Fixed and Movable Do

As originally conceived, solfege was a movable do system. Whatever pitch was the tonic would be assigned the syllable "do" and the other syllables, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti followed upward by step. In today's usage, these movable do syllables are referred to as tonal syllables. They are called tonal syllables because they … Continue reading Fixed and Movable Do

What Are Music Teachers Really Trying To Accomplish?

Ask a Language Arts teacher what they are trying to achieve with their students, and that teacher will probably mention growth in literacy. He or she wants students to read and write effectively, with understanding and comprehension. Students are likely being asked questions like, "what is the author trying to say?" "How does the author … Continue reading What Are Music Teachers Really Trying To Accomplish?

Strengths and Weaknesses of Orff Schulwerk

Today I will discuss the advantage and disadvantages of the Orff Schulwerk Approach to music education. At the outset, I should mention that no single method of teaching music is sufficient for meeting the needs of all children, or for teaching all aspects of music. Each method bring valuable perspectives into the music classroom, and … Continue reading Strengths and Weaknesses of Orff Schulwerk

How We Describe and Write About Music We Hear+

Asking students to describe music you play for them has several benefits. Most obviously, descriptions tell us what the student though about and experienced from listening. We may learn how the music affected his or her emotions, what musical elements were noticed, or what and when certain musical events occurred. For the most part, when … Continue reading How We Describe and Write About Music We Hear+

What Are Different Kinds of Movement Used in Music Classes?

Regardless of which methods you use to teach music, movement figures into it, though perhaps in varying degree. Laban and Jaques-Dalcroze in particular have influenced the use of movement as an indispensable component of educating children musically. Though one could go into great detail about the various kinds of movement, four general types of movement … Continue reading What Are Different Kinds of Movement Used in Music Classes?

When Students Exactly Learn What We Did Not Intend To Teach

Teaching may not always be an exact science, but often what children learn is more exact than what we have taught. Let me explain. Suppose I want to teach children about legato using movement. Legato is a term used in both music and dance, so it is especially fitting that I use both to teach … Continue reading When Students Exactly Learn What We Did Not Intend To Teach

How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Over the last two days, we have looked at teaching students to select and analyze musical works they intend to perform. Through selecting, students learn about the music and reflect on their own interests and skills. Through analyzing, students learn how the music is put together; how it works. With this information in hand, the … Continue reading How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Using Core Arts Standards To Teach Students How To Analyze Repertoire

Once a musical work has been selected (see my post for yesterday on selecting repertoire) the next step in the process of preparing it for performance is to analyze. The focus of the analysis should be constrained to what will be useful to the student, and to what interests the student in the work. Students … Continue reading Using Core Arts Standards To Teach Students How To Analyze Repertoire

Jaques-Dalcroze and Rhythm Training

Yesterday, I discussed solfege exercises developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Today I will examine some of his rhythm exercises. Like contemporary scholars, Jaques-Dalcroze found that rhythm and pitch are more easily taught separately than integrated together. Jaques-Dalcroze also believed that because movement, through which rhythm is expressed, is natural to humans, whereas pitch is not, it … Continue reading Jaques-Dalcroze and Rhythm Training

Can Tone and Chord Functions Be Taught With Fixed Do?

When it comes to choosing a system of syllables to sing for teaching ear training and sight singing, there seems to be a consensus that moveable do, sometimes called functional solfege, is needed for teaching chord and tone functions. To be sure, moving do to wherever the tonic is does help a singer remember where … Continue reading Can Tone and Chord Functions Be Taught With Fixed Do?