My long history of attempting to learn French goes all the way back to high school-lessons that centered on the exploits of “Margot et Mon Oncle.” It was never entirely clear what Mon Oncle’s relationship to Margot was. The language lab at Easton Area High School was full of speculation on this matter. I didn’t learn French then, or during any of several subsequent efforts, but now I am reinvigorated because I have a deadline: my jazz band, Chaise Lounge, will be playing in Paris in June of 2018. I also have a new language-learning method: Duolingo, a free site that serves a number of noble purposes—one of them being to help translate Wikipedia in its entirety. I am astonished at how perfectly crafted this service is. If you get a sentence wrong, the computer gently drills you on it until you get it right. And, unlike most human teachers, the computer has infinite patience. Of course, the site acts as a reminder that, sooner or later, robots are coming for a lot of people’s jobs. But in the meantime it also makes me wonder: could this teaching method be applied to musical sight-reading?
The return of mon oncle
by Modern Songbook Records | May 2, 2017 | Charlie's Blog, News