Why Writing in Musical Note Names is a Bad Idea

Band and orchestra teachers do it, students do it. It's arguably the quickest shortcut to playing music from standard music notation there is: writing in the letter names of the notes under each note. I've seen it over and over again. Students with the best of intentions and wanting to enjoy early and quick success, … Continue reading Why Writing in Musical Note Names is a Bad Idea

What Goes Into Reading Music Rhythms and Pitches?

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?

Music Literacy is More Than Reading and Writing Music

Literacy is a word that is easily associated with reading and writing. It is a form of the words literature and literary. But not all literature is written down. Many cultures preserve their literature through oral traditions. In these cultures, a literate person is one who knows the literature from memory and can recall it, … Continue reading Music Literacy is More Than Reading and Writing Music

What Are Questions Students Ask About Music Reading?

During my classes the last two days, students have asked me several questions about musical notation. I thought I might share these questions and the answers I gave to them. I think it is helpful to know what is going on in the minds of students while we are teaching them. Sometimes, lines of thinking, … Continue reading What Are Questions Students Ask About Music Reading?