What Is An Effective Approach to Teaching Sight Reading?

One of the perennial challenges for music teachers seems to be teaching sight-reading, particularly to older children who have not developed music reading skills at a young age. Music teachers often believe that students will get better at sight reading by practicing sight reading. This is true if students already know how to read music, … Continue reading What Is An Effective Approach to Teaching Sight Reading?

Varieties of Musical Dissonance

One of the fascinating things about music history is how people have gradually over the centuries changed in how dissonance is regarded. From the position that all dissonance was bad and even evil, to the twentieth century view that dissonance can be beautiful, we have accepted and embraced more and more dissonance in our art … Continue reading Varieties of Musical Dissonance

What Is Music Theory and How Does It Fit Into Music Education?

A casual survey of so-called music theory books used by piano and violin teachers reveals that music theory is frequently understood to be the body of knowledge needed to read music. When students using these materials “learn music theory,” they are asked to name notes and chords, identify and define symbols such as key and … Continue reading What Is Music Theory and How Does It Fit Into Music Education?

The Variety of Musical Dissonance

Dissonance is one of those musical elements I love to teach. This is because I love dissonance in music. For me, it is what makes music expressive, passionate, driving, exciting, powerful, and fun. Like anything else, too much dissonance is not good, but used in a balanced and skillful way; it turns very ordinary music … Continue reading The Variety of Musical Dissonance