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Modern piano teaching and practice methods:

considerations and comparisons

with language learning



published in

Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology September, 2015

Special Issue for INTE 2015 pp. 357-362 - ISSN 1303-6521

available online at http://www.tojet.netspecial2015_9_1.pdf



Abstract

Beginning with observations of current procedures in learning music, the author shows that the teaching process in many situations is reduced to mere reading of the notes, with practice being robbed of its most important aspect – the music – focusing only on mechanical repetition of the more difficult passages. After discussing how performers and composers faced this topic in the past, the author analyzes some problems resulting from a wrong approach to music. He provides diverse solutions and possibilities, illustrated by concrete teaching examples based on his experience, referring to some of the most authoritative piano literature. (In the following summary this last section is limited to the example of Bartok’s Mikrokosmos.)



pianoteaching.pdf
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Maieutic: a teaching and learning approach as applied to western music



published in

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 237C (2017)

pp. 1520-1525 - ISSN 1877-0428

available online on http://www.sciencedirect.com


 

Abstract

In this article, I discuss some considerations arising from eight years of professional experience in Thailand, as both performer and teacher of music. Working alongside students mainly from Asian countries, I have been led to reconsider deeply how western teaching methodologies can be efficient and valuable in non-western cultures. I have become convinced that music teaching (and learning) must be part of a cultural and artistic approach towards diverse heritage – the western legacy in this specific case – through study of music. The goal of a teacher is to show students the correct learning process, and to create for them the best conditions to facilitate awareness, understanding and appreciation of the music. Considering the undeniable relevance of ancient Greek influence in western arts and philosophy, I demonstrate the effectiveness of the Socratic method known as maieutics, as applied to the learning of music. By this method students are always forced to think-in-music, to understand what they are doing, to make responsible choices. A musical piece is a problem to solve, and classes are often based on dialogue with Q&A sessions, stylistic considerations, reflections on the meaning of the music, and understanding of the underlying meaning of the written notation, following which performance of the score is just a way to verify the validity of our proposed solution. Through this approach students are stimulated to find the truth WITHIN THEMSELVES, and thus have the opportunity to become artistically independent.

 

maieutic.pdf
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Learning Classical Music through Improvisation:

(a new approach?) Instruction for use


published in

Education and New Developments 2017, pp. 642-646 - ISSN 2184-044X

available online at: http://end-educationconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Education-and-New-Developments_2017.pdf





Abstract

The author takes the cue from some historical considerations about modern teaching & learning process in classical music. While in the past most renowned musicians have considered improvisation and composition as a complementary aspect of performance, today for almost all music students the practice of improvisation seems to be not necessary at all, and often only a very basic knowledge of harmony and theory is requested to complete their studies. Presently it is very rare to find a classic music student able to improvise a short prelude or compose a little music piece with confidence. Investigating possible reasons of this shift, we may notice that by one side since the last post-war a remarkable significance has been given to technical approach, on the other side music teaching has been reduced essentially on the reproduction of the symbols of the music score. In order to re-establish the lost balance among improvisation, composition and performance, the author proposes a different approach to classic music, starting from improvisation and consequently understanding of musical structures. In his almost ten-year experience of teaching in Asian countries, he developed the idea that the proper way to approach classical music should not be based on a mere reading of the notes without awareness of the musical structure, as well as fulfilment of a given composition should not be based on reiterated mechanical repetitions of the same passage. The author elaborated a simple as well as efficient method to introduce students to improvisation: starting from the invention a melodic and/or rhythmic fragment, the student is led step by step to the creation and completion of the musical piece. During class students have chance to discover, experiment, test diverse possibilities and get familiarity with essential elements of the music. The study of improvisation let students look at the music under a different perspective: it represents a valuable support for the real understanding of the music score, an aid to penetrate composer's mental process and an unique way to learn how to create music.

Improvisation.pdf
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Discovering Eighteenth-century Italian keyboard works: easy listening music or 

unexplored pedagogical material?


published in

Music and Socio-Cultural Developments of the ASEAN

pp. 6-16. Available online at http://www.pgvim.ac.th/sym/Files/Proceedings_2016.pdf




Abstract

This contribution wishes to highligh the pedagogical relevance of some keyboard compositions written by Cimarosa, Platti, Paradisi, Galuppi, Rutini and many others. These works fall historically between the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and the galant/classical works of the second half of the century. This music offers a variety of idioms, style, compositional techniques and musical affects; in the same time it preserves shortness and conciseness. According to my experience as teacher and musician, I will try to explain how and why this music pieces, despite their easiness and simplicity, may contribute greatly to develop music skills in young (and less young) music students.
As everone may realize, a standard approach to this music (starting and focusing merely on the reading of the notes) would deeply limit the understanding of this music. Therefore I wish to propose a method that focuses the attention of the performer on the composition as a whole. Simultaneously, the affect related to the colour and characteristics of tonality is discovered, as an inevitable element within the framework of the work.



 

XVIII c. sonatas.pdf
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