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Anyone able to help with understanding the pattern of music?

(8 Posts)
Stoppicking Wed 11-Sep-13 06:47:56

Ah thank you for the reassaurance.

1805 Tue 10-Sep-13 20:47:10

I wouldn't worry too much at this age. He should be thinking about the piece as a whole though, and having the patterns pointed out to him.

Maybe ask him to point out all the C's in the main theme melody, then all the B's etc etc and see if he can then make the connections.

I don't think this problem necessarily has a dyslexic root.

Theas18 Tue 10-Sep-13 20:31:05

I think the answer is he's 8 smile. It'll come in time.

Stoppicking Tue 10-Sep-13 18:50:09

Thank you for the comments.

To answer some questions

He's 8 and has been learning for 3 years.

Aural is good with regards to exams, but he's not a musician who hears a piece of music then plays it on the piano or goes away to play it on the piano. I think that maybe his difficulty, is that he reads the music very well. This may sound a funny statement but what I mean is he doesn't think how the music is going to sound, he just reads the music as written. This is probably why he doesn't see the patterns, because he is only looking at the note he is playing not before or after.

I've not used any colours either overlays or highlighting, I will give that a go and see if that helps.

ShellingPeas Tue 10-Sep-13 13:42:14

This is very common in beginner piano students - many of my younger ones struggle to see patterns for a while so I wouldn't be too concerned. I've been playing for 40 years and I still have moments in learning a new piece where I come across repeated patterns further on in a piece and it's like I've never seen it before, even though I know I have!

What I do with my students is play it through to them first, see if they can spot just by listening the repeated patterns or spot any similarities. We then go through the music and look for the patterns - beginners tend to be exact or almost exact repetitions, more advanced students might have a similar pattern but in a different key. For those who struggle we then colour code the bars - so if you have section A (4 bars) section B (4 bars) and section A again, then you might colour it as A red, B yellow, A red again.

I have a set of flashcards with note squences on them and we play memory and matching games so this might be helpful. Good for sightreading too.

Is there any confusion between direction of notes? ie up and down corresponding to higher and lower and getting this mixed up? Does he read by interval - 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and so on (also known as steps, skips and jumps) or rely on fingers numbers and muscle memory? There are lots of possiblities which might be how he is being taught and not necessarily connected with his dyslexia.

And finally, do you use coloured overlays at all? Sometimes these can help and stop the notes seeming to jumble up and slide off the page.

Theas18 Tue 10-Sep-13 10:07:57

You don't say how old he is. Seeing patterns in music is an acquired skill. You have to firstly understand that most music ( especially grade stuff LOL) has a structure that includes returning themes .

Certainly when I went and sat in piano lessons with mine ( up till end primary) there was a lot of commentary on the music structure in the lesson and notes like " same as first section" or " this is minor version of the theme" in the music. So it's a learned skill and one that " normal" students take some years to really master.

I would think that a chat with the teacher and coloured highlighters or something to note the structure in a way that makes sense to him- pink bits are the same, blue bits are the variations on the theme etc

Is his aural memory good? I'm very against just playing by ear - you need to learn the dots as well, as you'll trip up eventually, but U tubing pieces and listening to work out where it is the same is good too.

valiumredhead Mon 09-Sep-13 19:58:11

I am learning the piano too, am not dyslexic and sometimes I see patterns and some days I don't. Has he been learning long? it took me ages before I could just read the first note and not properly read the rest but just recognise the pattern.

Stoppicking Mon 09-Sep-13 19:41:31

My ds was diagnosed when he was 5 as being dyslexic.

Last year he started at a new school which happens to be CRESTd (ie the dyslexia association have it down as a good school for being dyslexic), I gave them a copy of the Ed Psych's report which showed he was highly intelligent but dyslexic.

The school LSU said he is average intelligence and not dyslexic when they tested him, and the reason for the difference was because when the report was done he was too young.

My ds plays the piano. I have noticed that he cannot recall the pattern in a piece, ie if he plays four bars then plays four different bars and then the third set of four bars are identical to the first set he cannot see that at all, therefore he has to learn the second set of bars over as if for the first time like the first set.

I am unsure if there is anything that I can do to help him, as school give him no additional support and I know he struggles with this in other areas such as maths he doesn't see sequences.

Does any one have any tips please?

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