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Author Topic: Two primary teaching strategies  (Read 1658 times)
Mayla
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« on: April 16, 2014, 03:21:04 PM »

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nyiregyhazi
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 07:18:46 PM »

As I see it, there are two main factors in teaching strategies:

1.  Introducing ideas or bringing them to consciousness

2.  Bringing already existing but "separated" elements together, to function as a unit


My impression is that education in general, as well as piano lessons, focuses very largely on the first, and fairly minimally on the second.  I think that the second is largely considered the job of the individual learner, and I can very much understand how that might be considered a pretty fair idea.  I also think the emphasis on the first is largely a matter of necessity in the context of limited time and resources.  However, I am interested in exploring this concept of the second especially.  

What strategies can be employed by a teacher to give support to the second portion above?  And, do you believe it is a different type of teaching than the first?

Look up Paul harris' books on simultaneous learning. He covers the issue very well.
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Mayla
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 04:28:03 PM »

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nyiregyhazi
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 10:08:34 PM »

I think the book you mean is "The Virtuoso Teacher"?  I see a chart about simultaneous learning, but not a book titled that way.  Either way, probably the book is a valuable read.

But, part of what sprouts the question is that I really don't know that there is a learning institution or curriculum or any type of program that would be right for me, to help me pull everything together that needs pulling together.  I am wanting to pull together singing, composing, piano, pedagogy (especially towards piano and music in general), and those would include a deep(er) study in related subjects, too (and, ultimately, I'd like to pull a couple of other art forms and even science and spirituality all together).  Is there really a place in the world that would be as interested in helping somebody like me pull such a big thing together, as much (or more?) than they are interested in simply letting a virtuoso instrumentalist or singer, or a designated composer, pass through their school and possibly into a designated profession?  More and more, I am brinking on believing and feeling as though there is not such a place/program.

For me, I don't exactly know how to fit myself into what currently exists in the world, and all of those aspects that I mentioned above are already so tied together that it seems nearly impossible to decide something like "OK, I will "only" be an Opera singer",  which has felt like some dilemma all along.  I don't mean to and actually can't seem to exclude a portion of it all, because my greatest concept of music and living a musical life includes them all together - so, it has been my experience, that while I can focus on one at times more than another, ultimately I need them all in order to understand even a particular aspect by itself best.

And anytime I have questions like that about myself and the world, I think about it all as it relates to teaching and (possible) students, and what I can do as a teacher.  But, since teaching is part of what I am still pulling together, that aspect of my musical concept affects my entire musical being, including my own playing.  Do I sit at the piano and simultaneously madly keep a written journal with all of the thoughts and connections and concepts that are filling my head (almost beyond my control) while I am playing?  Or, do I forget about trying to teach and trying to formalize musical connections between the elements I listed above for the moment, and rather "just sit there and play" while trusting the connections are formalizing themselves in a way that will become clear on their own, and that when they are clear, I can write them down at that point?  I sometimes don't know which to be or do!  And, then, that very quandary creates a problem that didn't exist before.

I forget the name of the book I have, but I don't think it's that one (unless it's been given different titles). It's a short book aimed at general teaching issues that at first glance looks very superficial but which actually contains tremendous insight on specifically how to link skills while seemingly just playing around, much of the time. It's basically a way to just let things evolve without necessarily even realising, but from a backdrop of hidden organisation (as opposed to aimless negligence).

I have no idea what kinds of thought and concepts you're referring to, so it's impossible to say. Examples? I don't think these things can be discussed meaningfully in purely hypothetical turns.
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jpahmad
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 02:50:06 PM »

Yes Mayla, could you please give more concrete examples.  Everything seems a little abstract right now.

         
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Mayla
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 05:21:43 PM »

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nyiregyhazi
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 06:23:20 PM »

I just wrote a giant post that posted myself into a giant, seemingly unintelligible spiral, so I'm going to whittle this down to one particular question that is currently in my mind:

Does tonality drive rhythm, or does rhythm drive tonality (within the context of tonal music)?

That might be a truly leading question in the sea that is currently my being, but there is an infinite number of seemingly pressing concepts and questions circling around, that has to do with pretty much every aspect of life -from giant to tiny- that I can imagine.

And, while that is a question I am currently working with, as much as I want to better grasp the concept of the question itself, I am just as interested (if not more) in the principle(s) behind successfully bringing something like tonality as a "separate" idea and rhythm as a "separate" idea together, to form a (more) unified whole.  I am interested in the process of bringing ideas together as a learner myself, and as a teacher, but there is some kind of tangle between being interested in the process, as well as interested in the concept (the answer to the question) - and some kind of tangle between being a learner myself and a teacher of many (different types of) students all at once, who wants to understand the process as well as the concept.  I'm going to force myself to stop there.



? Are you trying to be metaphysical for the sake of it? The idea of rhythm driving tonality is meaningless- as evidenced by the fact that a composer will frequently take the same rhythm and vary pitch. If you're talking about pitches dictating the details of rhythmic execution then that's an interesting topic. But the fact that you ask the meaningless opposite suggests that this is just the pointless pseudo intellectualism associated with drug consumption. If you want to make bizarre intangible links then feel free, but don't expect anyone to be able to discuss things that only have a meaning in your own head.

If you honestly hope to discuss this then be genuinely specific. That post was more vague not more specific.
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Mayla
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 06:29:52 PM »

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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
nyiregyhazi
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 06:37:25 PM »

Tongue

Well, I actually already *know* they end up (or start out?) working as a unit, and that asking the question is similar to asking what came first, the chicken or the egg?  And then it is possible to separate them out to some degree, and to look at them individually to some degree.  But, for me it is attached to some other concepts, as well, and I can't get the kind of clarity about each of these things separately, as well as how they all work together, that I would like.  It's really close!  But, not quite there yet.

I am reading through/actually studying the entire WTC, books I and II (and perhaps as many JS Bach's works that I can get my hands on).  It's related also  Grin


It's a meaningless issue either way, is the answer. Trying to find some kind of useful teaching strategy from pseudo philosophy is a dead end. By all means consider these issues in your own head but if you think that something so practically irrelevant is of use to a learner, it isn't.

If you want something relevant to how to express interpretation then read konrad wolff on schnabel's teaching and start asking musical rather than abstract questions. It's infinitely more productive.
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 06:02:01 AM »

@Maya, Whence learning?  It goes into the beast/body/soma as training and comes out via consciousness.  Where was it in between?  Where's your WTC while you're shopping? 
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goldentone
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 07:57:46 AM »

It was on a train that Gershwin heard the "steely rhythms" that became Rhapsody In Blue.  Beethoven also heard the rhythm, in the Eroica I believe it was, before the pitch came into being.  These have mystified and fascinated me: the unexpected rather than the orthodox path of creation.  For both of them in these examples the elements were separated into consecutive being.

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