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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Music Volume


Kini

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Since I can’t post in the Teachers Forum (as I’m not one) I do have a request in general to those here that are.

 

Please please keep an ear open to the music volume, if your students are having difficulty following your instruction during an exercise it may be because they can’t hear you.

 

One of my recent classes had a sub, wonderful instructor and very soft spoken which was a problem as she liked to give instruction and corrections during an exercise but because the music was so loud it was very difficult to hear her. Still a fun and challenging class but a lower volume level would have been helpful.

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Good point Kini. I have to confess to shouting out corrections to students in the middle of an exercise and although it's to live piano music,rather than recorded music, you're right - it probably would be better to wait until the music stops. The problem with doing that though is that by the time I've watched a dozen or more students crossing the floor, I forget what I wanted to correct!

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Hamorah - yes it would be hard - or impossible - to regulate the volume of live piano music I suppose....

 

Kini I fully agree! I have an issue w/ music simply being too loud, period. It trains the ear much better to work a bit and be able to find different rhythms and beats and nuances in the music, and it helps greatly of course if any comments by the teacher can be heard. That is what I am taking the class for, after all, and I have a much calmer, focussed, productive class that way....

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I was told during teacher training that no one can hear me while talking during an exercise and that I need to work on my voice. At home I realized that I keep the volume lower that I don't have to shout so much. I personally want to safe my voice, especially when teaching several classes in a row. I cannot shout for 6 hours! They have a piano and so I have to shout and I am not used to it.

After all, the studio where I teach is in a builiding where people live and especially in the evening I cannot keep the music so loud.

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I would agree that if 80% of a class cannot hear the teacher speaking while music is playing, there is a problem. Either the music is too loud or the teacher speaks with too soft a voice. Another factor in this discussion is that there are individual differences in what is perceived as loud. My household is a good example. Some would say that I like my music loud. I don't think of it as loud, though others, like my wife, thinks it is excessively loud. If she comes home while I'm playing my music and turns the volume down, in an irrational huff, I go turn the music off, as I have no patience for soft music. I would rather have silence.

 

I'm not saying my way is best, but rather that we all have different thoughts about loudness.

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Totally agree about the different perceptions of what is "loud"! My husband also likes things louder - and he does not always hear softer things, either. (and no, not just now that we are both middle-age, but always!)

 

I also tend to call out corrections over the music, but it is a very good reminder to either wait - or turn it down quite a bit. :)

(and I have read that loud music and other loud sounds over time can damage the ability to hear well.... when I mention this to my husband he says, "what?" :P )

 

-d-

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Kini, the acoustics of the room may not reflect the teachers voice. A "dead" room encourages teachers to crank up the music. You should try to memorize the steps before the music starts this will help.

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MJ, I've been around long enough and have had plenty of opportunities to gain experience in learning steps quickly in the past that I really don't think it's a problem for me.

 

Honestly think this is a culture thing as I go to two different studios and both have been bringing in summer guest teachers from the local professional company, each time the guest teacher cranks up the music and attempts to talk over it.

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Since I can’t post in the Teachers Forum (as I’m not one) I do have a request in general to those here that are.

 

Please please keep an ear open to the music volume, if your students are having difficulty following your instruction during an exercise it may be because they can’t hear you.

 

One of my recent classes had a sub, wonderful instructor and very soft spoken which was a problem as she liked to give instruction and corrections during an exercise but because the music was so loud it was very difficult to hear her. Still a fun and challenging class but a lower volume level would have been helpful.

Here! Hear! Yes, I completely agree! Louder music doesn't make the student do the combo any better. LOL I have one instructor that plays the music so loud that the only ones that get the combinations are those standing right next to her. I have taken to standing right near her when the combination is given. She asked me the other day why I left the barre. I told her that the music was so loud that I couldn't hear the combination. The volume went down for that class at least! LOL

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I think everything seems to be too loud nowadays - people talking on their mobiles, music at parties and weddings all at high volume. I've been to weddings where I hid out in the ladies loo to give my eardrums a break. The other day I went to see Harlem Ballet Theatre and one of their pieces was to electronic music. I stuffed tissues in my ears, held my hands over that and I still suffered. I don't expect quiet, but I do want moderation!

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i completely agree w/ you Hamorah! :shhh:

 

I've had very similar experience at a Cirque du Soleil show. I would not be able to endure that again. Too bad - it could have been great otherwise.

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Same for me! I hardly ever go out in the evening to have a drink or so because everywhere the music is so loud that I have to shout in a conversation and that my ears hurt.

Now we have very nice and sunny weather were I live (finally summer arrived!) and I have to keep the windows open to get some air during class. I need to keep the music now very low, otherwise neighbours will complain. I am happy because I don't need to shout and I think my students listen more to the music.

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Claude C -

 

Yes, I sympathize.... I don't know if it is just my imagination or not, but I do tend to find too, that the teachers who have more of a musical ear and musicality themselves, also don't usually play the music at an overly loud volume.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recently went to a Joffrey Ballet performance where the program said, on one piece, "the music is intentionally louder than normal". I was far enough away from the speakers that it wasn't painful. (and I have the option now of removing my hearing aids)

I have a hearing impairment and started wearing hearing aids two years ago. When I have a new teacher I try to introduce myself before class and let him/her know that I may have difficulty hearing/understanding, especially if music is playing. This was epecially true before I got my aids. Most teachers seemed to appreciate me letting them know. I was told that some hearing impairments make certain sounds, like music, seem louder than normal! Really annoying at the mall!

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