Need urgent help for my daughter!
My daughter (just celebrated her 12th birthday)have been playing the violin for around 5 or 6 years (can't really remember when she started) now.
Her teacher said that she's very talented (practice for two hours every day) for only playing for 5 or 6 years (playing Mozart rondo in c major and Bach sonata 1) the problem is that she thinks she's terrible at sight-reading and rhythm. Since I absolutely don't know anything about music I can't help. We want her to audition for a orchestra but sight-reading is a part of the audition. I also noticed her violin teacher tells her a lot that she's rushing. She freaked out yesterday telling me that she can't count in her head or out loud. Not even the basic rhythms, she told me that she would count the rhythm instead of the beats . As a mother I want to help her as much as possible but I feel desperate because I don't know anything about music.
Thank you so much for reading.
Her teacher needs to go over reading with her, and assign her relevant reading material.
Does she take music theory classes? She should have been taking those for some years now, are there any available where you live? I think there are available music theory classes also in the web., other people know better.
My advice is that she need to practice with the metronome and various rhythm patterns all the time, even when she is practicing scales and bowing exercises. It will help her develop a natural pulse in her. This is very important not just for basic musicianship, but it is essential prior to developing good sight reading skills.
Thank you Y Cheng!
Mary, Im not good in answering spesifically as Im a pianist and my daughter is young, but we used ” I can read music” books they are very good and you dont need to be a musician to use them as a parent. Dont know if they are too easy for her though, Im sure people will tell you here, what comes next after those books as I just write lines for my daughter to read and dont use books at the moment.
Not sure if there are any available in your area, but Dalcroze eurhythmics classes might be worth considering -- among other good things (like ear training, solfege, improv), they would include the study of rhythm. These classes can be great fun and very useful -- and are often offered for young children, older children, and even adults.
seconding the recommendation for dalcroze eurhythmics - the classes focus on different ways of feeling, counting, and internalizing rhythms.
Irene, I dont live in the USA, but in Europe, which is the explanation.
In the U.S. it's common for piano teachers to teach theory in the lessons but very rare for anyone else to do so. I don't think a working knowledge of theory is a prerequisite to learning to sight-read or improve one's rhythm. Learning to play with a metronome is more helpful. Orchestral playing will help note reading like nothing else in my opinion. I also sometimes sightread duets with my students at the end of a lesson.
In order to count well, she needs to understand what each figure in a time signature means and understand note values. Does she understand these concepts?
Please be careful with the "theory" recommendations given here, as "theory" is often confused for a lot of drab book-learning. What your daughter needs is to practice the ~act~ of sight-reading. But before that, she needs to know the very, very basics. "Theory" IS important, but in your daughter's case, it's not going to be the "theory" like knowing all the relative minor keys or knowing what "diminished" means, but rather the "theory" involved in knowing how to clap quarter notes and eighth notes, how to quickly recognize which finger needs to go where, etc... Really basic stuff. I know of many teachers that drown their students in high-level theory that has no relevance to their situation. Keep everything basic, until it's time for it to NOT be basic anymore.
As others have said here, learning to sight read can take a long time. How long differs for different people. But I would say it tends to take some years to become fairly comfortable with sight reading almost whatever is put on the music stand in front of you at a credible tempo. I have know amateur violinists who are still pretty rotten at it after decades of orchestra playing and I have seen teenagers who are absolute whizzes at sight reading. It is not the kind of learning that adults who are familiar with learning using their rational minds find familiar or even comfortable - except perhaps for language learning, musicians and other artists (are they rational?) and athletes.
I think you can relax. If she has a good relationship with her teacher, ask her to talk to her teacher about it, and trust the teacher to take care of it. It sounds like you have a pre-teen on your hands.
"In the U.S. it's common for piano teachers to teach theory in the lessons but very rare for anyone else to do so. "
Mary, et al.,
In support for expanding the knowledge of theory...many times instrumental music is taught from a "this is an C and this is an E and you play it with this finger" etc. so there is less emphasis placed on the fact it is a third, and this is what it looks like on the printed page. Sight reading depends not only on recognizing and recreating rhythms but also on the physical relationship of the dots on the page and where the whole steps and half steps lie in the key of the music. If one has to analyse the note name, finger, play and go to the next note it would be like translating your native language to a foreign language and back in a conversation. Woefully slow.
...I don't let my kids make every decision based on what they want.
If 12 old kids would only do what they want they would probably prefer texting and instragram to a vast majority of things they do lol.
I agree that orchestral playing is great for sight-reading.
Thank you so much everyone! Much appreciated!
Mary wants to play in the orchestra :)
Yes she can read music and understand the rhythms/ time signatures :)
"I'm going to guess at the root-cause of the problem..."
More generally it is known as a "crisis of confidence."
Thank you so much everyone!
I just glanced through the thread so probably repeating.