When to introduce Special Programs
Rachel B., Illinois
I’m still young in the SM teacher world and I have students in levels 1, 2, and 3 right now. My question is, when do I start students on Accompaniment, and then when do I start them on Reading Rhythm? Should I start Accompaniment in level 2 and RR in level 3?
Missy S., Alaska
For older students I start Accompaniment right away with level 1, and if they are younger, with level 2. I start RR at level 3, sometimes 4, depending on the readiness of the child.
Amy L., California
I like to start Accompaniment after Level 2 Star Spangled Banner. Then they already know the 3 white straights and 2 of the 3 white triangles.
Mark M., New York
The general recommendation is Accompaniment 1 starting in Foundation 2. Between Foundation 1 Amazing Grace and Foundation 2 AG 7ths, I teach the Foundation 1 AG variation and the first AG Arrangement. Then, right after AG 7ths, I begin Accompaniment 1. Combined with Honey Dew, all the pre-Accompaniment 1 pieces are absolutely giving students consistent accompaniment experience from the start of the program. At the same time, doing it like this ensures that Accompaniment 1’s multiple keys of AG are kept clear of simultaneously working other version of AG.
At the very end of Foundation 2, I begin pedal training (see the training in the Teacher Workshop series). That requires a certain amount of accompaniment experience beforehand, and the early Accompaniment 1 work plus the Foundation accompaniment work through Star Spangled Banner proves totally sufficient. I usually finish pedal training before the end of Foundation 3, and it’s at that point that I begin Reading Rhythm. Since pedal and reading are themselves separate streams from each other and from all the others, stringing them together consecutively like this works really well for managing time and juggling the many streams, as opposed to there ever having to be a time when pedal training and reading are being done simultaneously.