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Author Topic: How music improves our social skills  (Read 353 times)
wkmt
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« on: August 02, 2017, 06:19:23 PM »

Our latest article about a recent survey: How music could improve our social skills and what are the benefits of learning music.

Read the full article here:

http://www.piano-composer-teacher-london.co.uk/single-post/Making-friends-via-Music-lessons
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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 10:34:48 PM »

I didn't click on the article (just in case), but music is isolating too, even from performance.  Why perform if you can't play the piece like you want to, like it should be?  In that case, you need more practice.  So stay in the practice room.  Anything else is just a distraction until you get your stuff down.
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Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
ted
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 11:22:53 PM »

My music has done nothing at all for my social skills. On the contrary, piano music, especially its creative aspects, is an intensely solipsistic activity, not without an inherent loneliness. I am not misanthropic, set a high value on friendship, and enjoy a variety of social contact, but these are certainly not the result of music, far from it.
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"It's a caution, grandson !"  -  My grandmother's reaction to almost any issue of the day.
keypeg
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 12:52:27 PM »

The short article is based on reading research by two people who did some kind of survey or study, rather than interacting with and knowing the stories of people.   The first part is not about music, but about "participating in ensembles" and similar.  In other words, if you engage in any group activity, you will meet other people who participate in that group activity.  This is not specific to music.  The second statement "concludes" that "music education" leads to a lower use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.  Both are more about general, and rather casual extracurricular activities in a high school type environment (music and other hobbies and pursuits).

In a few ways, pursuing music is socially isolating, and not just as Bob stated, because of the time needed to practice alone.  One reason I go to forums is because of the isolation.  For most people I encounter or know in my environment, music doesn't go beyond "ooh, that's so pretty" or at most a passive appreciation of music.  I am in a position of not being a professional to be able to play or sing at quite a professional level.  Some years ago I joined a choir.  Everyone else was there to socialize.  I joined a better choir that required an audition and the ability to read music (but I was not tested on my reading ability - only if I could copy the piano).  I was a fish out of water there too.   In fact, it was a very lonely feeling.

In regards to the statement on alcohol, drugs etc.  I have talked to people who studied music at advanced levels toward careers in conservatories and universities, and others who worked professionally in music.  Quite a few reported that due to the pressures and stress, self-medication of various kinds is especially high in the arts.  One decided against a career in music, and to pursue it as an "amateur" for enjoyment instead, because of what was seen as an unhealthy lifestyle.

I am not impressed by that article.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 02:39:08 PM »

The article is as worthless as the rest of wkmt's stuff, nor will he respond to comments.

However, the title alone could provoke some discussion here within our group.

There are people who join ensembles for social reasons.  I play brass in several groups like this.  Some people are serious musicians; many are not and are marginally skilled.  The groups I belong to tend to be older, white, and middle class, from a generation that was more social and that enjoyed old time music (Sousa, My Fair Lady, etc.)  I don't know how viable community wind ensembles are long term.  Even the military has changed their approach - they have full bands for formal ceremonies, but the vast majority of their performances are 4 or 5 person small groups playing rock, pop, or jazz.  Our local military band does roughly 350 performances a year, but I see the full band at most 4 times. 

Then there are people who play piano.  Ever get 45 pianos in a room for an ensemble?  Didn't think so.  (although there were formerly accordion bands in the US with sometimes more than 100 participants) 

But even deeper.  The single minded dedication required to play any instrument at a high level is not conducive to social interaction.  In fact, it attracts and rewards people who are at least mildly on the autistic spectrum. 

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Tim
keypeg
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 06:19:39 PM »

Tim, I did have a better experience in an instrumental group.  Maybe it's something like "everyone thinks they can sing" which leads to the kind of attitude I ran into in the choirs.  Or maybe I think more like an instrumentalist, even though I am also very much a singer
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When I was taking violin lessons as an adult, which went awry for a number of reasons so that my ability to play crashed almost like a kind of dystonia that wasn't, there was a period that I took my instrument outdoors because I couldn't stand the constant failure practising within my four walls.  One day as I walked back to my car in that park, I came upon a bunch of mostly middle aged to older people all taking fiddles out of cases and tuning up.  There was a fellow with a big bush beard who looked like a homeless person who asked me "Are you with them?" - I wasn't - "Why don't you join them?" quoth he.  So I did.

I'm not a fiddler.  I don't know fiddle music and don't have the feel for fiddle music.  But I joined them.  If you did not know the music you could play along super quietly so nobody would hear you, and there was at least one fellow who had been there for years who seemed to play quietly, tunelessly, in the right rhythm.  Each week each person - from the youngest who was about 9 and proposed Twinkle - to the oldest who was over 90 - got to choose one piece.  I learned the Stove Pipe Reel, and asked for it every week, not because I liked it but because I could play it.

I don't know if I looked on it as much as a social occasion; it did a lot to heal the despair that came from my struggles to get out of the technical hole I was in.  It was a good and nurturing atmosphere.  But I was among good people who lifted each other up without pretense or pretentiousness.  At the same time, they did they music earnestly, which had not been the case in two of the three choirs I had joined one after the other (somewhat in the third one).
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timothy42b
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 07:23:01 PM »

keypeg,

To do that took an amazing amount of courage!  Bravo! 

I do play with one serious group where everybody is at or near professional level and I'm near the bottom of the pack, but like your group they are supportive and nurturing, and I learn something every time. 

I do not think I would have the motivation to do my daily practice without regular ensemble attendance. 
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Tim
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 02:13:30 PM »

Well, I'm not that good at socializing. Am quite scared of most people for some reason. I'm actually not satisfied with myself. I don't know if it has to do with music.
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wkmt
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 02:46:00 PM »

The article is as worthless as the rest of wkmt's stuff, nor will he respond to comments.

However, the title alone could provoke some discussion here within our group.


I will communicate to my colleague Vesela your good wishes  Wink

On the other hand, we have a looot of material that we produce on a daily basis. All our teachers do. I hope we will make you happy at some point Timothy.

And yes, we will attempt to answer your reflections as early as possible. As we have always done so far.

Thanks!
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timothy42b
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 03:22:48 PM »



And yes, we will attempt to answer your reflections as early as possible. As we have always done so far.

Thanks!

Great, it is wonderful to hear that!

I think if you look back at your previous threads here, you will realize some of our frustration is that you post articles but then fail to interact.

Specific to the topic of social skills, you might want to address how piano lessons correlate to ensemble experience.  This is a piano forum, and very few piano students will ever play piano in an ensemble.  Yet your article implies that all the social benefits accrue from ensemble membership. 

And then, if you're serious about social interaction, you need to consider the fact that unlike athletes, serious musicians tend to fit the nerd/geek/autistic spectrum stereotypes. 
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Tim
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 03:39:02 PM »

I will communicate to my colleague Vesela your good wishes  Wink

On the other hand, we have a looot of material that we produce on a daily basis. All our teachers do. I hope we will make you happy at some point Timothy.

And yes, we will attempt to answer your reflections as early as possible. As we have always done so far.

Thanks!
.

 I have a number of real questions posted on your subscription blog here about performance opportunities. None of them were ever answered. Please don't say that you're responsive to this forum because that is not the impression of these members.  You might pick out one post and reply to it but then ignore everything else.   It begs the question why you continue to post here; if anyone were to come across your blog poss, The questions that have gone unanswered and The general response, it would not be positive as advertising for your school
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keypeg
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 04:04:32 PM »

I will communicate to my colleague Vesela your good wishes. 
Why not allow these colleagues to post under their OWN accounts, so that they, themselves can respond and interact?  Theses posts are an impossibility, because one cannot respond to people who are not posting their own words. That is not how forums work.
Nor are forums repositories for articles planted in several forums for the sake of bringing attention to your school, even if this is a common and unfortunate recent trend.  That trend also tends to give a negative impression of such practitioners.  Forums are meant for communication and interaction.
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wkmt
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 10:07:45 AM »

.

 I have a number of real questions posted on your subscription blog here about performance opportunities. None of them were ever answered. Please don't say that you're responsive to this forum because that is not the impression of these members.  You might pick out one post and reply to it but then ignore everything else.   It begs the question why you continue to post here; if anyone were to come across your blog poss, The questions that have gone unanswered and The general response, it would not be positive as advertising for your school

Hello dogperson,

I will check them now and get back to you. Apologies for the delay.

Kind regards,
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 11:23:20 AM »

Improves social skills yet WKMT is unable to address us here and answer our questions or critical responses. My irony detector has blown up.
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"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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wkmt
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2017, 08:14:27 PM »

Hello crowd at pianostreet.com

I don't know exactly where is the confusion about the focal point of this article but it mainly tries to make a point on the meta content and meta messages transmitted by music as a language.

Basically, there are certain feelings, certain, even, intentions that are better shared with music than with words.

What we are trying to say with this article is that, even if you only play the piano on your own, when you play for an audience or for a friend, you are letting your emotions push through in a completely different way than when you offer a dissertation or you have a conversation for example.

I hope this helps...
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keypeg
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 12:29:29 AM »


I don't know exactly where is the confusion about the focal point of this article 
Actually there was no confusion.  The article is written in clear paragraphs having a standard construction of each paragraph presenting one main idea.  Those ideas were clearly set forth.
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Basically, there are certain feelings, certain, even, intentions that are better shared with music than with words. 
These are probably your feelings about music, and in fact, to a large degree I share those feelings. I can express things in music that I cannot express in words, and there are times that I have played to comfort myself, and hear from a neighbour who was also comforted (for example).

But that is not what the article says.
Quote
What we are trying to say with this article is that, even if you only play the piano on your own, when you play for an audience or for a friend, you are letting your emotions push through in a completely different way than when you offer a dissertation or you have a conversation for example.
This is a different set of ideas, and I don't think many people will quibble with those ideas.

The article itself talks of the social situation of students pursuing an extracurricular activity relatively casually, music being such an activity.  Such a student will interact with other students who are similarly engaged.  That is the gist of the article.

I prefer your own attitude, which you have just expressed.  (Perhaps you should write a separate article where you yourself express these thoughts.)
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wkmt
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2017, 06:18:29 PM »

I prefer your own attitude, which you have just expressed.  (Perhaps you should write a separate article where you yourself express these thoughts.)

Maybe you are right keypeg...
I should spend some time forging an article on my approach to music as an emotional language.

My colleague Vesela, who I deeply respect, talks from a parent point of view and it would be also good to approach the matter from a more generalistic position.

Thank you for the observation.
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keypeg
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 08:31:15 PM »

Maybe you are right keypeg...
I should spend some time forging an article on my approach to music as an emotional language.
That, if first-hand, would be authentic.
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My colleague Vesela, who I deeply respect, talks from a parent point of view ...
The article quotes studies by others.  If your colleague Vesela is a parent trying to get information to help with decisions involving a child, then I recommend looking elsewhere.  These articles quoted or relatively shallow, and of no use for a parent.   My children are now grown, but I was in the position of a parent of a child who took music lessons.

Meanwhile, in my first response I wrote some concerns that I have encountered.  It would be good to have a response to some of them.
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