Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Textbooks. blah.

Due to the fact that my theory book is my only actual textbook, I went with that one and my German book that claims to be a textbook but really isn't.

I have to admit, my theory book has probably been opened once before right now outside of class. That time was when we were trying to figure out what a doubly diminished interval actually was. I'm not saying it doesn't teach well, I just have never been the one to actually open the book a lot. I have noticed, however, that the information in the blue boxes is quite useful. It picks out the important points of the chapter for those of us who don't quite have the motivation to read all of the text. I'm also quite sure that if I didn't have a teacher who actually explained the contents enough for me to understand, I would have to read. And from what I've looked at in class, if I actually sat down and concentrated on the text, it would teach me sufficiently.

Now my German book is a totally different story. It is actually made for German students, so the only English I've found is about 7 words on the front cover. The examples are in German, the stories are in German, and the dictionary defines the German words in German. If I did not have a good German teacher there would be NO way that I would have the slightest clue what was going on, and not because I'm dumb. It uses the most rare words that only people who have studied the language intensely for years would no. I mean, you know it is bad when they have to define 10 words per page for people who speak German as their first language. Once I figure out what it is talking about, everything makes sense, but getting there is a journey in itself.

So I guess textbooks are good for some people, but I'd much rather depend on the teacher teaching me and be able to rely on the text for situations where I just need to reassure myself I'm doing my work right.


At 10/22/2006 8:06 PM, Blogger Nat said...

My spanish book is the same way. It was definitly written for fluent spanish speakers. Gah!! But my teacher is great, so i just fumble through the reading and then pay attention in class.

At 10/22/2006 8:51 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

good analysis of the theory book, i think that's pretty much how we all think of it

At 10/22/2006 10:00 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

All of us have weirdly written language books. hmm that's strange.

At 10/22/2006 10:44 PM, Blogger Becca said...

It's definitely a balance of teacher and textbook. Sometimes, you have to rely on one when the other is awful. That's always fun. The best situation is when you have an informative textbook and a knowledgeable and understandable teacher. But that's rare. I dunno, I dislike textbooks on the whole.

At 10/23/2006 12:06 AM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

i feel like my teachers reflect my opinion of the book.


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