56. THE VOICE, VISION, AND COORDINATION: WAR OR PEACE? Piano Rodeo
Traditional piano lessons remind me of the rodeo: the teacher battles with the attention span of the child. The victor is the one that hurts himself the least and stays on the saddle the longest. It’s like all of the methodology of the beginning period of education is set against the perception of the child, and was created with a goal to lower his self-respect and confidence.
Playing the piano requires that:
- You can control all ten fingers of both hands,
- You are familiar with the entire space of the keys,
- You can read notes from sheet music,
- And all of this is to be done AT THE SAME TIME.
But the teacher won’t let the student learn so quickly. First, he will spend a long period of time teaching the keys, notes, music theory, and hand preparation. And all of this is done separately!
We already know how the perception of a young beginner takes to unwanted material. Coming to class, the child is usually full of hopes and aspirations. He is ready to pass through all of the hardships necessary so that he can realize his dream: to sit and play his music with his own hands. It is exactly because of this that students are willing to do everything that the teacher asks, and even enthusiastically start cramming, entering a steadfast battle with their own perception, which fights against this type of education every step of the way.
To this day, teachers still think that it is enough to separately work on the hands so that they can sense the weight of the keys, separately study music grammar and separately play exercises, and the student will start to play. “Preparing you” in this way, they are convinced that all you’ll need to do is open a book of music, and all of the skills will work as one happy family.
Alas, this never happens. A skill that is learned separately will remain a separate skill! And separate skills aren’t in much of a hurry to unite for the common good. Here, a common neuro-biological law is at work: to master a new type of complex activity, one needs to work on the entire activity as a whole. Skills should be worked on gradually, but simultaneously!