Music Education – Objective Vs Subjective

The goal of this piece is not to tout the correctness or incorrectness of either objective or subjective music education teaching styles. Rather, its attempt is to clearly depict their differences and the situations in which each, individually or in conjunction, may be beneficial for the education of students with autism. Music is, of course ultimately, an art form which is driven by a performer’s ability to emote and interpret a piece of music. Assessing an artist’s performance is, perhaps, the definition of a subjective judgment, but we are not dealing with artists…yet. We are dealing with students of an art form. A student’s performance needs to be shaped and more clearly defined, eventually allowing them to relate to the instrument as a conduit for his expression and exploration. To a certain extent this is an ever continuing process since we are all growing and changing as human beings. In respect to the early education of students, though, each response can be objectively measured and analyzed. “But, why do you need to objectively measure their performance?” you may ask. First, let’s define what objective and subjective measurements are and how they are used.

 

An objective measurement according to Helene Goldnadel a music teacher, is one which is independent of the teacher’s individual perception of what the answer is. For instance, two separate piano instructors may listen critically to a student’s performance and ultimately come to two, very different conclusions in respect to the student’s interpretation and adherence to the fundamentals of piano performance. This is not so much a misunderstanding or radical divergence in the teachers’ knowledge of core piano education principles; rather a personal and subjective assessment of the student and what constitutes a correct response. To be clear, all teaching is based on shaping and having teachers accept approximations made by a student. Teaching is very subjective in nature, while assessing the results of these teaching efforts should be objective in nature. The question then arises, “How can teachers objectively assess a student’s performance if art is fundamentally a subjective form of expression?” The answer, of course, is that the focus of early music education is much more associated with execution as opposed to interpretation. Therefore, it can be clearly and objectively measured whether or not a student independently depressed a particular key of the piano or identified a musical note correctly.

 

The reason that objectively measuring and analyzing a student’s early performance is so vital is twofold. By not initially being objective, teachers may be inclined to

  1. assign unrealistic goals and objectives for a student or
  2. create an unchallenging and stagnating teaching environment by withholding more difficult material.

 

In this discussion, concerning students with autism, both situations are possible but the latter is much more of a likely phenomenon. For many teachers, without prior special education experiences to draw on, it is quite understandably common to base a student’s future curriculum on certain challenges that the student has currently. For instance, if a student has not yet learned how to read, exploring the skill of reading musical notation may seem out of reach for them and is then withdrawn. Alternatively, another student may display fine-motor challenges which could inhibit his dexterity at the piano. In both of these scenarios the student very well might not be able to execute the skill in question at first, but this should not effect the teacher’s decision to begin instruction on that skill and measure the response.

 

As previously mentioned, when teaching (as opposed to assessing progress), instructors correctly use a subjective analysis of factors to help the student succeed. This practice is often based on a teacher’s intimate knowledge of the student, his environment, his behavioral and comprehension challenges and previously successful teaching methodologies. For instance, after objectively determining that a student has met the criteria for the current phase of instruction, a teacher decides that the next and more difficult phase of instruction should commence. Ten minutes into the lesson, the student presents behavioral challenges and the teacher subjectively determines that this more difficult phase would increase the student’s frustration level at this point and delays the introduction until tomorrow. In respect to another student, this inappropriate behavior may be related to task avoidance and the determination to continue with the more difficult phase of instruction would be made. Both decisions may be appropriate, it simply depends on the student and the situation.

 

Objectively measuring the early performances of a student at the piano is very plausible; it can be clearly determined whether or not the student depressed a certain key of the piano or played a particular note with his left hand for example. As the material systematically becomes more difficult, though and variables such as dynamics, tempo and artistry become more of a factor, it is more and more challenging to objectively assign a numerical value to the performance – which is based on the execution of each variable. This should not be surprising since the student’s performance is now (at least in part) approaching an artistic expression. At this point, a teacher should use their experience and knowledge of the instrument to make a subjective analysis of the performance. Here, the student is guided by the teacher’s individual perception of what constitutes a correct response. This determination is not only made based on the factors above, but also on the current skill level of the student, the difficulty of the piece and the environment (is this a music recital or a practice session?). An expectation of absolute perfection from a relative beginner at the piano would, of course, be counterproductive. Therefore, as the pieces increase in difficulty the subjective criteria relaxes. In early piano instruction students are being taught core concepts which are mutually exclusive. For example, the skill of identifying a note on the piano is required before teachers can begin instructing the student to play a song with correct fingering. Because these skills are mandatory and used in every piece they will learn in the future, the criteria can (and should) be set as high as possible. Later, typical music instruction involves the introduction of multiple trials of similar pieces of music. The goal is not, necessarily, to perform each one perfectly; rather to present similar pieces and develop the student’s ability to generalize the concepts which are presented in each song. By initially using the objective performance measuring techniques described above and transitioning to a more subjective analysis at the appropriate point, instructors can effectively introduce the piano to individuals from across the spectrum of autism.

 

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Musical Instruments – Good Exposure For Children

Introducing Kids to Different Musical Instruments is Necessary in Development.

 

The interests and activities of kids today are very different from previous generations. Internet exposure and television influences may have taught the youth to be smarter; but somehow, with limited teachings of cultural upbringing. Culture, such as classical music and poetry, has long been forgotten; and one way to redeem a sense of tradition in the youth is to expose kids to different musical instruments and music for a wider perspective and grasp of their future.

 

When children reach a certain age, a strong sense of curiosity is formed that the ability to absorb almost anything makes learning quite an easy process. During this stage of development, introducing your kids to different musical instruments can lead to a new found development in their lives. As children go along this trial and error phase, the exposure itself forms added knowledge on certain eras and styles in music that will serve them well in their future.

 

1) Discipline: By exposing kids to special music classes develops a sense of discipline in them. As they learn a step-by-step process on mastering playing a musical piece or instrument, the slow process gives them focus and determination through consistent and persistent training. Through this, a child can also learn to differentiate and formulate their own opinions on different sounds, pitches, and styles in music and its composers.

 

2) Skill: When recitals are nearing, to take home their music practice is usually the case. Tinkering with the instrument develops frustration which then most likely leads to interest as they are required to learn the piece. Nearing recital day, as they see development of different collateral such as recital flyer designing or poster printing, the preparation will get them hyped up to learn and master their pieces and instruments even more than usual.

 

3) Selective Musical Reasoning: During the whole development stage in music, children form their own opinions with regards to their musical preferences. With wider exposure and knowledge, developments in pitch and tone differentiation, poetic style preferences, and melody and instrumental inclination are formed. As they turn out knowledgeable, a stronger set of opinions gets them equipped for future topics and needs in the future.

 

Helene Goldnadel a music teacher is of the view that being well-versed in music is not only about appreciation and knowledge; this type of exposure brings in a new formed discipline, opinion, and taste into their lives. Also, introducing kids to musical activities keeps their interests away from destructive behavior such as high school party drugs and excessive alcohol intakes.

 

As parents, support and presence are needed also to further build development and interest in your child. One way to show support is to further expose your kids and accomplish poster printing when possible; and using the posters for intimate gatherings to showcase your child’s new found talent. These small gestures can build their confidence in performing and in their musical preference and performance as well.

 

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How Teaching Music Lessons Fills a Need in the Community?

So many performing musicians write off teaching music lessons. Their heart is in performing, their degree is in performance and they love the thrill of being on stage. Teaching music lessons was never a goal. Yet, reality strikes. If the dream performance opportunity does not arrive right after graduation, what is the next plan? For many music majors it is either a day job or a few students here and there. Suddenly musicians are teaching who did not give any thought or preparation to establishing a studio. It is seen as a short-term solution, just a few students to cover the bills and pay rent.

 

The problem with this though is that thinking about getting a few students on the side to pay the bills projects a very different feels than, providing a service. We have all encountered a sales person who hovers and feels pushy. You can feel their desperation, even when they ask, “can I help you?” We have also had great experiences where the sales person is very knowledgeable and helpful. What is the difference? One wants the sale, the other provides a service. In exchange for providing a service, the 2nd person receives a sale.

 

Music is your passion! It makes you cry, it makes you smile, it keeps you up at night. Share this passion with others. Realize the gift you have for the world. When you establish a music studio thinking about how you are sharing your musical gifts and helping students to learn something new, you will have a very successful studio that provides you with solid, steady income in exchange for you providing this valuable service. If you just want to teach to make a few bucks, that is exactly what will happen. You will make a few bucks.

 

When opening a music studio, you are filling a need in your community. There are people searching everyday for dependable, qualified music teachers for their children or themselves. The service that you can provide as a music studio is invaluable. In most cities, there is a shortage of music teachers. Teachers who do have established studios often have long waiting lists.

 

While many people might think of a music studio as an established brick and mortar business, you can create a music studio as an individual out of your home or apartment. Your service, music instruction, does not need a 1,000 square foot rental space!

 

What will bring you the most success with establishing a music studio is to be clear in your vision and goals from the start, Have a plan.

Read also: Teaching Music to Kids – Why Not Have Fun With It

Find Your Comfort Level While Singing

Just as you need to take all kinds of training, including vocal training, seriously – it is equally important that you should be comfortable while undergoing training. Any kind of tension is disastrous for quality output when singing. A really savvy vocal coach like Helene Goldnadel would underscore this point while teaching you relaxation techniques. Getting an awesome voice means that you need to train under a proficient teacher for a period of time. It means that you need to practice hard but also that you should be cautious about overstraining your voice. Some exercises are intended to activate qualities in your voice while other exercises are designed to de-activate qualities.

 

Singing should not put pressure on any parts of your body like the neck, the abdomen or the jaws. If you happen to feel the pressure, you should be doing something wrong. A sore throat is one other painful indication that you are doing something wrong. A really skilled teacher will be supportive and sympathetic rather than critical and judgmental. He or she recognizes that he or she was also once a student just like you. You are likeliest to find such a coach in a reliable vocal school. Check out the capabilities of your teachers whether they are able to sing a variety of musical styles or just their favorite.

 

Since you aim to achieve/develop certain skills, you need to trust the knowledge and ability of your teacher. Otherwise, you are better off somewhere else. While you are just starting out learning to sing, you will find your limitations and will be lucky to find your strong points. Don’t lose heart since it should help you find your feet and it is a passing phase. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you and your coach to work together to eliminate these limitations. This will help you to begin to connect with the music not only on a technical level but on a creative level as well as time wears on. The biggest advantage of such training is that it provides you with a firm foundation on which to build your musical journey.

 

Also read: Clarity of Voice and Diction is Vital during Singing

Vocal Lessons Bring Out The Best Voice in You

Many people think that singing is a talent that cannot be learned, and it would be a waste of time to spend on lessons that wouldn’t amount to much. While a natural voice quality can be an innate talent, each voice is a unique specimen that can be enhanced with the proper technique and application. Everyone can benefit from vocal lessons, and listed here are a few reasons why.

 

The human voice is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds. The size of the vocal folds determines how high or low a voice can be; adult males usually have lower-pitched voices compared with adult females, whose vocal folds are naturally smaller. The voice is also influenced by other “articulators” like the lips, tongue, teeth, and palate. The techniques used to sing and talk are different though many people are unaware how they can be distinguished and used properly. Through proper vocal training, a person can enhance both his speaking and singing abilities.

 

Having a vocal professional like Helene Goldnadel to monitor your technique is vital in preventing injury to the vocal tissues and other related organs. An improper vocal technique can make you hit the right notes at times, but it can also put too much strain on your vocal cords. Repetitive strain can permanently damage the physiological mechanisms involved in the production of your voice.

 

By hiring a teacher who provides voice lessons, bad habits and wrong techniques can be corrected. The objective of voice lessons focuses on expanding your vocal range and strengthening the muscles in the vocal tract for a more sustainable voice quality that you can enjoy using even as you mature. A vocal teacher also recognizes the fact that each person has a different voice quality; he can properly coach you on how to find and use your own voice.

 

To bring out the total performer in you, it is advised to integrate vocal instruction with music lessons professionals provide to aspiring artists. With a music teacher, you can learn the basics and notation, and you can even learn an instrument to accompany your own singing. Incorporating music lessons to your vocal technique can bring out a more confident singer, speaker, and performer in you.

 

Also read: Helene Goldnadel says It’s all in the Voice

How Much Should I Practice with Singing Lessons?

Taking singing lessons is an amazing way to enhance your voice and enhance your strengths as a singer, whether you’re a professional singer, or want to be able to sing in pursuit of an acting career, a professional speaking career, or if you simply want to learn to sing to your maximum potential. Despite these dreams and ambitions, singing is very much a creative outlet; and like any act of creativity utilizing the body, mastering the techniques takes sustained work and endeavor, with good guidance. Nobody learns to play the piano overnight, nor trains to run a marathon in an afternoon.

 

Here is the thing: singing is a similar endeavor which takes time, commitment, energy, integrity and practice. And it is very important to learn the correct techniques, whether you are a starter or have some experience, to make sure that you can sustain your singing for several years.

 

How much should you rehearse as a budding singer? That is an excellent question, and the answer is important. In the first place, there isn’t a universal standard that is set in stone for everyone. The best advice is that you must practice consistently and regularly. It is usually better for your lessons and practice sessions to be short and sweet. An hour for your lesson is ideal, and twenty minutes a day practice at the start is recommended. There are various quick warm-up exercises to get you ready, and then the practice itself; and then let your voice rest.

 

You are building and exercising muscles, and initially, muscles which have not previously been utilized for singing have to become more consciously ‘felt’ in the body. As you progress, your teacher will tell you when to further your daily practice time.

 

If you live in Los Angeles, singing lessons are your best option for honing your craft, and your singing teacher or voice coach can aid you to set up a routine for practicing that best caters to your needs and is tailored to help you develop specific style.

 

It’s going to be of the greatest significance that you opt for a good teacher with whom you can develop a relationship of trust, and who over time will act as your mentor and guide, ensuring you make progress, and rehearse often.

 

The fact is that a good teacher like Helene Goldnadel will make all the difference. He will make sure that when you do sing, that you do so with enthusiasm and joy and even learning new skills and working on technical improvement.

 

Singing and voice lessons are an excellent route to go, rather than forging ahead on your own, since an excellent teacher like Helene Goldnadel will have the objectivity to guide your lesson plans and assist you to increase in the areas that need to, and even refine strengths. It is possible for you to continue to sing your whole life by having an excellent singing teacher. A great singing teacher also help you take pleasure in singing and ensures that you do not damage your voice and sing in the most pleasing way.

How Preschool Songs Can Help Your Child Learn?

We have all had the experience of listening to the radio when a song comes on that you haven’t heard in 10, 15, or 20 years. But right away you start to sing along like you heard it yesterday, you don’t miss a single word. Amazing right. Well not really. You probably heard it a hundred times in it’s hay day. Repetition.

Kids are no different. Those songs like Wheels on the Bus and The Itsy Bitsy Spider help your child learn simple concepts through repetition. Singing along to these simple songs helps them to become familiar with new words and concepts. The Old McDonald song helps young children learn the sounds that animals make and there are songs that help with numbers and colors.

Singing also helps young children feel confident and less shy around the other children. And when you add fun hand motions and wiggles to the song the kids really come to life. And if you really want to add some spice, give children some simple musical instruments. Tamboreens, bells and bongos and kazoos are very easy for children to use and they absolutely love to play them. Exposing them to music at an early age is will encourage their love for music as they grow.

Music is a magical gift that should nourished and cultivated at an early age, especially now that scientific evidence proves that children who have been exposed to music at an early age make better math and science students later on. Medical and health-care research has also shown evidence that there is a link between music and singing and good health and healing. Children that sing are less likely to be overly stressed and have a more positive emotional profile.

The evidence is compelling that music and singing have a positive impact on all aspects of child learning and development.

Helene Goldnadel and her team offer music and music instruments lessons to young aspirants. The children enjoy the ability to sing previously rehearsed material, and they also gain improvisation skills in actually both singing and acting.

Also read: Create a Robust Learning Environment with Music