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Modern technology in preparation for the prelim?

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  • ...

    Alexandre Rafalovitch Feb. 6, 2006, 1:57 a.m. (Message 44151)

    Greetings,
    
    Is anybody (or anybody in your class) preparing for the Preliminary
    Examination, part 1? And if so, what modern tools and techniques are
    helpful for that? I would be curious to hear suggestions and opinions,
    in part because I am sitting exactly that exam in 2 weeks, but also
    because there must be better ways to learn than staring at the page
    trying to inhale the difference between Allemande for 3 and Allemande
    for 4 couples.
    
    At the moment, I am using electronic flashcards for at least part of
    the preparations. They are publicly available in case somebody is
    interested or wants to comment. Details are in my blog at:
    http://alwayslearning.wordpress.com/2006/02/05/flashcards-i-am-using-
    to-prepare-for-rscds-preliminary-examination/
    
    Regards,
       Alex.
  • ...

    Ron Mackey Feb. 6, 2006, 2:15 a.m. (Message 44152, in reply to message 44151)

    On 5 Feb 2006 at 19:57, Alexandre Rafalovitch wrote:
    
    Date sent:      	Sun, 5 Feb 2006 19:57:41 -0500
    From:           	Alexandre Rafalovitch <xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx>
    To:             	SCD news and discussion <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    Subject:        	Modern technology in preparation for the prelim?
    Send reply to:  	SCD news and discussion <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    	<mailto:xxxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx?subject=unsubscribe>
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    > Greetings,
    > 
    > Is anybody (or anybody in your class) preparing for the Preliminary
    > Examination, part 1? And if so, what modern tools and techniques are
    > helpful for that? I would be curious to hear suggestions and opinions,
    > in part because I am sitting exactly that exam in 2 weeks, > Regards,
    >    Alex.
    
    Especially now when most mechanical music can be played at different 
    speeds,  it is a tool to keep in mind to present an awkward passage to 
    that particular class at much altered speed (or even tempo) if you think 
    it will help them. i.e. dance a few bars at strathspey speed instead of jig 
    time to demonstrate a figure.  
    	For those who occasionally hit a sticky patch, Muriel 
    Johnstone's CD "Ready And"  is of great use.  It contains 78 snippets of 
    from four to thirty-two bars at all sorts of different speeds and 
    variations. And .. it has sets of exercise music!
    A great tool.
  • ...

    Sophie Rickebusch Feb. 6, 2006, 8:48 a.m. (Message 44156, in reply to message 44151)

    Hi Alex,
    
    When I was preparing my prelim 2 years ago, I found that teaching the figures was 
    the best way to get them into my head, so I would say get as much practice as 
    you can. Obviously if you've only got 2 weeks left it's a bit late for that, but 
    nevertheless, try picking figures at random (well, I'd concentrate on the most 
    common ones first, don't worry about the spurtle or the 1C poussette unless 
    you've really gone through all the rest!) and think about how you would teach 
    them, if possible making up rhythmic sequences (eg. "away from the centre / 
    quarter turn / etc." for the poussette). Hopefully that should help you remember 
    them, aside from being useful material for part 3.
    
    One way in which modern technology can be useful is if you've got trouble 
    distinguishing between reels and jigs (I used to): get your hi-fi (or iPod or 
    whatever) to play tracks at random, then try and guess what they are (clapping 
    to the music helps).
    
    Other than that, the time-honoured methods of reading through the manual, 
    having "question and answer" sessions with other students (or anyone else who's 
    willing) and trying to answer old exam papers (available on the RSCDS website) still 
    worked for me.
    
    Good luck with unit 1 anyway - if you're taking units 2-3 in the second fortnight at 
    summer school I might see you there as I'm aiming to take unit 5 then.
    
    Cheers,
    Sophie
    
    Quoting Alexandre Rafalovitch <xxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx>:
    
    > Greetings,
    > 
    > Is anybody (or anybody in your class) preparing for the Preliminary
    > Examination, part 1? And if so, what modern tools and techniques are
    > helpful for that? I would be curious to hear suggestions and opinions,
    > in part because I am sitting exactly that exam in 2 weeks, but also
    > because there must be better ways to learn than staring at the page
    > trying to inhale the difference between Allemande for 3 and Allemande
    > for 4 couples.
    > 
    > At the moment, I am using electronic flashcards for at least part of
    > the preparations. They are publicly available in case somebody is
    > interested or wants to comment. Details are in my blog at:
    > http://alwayslearning.wordpress.com/2006/02/05/flashcards-i-am-using-to-
    prepare-for-rscds-preliminary-examination/
    > 
    > Regards,
    >    Alex.
    > 
    
    
    -- 
    Sophie Rickebusch
    CH - Wettswil a. A.
  • ...

    L. Friedman-Shedlov Feb. 6, 2006, 3:49 p.m. (Message 44163, in reply to message 44156)

    On Mon, 6 Feb 2006, Sophie Rickebusch wrote:
    > When I was preparing my prelim 2 years ago, I found that teaching the 
    > figures was the best way to get them into my head, so I would say get as 
    > much practice as you can.
    
    This comment makes me wonder if the RSCDS considered making the written 
    test unit 1 instead of unit 3 of the first part of the exam.  In other 
    words, it would make more sense to take a written test after you'd had a 
    chance to really absorb the material, and  it's hard to do so purely on 
    the basis of reading.  It's all kind of meaningless until you put it into 
    practice.
    
    Some people don't really get to to do much teaching until they start 
    their actual candidate course.  If you are located in an area with no 
    local candidate course, you might not get much opportunity to teach 
    before you head off to summer school or wherever you are taking the 
    course, and by then you are supposed to already have completed unit one of 
    the exam.
    
    Clearly, teacher candidates should still have studied the manual 
    before they embark on the dancing and teaching units of part one, but 
    maybe it would make more sense to  be tested on it later.  Just a 
    thought . . .
    
    / Lara Friedman-Shedlov
    
    
    ********************************
    Lara Friedman~Shedlov               "Librarians -- Like Google, but
    xxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx                       warm-blooded"
    ********************************
  • ...

    Alexandre Rafalovitch Feb. 6, 2006, 4:04 p.m. (Message 44164, in reply to message 44163)

    On 2/6/06, L. Friedman~Shedlov <xxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx> wrote:
    > On Mon, 6 Feb 2006, Sophie Rickebusch wrote:
    > > When I was preparing my prelim 2 years ago, I found that teaching the
    > > figures was the best way to get them into my head, so I would say get as
    > > much practice as you can.
    >
    > This comment makes me wonder if the RSCDS considered making the written
    > test unit 1 instead of unit 3 of the first part of the exam.  In other
    > words, it would make more sense to take a written test after you'd had a
    > chance to really absorb the material, and  it's hard to do so purely on
    > the basis of reading.  It's all kind of meaningless until you put it into
    > practice.
    
    Well, I haven't tried teaching yet, but I have heard a lot of the
    instructions while being taught. So, now when I am trying to memorise
    them, they go into the fertile ground.
    
    And I think I would want to memorise all those standard
    phrases/formations before I try to teach them. Otherwise, it would be
    a total mess trying to remember 15 new things, rather than 5 new
    (class observing and adjusting) and having the other 10 (formation,
    phrases, music) down pat from having to do it for the exam.
    
    But yes, it would be nice to practice too. :-)
    
    Regards,
       Alex.
  • ...

    Ron Mackey Feb. 6, 2006, 11:51 p.m. (Message 44167, in reply to message 44164)

    > And I think I would want to memorise all those standard
    > phrases/formations before I try to teach them. Otherwise, it would be
    > a total mess trying to remember 15 new things, rather than 5 new
    > (class observing and adjusting) and having the other 10 (formation,
    > phrases, music) down pat from having to do it for the exam.
    > 
    > But yes, it would be nice to practice too. :-)
    
    
    	Hi, Alex
    		Do you not have a tame teacher who would be 
    prepared to let you loose with a class for 1 dance a night?  I was this 
    fortunate and it was a great help.  But then I taught a class for 3 years 
    before I took my prelim.
    	If you are being taught a dance which you know (or are just 
    watching) and can spare brain time, listen to what is being said and see 
    if you can think of another way of giving the same instruction.    It is 
    surprising how often one form of words make no sense when putting it 
    another way gains instant reaction.  For example rights and lefts can 
    sink in when called a chain for four, especially if they have already 
    done a grand chain. 
    	When thinking of a quick pousette consider dancing in a childs 
    play-pen.  Back into a corner, turn (there is only one way) move to the 
    next corner, turn etc.   Reading a manual is OK but, like learning a 
    dance from a book, it sinks in better if you re-write it in your own words.
  • ...

    Jim Healy Feb. 6, 2006, 5:49 p.m. (Message 44165, in reply to message 44163)

    Greetings!
    
    Lara writes:
    
    >Clearly, teacher candidates should still have studied the manual before
    >they embark on the dancing and teaching units of part one, but maybe
    >it would make more sense to  be tested on it later.  Just a thought . . .
    Unfortunately, Lara, experience showed that while many are candidates are 
    conscientious and prepared, a significant minority turned up for the course 
    asking questions such as "... there's a Manual?"
    
    Jim Healy
    Monaco
  • ...

    SMiskoe Feb. 7, 2006, 12:02 a.m. (Message 44168, in reply to message 44151)

    In a message dated 2/6/2006 5:57:05 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
    xxx.xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx writes:
    
    For  example rights and lefts can 
    sink in when called a chain for four,  especially if they have already 
    done a grand chain. 
    When  thinking of a quick pousette consider dancing in a childs 
    play-pen.   Back into a corner, turn (there is only one way) move to the 
    next corner,  turn etc.  
    
    
    Ron, that's brilliant.  In English CD they are always talking about  circular 
    heys which are R&L's.  Change that to chain of 4 for the  SCD.
    Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
  • ...

    Ian Brockbank April 10, 2006, 10:13 p.m. (Message 45003, in reply to message 44151)

    HI Alex,
    
    I'm finally getting the chance to do a bit of catching up, and I've just
    added this to http://www.scottishdance.net/links/SCD.html, and created
    http://www.scottishdance.net/links/Blogs.html just for you!
    
    Cheers,
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    http://www.scottishdance.net/
  • ...

    Ian Brockbank April 11, 2006, 10:47 a.m. (Message 45005, in reply to message 45003)

    Hi All,
    
    Apologies for sending these to the list so poorly edited.  They were meant
    to go to Alex only.
    
    For those of you who tried the links without success last night, they should
    work now - I seem to have had problems with ftp last night.
    
    Cheers,
    
    Ian Brockbank
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    http://www.scottishdance.net/

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