Thinking In Music is the Key to Music Literacy

One of the reasons teaching music reading and writing is so challenging for students and music teachers is that music is not used nearly as often as a basis for thought and actions. Every action begins with a thought, and thoughts are generally pictures or words; images or descriptions. Music for most people is something … Continue reading Thinking In Music is the Key to Music Literacy

What’s an Effective Way to Teach A New Song?

For the most part, my students love to sing. This almost always is a good thing, but it is not always so. If I don’t make sure I start them off singing in their head voices, many will practice singing incorrectly, getting better at poor singing and no better at good singing. I like to … Continue reading What’s an Effective Way to Teach A New Song?

Is There Madness in the Method?

Music teachers are often concerned with method. If you go to most music education conferences, you’ll find sessions on the Kodaly Method, the Dalcroze Method, Gordon Music Learning Theory, the Orff Method, Feierabend’s Conversational Solfege, the Suzuki Method, to name a few. Music teaching methods are like Protestant denominations: there are many of them, they … Continue reading Is There Madness in the Method?

What Is The Most Effective Way To Teach Rhythm?

Yesterday, I discussed rhythm, defining a rhythm as a group of durations that establishes beat and meter. Once beat and meter are established, then any single duration can be considered a rhythm, because its beat and metric functions are known. Because rhythm needs a beat and metric contextual basis, music teachers should avoid teaching rhythm … Continue reading What Is The Most Effective Way To Teach Rhythm?

How Much Music Reading Instruction is Enough?

Recently, I observed that music reading has received minimal attention in the new NCCAS music standards. To be sure, music reading is not necessary for every musical experience. From a global perspective, our Western music notation is not used at all in many places, especially where music culture is preserved within an oral tradition. In … Continue reading How Much Music Reading Instruction is Enough?

A Review of Rhythm Syllable Systems

Yesterday, I wrote about using fixed do solfege to teach music reading (Another Try at Fixed Do). Fixed do solfege is an effective way of helping students remember pitches aurally and visually. Solfege syllables do not aid in learning rhythms. For this, rhythm syllables or counting systems are used. Many systems of rhythms syllables have been … Continue reading A Review of Rhythm Syllable Systems