Algorythm of Microcycles – Technology for Beginners

Algorithm   of   Microcycles

      In pedagogical practice at the second period  of music education the considerable majority of pupils inevitably spend a lot of time and efforts to master by professional skills of playing music instrument and to perfect different methods of practical activity with music information. In  the process of  integrating the adopted  music information  from sheet a pupil  is confronted with great difficulties in perception  of study material , its synthesis and realization on an  instrument. A heavy study load  is the cause of emerging negative  emotions, lowers  child’s  interest to the music subject, and as a result of  that , the quality of knowledge worsens, the speed and efficiency of music teaching are restricted. It is necessary to find more effective ways and methods on teaching of children, to pay special attention not only to a certain kind of activity, but also to the nature of  formation of each skill separately.

       The pedagogic task at given period of teaching consists in that to give the intensive development to the natural gift of a child, rationally to realize his potential music possibilities  in special  psychosomatic action as a result. Speaking about the main task  in this direction  it is necessary to emphasize application of sequential alteration of  kind of mental activity of pupil.In this connection,and with the aim to distribute the appearing sum study load in child’s mental sphere on separate its components in according to their dynamic and kinetic characteristic features, the new technology of  music teaching  ” Algorithm  of Microcycles ” has been developed. The way of  perception of  music information through the brief episodic cycles is put in the base of this technology. Given methods allows a child to enter into practical lesson actively, to limit  fatigue in time , to master professional skills dynamically  and , as a result , to eliminate the negative attitude to study process.

                       Physiological  Basis

     The insistent necessity of alteration of pupil’s attention is dictated by peculiarities of physiology of the higher nervous  activity, namely  that, if  with appearing of more-less long-term existing  in the central nervous system of  the nidus of stagnant excitation (on extra monotonous mental activity ) , naturally, sings of  fatigue of the nerve cells-neurons are increased in the range of this nidus and work capacity of these neurons is decreased in the view of  lengthening period of remembering and reproducing of any information. If at the first symptoms of  fatigue and reducing of the pupils’ attention, sequentially to alter their attention to other kind of work, the stagnant excitation gradually  subsides, as other nervous centre of  brain  is excited already. The methods ” Algorithm of  Microcycles ”  consists of  five short episodic elements. The kind of   activity in each algorithm is solitary and distinctive from the next one in its nature of activity,thus applying step ( cyclic ) alteration of pupil’s attention , the capability of  the nervous centers to improve their physiological lability is increased and, as a result, motion of the following excitable reactions is alleviated.The main source of enhancement of pupils’ work capacity is sequential transfer of attention, the rational distribution of  the sum study load on  its separate components, the relaxation of  the brain’s strained nervous centers. Concluding   the above – said from standpoint of physiology, the methods of algorithm is undoubtedly useful, it is positively reflected in psycho-emotional status and the teaching of children is accelerated.

                        Practical  Basis

     In order to study physiological influence of methods ” Algorithm of  Microcycles ” to the pupil’s psycho-emotional status the practical researches have been conducted. The obtained results have shown a high level of knowledge in the experimental group compared with control group. The performance capability of the control group of children taught on system adopted music grammar is characterized by low activity of analytical thinking, quick mental fatigue, instability of attention. The experimental group of children taught on digital system “Algorithm of  Microcycles ” has firmly mastered by the practical skills of play an instrument, and the study process passed on the positive psycho-emotional base. Comparative data of these researches confirm practical value and effectiveness of study technology.

     The recommended technology of music teaching is directed on the balanced and rational distribution of  the sum study load to psycho-emotional  sphere of  a child, proposes  the physiologic mechanism of alteration of  the kind of activity in order to eliminate fatigue of the brain’s nervous centers , to increase performance capability, to active the mental work. Integration of music information through  the method of  algorithm  foresees the program organization of educational process, permits systemic to manage by sum study effect. Applying of recommended technology in system of music education allows quickly and firmly to master by practical skills, dynamically to develop the child’s natural music potentiality.

          Discription  in  Details

A. Pupil is confronted with the task : to learn a melody by heart. This kind of activity can be realized by means of analysis method i.e. to describe mentally the melody and its fragments in his notion. In this kind of activity allow the pupil actively to enter into the process of analysis of the music structure, to pay attention to durations of sounds. Using the mode of perception of the music information mentally, the pupil acquires skill of analytical perception of music sounds, develops ability to form inner – hearing notion about content and construction of  the melody as a whole. Relaxation – 5 seconds.

B. Pupil is confronted with the task : to reproduce learned melody with help of an instrument. This kind of activity can be realized by means of analogy method i.e. to compare the learned melody with its demanded sounding on an instrument ( Karpenko L.A.1990). In this kind of activity allow the pupil to pay attention to expressive performance of melody and its dynamics of  sounding. Using the mode of realization of music information, pupil acquires skill of expression of a sound on an instrument, develops the ability to identify the sound. Relaxation – 10 seconds.

C. Pupil is confronted with the task: to pick up an accompaniment to learned melody. This kind of activity can be realized by means of matrix  method  i.e. to integrate chords  through  mathematical symbols. In this kind of activity  allow the pupil to pay attention to the determinant of matrix, to model meter-rhythmic pattern of ready-made chords of accompaniment. Using the mode of selection of chords to a melody, the pupil acquires skill to accompany to the melody, develops ability to identify the harmony of assonances. Relaxation -15 seconds.

D. Pupil is confronted with the task: to consolidate learned material, to introduce additional technical corrections. This kind of activity can be realized by means of method of differential proof  i.e. artificially to divide the complex text up to small fragments, which are perfected separately and then are integrated into a single whole. In this kind of activity allow the pupil to pay attention to technical details of base material. Using the mode of differential proof of structural fragments, the pupil acquires technical skill of coordinated action, develops ability to feel the smallest intervals of  time leading to the exact reaction and lability of thinking. Relaxation – 20 seconds.

E. Pupil is confronted with the task: to review mentally all texture of A,B,C,D, – elements. This kind of activity can be realized by means of method of ideomotor analysis i.e. sequentially to transfer attention to integrated elements of base material( KarpenkoL.A. 1990). In this kind of activity allow the pupil to pay attention to the derived fragments of  base material. Using the mode of ideomotor integration of  base material, the pupil creates the standard in his notion, forms the program orientation to successful performance of a motif , a melody, a composition in general.

                Neurophysiological   Aspect

     The developed technology of intensive music teaching on methods of “Algorithm of Microcycles ” is valuable for studying of influence of  recommended  technology to the child’s psycho – emotional status, and  further, is a scientific base for studying of psychosomatic functions i.e. the functional  interrelations between visual and acoustic analyzers, between acoustic, visual analyzers and  neuro-motor function of the right hand, between visual, acoustic analyzers and neuro-motor function of  both hands. In this connection the experimental scientific researches are to be performed , namely : EMG ,EEG – tests, for studying of distribution of appearing functional load on the child’s psychic sphere in process of practical study on two different methods.

     Dynamics of movements and actions is characterized by time, high-speed, spatially-time, power and other parameters. Given parameters reflect the complex neurophysiologic processes passing in leading functional systems of the child’s organism ( central  nervous system, muscular system, and others ) also explain, from a scientific point of view, the interrelations of  neuromuscular coordination in their kinetic and dynamic data, the appearing  threshold  potential of  synapse fatigue, interrelations between  the frequency and intensity of  nervous impulses  ( Berezov T.T.,Korovkin B.F.1990 ).

       Fatigue of  synapse is explained by extra continuous excitation in result of which a considerable quantity of neurotransmitter is allocated, naturally, this leads to untimely synthesis and, as a result of this reaction, the progressive increasing amplitude of postsynaptic potential of action is formed .Partial delay of synaptic transmission violates the functional activity between muscle tension and the resulting action of manual techniques, therefore the child’s acoustic analyzers perceive consecutive or separated codes of deformed music information in time, rhythm and sound expression, of course, this violates the coordination of music-acoustic interrelations, leads to the defect of metro-rhythmic functions, keeps up the development of child’s natural music potentiality ( Green N.P.O., Stout G.W., Taylor D.J.1990 ). Applying the technology of A,B,C,D,E – algorithm, the child rationally distributes the total study load on leading functional systems his organism, creates highly – accurate coordination without inclusion in practical activity of unnecessary muscle groups, unnecessary movements, excessive effort by pressing a key, and  it  means, he excludes possibility of appearing of  false acoustic and muscular sensations, and as a result of  it, instantly creates a firm neuron linkage which in our life we call as a skill of coordinated action. Realization of the described scientific investigations in this  direction  will  allow  us to approach closer  to understanding of  more subtle  mechanisms of  child’s  mental  activity  and  to detect physiological  factors that promote to improvement of quality, speed and efficiency of music education.

          Methods  Recommendations

      Distinctive feature of developed technology consists of a process of integration of music information through the brief, episodic microcycles. The methods of algorithm has great practical value and efficiency at the second period of music education, namely, in the period  when digital or initial  music grammar is being studied by children well and worked in practice. The main positive moment of given technology is that it can be applied both in an adopted music and in digital formats of teaching. The elaborated study module consists of  five structural elements:

A – study of a melody by heart;

B – reflection on an instrument;

C – selection of accompaniment;

D – consolidation of base material;

E – ideomotor analysis.

     The order and  sequence of cycles  can  both be applied  by a teacher separately, into practical lessons, when he is interested in the perfection of special skills of the pupil, and in their logarithmic sequence, when a common stereotype is formed.

               Fig.4

      The structure of A,B,C,D, E – algorithm is learned by pupil gradually, it provides an opportunity firmly to master skills of playing a music instrument and freely to use them in practice (Milich B.E.1977 ). At the following steps of music teaching the cycles of the methods are realized in the time  interval striving to a minimum. Stage-by-stage  music education  promotes to the stabile growth of  pupil’s manual  techniques, to the development of analytical thinking, forms inner-hear perception of music information.

      At the given stage of music teaching a child stabilizes the metro-rhythmic functions comparing sounds of short and long durations.Therefore it is logical to exclude difficult durations as the sixteenth and the eighth. Accepting the quarter note as the basic unit of measure, it is easy to explain half and whole durations using a way of addition. Such stability of durations in simple form of division is easily perceived by children and promotes to preserving of an even rhythm. For the natural time organization of metro-rhythm and expressive sounding of a melody it is required to change only tempo of the play, but the recording of  tune is to be executed by means of relative durations( Sposobin I.V.1958 ). While become acquainted with the difficult durations, as and when pupil’s manual techniques allow him to use them, the melody written in quarters and halves should be performed in fast tempo– Allegro,Presto (! = 180-208 ) naturally, we obtain the complicated type of durations. The bill , as a means of organization of  metro-rhythmic functions , it is necessary to use in its active form : ” don –don “, ” tick – tick “,”tuk – tuk “, and so on. Such way allows the child to graduate precisely a longitude of one vowel sound in relation to one share of  the beat.

      Selection of  an accompaniment  to a base melody is a very difficult and complex  process. At the given stage of  teaching we can see immature neuro – motor functions of  the left hand , the poor development of music – acoustic interrelations. Methods and ways of selection of the accompaniment are applied by the teacher according to his personal experience, and also with the account of the physiological data of  pupil ( music-acoustic features , his  neuromotor functions, age factor ). There are several  techniques and  ways of  selection of accompaniment : harmonic, melodic, analogy, imitation, mathematical, verbal and others. In contrast, the mathematical one is the most accurate and efficient method. Chord of accompaniment is made in accordance with the matrix law, determinant of which is the cipher value of  the chord elements(Shtaingardt D.A. 1978).In order to save more time and to speed up this kind of activity, the pupil should memorize the chords not separate music notes, and in symbols, having a clear idea about metro – rhythmic pattern of ready-made chords. The digital techniques of selection of accompaniment  to the base melody relieves a pupil  from a  great volume of  labour-consuming , tiresome work and radically simplifies this activity. During  the carrying on of practice homework, the pupil can independently operate with chords written in a digital format.

      Successful performance of a music composition, as well as, the dynamic development  of  pupil’s manual technique depend on a choice of optimal variant of fingerings. Rational fingering is used in accordance with the teacher’s personal experience, and also taking into account the child’s individual peculiarities (age factor, motor functions, the length of  fingers). It is not necessary to write out the fingerings for all play in detail, the most rational is fragment marking of fingerings in technically difficult and key places of the text. In the method of microcycles, it is necessary to use the letter fingerings :” t “-thumb,” i “-index, ” m “- medium,” r “-nameless, ” l “- little finger.

      Relaxation after each microcycle is the main condition for the successful mastering by practical skills of playing a music instrument. Time of pauses in longitude of  5-10-15-20 – seconds between cycles is rather a key condition. At the earliest stages of music teaching the intermediate pauses are used after each microcycle and their time-limit is possible till 2 – 3 minutes. None the less, at later stages of music teaching when the pupil has mastered the practical skills and has perfected various ways of technical activity, the intermediate interval of pauses is reduced and definitely strived to minimum, it is natural, that the time of pauses between the microcycles is shortened to seconds only. The purpose of the method of microcycles is designed thus to help children to master the practical skills of integration of the music material through brief, episodic cycles; the periodical use relaxation of the brain’s strained nervous centers; and the sequential alternation of attention to the following kind of activity.

       For creative growth of the pupil, it is necessary to adhere to a certain sequence in teaching methods and the selection of  the study material for the scheme ” from simple to complex “. Melody is the main expressive means of  the music. With the help of melody a child learns to express sounds in time and form, in content and character. The sounds of melody should be located close to each other, large intervals are difficult to children. Music examples are composed of highly dynamic and carefully selected material .Repertory  material  is based on a combination of various technical tasks  and ways of performance of actions in their practical unity. It is desirable to include into training programm the most interesting folk songs, dances which are based on movements and speech  with a bright expressed melody and stable metro-rhythmic fundament.

 Summary

     “Reflection” – digital  technology on music teaching of children by methods of “Algorithm of Microcycles ” is joined to a number of related disciplines : physiology, neurophysiology, psychology, music pedagogic, it requires the support and realization of neurophysiological investigations devoted to studying of  the influence of given technology on the state of  leading functional systems of  the child’s organism.

      Statistics and practice show that the period of  learning by standard music grammar is delayed for several years. Already at the early stage of learning at Children’s Music School, within of  two – three months, up to thirty percent of children lose their interest to music subject and leave study. This phenomenon is explained by the study overload arising at the first contact of the child to difficult format of adopted note coding and decoding of music information. The developed  stage – by – stage technology of teaching on digital format eliminates the negative statistics, solves a number of pedagogical and practical problems arising in the course of music education. At the third stage of learning, while transition to the forms traditional music letter, the breakage of the formed stereotype will not cause much effort and difficulty as the child already freely owns a digital base of coordinated music-acoustic skills and habits, and besides it, the technology of algorithm is designed in such manner that solves this moment of transition, naturally, so that  the psycho-emotional  self – affirmation of  the child will  require purposeful activity  in studying of standard music format.

                           Fig.5

       On the base of pedagogical experience, we have come to the conclusion: the method of algorithm is founded upon a physiological point of view, proven in practice and can be applied with success in the developing of educational programs with use of  the computer and MIDI – technology. The authors’ main task  is to describe the structure of  technology of A,B,C,D,E – algorithm, typical model features and  physiological mechanism of  forming and maintenance of technical skills and habits of  the child. Scientific article “Algorithm of Microcycles ” is intended  for acquainting of teachers, psychologists, students and others with the system of intensive music education of children at early school age  7-9 years . Authors of the scientific article will be grateful for valuable reviews, comments, recommendations and proposals which will be considered and applied in scientific researches in this direction with the aim of aesthetic education of children.

                                                                                       Stepanov S.M. teacher of music

                                                                                       Kolesnik V.D. pediatrician

List  of  References

Karpenko L.A.Psychology. Moscow.1990. Yaroshevsky M.G.

Idiomotor action. Analogy. № 2, p.20,131-132.

Berezov T.T., Korovkin B.F. Biological chemistry. Moscow.1990. Debova S.S.

Role of mediators in transmission of nervous impulses. № 2, p.498-500.

Green N.P.O., Stout G.W., Taylor D.J.Biological science. Moscow.1990. Soper R.

Contracting reaction.vol.3.p.19-20,23,26. Synapse.vol.2, p.253-258.

Milich B.E. Teaching of pupils pianists at the Children music school.Kiev.1977. Mokritskaya L.M. 

Principles of work with the composition. p.45-50.

Sposobin I.V. Elementary theory of  the music. Moscow.1958.  Solovieva K. 

Relativity of durations. № 3, p.29.

Shtaingardt D.A. Higher mathematics.Moscow.1978.  Kulikova L. S.

Elements of line algebra and line programming.№ 1, p.40-46.

Stepanov  S.M.  Music Teaching Technology for Beginners .Ukraine .

Children  Project ” Reflection ” .  http://reflectionmusic.ucoz.com/. Figures : 4.5 .