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At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall October 23, 2013, pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn’s D major Piano Concerto, interrupted by an audience member’s cell phone ringing for the second time the same concert. Read more >>

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Author Topic: New Piano Method with Excellent results!  (Read 1902 times)
nicco
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« on: May 13, 2017, 04:54:37 PM »

Hi everyone!

Its been a few years since I've posted here, but getting back sure brings back the memories!

I wanted to show you all a new piano method, developed by my piano method teacher in our university, and tested on a lot of beginners of all ages. Its primarily designed for children aged 6-10, but works for older students as well. The results so far are pretty amazing, as the success rate of students actually learning to read music very fast and accurately is near to 100% so far.

The method is based around a concept that if you simplify the notation to its very core, and then gradually build the difficulty as you go along, the beginner will have a much smoother way into the world of reading music on the piano, and develop a much more secure way of reading.

The method has now been released as an app on the App Store for iPad/Iphone, and from the App you can print any sheet you would like, and have access to a lot of learning material and detailed explanations about all the content. Currently I'm using this for all my beginners, and its made my teaching a lot easier, while maximising the potential for my students.

Of course, after the method is complete and the beginner can read sheet music well, you can move on to pretty much anything of your choice Smiley

Here is a small demo video showing the basics of the method, and a link to the website, where you can find download links and discussions.

Please share, and tell me what you think of it!!

http://pianoseesaw.com

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keypeg
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 02:54:11 AM »

In "excellent" results - what are the results, of what goals, and how do you define excellent, and measured or assessed how?
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 05:00:52 AM »

I'm going to take a bit of info from the blog that's posted under the video you included...

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Children between the ages of 6 and 10 have a very limited capacity to visually understand a regular notation system

I already have a 7 year old who has been playing since the age of 4 and is about to start learning AMEB exam repertoire. I have more than 2 dozen students between the ages of 6 & 10 who can easily identify the notes on the written stave.

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Children readily understand the simple symbols, and it is easy to implement them

The method is based around a concept that if you simplify the notation to its very core



Looking at the video... the transition seems incredibly awkward, and not in the slightest bit simple.

I don't apologise for saying this, but if you have students who can't read simple notation, then either you're not teaching them properly or there is something seriously wrong.

Why teach them one curiously odd, and quirky method just to transition them to another method, when it's easier to just start them on the method you're going to have to transition to anyway??? Why implement a method that's going to be redundanct after xx amount of lessons anyway, when you reach real notation???
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hardy_practice
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 06:50:57 AM »

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Children between the ages of 6 and 10 have a very limited capacity to visually understand a regular notation system

Tell that to Mozart!
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dogperson
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 07:38:37 AM »

Tell that to Mozart!


Tell that to tons of kids  that start piano before the age of 10 and learn to read music well.  In addition, there are established pedagogical methods  for teaching preschool children.   I do  not see the value in what you are proposing. 
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keypeg
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 09:48:49 AM »

Children between ages 6 to 10 learn to read and write, and in math graphing, and charts are introduced.  What is this idea based on, that they cannot learn to read notation (which is like graphs and charts)?  The design actually looks more like something that an adult would come up, for adults in its logic and complexity.  It looks complicated. 
Every once in a while we come across some version of lining up notation with piano keys.  Written music is universal.  The same melody can be played on a piano, a violin, a flute, or sung.  As soon as it is dependent on one instrument, there is a problem.  And then there is a problem of dependence on a limited amount of music written by the creator of this system, and not being able to walk into any music store and pick up music of your choice.
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outin
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 10:57:18 AM »

Seems like this is meant to be a way to learn to associate notes directly with keys instead of learning to associate note names to lines and spaces and then only later get rid of that extra step? So this is not a new way of notating music like the dao staff for example but a tool to learn to read traditional notation. It seems complicated to me, but that is probably because of the way it is presented in the video. One would need to see it in action in the teaching situation to evaluate it.

Some children do not learn to read properly with the traditional method due to whatever issues they have, so it's not useless to try to  develope new methods.
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nicco
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 11:25:16 AM »

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It looks complicated.

This is one of many typical obstacles. A lack of an open mind, curiousness towards new ways other then your own, quickly judging something based on the first impression without trying to understand it, etc. Yes, isolating a page from the middle of the method may look complicated at first sight. If you take a page from a Rachmaninoff concerto and show to a 7 year old, he will also think it looks complicated.

Please bare in mind for what reason the method exists. Of course there are pupils who naturally understand "regular" notation quickly. But for the majority of teachers who work in schools with anything from 20-50 pupils a week, one knows there are many who struggle, and would clearly benefit from a child friendly notation system, where the distractions and confusions are reduced.

The video only gives a very compressed view of the method, of course the path from the simplest notation to regular is smooth, and only introduces one new element per piece.

Quote
I don't apologise for saying this, but if you have students who can't read simple notation, then either you're not teaching them properly or there is something seriously wrong.

Im happy you have such success with your students! It would be very interesting to hear about your methods, and how you are able to teach notation with such ease to your beginning piano players!

This method is based upon some 20 years of teaching experience, and is an attempt to integrate a lot of the best ideas from various schools. The idea of haptic orientation, starting off on the black keys to develop a natural hand position, introduction of improvisation, composing your own little pieces, and many other elements. One of the most interesting thing for us, the teachers using this method, is how its perceived by people who know absolutely nothing about it, and how they judge it based on first impressions. So far so good, eh? Smiley

Quote
In "excellent" results - what are the results, of what goals, and how do you define excellent, and measured or assessed how?

Good question! With results I would think of it as how well and how quickly a young pupil is able to read music well enough to be able to learn a piece on his own. Myself, trying out different methods on different pupils, found that this one proved most efficient not only to those who learned quickly, but those who struggled.

Quote
it's not useless to try to develope new methods.

Thank you outin, very nice to see someone with these kind of opinions!
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 01:28:58 PM »

If you take a page from a Rachmaninoff concerto and show to a 7 year old, he will also think it looks complicated.

Oh please - that's the most idiotic comparison I've ever heard. How about you take that same page from the Concerto and convert it to the Seesaw method... You take that same page and show it to High Schoolers and they'd STILL think it looks complicated. Your argument is invalid.

Please bare in mind for what reason the method exists. Of course there are pupils who naturally understand "regular" notation quickly. But for the majority of teachers who work in schools with anything from 20-50 pupils a week, one knows there are many who struggle, and would clearly benefit from a child friendly notation system, where the distractions and confusions are reduced.

I AM a teacher that teaches 50+ pupils a week. The only student who struggled was a lovely young student who was bound to a wheelchair and had incredibly weak fingers. Again, a pointless argument.

...it's not useless to try to develop new methods.

We've had multiple users claim that over the last 10 years on this forum, and they were laughed at as hard as this method. If this were really true - SOMEONE over the last 10, hell, even 25 - 50 years would have come up with something similar... and yet NONE have prevailed over the standard notational system.

I wonder why that is?!?
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outin
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 01:46:12 PM »

I wonder why that is?!?

Maybe because it is much easier to just let the students with special problems stop trying? Either quit lessons or just manage without proper reading skills. After all playing music is not compulsory. If you really have not had a student who struggle with learning notation you have been quite lucky with your students. If you go on as a teacher I am sure you will meet one sooner or later. Hope you can deal with it then.

BTW. There are other modern methods developed for the purpose of teaching notation and at least the pre staff notation is commonly used by teachers today.



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visitor
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 02:20:41 PM »

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dogperson
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 02:25:24 PM »

Maybe because it is much easier to just let the students with special problems stop trying? Either quit lessons or just manage without proper reading skills. After all playing music is not compulsory. If you really have not had a student who struggle with learning notation you have been quite lucky with your students. If you go on as a teacher I am sure you will meet one sooner or later. Hope you can deal with it then.

BTW. There are other mosern methods developed for the purpose of teaching notation and at least the pre staff notation is commonly used by teachers today.





 I have just finished reading "a soprano on her head "   By Eloise Ristad  in which she devotes several chapters in discussing  teaching students with difficulties  in learning notation or rhythm.   A quite interesting read.  For Students  with notational reading problems she doesn't create a new stave but works with the student to change the orientation of the stave from vertical to horizontal so that they can see the relationship of the notes on the paper to the keys.  When anyone comes out with a 'new' approach which is generally self-limiting, I always wonder if they have really been creative in teaching with the one that we already have. 

Of course I've taken several chapters and collapsed it into one thought.  This book is a well recommended read, not just for teachers but for all of us as it also addresses performance anxiety, interpretation and how we can psychologically limit our own progress.   It is a book I will re-read periodically.
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nicco
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 02:26:35 PM »

Quote
the most idiotic
Quote
pointless argument.
Quote
I wonder why that is?!?

Thanks for the reply! I do though have to ask you why your preferred choice of feedback has to be aggressive, spiteful and down right dismissive? I´m really not trying to force you into using this, its purely for anyone who are interested in teaching. Showing some respect for the work of others will get you a long way, and won't make you come off as a stereotypical angry internet troll.

As teachers I feel we have a responsibility of helping each other, and contribute to the society as much as we can, in order to develop ourselves and learn from each other. As mentioned earlier, if you have discovered, or yourself developed, some kind of other brilliant method, I would love to hear about it. Having not encountered a single pupil who struggles with learning must either mean you are incredibly fortunate, or have very low standards for your pupils. I hope the first!

After reviewing the feedback on the video I realise its not very clear whats going on, so we will work on adjusting the speed and clarity!

Thanks again for any feedback Smiley





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nicco
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2017, 02:29:23 PM »

For Students  with notational reading problems she doesn't create a new stave but works with the student to change the orientation of the stave from vertical to horizontal so that they can see the relationship of the notes on the paper to the keys.

Very cool! And, interestingly, is exactly what this method does. It starts off as a vertical read, from up and downwards, and changes after a few pieces to show the relationship between up/down and left/right on the piano!
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dogperson
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2017, 02:33:30 PM »

Very cool! And, interestingly, is exactly what this method does. It starts off as a vertical read, from up and downwards, and changes after a few pieces to show the relationship between up/down and left/right on the piano!


 Have you read the book?  If you've read the book I would appreciate your feedback replying why  a new method is needed.
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2017, 02:40:12 PM »

Why do these discussions have to be so black and white, new versus old? I'm sure in teaching individualized applications of methods are common with teachers. If someone has found one that works, what's wrong with sharing it and discussing it in a mature way? Someone may find it useful, while others prefer what they are using already.
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nicco
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2017, 02:59:13 PM »



 Have you read the book?  If you've read the book I would appreciate your feedback replying why  a new method is needed.

I haven't read the book no, but I can try to answer your question anyway! In our view its very helpful for a child, when approached with a notated piece of music, that the notation is greatly simplified, in addition to the rotation. Especially if you want to start the lessons by playing on the black keys, with is desirable because of increased haptic orientation on the black keys, compared to the white keys. Thats one of the main reasons behind this method!

And I agree with outin that we shouldn't be so black and white on things. Im sure there are lots of concepts that work, and this is merely another one! Its trying to build on ideas that have existed for years, and implementing our own experiences into it.


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keypeg
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2017, 07:06:11 PM »

This is one of many typical obstacles. A lack of an open mind, curiousness towards new ways other then your own, quickly judging something based on the first impression without trying to understand it, etc.
The "complicated" comment was also one of mine.  You don't know me at all, so you don't know whether or not I have an open mind etc.  If anything I am highly experimental, dump things "out of the box", turn them on their head and so on.  You also don't know whether or not I tried to understand it.  I took enough time to figure out where it was going and why it was the way it was --- it actually isn't that hard to understand, honestly.
If teaching reading conventional notation to this age group has been problematic, it may well by how it has been taught, rather than the notation itself.  In fact, the manner it is taught (a couple of approaches) are problematic.  The ideas in this notation actually indirectly address some of it --- for example, reading being a fusing of the notation to the piano keys rather than memorizing names twice over, and other devices that are being used in the teaching methodologies out there.
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nicco
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2017, 07:17:40 PM »

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You don't know me at all, so you don't know whether or not I have an open mind etc.

Hi keypeg! Im sorry if I you were offended, I didn't mean to target anyone specific here! I just meant that I've met this kind of attitude a lot, the kind of instant judgement and quick dismissal of ideas. I certainly didn't mean to say that you, or anyone else here was like that, it was more a stupid generalisation. Im happy you took the time to look through the method, and I completely agree a lot of it comes down how its taught. But in my own experience, this method has simply made life easier for both me and my students, and maybe it could be helpful for someone else!

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keypeg
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2017, 08:06:34 PM »

nicco - a thought.  Any system is only a tool.  The actual thing is the teaching by the teacher, the learning by the student, and the interaction in real time.  How you use this tool or device is what matters above all.
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anamnesis
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2017, 08:11:33 PM »

Just some linked food for thought without commentary on the new method itself as I haven't look at closely enough to evaluate:

Some sort of haptic orientation, (using the black keys), isn't that new.  In fact if you want to see a set of beginner lesson examples that uses this idea, you can find it on this very forum:

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=2260.msg90216#msg90216

It should be of interest to the OP as well as others as it doesn't intiallly require forgoing traditional notation, and instead offers some strategies that work with it.  
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klavieronin
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2017, 03:38:11 AM »

This method looks fairly interesting to me. I've tried similar approaches in my lessons with varied results. For some people it works, for others not so much. I definitely appreciate the OP sharing this method in the forum though. I think it's always useful to hear about new ideas (even if you don't agree with them).

From my experience though, the greatest obstacle is definitely motivation. Virtually 100% of the time those who struggle with notation the most are those lacking motivation (i.e. don't practice at home). Finding a way to motivate a student seems to be a matter of case by case experimentation and trial and error. If anyone knows a fool proof method for motivating students please share it!

In case any one is interested, the method I use to teach notation involves breaking down traditional notation into separate components (rhythm, pitch, dynamics, articulation, etc.) and teaching them individually through various games and activities. Then I start putting them together.

Generally speaking though I prefer to wait until the student is a little more comfortable moving around the keyboard before teaching them how to read. The first thing I teach is how to keep time and how to count in 2's, 3's and 4's while playing a note every 2, 3, or 4 beats.

I am planning to make a video series of my 'method' (the first video of which you can see here; https://youtu.be/V_mNB3wxQ2Q), but who knows how long this will take or even if I'll ever finish 😞
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2017, 12:26:21 PM »

Maybe because it is much easier to just let the students with special problems stop trying? Either quit lessons or just manage without proper reading skills. After all playing music is not compulsory. If you really have not had a student who struggle with learning notation you have been quite lucky with your students.

Well... I do teach in a school of high-achievers, so I guess I wouldn't have had that problem. Do some kids find it hard to learn the traditional way? They usually love shapes, and symbols... and usually soak up most things like a sponge...
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outin
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »

Well... I do teach in a school of high-achievers, so I guess I wouldn't have had that problem. Do some kids find it hard to learn the traditional way? They usually love shapes, and symbols... and usually soak up most things like a sponge...

Well, hard to tell how common it is, but there is a thing called "note dyslexia" (my translation).
I also encountered an adult (a friend) who despite of lessons cannot really "get" notation. Hard to tell if another approach in the beginning would have made a difference or not.
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2017, 02:14:59 PM »

Well, hard to tell how common it is, but there is a thing called "note dyslexia" (my translation).
I also encountered an adult (a friend) who despite of lessons cannot really "get" notation. Hard to tell if another approach in the beginning would have made a difference or not.

For what it's worth, here's a post that I wrote on reddit for someone who struggled with sight-reading because of his or her dyslexia:

https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/661oa3/has_anyone_successfully_taught_themselves_how_to/dgflwn5/
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outin
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2017, 03:34:31 PM »

For what it's worth, here's a post that I wrote on reddit for someone who struggled with sight-reading because of his or her dyslexia:

https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/661oa3/has_anyone_successfully_taught_themselves_how_to/dgflwn5/

Thanks, interesting read.

It seems some people with text dyslexia can read notation just fine and some cannot. And there are people like me who have no dyslexia with text, only numbers and have a really hard time reading music despite knowing and understanding notation. My problem is purely visual, it's really hard to determine where the notes are and often if they are the same or different. I can interpret note figures but have a hard time determining where on the staff they are located, so I frequently get it wrong. My ear tells me it's not right but even then my eyes cannot see the correct position. Can be awfully frustrating. The notes do sometimes jump around on the page too, but luckily not that often. They just slightly "shift" to make me think that I have to go up or down when in fact the pitch is the same. And when I get it wrong they laugh at me Sad (well not really, it just sounded cool)

I was taught notation in the traditional way, but I feel the physical side of my playing suffered greatly and may be one reason why I was always so tense. An approach which is less staff oriented in the beginning might have saved me from quitting, who knows...
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2017, 09:01:10 PM »

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Why implement a new notation system that is going to be redundant after some lessons, when you reach regular notation?

Because the customized notation system the PianoSeesaw method starts off with, is intuitively understandable, where the regular notation system is not for most students.
The advantage of the PianoSeesaw approach is that the students after a short introduction readily understand the notation. There is no learning required because it is self explanatory. During several stages the musical notation transforms smoothly (Musical Notation Transformation - MNT), no extensive explanations are needed and at the end of this process the notation shows the regular staff with treble and bass clef.

The students learn to read music effortlessly, so to speak, without noticing it.
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2017, 11:24:53 AM »

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« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2017, 11:47:37 AM »

I have now had a closer second look at the videos and read the explanation with more care.  In the text:
Quote
Before this new method, when music reading beginning on the black keys was introduced, it was mostly realized with note symbols off the staff in conjunction with the respective fingerings. This can not really be considered as music reading because in this way the pupils were unintentionally conditioned to focus on the fingering and look away from the notes 
I very often see this, where an idea is introduced - new or old - where the writer has been reacting to something he has encountered and is fixing it.  Since this is his experience, it's his reality and so seems universal.  In this case it is a teaching method that relies on finger numbers as its starting point and creates a dependence on finger numbers, and orientation to the fingers rather than the notes, and other problems.  There are, imho, poor "teaching" practices which lead to unfortunate results which your team is trying to circumvent.
You need to be aware that the method of starting teaching via finger numbers is unpopular with most people on PS, it's not done, so the problem being circumvented doesn't happen.  This is a key point for communicating with folks here, because it's a very key point.  If what you folks saw was in a classroom situation in a school system, maybe that school system used fingering-oriented approaches while giving mass education in music.  Since that is a poor system creating problems in the learner, your new approach does not end up with those problems which were the results of poor methodology.  Folks in the forum may be teaching in a way different way, which does not result in those problems, and may not want to fix what ain't broken.  This may be at the core of some of the poor communication here.  Would this make sense?
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« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2017, 12:23:07 PM »

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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2017, 02:55:21 PM »

@ keypeg: Thank you for the extensive review of parts from the promotional text of the PianoSeesaw.com website. Your feedback will have consequences for the text. A promotional text though cannot describe all details of a method.
I think it can be assumed that an educated piano pedagog knows about solfege and varied aural training strategies (It looks like you do). The promotional text therefore doesn’t mention these learning fields. 

In a previous post you are describing yourself as highly experimental. Congratulations! I think the next step for you should be to try the method (for free, see link below) and then give feedback about how it went. The method works very well with students who have started off with solfege (like your students) and/or playing by ear. Just start with piece no. 2 or no. 3.

You don’t even need to purchase the app! The creator of the method has set up a web based resource which gives, for the time being, free access to all of the materials: music, teacher parts and -guides, backing tracks, writing worksheets. The pieces no. 1-3 and the associated materials are available even without registering.

Take a look here: http://pianoseesaw.com/pieces-english/
In case you need to see more pieces without registering just let me know.


P.S.: The moving green songposition line is only shown in the demo videos. The music is presented without any animation. The app is not a game. It is a multimedia piano book. We are on the same page here: music should be read in patterns, not as single notes. The pieces are composed in a way that makes it easy to learn to play them by ear.
Nevertheless the student should be able to play all pieces in the following three ways:
1. Without looking at the keys on the piano, but instead actively reading along in the music. (haptic* orientation)
2. Without reading the music but looking at the keys. (playing by ear)
3. Neither reading the music nor looking at the keys. (haptic orientation and playing by ear)
                  *haptic = sensation of touch
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keypeg
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2017, 09:32:35 PM »

I've modified my post since nothing was understood.
No, I am not "highly experimental".  I was stuck without a teacher for years.  Now I have one - an excellent teacher - specializing in particular in reading including what that actually means.
No, I will not mess up my reading and make myself tense by using that software program.  I am not 16 - I'm in my 60's. My reading is fine.
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2017, 10:56:49 PM »

@keypeg

The method is not meant for you personally. Its designed for teaching children aged 6-10 who are starting to read music for the first time.. If you already can read music then this is of course not for you.
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2017, 11:36:39 PM »

Not sure exactly how it works, but it reminds me a little of lute tablature.  Lute tablature also has the advantage of direct visualization with other advantages.  The disadvantages of lute tablature out way the advantages as judged by history.

I remember learning to read music in 4th grade playing clarinet using standard music notation.  I do not remember having ANY problems learning to read music from the clarinet method we used.  Then I learned to read guitar music without any problems.  

Unless scientific studies are done that show this new method works better than the traditional method for youngsters, I probably would not recommend using this method.
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keypeg
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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2017, 12:27:11 AM »

@keypeg

The method is not meant for you personally. Its designed for teaching children aged 6-10 who are starting to read music for the first time.. If you already can read music then this is of course not for you.
Nicco, I deleted what I wrote because all you got out of it was that I was "exploratory".  You also did not address any of the other things I wrote, in the post that is still there.
I have been working with a teacher who has been developing reading and reading concepts for about 45 years.  My reading abilities were revamped largely through the work I did with him, and I have also been studying the pedagogy in regards to reading in depth.  As I wrote in my remaining post, it appears that you are in fact reacting to poor teaching methodology that bases itself on finger numbers.  That also gives the impression that children of that age group have difficulties in areas that they probably don't have difficulties in.  The teacher I am studying with teaches students that age and younger.  Those problems don't exist.  That is the common denominator.
I did try your system before writing previously.  Because of the dyslexing that I have, it quickly confused me.  The flip-around would have done me in at any age, because of that same spacial confusion.

Today my chairs arrived, and I have assembled the first of two.  Matching the diagrams to the chairs, I had to place everything literally the same way and look many times, tracing with my fingers, because of this dyslexing.  I can't work with things that go mirror image and then not in two exercises.
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2017, 11:14:05 AM »

I have now had a closer second look at the videos and read the explanation with more care.  In the text:I very often see this, where an idea is introduced - new or old - where the writer has been reacting to something he has encountered and is fixing it.  Since this is his experience, it's his reality and so seems universal.  In this case it is a teaching method that relies on finger numbers as its starting point and creates a dependence on finger numbers, and orientation to the fingers rather than the notes, and other problems.  There are, imho, poor "teaching" practices which lead to unfortunate results which your team is trying to circumvent.
You need to be aware that the method of starting teaching via finger numbers is unpopular with most people on PS, it's not done, so the problem being circumvented doesn't happen.  This is a key point for communicating with folks here, because it's a very key point.  If what you folks saw was in a classroom situation in a school system, maybe that school system used fingering-oriented approaches while giving mass education in music.  Since that is a poor system creating problems in the learner, your new approach does not end up with those problems which were the results of poor methodology.  Folks in the forum may be teaching in a way different way, which does not result in those problems, and may not want to fix what ain't broken.  This may be at the core of some of the poor communication here.  Would this make sense?

I see what you mean. However, I would say that this method not is created based on a merely a few observations. It is developed after reviewing Russian schools of methodic, French schools, American schools, aural methods, improvisational methods, C-centred methods, etc etc. Add 30 years of teaching experience in several countries onto this and you get the resulting method. Its not a means of correcting others, its not trying to say its the best. Its merely a concept that has develop into a well working method, where the children who have been exposed to it (In modern times, mind you) have shown excellent development in terms of reading music, orientation at the keyboard, aural perception, etc. And in our experience, better then the methods we were trying earlier.

Every teacher has his or her way of doing things, and we hope this can be a helpful tool for anyone who searches for other ways of thinking, or who might be struggling with finding a way of successfully teaching all those 50 students they might have how to read music.
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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2017, 11:59:51 AM »

@georgey
Quote
Not sure exactly how it works … I probably would not recommend using this method.
because:
Quote
… it reminds me a little of lute tablature. The disadvantages of lute tablature out way the advantages as judged by history.


I see what you mean. The PianoSeesaw notation looks a little bit like tablature. But it is different from that type of static tablature you relate to. It transforms (Musical Notation Transformation) during the method and ends up showing the regular grand staff.

I’ve learnt reading music totally by myself. I couldn’t then imagine why this could be difficult for others. Now I am a piano teacher (with a master degree) and I experience that this new method makes teaching much easier.

I suspect that waiting for scientific studies will make any new method disappear because science doesn’t care about individual piano methods. What if the PianoSeesaw really was a great method (I experience every day that it is) and it disappears only because of assumptions which are based on incomplete information (You wrote: «Not sure how it works...»)?

My personal proceeding when I give recommendations about a method is to try to understand the whole concept by seeing through all of its teaching materials and guides. I think this makes my recommendations fair and substantial. Of course there could emerge some unforeseen surprises (positive or negative) when testing the method out in the field. So, personally I tend to trust recommendations that are based on practical testing even more than recommendations based on theoretical assumptions
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« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2017, 06:26:58 PM »

I only looked at a 30 second video of yours so I can’t really comment on if I think it works. It might work well.  But traditional piano methods also work well.  Other methods work well like the Suzuki method. How would I know your method works substantially better than traditional methods unless research articles and reports are done?  Maybe you can start SSMR (Scientific Studies of Music Reading).  Wink

Scientific Studies of Reading (SSR) is the official journal of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading and publishes original empirical investigations (Research Articles and Research Reports) on all aspects of reading and literacy.

How did the Suzuki method become so popular?  Were there any research articles written concerning the pros and cons of the Suzuki method compared to traditional? Maybe you can research this and follow their path to make your method popular.  The Suzuki method also has drawbacks compared to the traditional methods.  Ultimately history will judge.  Good luck with your method.
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keypeg
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« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2017, 10:46:11 PM »

I see what you mean. However, I would say that this method not is created based on a merely a few observations. It is developed after reviewing Russian schools of methodic, French schools, American schools, aural methods, improvisational methods, C-centred methods, etc etc.
I was addressing the specific reference to the problem of finger association, which is the result of a way of teaching, which this method is meant to overcome.  "Russian" and "French" etc. school sounds like either a program in a book, or institutional school.  In my interactions with teachers over the past 8 years or so, as well as students who have teachers, this finger-oriented method seems to be rarely used anymore, so the problem being addressed also would be rare.
Quote
. Its merely a concept that has develop into a well working method, where the children who have been exposed to it (In modern times, mind you) have shown excellent development in terms of reading music, orientation at the keyboard, aural perception, etc. And in our experience, better then the methods we were trying earlier.
That's fair enough.
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« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2017, 05:53:16 PM »

One more video example to show more precisely how it works!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32G2EBqZNig

http://pianoseesaw.com
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« Reply #40 on: September 15, 2017, 06:07:22 PM »

Nicco,
You post another video about this method, but I am still not seeing a reply about why it is needed. As per the reference book that I asked you to look at, can't you accomplish the same thing in teaching by changing the orientation of the music so that the student gets the concept of  The score relates to the notes on the keyboard ?    Have you taking the trouble to look at 'a soprano on her head' ? 
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« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2017, 06:42:03 PM »

Nicco,
You post another video about this method, but I am still not seeing a reply about why it is needed. As per the reference book that I asked you to look at, can't you accomplish the same thing in teaching by changing the orientation of the music so that the student gets the concept of  The score relates to the notes on the keyboard ?    Have you taking the trouble to look at 'a soprano on her head' ? 


Thank you, I forgot to answer more concretely your question.

To make the notation intuitively understandable you have to display an image of the keyboard which relates directly to the notes and you have to come up with a way to simplify the graphic of notes with accidentals. In case of this method, square shaped symbols relate to the black keys - simple but effective. To change just the orientation of the music is not enough. Especially if you want to start off by playing on the black keys!

And unfortunately, I've not had the time yet to check out your book recommendation, but its on my to-do list!
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klavieronin
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« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2017, 03:12:44 AM »

One more video example to show more precisely how it works!



I know this is a separate topic but one thing that really bothers me as a teacher is the absolutely bland and banal music that seems to comprise virtually every piano method out there. This video is a perfect example of what's really wrong with piano methods. Forget trying to come up with some fancy new technique to teach reading, or whatever. How about just writing some decent music for beginners?
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nicco
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« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2017, 11:12:02 AM »

I know this is a separate topic but one thing that really bothers me as a teacher is the absolutely bland and banal music that seems to comprise virtually every piano method out there. This video is a perfect example of what's really wrong with piano methods. Forget trying to come up with some fancy new technique to teach reading, or whatever. How about just writing some decent music for beginners?

Au contraire, dear colleague 🙂 The statistics contradict your personal opinion about the pedagogical quality of this piece.

The «triplet- and twin key song» is a super hit amongst my young students. The method comprises several hits in different styles which make the eyes of the children light up and give them fun and motivation. But: De gustibus non est disputandum. I would NEVER allow me to judge a CHILD´s music taste. In MY experience learning an instrument is all about motivation. And motivation is especially provided by this song which you of course are free to dislike.
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« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2017, 12:27:07 PM »

Hahaha… well I admit my views may be a little slanted given that most of my students are adult beginners. Sometimes I forget about the simple tastes of children. Still, even though I had never heard that piece before, I feel like I've heard it a thousand times already. It's basically the same as every other piece in a beginner's method book. Then again, maybe that's the appeal. People do seem to like what's familiar to them already.

Although, I do find it interesting that you mentioned the "pedagogical quality of this piece". To clarify my position, I wasn't criticising the pedagogical quality of the piece, and I actually appreciate the way this method works. I was only criticising the musical and artistic quality of the piece. If you want an example of what I would consider good music for beginners listen to Kabalevsky's Op.89 No.1. It's a simple piece, short, and could easily be a student's first piece, yet it sounds quite lovely and he has managed to avoid the same tired patterns and harmonic progressions that you hear in so many method books. (No.2 & No.3 are even better but a little trickier to play.)

I know I'm being an old crank here and a bit of a snob but what can you do? This is the internet after all.  Grin
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« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2017, 11:59:09 AM »

When I was a child, motivation was exploration.  It was discovery, taking things apart, putting them together again.  This doesn't let me do any of those things.  
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« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2017, 11:52:37 AM »

When I was a child, motivation was exploration.  It was discovery, taking things apart, putting them together again.  This doesn't let me do any of those things.  

@keypeg:
That´s right, this piece does not generate motivation from the parameters you mentioned. It is piece no. 3 of the method. It is ment to train distinguished finger progressions (2-3 and 2-3-4 and 3-4). The motivation comes from the mastering of the piece and maybe its happy character. Mastering is a very strong means of motivation (Hasn’t it been for you, too, and btw not only when you where young?).

As I mentioned in a previous post, the method is not ment for you personally. You said you are in your 60´s and you have been working with a piano teacher for some years now. So, I guess you are situated slightly outside the group this method is dedicated to: 6-10 year old beginners.

There are improvisation- and composition suggestions given in the guide to the «Triplet- and Twin-Keys Song» (check: guide to piece no. 3). It is within these activities the students can discover things which can be torn apart and put together again.

May I ask you if you already have taught many beginner students at the ages 6-10?
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