Reading Process Additional Material
Found in: Reading
Cinnamon L., California
I have recently started the Reading Program with a few of my students. We are still in the Reading Rhythm book. Once you are finished with the Reading Notes program, what material do you give them to reinforce or practice reading music? I heard Time for More Music is available. Is that enough? Does anyone have a system set in place once students learn how to read to help them improve their reading skills?
Gordon Harvey, Australia
Firstly, there’s plenty for the students to do before they reach the end of the Reading Notes program, and I’m sure you don’t need reminding that the whole Reading Program is unfolded in small doses, and new steps are presented only as students are completely ready. Once the students have completed the Reading Notes program, they’d move on to Time for Music. This program leads students into the exciting new process of learning songs from the page. This process is really about marrying their new-found reading tools with their extensive experience of the whole playing based approach they’ve used so far. I’m really impressed with Time for More Music – each piece introduces something new for the students to absorb, in the context of actual playing projects. It’s all unfolded in our typically step by step fashion, and I think it’ll be interesting for you as a teacher to see just how the reading is dovetailed into our playing-based environment.
I think Time for More Music is all you’ll need. In fact, if you ever feel like looking outside this program for reading projects, I’d urge you to use it as a guide for the suitability of the material you use. For example, a student may have a song she’s always wanted to learn, and her reading skills may create an opportunity to do so. If so, I’d recommend you examine the piece and look for any concepts the student hasn’t had much experience with. Compare the piece with what they’ve done from Time for More Music and note the relative level of complexity of the new piece. Note also how much of the piece you’d attempt in a session. If there are too many new concepts, too many elements at the higher end of the student’s reading experience, or if you feel it would take too long to complete, you’d suggest that you return to the piece at a later date.
So essentially, once they have the basic tools, reading is developed in the context of real pieces. The only other thing I do is to pick up a book with some advanced music and randomly select a measure to dissect in the class. A few minutes of this each week in class is great “reading practice” and serves to take the mystery out of complex-looking music. It’s also good for you as a teacher if our whole approach to reading is new to you.