Help in confidently teaching Reading Rhythm
Found in: Reading
Nancy W., Texas
I need some help in teaching the Reading Rhythm course. I am beginning my second year with Simply Music and I love it. Now it’s time to start several students into RR. One student is an adult, played in the school band, and is familiar with reading music. Another is a transfer student from traditional method and knows how to read music. Several others are from local elementary schools where rhythm has been taught by “titi” and “ta”. Please help – advice on how to do this and be confident. I was trained traditionally and just want to get through this book.
Unmani U., Australia
Have you done the normal checklist? All posts on Simpedia and gone through the training thoroughly? If so and you still have specific questions, ask them here. Still not sure or comfortable? There’s great SM coaches who can walk you through it, e.g. Laurie Richards or Robin Keehn. I’m suggesting these specific steps because I notice there aren’t any posts in response to your questions, and I wondered if the community needed more specifics as it’s a course of study for sure.
Robin Keehn, Washington
It’s no problem if they have learned another way of reading. I always acknowledge that they have existing skills and let them know that I’m going to show them another way of understanding and experiencing reading–one that will be less about math and more about the feeling of rhythm.
When it comes to Reading Notes, I tell them that we aren’t going to worry about most note names. Instead we are going to look at notes in a way that applies to the WHOLE piano instead of focusing on just the few notes around the middle part of the piano. I tell them that if they are learning the other way at school, to do that there but to learn this other way with me.
It’s different but it’s okay. Just know that you are giving them skills that will help them. The biggest challenge is usually getting people to let go of preconceived ideas of what is the ‘right way’ to learn. With adults, you have to regularly ask how it is going for them and remind them to let go of the need to know that note is an F. It is just up a 4th or whatever.
I also let them know that high-level, concert pianists read from intervals (at least several that I’ve talked to) and that they memorize the way we do–by seeing the patterns, the sentences, the chords, and the progressions. This is not a SM thing, this is the way that many musicians see music.