicing skills. I start by making the student play all lower rh notes staccato and physically connecting solely to the 5th. Once they learn this basic physical feeling, I go on to talk about voicing and sound- in the knowledge that I've shown them the basic means of achieving dynamic differentiation. It's simply wasting time to put all that effort into trying to inspire, only to hear a result that is inspired in their mind, yet not inspiring to hear, due to the basic lack of the means needed to voice. Inspiration also tends to fade faster than improvement of means and quickly goes back to square one. The more I should isolate music from means, in my teaching, the less rewarding it is musically. I either have to be hypercritical and labour points over and over, or simply stop expecting the student to actually achieve any of the things I'm asking for-and simply state them and immediately give up on all but the mildest reflection of what I've described/demonstrated as the musical goal.

Students who are unwilling to get into practicalities tend to hit a wall quickly and don't tend to get to the next stage of development. The sad thing is that they are often VERY musical, but only a certain percentage of that comes through without the basic tools to express themselves with reliability. I was exactly that type of student myself, when growing up- with no interest in issues of technique. I made the most progress in my sound when I became willing to change my supposed "learning style" and got into pragmatics. People don't learn the most by staying in their comfort zone.

PS A friend who is a very advanced pianist and teacher of very advanced students told me she played to Katsaris. Apparently he spent a huge amount of time on how to practise. Everyone needs to be pragmatic and balanced in what they are willing to try, or its a self-imposed handicap against the potential level of progress rather than a "learning style". If someone only wants to enjoy themself, that's fine. If someone wants to better themself to the maximum amount possible, they need to step out of their personal tendencies and be brave enough to explore things that are not necessarily immediately comfortable.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 03:42:27 AM »


.......

Please pass this onto your students from me.

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 03:51:00 AM »

Please pass this onto your students from me.



You're sympathetic about the fact I teach them how to do things, rather than simply keep repeating what they are supposed to be doing yet not achieving/give up on expecting them to fulfill basic musical requirements that they have clearly not figured out how to do for themself?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 04:06:35 AM »
You're sympathetic about the fact I teach them how to do things, rather than simply keep repeating what they are supposed to be doing yet not achieving/give up on expecting them to fulfill basic musical requirements that they have clearly not figured out how to do for themself?

No, I'm sympathetic that you make no concession to their learning style, but carry on teaching what you believe they should know (and I'm not actually disagreeing with what you are trying to aim for here) as if their way of learning was irrelevant and that they all really are (deep down and only if they would realise it) previous incarnations of yourself.

I have had teachers like that - fortunately never for piano - and it has never ended well.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 04:57:31 AM »
Is that a difference in learning style or a difference in how pragmatically long term goals are approached? I won't make any simplistic assumptions about any specific parties here, but my own experience of students who are only interested in the sound (minus interest in the practicalities of getting it) is that they are typically very hard to teach in a way that leads to significant long term progress, unless they are willing to step outside of how they typically like to think, by considering the pragmatic issues that determine control over sound.


You are probably right, people like me are really hard to teach. We tend to be independent learners who benefit more from the work we do ourselves than the teaching. The role of the teacher is more of being an outsider judging the progress and results and thus guiding away from unwanted actions towards more beneficial ones. And give me new ideas how to execute something when I ran out of them. I really can't remember ever learning much by someone teaching me. I've always had to do the work myself preferably alone without someone "bothering" me while I think.

It's definitely not about being ONLY interested in the sound. At least for me. I do quite a lot of thinking about tension and effort of movements when I try to learn something, even though it is generally really difficult for me to follow my own actions. I was talking about not being able to benefit from someone elses conceptions.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 12:10:27 PM »
You are probably right, people like me are really hard to teach. We tend to be independent learners who benefit more from the work we do ourselves than the teaching. The role of the teacher is more of being an outsider judging the progress and results and thus guiding away from unwanted actions towards more beneficial ones. And give me new ideas how to execute something when I ran out of them. I really can't remember ever learning much by someone teaching me. I've always had to do the work myself preferably alone without someone "bothering" me while I think.

It's definitely not about being ONLY interested in the sound. At least for me. I do quite a lot of thinking about tension and effort of movements when I try to learn something, even though it is generally really difficult for me to follow my own actions. I was talking about not being able to benefit from someone elses conceptions.

It's good to try to be aware of tension, but what I personally found was that the only way to strip it away was to learn to generate movement in the hand, while drifting the arm sideways. Eventually, I reached a point where I couldn't get any closer to my musical intentions without going into these issues.

I'm curious, have you worked with many teacher? I wouldn't wish to speculate directly about your present one, but are sure you can't benefit from other people's conceptions, or have you just not found the right ones to help you?

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 12:16:36 PM »
No, I'm sympathetic that you make no concession to their learning style, but carry on teaching what you believe they should know (and I'm not actually disagreeing with what you are trying to aim for here) as if their way of learning was irrelevant and that they all really are (deep down and only if they would realise it) previous incarnations of yourself.

I have had teachers like that - fortunately never for piano - and it has never ended well.

I didn't say I make no concession to learning styles. However, I do believe in being objective about the fact that successful pianists unfailingly have learning STYLES and not a solitary learning STYLE. A child who has been shown how to move every note and got to grade 3 doesn't have a learning style. It's just that nobody taught them to read music properly. Not being able to sight read is not a learning style. It's a self-imposed disability if you don't tackle it. Many analogous limitations in experience get falsely encouraged as a "learning style" when they are no such thing. Will that child have a hope in hell of going on to learn grade 8 pieces by copying and memorising a note at a time? If it's a learning style at all, it's one where only rare geniuses can succeed in reaching high levels. Students need to be coaxed into improving on their weaknesses, otherwise the teacher will be a mere bystander to a self-taught pianist or an animal trainer to a monkey. Learning styles are a real thing on many levels (and all students need different treatment), but having a narrow range of abilities (due to excess dependence on strengths and completely giving up on weaknesses) is simply a handicap and not a learning style. Personally, I couldn't teach a student who wouldn't be interested in how to improve, as I'd find it too depressing to either keep repeating what musical basics they are failing to achieve over and over (due to lack of means) or to simply move onto a new piece whenever it becomes clear that the results just aren't going to get any better. I don't get anything out of seeing a student stuck in a rut, when they need to be brave enough to try something different in order to fulfill potential.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #19 on: February 12, 2014, 06:04:57 PM »

I'm curious, have you worked with many teacher? I wouldn't wish to speculate directly about your present one, but are sure you can't benefit from other people's conceptions, or have you just not found the right ones to help you?


When it comes to piano, I have had 4 teachers and two of them only  briefly, but I have had teachers in many other fields obviously and also another instrument.

My ideal teacher would be one that would appear and disappear at will. I need space to think and figure out things and only need the teacher at certain points of my learning process. A lesson once a week doesn't work that well for me, but that's how it has to be now.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #20 on: February 12, 2014, 06:20:28 PM »
I didn't say I make no concession to learning styles. However, I do believe in being objective about the fact that successful pianists unfailingly have learning STYLES and not a solitary learning STYLE.

I think you are using the concept in a different way than it's usually used in learning theories. Learning methods would be closer to what you are talking about. Learning style reflects the way people's mind works in general and also their personality. Everyone should use various learning methods to get the best results, but certain aspects of learning styles are difficult or impossible to change. So you should adjust the methods to the learning style instead of just applying them in similar matter to everyone. Sometimes a method does not work at all for a specific individual, while another method gives instant results.

But in this as everything it's good to stay critical, there's little actual proof about the benefits of the teacher reflecting the learning style of the pupil. Partly because the teacher may be best at his own teaching style and partly because assessing and classifying the individual's learning style is not unproblematic. The most useful application of the concept has probably been with special education and adult education. And of course when someone has the ability to understand and analyse one's own learning style and create one's own learning methods to get better results.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #21 on: February 12, 2014, 06:34:39 PM »
but are sure you can't benefit from other people's conceptions, or have you just not found the right ones to help you?


BTW, just to clarify, my world is never black and white. So when I say I cannot benefit from someone else's conceptions, I do not mean I NEVER do. Only that it isn't consistently so. Obviously it often happens that my teacher manages to get something through very well. But there have been many cases where I only got if after I approached the issue with my own unconventional method. For me staying inside the box with my thinking is always much more difficult that going outside. With the piano it means that I immediately see hundred different ways to do a simple task and the difficulty is in narrowing down to one and getting it consistent.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #22 on: February 12, 2014, 07:53:55 PM »
I think you are using the concept in a different way than it's usually used in learning theories. Learning methods would be closer to what you are talking about. Learning style reflects the way people's mind works in general and also their personality. Everyone should use various learning methods to get the best results, but certain aspects of learning styles are difficult or impossible to change. So you should adjust the methods to the learning style instead of just applying them in similar matter to everyone. Sometimes a method does not work at all for a specific individual, while another method gives instant results.

But in this as everything it's good to stay critical, there's little actual proof about the benefits of the teacher reflecting the learning style of the pupil. Partly because the teacher may be best at his own teaching style and partly because assessing and classifying the individual's learning style is not unproblematic. The most useful application of the concept has probably been with special education and adult education. And of course when someone has the ability to understand and analyse one's own learning style and create one's own learning methods to get better results.

I agree very much with the concept of learning styles. My personal feeling is that it's too easy to make the mistake of thinking of it as a "learning style however, if a student simply has a narrow skill set. I wouldn't state it quite so bluntly to a student, but that really is the case in many situations where people try to call it a "learning style". A student shouldn't be forced to come to terms with their shortcomings too abruptly and certainly not in an unpleasant manner. However, to stick with what student to simply doesn't help them to do anything other than continue building on strengths, while accumulating an even greater discrepancy against their weaknesses.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #23 on: February 12, 2014, 07:56:43 PM »
When it comes to piano, I have had 4 teachers and two of them only  briefly, but I have had teachers in many other fields obviously and also another instrument.

My ideal teacher would be one that would appear and disappear at will. I need space to think and figure out things and only need the teacher at certain points of my learning process. A lesson once a week doesn't work that well for me, but that's how it has to be now.

I'm curious, why don't you think a teacher would be able to help? An open-minded teacher should be able to help you with the thinking you're doing and prevent you from falling into traps that could become very damaging, if not picked up quickly. What things are you thinking about, that a teacher could not aid you with? Good teaching should shorten the process of picking things up. When things take a long time to pick up, I tend to find that things are going wrong too many times along the route (which usually leave negative after-effects behind). A good teacher should be able to guide a student towards a comfortably paced thought process, that gets things working correctly from the very start- just not under any tempo pressures. It's often very difficult to help students by the time they've ground something out- as it's already too late to fix any problems that were picked up in the process.

When a student is still learning something, I personally guide them towards the comfortable and effortless approach of simply getting things right without putting pressure on themself. I get them to go very slowly, and use such techniques as tapping each finger on the key before sounding it (so no note ever need be an unprepared guess). I find this works far quicker than when they grind it out themselves. If you're willing to be heard doing something that is not yet supposed to sound like a performance, a good teacher will help you get it to a performance far quicker than unassisted efforts.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #24 on: February 12, 2014, 08:11:33 PM »
I'm curious, why don't you think a teacher would be able to help? An open-minded teacher should be able to help you with the thinking you're doing and prevent you from falling into traps that could become very damaging, if not picked up quickly. What things are you thinking about, that a teacher could not aid you with?

Did I say I don't think a teacher would be able to help? Of course they can, that's why I am taking lessons. But learning for me is often not something an outsider cannot help me with, since it's about organizing things in my head. I cannot concentrate with someone "helping" since they cannot follow what is going on in my head to know what exactly I need help with at any given moment. There are still many exceptions in individual challenges that the music poses.

Things don't actually take me long to learn when I can do it without interference, so whenever we hit a wall I go home and sit an hour or two and solve it with the tools and advice given by my teacher and some concentrated work.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #25 on: February 12, 2014, 08:50:47 PM »
Did I say I don't think a teacher would be able to help? Of course they can, that's why I am taking lessons. But learning for me is often not something an outsider cannot help me with, since it's about organizing things in my head. I cannot concentrate with someone "helping" since they cannot follow what is going on in my head to know what exactly I need help with at any given moment. There are still many exceptions in individual challenges that the music poses.

Things don't actually take me long to learn when I can do it without interference, so whenever we hit a wall I go home and sit an hour or two and solve it with the tools and advice given by my teacher and some concentrated work.

This is exactly where I cannot see it as a learning style but rather as a question of willingness to go out of what you are used to. People often have a certain way of doing something that works on one level but leaves only a highly incomplete picture. If someone tries to show them another part of the picture that is not on their radar, they will naturally be confused. However, it's a personality issue as to whether that person embraces initial confusion and learns to see a problem from many angles, or whether they insist on restricting themself to a single viewpoint that is protected by actively excluding other ways of looking at something and willfully failing to process them.

I don't put this down as a "learning style " for the simple reason that it ultimately inhibits the full scope of learning. Great musicians see many parts of the picture and have few blind spots. They understand every note individually, in the context of intervals and in the context of harmony etc. They don't pick a single viewpoint and then try to protect themself from other ways of looking at it. Very few people instinctively see all these viewpoints. The difference is whether a person can embrace additional ways of looking at the same thing and enjoy the realisation that there's a long path ahead, or whether they see alternatives as interference with the more narrow viewpoint that they are determined to protect. I'm no authoritarian as a teacher, but I do find it alarming at you'd see input as interference . while I'd never overrule a student, I couldn't teach them if they felt they should overrule my input without seriously attempting it with an open mind. I'm not inclined to tell a student that their favoured method is wrong but if they aren't interested in learning more than one way to tackle a problem, I literally can do nothing to help them progress beyond their current level.

If you respect your teacher, you should be willing to consider the possibility that when something confuses you, it's because you need to embrace a wider range of viewpoints rather than stick to what you already know anyway. Learning only occurs in relation to what we didn't already know.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #26 on: February 12, 2014, 09:48:45 PM »
I agree very much with the concept of learning styles. My personal feeling is that it's too easy to make the mistake of thinking of it as a "learning style however, if a student simply has a narrow skill set. I wouldn't state it quite so bluntly to a student, but that really is the case in many situations where people try to call it a "learning style". A student shouldn't be forced to come to terms with their shortcomings too abruptly and certainly not in an unpleasant manner. However, to stick with what student to simply doesn't help them to do anything other than continue building on strengths, while accumulating an even greater discrepancy against their weaknesses.

You still seem to be missing the point. A learning style has nothing to do with what a person knows, or what they should know.  It's about how they get from A to B. The way their brain takes in and orders information and the most effective ways to make that progression.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #27 on: February 13, 2014, 05:34:33 AM »
If you respect your teacher, you should be willing to consider the possibility that when something confuses you, it's because you need to embrace a wider range of viewpoints rather than stick to what you already know anyway. Learning only occurs in relation to what we didn't already know.

My teacher is there to help me learn, not to be respected by me. Which doesn't mean that I don't but it's irrelevant. Besides for me respecting someone doesn't mean I will uncritically follow them.

It seems to be really difficult for you to accept that someone has already considered a lot of possibilities and yet reached a different conclusion than you. I have had teachers like that too...

You also do not seem to realize there are different levels of confusion people can have. Most people cannot understand how a person can be able to easily crasp complex intellectual matters while constantly struggling with simple routine stuff. Even teachers. They tend to think it's either from lack of proper work or lack of interest. Conventional teaching can be useless for such individuals, yet they can get exceptional results when able to make their own decisions about how to approach things. A teacher who understands this will back off when necessary, but not shy away from offering advice in general. A good teacher accepts the fact that sometimes the advice that makes perfect sense for him is not useful for the given situation. He should also accept that the student may have invented a better working strategy, even if it doesn't make sense for the teacher. I don't expect teachers to be able to do this at once. A teacher can also learn form the teaching situation, if open minded and aware of his own limitations.
 
But an understanding can only be reached when one is willing to consider the possibility that one doesn't yet. Obviously not the case with you in this matter.



Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #28 on: February 13, 2014, 11:06:13 AM »
My teacher is there to help me learn, not to be respected by me. Which doesn't mean that I don't but it's irrelevant. Besides for me respecting someone doesn't mean I will uncritically follow them.

It seems to be really difficult for you to accept that someone has already considered a lot of possibilities and yet reached a different conclusion than you. I have had teachers like that too...

You also do not seem to realize there are different levels of confusion people can have. Most people cannot understand how a person can be able to easily crasp complex intellectual matters while constantly struggling with simple routine stuff. Even teachers. They tend to think it's either from lack of proper work or lack of interest. Conventional teaching can be useless for such individuals, yet they can get exceptional results when able to make their own decisions about how to approach things. A teacher who understands this will back off when necessary, but not shy away from offering advice in general. A good teacher accepts the fact that sometimes the advice that makes perfect sense for him is not useful for the given situation. He should also accept that the student may have invented a better working strategy, even if it doesn't make sense for the teacher. I don't expect teachers to be able to do this at once. A teacher can also learn form the teaching situation, if open minded and aware of his own limitations.
 
But an understanding can only be reached when one is willing to consider the possibility that one doesn't yet. Obviously not the case with you in this matter.




I didn't say anything about following everything uncritically. I spoke of being open minded to try advice given sincerely, rather than consider it interference.

Can you offer some specific examples to clarify what kinds of things were talking of here? The thing is, I'm not talking about options. I'm talking about things which, if the student doesn't understand, definably place them in a position of having an extremely limited perspective. It's fine to have favored points of view. But it's not fine to be ignorant about essential parts of understanding. I'm talking particularly about reading skills. I once had a student who resisted whenever I showed her simple reading techniques to help her out. They problem was, her own method was slow an often innacurate. She needed guidance towards a sinpler and more reliable method, because hers simply wasn't working for her. Sadly,  I could do very little to help, because she had a pride of wanting to do it her own way and got annoyed by assistance. The problem was, when I didn't assist she took too long and got it wrong too often. I wasn't teaching her a personal viewpoint but a set of skill that all good readers possess and without which good reading doesn't work. We actually got on rather well overall, although she was a very strong minded Russian, but I couldn't teach her anything about to progress in her practise, as she didn't develop the skillset that would make progress fast. I speak here about reading, but there are countless similar issues where if something is not properly considered, the student is limiting themself too much (and quite possibly even making things too complex for themself).

I'd be interested if you could flesh it out and give examples of what you consider to be interference from your teacher. A good teacher doesn't typically say stuff on a whim. They usually say it because they know damn sure that you're causing yourself problems by not being aware of something that you simply need. If a small extra factor confuses you, that suggests that your current methods demand too much mental effort and are too easily spoiled. I'd question your own choices before accusing your teacher of interference.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #29 on: February 13, 2014, 12:24:45 PM »
You still seem to be missing the point. A learning style has nothing to do with what a person knows, or what they should know.  It's about how they get from A to B. The way their brain takes in and orders information and the most effective ways to make that progression.

No, you missed my point. I'm not talking about the way of ordering necessary information. I'm talking about whether necessary information actually exists on a person's radar and whether they can see the same things from many associated angles or only one that exists in a vacuum. To say that it's a learning style to wilfully neglect vital information (simply because of a narrow minded insistence on sticking merely with what you already know) is missing the point. Narrow-minded thought is not a learning style and neither is willful ignorance to important elements of building musical understanding. It's a style of writing off scope for learning.

When you speak of getting from a to b, you say it as if it's a maths problem. In maths, there are many ways to get the same result. In music, every b is different. Even in Reading, where the note is right or wrong, a pianist is in a different place if they understand notes merely separately or also in the context of harmony and intervals. Even if we say that anyone who punches the notes out in the right order has succeeded in reaching B, then it's totally ignoring all the different points of awareness that are involved in the learning process. Narrow-minded pianists are never the most successful ones unless they are very lucky. Those who grind things out to learn notes (rather than find a patient but rapid route to getting things at once, via a global understanding that gives clarity of intention from the first execution) never achieve the same reliability as those who learn the tools of efficient practise.

You should read up on Paul Harris and simultaneous learning. He speaks quire accurately about learning styles BUT IN THE CONTEXT OF USING STRENGTHS TO IMPROVE ON WEAKNESSES. he doesn't make the mistake of thinking that neglecting weaker areas is a supposed learning style. Narrow-minded learning is never anything other than restricted learning. Accomplished players get there by breadth of understanding, not by learning one trick (which takes them a long time to pull off) and getting frustrated if anyone shows them other useful stuff. It's a gross mistake to encourage willful neglect of basic skills, under a bastardised misrepresentation of the concept of learning styles. Anyone who wants to play it that way is just giving up on the chance to make the best progress.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #30 on: February 13, 2014, 04:56:58 PM »

I'd be interested if you could flesh it out and give examples of what you consider to be interference from your teacher. A good teacher doesn't typically say stuff on a whim. They usually say it because they know damn sure that you're causing yourself problems by not being aware of something that you simply need. If a small extra factor confuses you, that suggests that your current methods demand too much mental effort and are too easily spoiled. I'd question your own choices before accusing your teacher of interference.

I try to be more clear:
To be able to handle certain thought processes and be aware of my movements and posture at the same time I need to have full 100% concentration. Trying to listen to anyone at such time is interference. This is due to my mental make up and my narrow working memory, it has nothing to do with my methods, my choices or the things the teacher has to say. Since we only meet for 45 minutes once a week, I cannot take some concentrated time for myself during the lessons to try out her suggestions and then continue with her, that would be the ideal learning environment for me. Instead the things my teacher says have to be deposited to be further processed later at home. Only then will I see if they work or not. If not, I have to either look for other solutions myself or if cannot have to wait until the next week (fortunately I mostly do find one that is also acceptable for my teacher). Mostly the issues are about solving physical problems (like playing things with streches) or how to make something sound better (which is essentially a physical problem also).

What I was referring earlier about not being able to share someone's conceptions is another added challenge, that we have discussed and tried to find ways to find a better mutual understanding. When we do, problems are solved really fast. The probability of finding a piano teacher who's mind would work more like mine is close to nothing. 

You don't seem to be able to get away from your idea that people always want to ignore given advice just because they are stubborn and think they know best. That may be your experience with yourself and your students, but I'm far too mature for such nonsense, so didn't think it is a relevant assumption for this conversation.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #31 on: February 13, 2014, 07:07:13 PM »
I try to be more clear:
To be able to handle certain thought processes and be aware of my movements and posture at the same time I need to have full 100% concentration. Trying to listen to anyone at such time is interference. This is due to my mental make up and my narrow working memory, it has nothing to do with my methods, my choices or the things the teacher has to say. Since we only meet for 45 minutes once a week, I cannot take some concentrated time for myself during the lessons to try out her suggestions and then continue with her, that would be the ideal learning environment for me. Instead the things my teacher says have to be deposited to be further processed later at home. Only then will I see if they work or not. If not, I have to either look for other solutions myself or if cannot have to wait until the next week (fortunately I mostly do find one that is also acceptable for my teacher). Mostly the issues are about solving physical problems (like playing things with streches) or how to make something sound better (which is essentially a physical problem also).

What I was referring earlier about not being able to share someone's conceptions is another added challenge, that we have discussed and tried to find ways to find a better mutual understanding. When we do, problems are solved really fast. The probability of finding a piano teacher who's mind would work more like mine is close to nothing.  

You don't seem to be able to get away from your idea that people always want to ignore given advice just because they are stubborn and think they know best. That may be your experience with yourself and your students, but I'm far too mature for such nonsense, so didn't think it is a relevant assumption for this conversation.

Quite honestly, I understand where you're coming from, but you're robbing yourself of active live feedback- which is the single most important thing. Get something a little wrong once and be guided to what you should have done and there's no harm done. Spend a whole week misunderstanding advice without feedback about what you have missed, and real harm is already done. Only geniuses tend to get things right first time, even if it's fresh in their mind. Mortals take assistance. I can't imagine how low the odds of things being properly interpreted are If you have a list of things that are no longer fresh in your mind and which cannot be shown from different angles, if they prove to be misunderstood. Without two way interaction, you're not going to have much chance of fixing any problems.

When I teach students like yourself, the only pressure I put on them is to learn to stop putting pressure in themself. That's the only thing that makes things go wrong. Too much haste and too much pressure. If you learn to go slow enough and make clear and simple movements, a new factor will never make things worse. The excess pressure you put on yourself (probably going faster than you can comfortably process what u are doing with awareness) will be the real evil and the new suggestion will merely be the straw that breaks the camel's back. When I teach students such as yourself, the only advice I give is initially based on how to stop forcing themself into things that they are not really for and instead show them to how perceive their movements with clarity, certainty and awareness. I wouldn't say a single thing other than how to simplify your movements and make them assured and comfortable for you to execute. From what you say, clearly this is not yet the case. Students such as yourself simply need to learn how to stop running themselves into difficulty and then blaming it on small factors that never challenge truly deep learning that is done without pressure. If you misunderstand the first thing about what your teacher has told you, after a week, it will be too far ingrained for him to make significant fixes. Adjustments are part and parcel of teaching. Nobody gets them right at first. Only by accepting that can you learn the most. Only trying things alone makes each lesson equivalent to a single chess move (that may not necessarily have even been accurately conveyed), where you could be learning from a whiole game.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #32 on: February 13, 2014, 10:25:05 PM »
No, you missed my point.

No, I really didn't.

I'm not making excuses for not knowing things.  That is not a learning style.

People, however, acquire knowledge in different ways.  Some people need a broad brush framework into which to place details, some start with the details and build up a picture from there. Some people learn by process. Some by rote. Some by structure. Some people are visually oriented, some aurally, some tactile and some more abstract. Theses are examples and neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

One learns best when one learns in a way that best reflects one's learning style. The way one learns best.  This has nothing to do with excusing gaps in knowledge. And good teachers adapt their teaching style to suit the pupil.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #33 on: February 14, 2014, 12:57:22 AM »
No, I really didn't.

I'm not making excuses for not knowing things.  That is not a learning style.

People, however, acquire knowledge in different ways.  Some people need a broad brush framework into which to place details, some start with the details and build up a picture from there. Some people learn by process. Some by rote. Some by structure. Some people are visually oriented, some aurally, some tactile and some more abstract. Theses are examples and neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

One learns best when one learns in a way that best reflects one's learning style. The way one learns best.  This has nothing to do with excusing gaps in knowledge. And good teachers adapt their teaching style to suit the pupil.

If you're not making excuses for failing to know things that should be known, you indeed missed my point. For that has always been my point- that failing to get to grips with basic and essential skills in favour of a narrow view is not a learning style.

All of the things you mention are indeed relevant to learning styles, but successful learners always mix it up in a balance. Otherwise they are deficient in other areas thanks to excessive dependence on a limited singular perspective. Really, the only way to learn effectively is to have breadth of knowledge and awareness of the same thing from many vantage points. Every other approach is self-limiting. Rote learning especially, is a gross limiter to reading skills unless properly balanced in a grand scheme. Fortunately, the ABRSM has a balanced syllabus that demands balanced learning for top marks. A classical pianist can't just say their "learning style" is by rote if someone hands them a simple score and asks them to play it by sight. They are deficient as a pianist and shame on them for it. Likewise, if they cannot play happy birthday by ear, they are deficient and shame on them (and that includes me- the idea that I am just a naturally visual learner is bull - it's pure deficiency on my part caused by allowing myself to depend too much on visual strengths while ignoring aural weakness). Literally any "learning style" is an imposed restriction upon learning unless it has a place in a balanced whole. If it doesn't, by very definition it is a case of making excuses for not knowing things just as you stated. You can shift balances, but if not balance exists at all then it's nothing but excuse making that will hamper the best progress.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #34 on: February 14, 2014, 02:18:43 AM »
Really, the only way to learn effectively is to have breadth of knowledge and awareness of the same thing from many vantage points.

You appear to confuse ends and means. Here most explicitly, but throughout your post.

No deficiency is evidence of a learning style, only that a thing has not been learnt.

The question is how people learn, and how they do that most effectively. Not what they don't know and what that may say about them.

Taking your example of a rote learner, a rote learning style doesn't mean you learn pieces by heart and can't sight read. It means you learn to sight read in a particular way - you acquire the skills needed to sight read in a way that is different from someone with a different learning style. Note that it is the acquisition that is different, not the skills acquired.  Different styles may have different problems associated with them at an early stage, but the end result is the same.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #35 on: February 14, 2014, 05:03:02 AM »
Quite honestly, I understand where you're coming from, but you're robbing yourself of active live feedback- which is the single most important thing. Get something a little wrong once and be guided to what you should have done and there's no harm done. Spend a whole week misunderstanding advice without feedback about what you have missed, and real harm is already done. Only geniuses tend to get things right first time, even if it's fresh in their mind. Mortals take assistance. I can't imagine how low the odds of things being properly interpreted are If you have a list of things that are no longer fresh in your mind and which cannot be shown from different angles, if they prove to be misunderstood. Without two way interaction, you're not going to have much chance of fixing any problems.

When I teach students like yourself, the only pressure I put on them is to learn to stop putting pressure in themself. That's the only thing that makes things go wrong. Too much haste and too much pressure. If you learn to go slow enough and make clear and simple movements, a new factor will never make things worse. The excess pressure you put on yourself (probably going faster than you can comfortably process what u are doing with awareness) will be the real evil and the new suggestion will merely be the straw that breaks the camel's back. When I teach students such as yourself, the only advice I give is initially based on how to stop forcing themself into things that they are not really for and instead show them to how perceive their movements with clarity, certainty and awareness. I wouldn't say a single thing other than how to simplify your movements and make them assured and comfortable for you to execute. From what you say, clearly this is not yet the case. Students such as yourself simply need to learn how to stop running themselves into difficulty and then blaming it on small factors that never challenge truly deep learning that is done without pressure. If you misunderstand the first thing about what your teacher has told you, after a week, it will be too far ingrained for him to make significant fixes. Adjustments are part and parcel of teaching. Nobody gets them right at first. Only by accepting that can you learn the most. Only trying things alone makes each lesson equivalent to a single chess move (that may not necessarily have even been accurately conveyed), where you could be learning from a whiole game.

You obviously did not understand much of what I wrote. And you certainly do not understand where I am coming from at all, if you did, you wouldn't write such nonsense. It's not about what I want but what is possible and what gives results. But I do admit that I am exceptionally good in solving problems and figuring out things myself, which is one of the things that compensates for my weaknesses.

I seriously doubt you have any students like me, considering the things you have written in this thread an others. If you had they probably dropped out. My teacher is a better judge of my progress and I really don't remember getting something "wrong" after working it out myself, my teacher is usually very happy about what I have achieved. But sometimes I don't progress much and need more interaction (which does exist, just not in the way you are used to). Getting things wrong is unlikely because I can judge the results myself if I have an idea what I am trying to achieve tonally (which was the point that started this discussion).

BTW, It's usually my teacher, not me, who decides to leave it, she has learned to see when it's useless to go on and it's better to let me figure it out myself.

You are trapped in your own mind (edit: thought process) and are unable to think outside of it. But don't worry, most people do, it's ok.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #36 on: February 14, 2014, 05:10:46 AM »


You are trapped in your own mind and are unable to think outside of it.


How could anyone think outside of their mind, when literally ALL of their thinking is done inside of it?  ???

 ;)

Offline j_menz

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #37 on: February 14, 2014, 05:15:03 AM »
How could anyone think outside of their mind, when literally ALL of their thinking is done inside of it?  ???

 ;)

You might be surprised.  Rodin famously could only think in bronze.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #38 on: February 14, 2014, 05:18:59 AM »
How could anyone think outside of their mind, when literally ALL of their thinking is done inside of it?  ???

 ;)

Try it sometimes, it's called expanding your counsciousness :)

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #39 on: February 14, 2014, 05:26:44 AM »
But whether your consciousness is expanded or not, your thinking takes place in your actual brain. So even if you really are thinking outside of your own brain, it's still ultimately inside of your brain that your thoughts are taking place.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #40 on: February 14, 2014, 05:37:13 AM »
But whether your consciousness is expanded or not, your thinking takes place in your actual brain. So even if you really are thinking outside of your own brain, it's still ultimately inside of your brain that your thoughts are taking place.

Is a thought something that stays in the brain? Just like musical sounds, are they only inside the piano where they are created? :)

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #41 on: February 14, 2014, 10:14:49 AM »
You obviously did not understand much of what I wrote. And you certainly do not understand where I am coming from at all, if you did, you wouldn't write such nonsense. It's not about what I want but what is possible and what gives results. But I do admit that I am exceptionally good in solving problems and figuring out things myself, which is one of the things that compensates for my weaknesses.

I seriously doubt you have any students like me, considering the things you have written in this thread an others. If you had they probably dropped out. My teacher is a better judge of my progress and I really don't remember getting something "wrong" after working it out myself, my teacher is usually very happy about what I have achieved. But sometimes I don't progress much and need more interaction (which does exist, just not in the way you are used to). Getting things wrong is unlikely because I can judge the results myself if I have an idea what I am trying to achieve tonally (which was the point that started this discussion).

BTW, It's usually my teacher, not me, who decides to leave it, she has learned to see when it's useless to go on and it's better to let me figure it out myself.

You are trapped in your own mind (edit: thought process) and are unable to think outside of it. But don't worry, most people do, it's ok.


I understand exactly what you wrote as I used to be that way myself. My technique was purely a matter of my own experiments in sound production and I got frustrated if someone tried to slow me down and make me improve on the things which I really was getting badly wrong in that moment (no matter whether I knew it), much to my own expense. It's not easy to bite the bullet, but I wouldn't be playing an advanced level of repertoire had I not eventually done so. My "learning style"  was a manner of a self-limitation that I had to be coaxed out of by others but above all by myself. These things are not unchangeable unless you choose for them to be. If you only want to learn what you choose to learn, don't change anything. But if you want to learn what your teacher can pass on to you, you have to be willing to let them pass it on with a sense of humility and an open mind. I learned very little that wasn't self-taught before I learned to approach lessons this way. When I changed, it turned out that what other people wished to teach me was really very useful, if I was willing to hear it.

My experience at starting out on very much the same path means that I can empathise very much with the sense of frustration you experience in these situations. I don't see it from a brash and uncaring teacher only side. However, it also makes me realise that people don't reach their full potential unless you try to gently coax them out of what is inherently a very limited manner of learning, by taking care to treat them sensitively and positively- but also gently challenging the narrowness of how they try to view things.

Dismiss it as nonsense if you will. But I say this for no other than reason that the fact that discovering that a lack of adaptability was merely a choice was the only thing that got me anywhere notable in my learning, after many years of making just superficial progress "my way".

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #42 on: February 14, 2014, 10:40:43 AM »
You appear to confuse ends and means. Here most explicitly, but throughout your post.

No deficiency is evidence of a learning style, only that a thing has not been learnt.

The question is how people learn, and how they do that most effectively. Not what they don't know and what that may say about them.

Taking your example of a rote learner, a rote learning style doesn't mean you learn pieces by heart and can't sight read. It means you learn to sight read in a particular way - you acquire the skills needed to sight read in a way that is different from someone with a different learning style. Note that it is the acquisition that is different, not the skills acquired.

You're preaching to the choir. That's exactly what I'm saying- but only IF there is proper balance being taught. But as soon as some loon decides that a beginner who learned a few pieces by rote is therefore a rote learner by style (and spoonfeeds them everything to cater to that style) you have created a long-term poor sightreader.  The end result is not at all the same, unless you have a balanced curriculum. The way to do that is to pick up where skills are not being developed and pay urgent attention to them. Not to say "this is how person x learns" and continue with an inherently limitation riddled approached that will never give them the other parts of the picture.

It's amazing how quickly even a child becomes stuck in their ways. The concept of learning styles breeds nothing but weaknesses unless you are very clear about developing the whole picture. Myself, I can't play by ear for toffee. You said you've never memorised a piece in your life. We both prove that sitting back with the learning style we are used to doesn't magically fill in the gaps. Our "learning styles" were imbalanced and thus we developed our own respective handicaps. To assume that everyone magically gets from a to the same b quite grossly misses the point. That's exactly what fails to happen beyond any reasonable question, if a learning style is not expanded into versatility of vision. We've both depended on too narrow a range of skills and have thus developed completely different types of severe weaknesses, by not doing enough outside our strengths. Is that not completely self-evident? Positive as a "learning style" may seem on the surface, it's a self fulfilling prophecy about deficiencies, not a positive thing, unless strengths are used to repair weaknesses in an extremely well structured fashion. This is where interrelating weaker viewpoints (rather than narrowly segregating our favourite skills to depend on) is essential to creating a balanced skill set.

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #43 on: February 14, 2014, 10:44:41 AM »
I understand exactly what you wrote as I used to be that way myself.

No, you THINK you understand, but you clearly don't. You definitely have never been anything like me. If you had, you would know better.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #44 on: February 14, 2014, 10:52:58 AM »
No, you THINK you understand, but you clearly don't. You definitely have never been anything like me. If you had, you would know better.

Yes that's exactly how I would have responded when I insisted that the best way to learn was "my way". I too was a lone maverick who had to be in charge of my own destiny and didn't like external "interference". I've since discovered that "my way" became a lot more effective when I expanded its breadth and became interested in seeing the same thing from as many different angles as possible, before calling even my teacher's input "interference".

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #45 on: February 14, 2014, 10:54:01 AM »
Same old, same old... The irony is too much!

Offline outin

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #46 on: February 14, 2014, 12:58:39 PM »
Yes that's exactly how I would have responded when I insisted that the best way to learn was "my way". I too was a lone maverick who had to be in charge of my own destiny and didn't like external "interference". I've since discovered that "my way" became a lot more effective when I expanded its breadth and became interested in seeing the same thing from as many different angles as possible, before calling even my teacher's input "interference".

Maybe you had problems then and should be glad if you feel you are doing better now. But it is foolish for you to assume other people aren't able to handle things better than you can.

I donít know where it comes from but you seem to have an excess need for projection: Whatever you have experienced you insist others must have experienced too. You also seem to think people are like you even when itís obvious to others they are not. Everyone must suffer from all the inadequacies that you feel you once had (of course you donít see yourself having them anymore) and everyone who does not agree with you suffers from delusions. You would make quite an interesting case for some psychological evaluation. But I hope itís just your internet personality, otherwise your interaction with people must cause quite a lot of friction.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #47 on: February 14, 2014, 03:49:02 PM »
Maybe you had problems then and should be glad if you feel you are doing better now. But it is foolish for you to assume other people aren't able to handle things better than you can.

Well, I don't know what standard you are, but (seeing as you openly presume superiority to my own position) at the time I was playing the first movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd concerto with orchestra. I was very lucky to have got that far, considering my attitude. If you honestly expect to handle things well enough to go further than I did via narrow mindedness, I wish you the best of luck.

I find it rather amusing that you think I see would see myself in all students. I only see notable similarity to what you have raised here in a truly miniscule percentage of students. While few students are balanced, the strengths and weaknesses come in infinite different combinations. It's just that what you wrote genuinely gives a near perfect description of the attitudes I used to take. I didn't say that what I experienced must be be what you experienced. I said that what you have stated yourself to be your personal way of looking it gives a perfect summary of how I had been looking at it. I can relate all too easily to what you wrote, whether you'd like to believe it or not. Learning always depends on both teacher and pupil. If either party is inflexible about seeing a big picture with many components, that is a limiter that may be impossible to compensate for. As a student, I had to go through so many different points of view in order to make meaningful progress (after my initial inflexibility) that as a teacher I've become used to spotting imbalances in all kinds of different areas (including both those where I had to work hard and those where I never had any problems). However, I cannot help an inflexible pupil to become a balanced learner, if they are only willing to see problems from a limited number of angles. No teacher can help a student beyond the limits of their open mindedness, for that student is essentially self-taught- with little but their own strengths and weaknesses to guide them. Those of us who are actually teachers here, will know all too well how limiting it is to spend too much time a self-learner and how narrowly viewpoints evolve when a student is not helped to see things from many external angles, rather than from a limited perspective.

PS. Anyone who thinks caring to help students improve on their weaknesses is some kind of gross cruelty should read Paul Harris' books on simultaneous learning. Using existing strengths to train absent skills via specific associations is how to make progress and diversify into a balanced learner. Using existing strengths independently of any effort to build upon absent skills is how to use strengths to actively build weaknesses, however. Unfortunately the concept of learning style is all too often abused to actively encourage the latter. All students can become more balanced, as long as they are open minded. Even closed-minded students can be coaxed (at least in childhood). Once in adulthood, however, students may not be open minded enough to allow themself a chance of trying something adequately before giving up in favour of what they already know.

Offline pianoman53

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #48 on: February 14, 2014, 06:02:53 PM »
I'm just happy for outin that s/he found her way of learning... Then I'm just unhappy with people who think they know what's best for people they have never met, or watched play. Just saying. Not anything personal to anyone.


Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Wrist Staccato
«Reply #49 on: February 14, 2014, 06:52:18 PM »
I'm just happy for outin that s/he found her way of learning... Then I'm just unhappy with people who think they know what's best for people they have never met, or watched play. Just saying. Not anything personal to anyone.



Well, I hope she's happy too. However, this is a teacher's forum. As a teacher, I'm not going to indulge in back-slapping for an attitude to learning that actively limits scope for a balanced range of abilities. If a teacher considers something important enough to be worth pointing out during a lesson, a student who considers it "interference" (thus judging that they know more than the teacher about what causes negative bad habits) should either be open minded enough to listen to their teacher or they should sack the teacher whose advice they consider an interference and go with their own authority outright. Maybe some teachers bring in too many things too soon, but a good teacher doesn't stop a sensitive student unless something is too important to leave alone. Where do we draw the line? Do we allow students to misread the key signature for a whole piece because that's their "learning style"? If a student is happier that way, so be it, but nobody should humour the idea that this is anything other than severely counterproductive learning, in a thread for professional teachers- even if some people are only willing to learn on such paths.


While I believe in treating sensitive students with care in lessons, in a thread for teachers I'm simply not going to humour the idea that selective learning with a generally closed mind is a good way to learn. The ideal student has a combination of humility and personal insight. But if they are treating their teacher as someone who knows less about them regarding how to learn, they have a poor balance and are closing doors in the face of their potential. A good teacher shows students how to break things down into manageable stages. A student who isn't interested in this type of organisation may very well be happy, but they won't get to grade 8 level without swallowing their pride and being willing to learn how to stop getting in their own way.