Time for More Music
Found in: Reading
Darla H., Kansas
I have a student (Wil) who will soon begin TFMM. Wil has a strong ear and has learned songs pretty quickly partially because his brother started lessons a year and a half before him. So he’s heard all the songs many times. With the foundation, arrangements, etc this has been valuable. Now that we’re nearing TFMM though, his mother brought up the fact that Wil is already playing some of the TFMM songs by ear and so he won’t have the experience learning these songs by just having the page for instruction. Should I be seeking out other outside pieces that his brother has not played so that he will have that experience? What have others done in this situation??
Joanne J., Australia
First ask him to describe out loud the note journey by interval without playing, that removes the ‘aural assistance’ and will give him the opportunity to practice that skill with the written note then get him to play and say the intervals while reading them.
He is in a perfect place to be able to work out strategies for mapping those pieces down and seeing how they look on the page and then on the KB (after all, ultimately that is what we are all about) so he has just as much to gain from them even though he can play some of them by ear.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
I agree with Joanne – do some analytical stuff and have him start looking for learning strategies.
I would also supplement with some other sheet music so that he will have the opportunity to apply the reading strategies with no help from his ear. There is a ton of good sheet music out there. Here are a few suggestions of pieces my students have enjoyed –
- Dream Echoes by E.L. Lancaster (Alfred)
- Toccatina Twister by E.L. & Kelsey Lancaster (Alfred)
- Reflections by Edwin McLean (FJH Music)
- The Matador by Carolyn Mill (Hal Leonard – Willis Music Co.)
- Poco Locomotion by Dennis Alexander (Alfred Publishing)
Barbara M., New Jersey
There are many components to TFMM in addition to the playing of the songs. My understanding is that we are teaching strategies that can be used to learn any piece of music up to the most complex, using these simple strategies.
The scale journey will take some effort to master and should be very new and enlightening to him.
I have also used TFMM for improvisation. Take the rhythms that the RH and LH play and use different notes for them. Have the students speak the rhythm with L, R, Together language or begin to learn how to count rhythm.