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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000858.txt from 2001/02

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] counting
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 19:21:40 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rien Stein []
> One of my students never was able to learn the meaning of musical terms.
> After I told her some twenty times "acc" means accelerando, and what that
> means, her mother came to tell this girl suffers from dislexya
> (hope I spell
> it right).
Dyslexia certainly doesn't mean "unable to learn." It is, as we both
remember from our psychology courses, a problem in the area of visual
perception and organization. Whether or not there are other "learning
disabilities" present is a question for a trained expert to answer. But
there isn't a reason why she couldn't learn what the term means, even if she
has trouble reading the printed symbol (acc.). Once she knows it's there, it
shouldn't be impossible, if dyslexia is her only problem, for her simply to
remember the music should speed up in that place.

It sounds (you mention her double-tonguing) as if she's fairly accomplished.
Can she do normal quick rhythms (quarter-note, eighth-note and
sixteenth-note patterns) accurately? What happens when you tap a pencil or
clap your hands or make some other noise to mark the beat for her or if
_you_ count out loud? Does she "feel" the note lengths up to four beats
accurately? Does she use dyslexia as a shield from having to deal with
anything that isn't right on the first try, or is she normally perseverant
about other things? You don't say how old she is (I've forgotten from the
other posts about her tooth pain). Is her mother in the habit of
"protecting" her with the "dyslexia" shield, or does she seem to have a
reasonably clear view of her daughter's situation?

I don't think "dyslexia" has much to do with "counting", but if you broaden
the problem to some form of "spatial perception" disability, spatial
perceptual problems can be both auditory and visual, and problems with
perception of time can certainly fall within the realm of auditory spatial
perception. They aren't necessarily related, but can exist concurrently in
the same child. Since the mother and child are both at this point
attributing her difficulties to "dyslexia," perhaps you could find out from
them a way to contact someone who regularly deals with her at school (a
counselor, a teacher, or some other qualified professional) who may be able
to give you some deeper insight into what the child's specific problems seem
to be and what has succeeded at school in other areas of study.

Good luck!

Karl Krelove

> Now I found out she isn't able to "count in her head", as she calls it. To
> play a note one, two three, and even four beats she does simply by feeling
> how long to continue that note, but when a note takes longer, she makes a
> wild guess resulting in notes of considerably longer duration, but also of
> considerably shorter duration. During the last few weeks I have exhausted
> all kinds of trials to try to let her COUNT, but she finally burst into
> tears, and asked me to stop it, it had, she said, relationship with her
> being dislectic.
> When I studied psychology, ovr 20 years ago now, the phenomenon
> of dyslexya
> was still rather unknown, but when I heard about it I recognized it
> immediately in two of my pupils (at the time I was professionally
> a teacher
> of mathematics in the highest form of high school). From what I remember
> from my study of psychology and of these two pupils I'd say there
> is little
> relationship between the two problems sketched above, but it is not
> impossible there actually IS a relationship with some individuals. Now of
> course you will feel the two questions coming up:
> can someone tell me more about this possible relationship, and, more
> important,
> can someone give me a hint how to help her with this counting problem?
> BTW, this is the same girl I asked about some time ago because she
> supposedly had a contusion in one of her upper front teeth. I
> went with her
> to her dentist and had him make a röntgen photograph of the tooth, he had
> never done so. Then the problem was solved: the tooth was broken. He is
> handling this problem now, and she is suffering a lot less from
> that tooth.
> She can attack notes again the usual way. She has a beautiful
> double-tongueing technique.
> Rien
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