Teaching Components from the Reading Program
Found in: Reading
Barbara M., New Jersey
I and my students are enjoying the Reading Notes program and eagerly anticipate moving forward. I have students on #20, Accidentals. I understand everything up to this point. However, #21 and #23 are eluding me.
In #21, do you go ahead into Time for More Music? Or can you give examples from Foundation Pieces? #21 seems to me like a snapshot of what we will be doing in TFMM. Are students actually playing these pieces, or talking through them a la TFMM?
#22 Reading chords part C. Reference TFMM and other Foundation Program pieces. What does reference mean?
Generally my question is why are we going ahead into TFMM at this point? Could we cover the components #20 Accidentals #22 Reading chords, #23 Key Signature, then begin TFMM, essentially skipping #21?
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
I view all of the Reading Programs as ongoing, complementary projects rather than programs to be taught in succession.
Once you’ve gotten to the ‘middle C’ streams in Reading Notes, it is time to start TFMM. At this point the student has all the tools they need to read the first 3 songs. During this time I would go through the Knowing Chords page so they understand how to describe and recognize chords. Then they are ready to examine the chords in Watching Things Run (4th song).
Accidentals and Key Signature are best learned in context with the written music they are working with. The concepts can be introduced separately from the written music, but isn’t likely to be absorbed until they actually apply it. That’s why you would reference TFMM while teaching those areas.
As for #21, pick a small project that allows your students to start really exploring all of these reading concepts they’ve been learning. They can start using the written music for some Foundation Pieces for this.
For example, look at Chester Chills out:
1. Look at the clefs (both are bass clef – low notes)
2. Process the rhythm, which they already know
3. Discuss the accidentals
When you get to key signature, you could have a project like reading Minuet in G, which has one #. Discuss what the sharp is and what that means as far as reading this piece. Have your students go through and identify where all of the Fs are, and play through it while watching the music, so they gain an understanding of it using a familiar piece. You can then use the same approach with new songs from TFMM.
Even while working through TFMM, we still do MORs in class (often from written music), have writing assignments (rhythm or note streams), and transcribe, just to keep on top of everything and strengthen their skills. Sometimes it’s a management issue to fit it all in, so you do need to plan efficiently.