What Solfege Is, And What It Is Not

The use of solfege syllables in teaching singing and music reading is one of those things that music educators cannot seem to come to a consensus on. some use solfege, some do not. some prefer to use letter names, some numbers, some no note names at all, just a neutral syllable. Some try using solfege, … Continue reading What Solfege Is, And What It Is Not

Teaching Music Reading to Very Young Children

Today, I have two things on my mind. One is that while every child is entitled to a music education, no one is entitled to success; that has to be earned. I am a strong believer in the principle that the less one has to work for something, the less it will be valued. The … Continue reading Teaching Music Reading to Very Young Children

An Intervention Strategy for Teaching Music Reading of Rhythms

It seems there can never be too many methods for teaching music rhythm, especially where reading music is concerned. It is interesting that music notation can be at once both so logical and so confusing. Researchers have taught us that music reading is learned similarly to language reading; first we learn a vocabulary of patterns, … Continue reading An Intervention Strategy for Teaching Music Reading of Rhythms

Keeping Students Connected to and Enjoying Music Class

Often, a student will come into my classroom drumming a rhythm or singing a tune, or even dancing. Initially, I am glad to see them living with music so enjoyably, but usually, I am compelled to ask them to stop so that we can begin our lesson. Sometimes, the student will reply, "but it's music, … Continue reading Keeping Students Connected to and Enjoying Music Class

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?

How Can A Musical Score Be Used As A Listening Map?

Many of us use listening maps to guide our students through musical works. When you think about it, listening maps are really music scores for non-music readers. They typically represent the main themes and sections of a piece with pictures or graphics. It is also possible to use an actual music score as a listening … Continue reading How Can A Musical Score Be Used As A Listening Map?

Overcoming Confusion When Teaching Music Reading

Teaching children to read music can be challenging, particularly if formal instruction in it is not started until the children are 9 or 10 years old. Elsewhere, I have written about the importance of teaching "sound before sight" when teaching students to read music. Like language, musical patterns must be learned aurally and orally before … Continue reading Overcoming Confusion When Teaching Music Reading

Music and Literacy–The Backbone of Musicianship

In my last post, I discussed the meaning of musicianship. Certainly, part of what goes into musicianship is the part of music literacy that is the generating of musical ideas. Literacy of any kind does not only include reading and writing, but also creating ideas and communicating them to others. In music, improvisers do this … Continue reading Music and Literacy–The Backbone of Musicianship