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Dogs And Birds


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#1 Alison

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 11:55

I have finally purchased book one of Dogs and Birds after reading so many people's recommendations out here. I haven't really had time to look at it in detail, but had a dip in... One thing that intregued me was that it suggests beginners use their whole arm on every note. I have always encouraged beginners to use each finger separately and keep everything else still. What are other people's thoughts/practices on this one?
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#2 ad_libitum

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 14:03

I'm not familiar with the book, but yes, I tend to do the same thing as you.
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#3 barcarolle

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 14:26

Hello, I am pleased to hear that you have bought this book. I have used it for a couple of years and found it really successful.

About the whole arm - I expect someone else may reply, but in the meantime it is my understanding that it's best for beginners to use their whole arm rather than individual fingers so that they get used to using arm weight, which leads to a good quality of sound. It will also help stop tension as it's quite hard for beginners to use individual fingers. If you get anyone to try to keep anything still this automatically means it's tense as it's being held that way and of course tension leads to a bad sound.

So if for example you want to play dog with your right thumb you don't move the thumb individually but go up and down from the shoulder - so you feel the shoulder blade moving. I find it best to try this method out on a table top before the piano as it's something many people aren't used to. Good luck.
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#4 hero

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 17:26

I have also purchased a set of Dogs and Birds. But I am afraid that I shall not be using the book - I was rather disappointed as I was looking for something new to use after hearing quite a few good reviews. Why did I not like it? Well, the lay out and colourless pictures did not attract me from the start (will it attract young children, I wonder...). I already begin teaching from D and B anyway, and I did like that aspect of the method.

I shall return to Tunes for Ten fingers again this term... smile.gif
hero
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#5 barcarolle

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:01

QUOTE(hero @ Aug 28 2007, 06:26 PM) View Post

I have also purchased a set of Dogs and Birds. But I am afraid that I shall not be using the book - I was rather disappointed as I was looking for something new to use after hearing quite a few good reviews. Why did I not like it? Well, the lay out and colourless pictures did not attract me from the start (will it attract young children, I wonder...). I already begin teaching from D and B anyway, and I did like that aspect of the method.

I shall return to Tunes for Ten fingers again this term... smile.gif
hero


Have you shown it to a young child I wonder? They love it. The pictures may not be in colour, but I have not had one child complain. The book was written by a teacher who developed it for her own young students who were not progressing as she would have liked. Given that her own students were her 'research and development' programme the book is written entirely to satisfy young children's needs, not only musical but also imaginative. An imaginative teacher could take the opportunity to talk about the pictures with their student and explain that music is all about conveying stories / feelings / emotions. The children become quite engrossed by the stories the pictures tell.

What a shame if you have dismissed it without even trying it with one young child.
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#6 ad_libitum

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 11:19

I have a very young pupil using the 1st "Improve Your Sight Reading" book in the series (grade 0-1)

The pictures aren't coloured there either, so every time we finish a section she colours them in herself smile.gif
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#7 Roseau

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 21:23

QUOTE(barcarolle @ Aug 29 2007, 09:01 AM) View Post

QUOTE(hero @ Aug 28 2007, 06:26 PM) View Post

I have also purchased a set of Dogs and Birds. But I am afraid that I shall not be using the book - I was rather disappointed as I was looking for something new to use after hearing quite a few good reviews. Why did I not like it? Well, the lay out and colourless pictures did not attract me from the start (will it attract young children, I wonder...). I already begin teaching from D and B anyway, and I did like that aspect of the method.

I shall return to Tunes for Ten fingers again this term... smile.gif
hero


Have you shown it to a young child I wonder? They love it. The pictures may not be in colour, but I have not had one child complain. The book was written by a teacher who developed it for her own young students who were not progressing as she would have liked. Given that her own students were her 'research and development' programme the book is written entirely to satisfy young children's needs, not only musical but also imaginative. An imaginative teacher could take the opportunity to talk about the pictures with their student and explain that music is all about conveying stories / feelings / emotions. The children become quite engrossed by the stories the pictures tell.

What a shame if you have dismissed it without even trying it with one young child.


I bought it for my daughter (then aged about six) and she didn't like the pictures and general layout. She is very good at drawing and has always looked critically at illustrations in picture books. (I don't mean critically in a negative way, rather that she takes a lively interest in visual things). Her dislike for Birds and Dogs was not necessarily to do with the lack of colour - someone gave me a copy of Keyclub and she doesn't like that either. She didn't like the style of the pictures and thought that the notes were disproportionate.

She likes Tunes for Ten fingers and has also used a very old book of mine which has no pictures at all in it.
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#8 Alison

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 11:02

QUOTE(barcarolle @ Aug 28 2007, 03:26 PM) View Post

About the whole arm - I expect someone else may reply, but in the meantime it is my understanding that it's best for beginners to use their whole arm rather than individual fingers so that they get used to using arm weight, which leads to a good quality of sound. It will also help stop tension as it's quite hard for beginners to use individual fingers. If you get anyone to try to keep anything still this automatically means it's tense as it's being held that way and of course tension leads to a bad sound.

So if for example you want to play dog with your right thumb you don't move the thumb individually but go up and down from the shoulder - so you feel the shoulder blade moving. I find it best to try this method out on a table top before the piano as it's something many people aren't used to. Good luck.


I find it hard to get pupils to use arm weight later on, so I did wonder if starting with the concept at the beginning might help them get a better tone.

Anyone else got any thoughts?
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#9 barcarolle

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 15:09

QUOTE(Alison @ Aug 30 2007, 12:02 PM) View Post

QUOTE(barcarolle @ Aug 28 2007, 03:26 PM) View Post

About the whole arm - I expect someone else may reply, but in the meantime it is my understanding that it's best for beginners to use their whole arm rather than individual fingers so that they get used to using arm weight, which leads to a good quality of sound. It will also help stop tension as it's quite hard for beginners to use individual fingers. If you get anyone to try to keep anything still this automatically means it's tense as it's being held that way and of course tension leads to a bad sound.

So if for example you want to play dog with your right thumb you don't move the thumb individually but go up and down from the shoulder - so you feel the shoulder blade moving. I find it best to try this method out on a table top before the piano as it's something many people aren't used to. Good luck.


I find it hard to get pupils to use arm weight later on, so I did wonder if starting with the concept at the beginning might help them get a better tone.

Anyone else got any thoughts?


A great way to teach about arm weight is to get your student to stand one side of a door while you stand the other, you both put both hands on the door and your student has to push you back gently - feeling how the arms and body work. This can be transfered into you holding both your hands out as fists and they press down on them while you provide resistance in both cases.

Going back to the children and fingers versus arms, young children are also not physiologically ready to use individual fingers. See this link to a post by goldfish http://forums.abrsm....pic=25301&st=15 which is very helpful.

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#10 Seer_Green

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 14:06

I'm curious why this thread has been resurrected since the last post was in 2007...

 

Edit: I've just noticed that another has been resurrected from 2010...


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#11 JimD

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 14:08

There are a couple of user accounts that appear to be being used mainly or solely to defend/promote the books under discussion here. This isn't the only old D & B thread that has been revived.

 

I notice Bagpuss' original thread has been locked so presumably the mods are onto it.


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#12 HelenVJ

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 14:32

I do hope so, Jim - I think this particular 'method' has had more than enough publicity as it is. Enough!


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#13 HelenVJ

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 14:37

I think it was Bagpuss rather than Cyrilla! and she was trying ( and failing) to give a set of materials away :)

 

 Hard to imagine for a moment that Cyrilla would condone singing  dog bird dog bird etc etc rather than soh-mi. Those solfa syllables all end with an open vowel sound for a good reason.

 

 But really, any further comments are just bringing the thead and topic soaring back to the top, which is why I've been trying to resist ( not very successfully in this instance).


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#14 Bagpuss

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 15:49

Thanks, TheMuso.  Hugely appreciated.

 

BP.


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#15 Cyrilla

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 22:03

Er, well done, The Muso - you've now succeeded in upsetting both sisters in one fell swoop...

 

:angry:


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