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Breaking a bad habit

Pete Effamy

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To me it's the other way around. Putting attention on a specific part of the body (The Fingertips), rather than specifically outside the body (the keys). Reminds me of the 'Inner Game' series of books where Tennis Students are asked to notice how the Tennis Ball is spinning rather than thinking about how to play a specific shot.
Yes one thing is very true of teaching - you deliver a lesson one day and you feel like you absolutely nailed that topic. Student leaps forward.

That’s it!

Next student comes in, you do your thing, and the student looks very blankly at you.

I think everyone knows this. It happens often. The thing that intrigues me is that there have been quite a few examples on here that I find absolutely baffling.

I started learning when I was 7. I had a good 14 or 15 years of lessons from several teachers, some from the highest level. Classical players mainly, the jazz was always something I did aside. One teacher of mine, a soloist and educator used lots of analogy - but I’m left wondering how on earth this helps: “classical sound is blowing with warm air and jazz sound with cold”.
Getz sounds pretty warm and full to me, not thin.
 

Halfers

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Yes one thing is very true of teaching - you deliver a lesson one day and you feel like you absolutely nailed that topic. Student leaps forward.

That’s it!

Next student comes in, you do your thing, and the student looks very blankly at you.
And this must be the challenge that faces all Teachers. I have to say, of the few musical Teachers I have come across, none have struck me as highly able to adjust their Teaching style to their students needs (not that I would say I have particularly demanding needs - or perhaps I do?) Probably because that takes a high degree of interpersonal skills, so it's not a criticism necessarily, rather than an observation that either I'm a picky bugger, or people are all different in their odd little ways. Certainly if a Teacher of mine told me my interpretation of a learning style was wrong, I'd walk away quite quickly.
 

Halfers

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And this must be the challenge that faces all Teachers. I have to say, of the few musical Teachers I have come across, none have struck me as highly able to adjust their Teaching style to their students needs (not that I would say I have particularly demanding needs - or perhaps I do?) Probably because that takes a high degree of interpersonal skills, so it's not a criticism necessarily, rather than an observation that either I'm a picky bugger, or people are all different in their odd little ways. Certainly if a Teacher of mine told me my interpretation of a learning style was wrong, I'd walk away quite quickly.
Actually, thinking on this. My last Saxophone Teacher came as close to a flexible approach as I've experience. Unfortunately he moved away from the area to pursue his Musical Qualifications.
 

Pete Effamy

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And this must be the challenge that faces all Teachers. I have to say, of the few musical Teachers I have come across, none have struck me as highly able to adjust their Teaching style to their students needs (not that I would say I have particularly demanding needs - or perhaps I do?) Probably because that takes a high degree of interpersonal skills, so it's not a criticism necessarily, rather than an observation that either I'm a picky bugger, or people are all different in their odd little ways. Certainly if a Teacher of mine told me my interpretation of a learning style was wrong, I'd walk away quite quickly.
Yes. Other things that teachers can be guilty of is trying to create a clone of themselves.

"Certainly if a Teacher of mine told me my interpretation of a learning style was wrong, I'd walk away quite quickly."

Yes, it's on the shoulders of the teacher to make their point understood, the same as you would trying to make a particular point in a pub or over dinner - or anywhere!

This is why the UK, and other similarly minded countries are wrong to put all the kudos into qualified teacher status, especially where teaching instruments is concerned. Principle clarinet player of the RPO would be considered unqualified if teaching clarinet in a school and would be payed less than someone teaching clarinet in the next room, with no professional playing experience and yet has a PGCE or a Bed. Of course, they could be a better teacher, but my point is that you are not judged on your merits, or the probability that you can deliver as you've "been there and done that", purely the lack of a piece of paper - which we discussed in another recent thread @AZMay :thumb:

In my view, a good teacher needs to have the attributes that the tribe storyteller had, or an orator. That bloke in the pub that always gathers a crowd with his yarns. Someone who is good to listen to in the first place. You can have all the information in your brain, but if you bore the hind legs off a donkey...
 

Pete Effamy

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Actually, thinking on this. My last Saxophone Teacher came as close to a flexible approach as I've experience. Unfortunately he moved away from the area to pursue his Musical Qualifications.
I like someone who quotes themselves to make another point. I do it all the time, and now I know that I'm not alone!
 

Guenne

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Perhaps the instructions involving the wheels were far more concise and obvious than that of the feet. Or given by a different person who was more engaging...
That reminds me of Scientist working for decades on studies about climate change and Donald Trump saying there is none. I‘m out.

Cheers, Guenne
 

Pete Effamy

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That reminds me of Scientist working for decades on studies about climate change and Donald Trump saying there is none. I‘m out.

Cheers, Guenne
Yes this study was obviously just as scientific and extensive. Guess I'm a bit Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society rather than being scientific about teaching the arts.
 

jbtsax

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@Pete Effamy makes a point about which I am quite familiar. When I started teaching choir, band, and orchestra in a small school in 1970 it was a common and accepted practice for an instructor to place his hands on each side of a student's abdomen and instruct the student to push his hands apart while taking a breath to teach proper breathing. It was also common to place one's hands on the students shoulders to reinforce that the shoulders should not rise while taking a breath. Years later this type of tactile contact with a student would be grounds for dismissal or even criminal charges. Things have changed a lot.
 

Pete Effamy

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@Pete Effamy makes a point about which I am quite familiar. When I started teaching choir, band, and orchestra in a small school in 1970 it was a common and accepted practice for an instructor to place his hands on each side of a student's abdomen and instruct the student to push his hands apart while taking a breath to teach proper breathing. It was also common to place one's hands on the students shoulders to reinforce that the shoulders should not rise while taking a breath. Years later this type of tactile contact with a student would be grounds for dismissal or even criminal charges. Things have changed a lot.
Yes, this is the sort of thing that I alluded to.
 

BigMartin

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in 1970 it was a common and accepted practice for an instructor to place his hands on each side of a student's abdomen and instruct the student to push his hands apart while taking a breath to teach proper breathing
Yes, I had this done to me, probably in that very year. My teacher was a great bloke and an excelloent teacher. We became friends in later years. But us a 12-year-old it did make me quite nervous, even in those days. And I'm sure not all teachers were as decent as mine. I think it's right that it's no longer permitted.
 

Jazzaferri

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@Guenne Thanks for clarifying that.

I have been using Diaphragm icbreathing ever since I learned to Scuba Dive 60 years ago. Its natural for me.

When building/developing a muscle or muscle group, it usually requires concentrated effort and lots of repetitions. I dont think about my arm or my back muscles when I pick something up. If its heavy I just think I need to be aware that this is heavy and my unconscious mind does all the rest. When I play I dont think about my breathing, as I have already spent the development time in building teh muscle group and keeping the pressure up in early practice.

I am sure glad I am not a teacher....I would get in trouble for sure. My hat is off to those that do.
 
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Keep Blowing

Keep Blowing

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I thought I try and lighten the mood a little, this isn't totally off topic as it has a lot to do with the diaphragm, breathing and a few other things,. I wish I could post this and skip the ads,. It won't take long to before you can press skip, so put your headphones on and enjoy listening and watching this remarkable person

View: https://youtu.be/-6ryVryFnEY
 

sax panther

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@Pete Effamy makes a point about which I am quite familiar. When I started teaching choir, band, and orchestra in a small school in 1970 it was a common and accepted practice for an instructor to place his hands on each side of a student's abdomen and instruct the student to push his hands apart while taking a breath to teach proper breathing. It was also common to place one's hands on the students shoulders to reinforce that the shoulders should not rise while taking a breath. Years later this type of tactile contact with a student would be grounds for dismissal or even criminal charges. Things have changed a lot.
weird experiences in lessons (from pupil or teacher perspective) could be a whole new thread!
 

Pete Thomas

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Likewise. You seem to be suggesting teaching yoga in instrumental music lessons in school.
I think you have the wrong end of the stick. he didn't say anything like that.

Yoga is mentioned in another post (by someone else so it's wrong to imply it was altissimo) but only certain positions as they pertain to breathing. This is something I used to do when I was teaching, ie showing people how to do certain breathing exercises based on yoga breathing. It is not the same as "teaching yoga."

It would not necessitate the teacher to physically touch the student in any way so is totally appropriate in a school context anyway IMO.
 
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spike

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Just found a print-out in my archives of an article by Al Gallodoro entitled Singing on the Sax.
It would have answered the O.T. of this thread perfectly.
He talks about high and low note production and breath support and muscular control . . . etc.
If I can't find my digital copy anywhere - I'll have to type it up and publish it on here.
The last line is a gem:
Quote -
Jimmy Abato was correct when he said:
" . . . it is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration that makes the good player."
 
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