One of the things in teaching music that has baffled me for some time is why students seem to have as much trouble as they do reading music. Part of it, I've long thought, is due to trying to teach "sight" before "sound." If nothing else, Gordon's research taught us that children learn to read … Continue reading What Goes Into Reading Music Rhythms and Pitches?
Children love stories. Sometimes stories can be used to teach difficult concepts. I remember a story that a music teacher used to tell to explain dotted quarter notes, and some 58 years later, I still remember it. Here's is another story about note values. I hope you enjoy it. There once was a land where … Continue reading A Fable from the Land of Music Notes
If you are a music reader, want you to pretend you know nothing about music notation. If you don't read music, you're all set. Now take what I'm about to write absolutely literally. "A quarter note gets one beat, and a half note gets two beats." Just from that description, do you know that the … Continue reading Describing Music and Teaching Music
Music theory is an area of music education that can easily get out of hand. We own much of our knowledge of music, particularly Western art music, to the scholarship of music theorists, and my study of music theory in college provided me with enough knowledge to enjoy listening to, performing, and even composing music … Continue reading Where Does Music Theory Fit In?
Today I would like to share a lesson plan with you, and explain it as I go along. It is intended for a first grade class lasting forty-five minutes. The objective of the lesson is that students will be able to associate written note types with notes of that duration when heard. Throughout the lesson, … Continue reading An Annotated General Music Lesson Plan
Rhythm, though one of the two most basic elements of music (the other being pitch), is also one of the most often misunderstood. Rhythm is frequently presented to students in the form of a hierarchy of note types, with a whole note at the top, two half notes beneath, four quarter notes below them, and … Continue reading What Is Rhythm?