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Mike Sigman
01-09-2011, 06:58 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html?reflink=djm_wsjbc_chuaexcerpt_3 77x140

Josh Reyer
01-10-2011, 01:12 AM
I could see the author's point on most of the article, but I'm perplexed why she doesn't extend the same discipline to gym and drama, and I have no idea why piano and violin are mandatory, but drama and other instruments are forbidden. That seems bizarre and arbitrary.

lbb
01-10-2011, 07:39 AM
I don't particularly want to live in a world where the only instruments are piano and violin.

Walter Martindale
01-10-2011, 08:41 AM
I don't particularly want to live in a world where the only instruments are piano and violin.

I think the idea is that they're both tough to master. Once you've learned to play these instruments, you can learn the others in quick time, and have a brain that's tuned through that experience to learn other academic "stuff".

Example: A friend was pushed by his (Eastern European Refugee from Stalin's Russia) Mother to play violin, from a very young age. He was good enough to play on the National Youth Orchestra. I don't think he's touched a violin since age 20, but I don't know. When about 35 he took a lesson in the flute, took his lesson book home, practiced, and returned to the next class able to play his way through the whole lesson book "sight reading".. (academically, he ended up with a MSc in Microbiology)

With both of these instruments there are lots of brain-development challenges. Perhaps it is because they are so difficult and different, they provide a great opportunity for the kids' brains to develop so that they may excel academically and later.
W

lbb
01-10-2011, 10:02 AM
I think the idea is that they're both tough to master. Once you've learned to play these instruments, you can learn the others in quick time, and have a brain that's tuned through that experience to learn other academic "stuff".

Maybe that's the idea. I think that's kind of messed up, to be honest...and disrespectful of the instrument. It's like, I don't know, taking a yoga class in order to get laid.

Mike Sigman
01-10-2011, 10:07 AM
Maybe that's the idea. I think that's kind of messed up, to be honest...and disrespectful of the instrument. It's like, I don't know, taking a yoga class in order to get laid.One of the better thread drifts I've ever seen, Mary. You still have the touch, after all these years. ;)

Mike

lbb
01-10-2011, 01:20 PM
I'm sure the venereal reference will give the Chinese mothers heart attacks, too :D

mathewjgano
01-13-2011, 12:30 PM
I could see the author's point on most of the article, but I'm perplexed why she doesn't extend the same discipline to gym and drama, and I have no idea why piano and violin are mandatory, but drama and other instruments are forbidden. That seems bizarre and arbitrary.

I think she was just playing up to the stereotype...more or less. My Japanese-American wife, her brother (yonsei, so they're very American) and their mom are all teachers. Coupling what I've heard from them and this article I just take it that structure is good. I also was reminded of the difficulty many academically-oriented youths have when it comes to social interactions. Not ever letting a kid go to a sleep over seems a little excessive to me, but if I don't approve of my son's friends, I'll not let him spend much time with them. My wife teaches APP kids and their problem isn't motivation for school and good grades (and they'll likely be very professionally-minded young adults when they're older), it's creativity and EQ. Many of these kids' lives are so structured they don't know how to use their imagination very well. Once again I'm left with the idea that balance is key.

W/Re: sight reading, once you know how to do that it applies to all instruments. I'm bad at it, but I was able to use the step/half-step understanding to translate the song of brotherhood on my guitar 10 years after I quit violin. I'm not sure violin and piano are necessarily harder than other instruments...but I'll have to read up on them more. My "understanding" is that music is a great medium for processing timing and structure concepts, along with fine-motor skills, and that these in turn lend themselves to a large number of other activities.

...i.e. it teaches you how to organize on the fly since usually musicians have to play together at some point or another.