QUOTE(Arundodonuts @ Mar 23 2012, 03:02 PM)
QUOTE(linda.ff @ Mar 23 2012, 02:35 PM)
QUOTE(flobiano @ Mar 23 2012, 02:10 PM)
it was merely intended to be a variant of "you'll just have to take my word for it".
How about "you don't need to worry your pretty little head about that"?
If they're not "ready" to know why but just do as they're told, they'll learn to play them, but possibly not understand them, and all you produce is performing fleas
I have to admit my first response to your explanation was that it was "overcomplicated". But, I looked at your graphic and would now consider your method to be "complete". I think it explains the construction of the minor scales quite nicely without the complication of key signatures and "relative" keys. But then - I like pictures.
Minor key signatures are a very unsatisfactory compromise anyway, and I wonder if there was a better way they could have developed (though we're stuck with them now, I guess). I know I've already said I think C major has a lot more to do with C minor than it does with A major. Imagine a key signature which actually shows the MAJOR key, but is then followed by some kind of minor symbol showing the alteration - no, I'm not sure that would quite do it either.
I can't declare that I never have and never would use a "never mind why, just do it" approach, but it would only be as a last resort.
QUOTE(andante @ Mar 23 2012, 03:24 PM)
So if they aren't ready for an overcomplicated explanation you don't let them progress at all? Do you keep them repeating things at the same level for two or three years until they are mature enough for your explanation. Not all children do things at the same rate. Some may need to accept it is so and move on and come back to the reason why at a later date.
Your pretty diagram doesn't explain it any better than the straightforward raise them both on the way up and not on the way down anyway.
But unlike you, I've tried both methods, and I know mine works.
No, of course I don't keep them hanging around until they're ready to have a complicated answer. And do you know why? Because when you have a pupil in front of you, and a piano to show them on, IT ISN'T THAT COMPLICATED.
I've never held a pupil back because they didn't understand something. When they're ready to do grade 1 - or TG Initial - I show them that the bottom of the A minor scale goes like so, and that there are variations at the top.
First I show them the tonic and the dominant, even if I don't give them those names, then I say that because they're boss notes, the other two notes want to cling to them - and I show them on the piano. They aren't reading it on a computer monitor, that's the difference
and get them to play them and feel how they fit.
Then I get them to try out the whole scale with those notes, and they almost without exception say it sounds Egyptian, Arabian, like a snake charmer, or whatever. So I tell them that's one sort, called the harmonic minor. I've never yet had a child who didn't get that far.
Then I SHOW them how we get rid of the snake charmer effect, and this actually looks quite nice in A minor, because it really does look like escalators - two blacks up, and two whites down. And they play that one too. And I've never yet had a child who didn't understand it.
Then I give them the choice between the two. I'd say it's somewhere between a quarter and a third of them who plump for the harmonic, either because they like the sound, or the feel,or occasionally becasue it's the same going both ways. But more of them choose the melodic. Sometimes they take some time to learn which name belongs to which.
I realise some of the things I propose on this forum seem like crackpot ideas - such as teaching pedalling by saying just stick your foot on the pedal, we'll deal with lifting it off once you've got that bit. But you have to understand that these come from years of trying them out and knowing that THEY WORK.