Reading


Student struggling with TFMM but pretending to get it

QuestionQuestion
Susan M., Canada

I have a class of three students in Time for More Music. We are at Gray. Two students are comfortable taking on the reading in each step, and understanding scale journey, and I’ve kept the projects moving a bit at a time with discussions. One student, though, is “pretending” to get it all, and makes quite a few errors. He is very sensitive and competitive too. What would you do?

Answer
Joanne D., Australia

I’m guessing you don’t want to have a direct conversation with this student. Would it be too confronting if you ask another (confident) student to be the teacher and show the other students how to tackle the piece? and then next ask the pretending student to explain strategies. Let the group as a whole know that it’s okay if they don’t get it straight away and that it is part of the learning process. You may need to break everything down into smaller doses until the student gets it. How did he go with the previous songs in TFMM? Did he pretend before or is it just Gray that’s a problem?

Answer
Susan M., Canada

With the previous songs, he played them from the page, and said he was comfortable with everything. And I told everyone to take the pieces to the keys using strategies to support memory. I’ve set the expectation that these songs are to be alive in their playlist by memory. Yes, he upsets very easily.

Would an extra supplementary piece be a good idea? Before Traveller’s Tale?

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Joanne D., Australia

I’ve been through TFMM a handful of times now so it’s still relatively new to me, and I’ve never used supplementals. I’ve found I need to do more processing of intervals through playlist songs to strengthen the process for some and always need to go over order of sharps and flats for every TFMM song. Also more writing of intervals as this helps the reading process.

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Mark M., New York

Ask very specific questions to demonstrate his understanding. You should be able to find ones he can’t answer if he’s not following the process well. And if/when he doesn’t answer properly, that’s an opportunity to just be a good and kind coach who says, “Ah, okay, so let’s review XYZ and see if you can explain it back”.

Answer
Laurie Richards, Nebraska

You need to first determine where the breakdown is. Does he know his location points? Is he reading intervals confidently? Is they key signature tripping him up? Solidify whatever area needs it before returning to the music. If you have used Read n Play Volume 2, use it again as a review. If not, you might consider it – it’s a good resource to keep coming back to so all of those concepts stay alive.