This activity-based workshop will focus on three main areas: (1) developing music literacy and musicianship, (2) building vocal technique in singers and instrumentalists, and (3) developing part-independent musicians (harmony skills). Music teachers at all levels will find this workshop highly beneficial for their students and for their own teaching.
Developing Music Literacy and Musicianship
Helping individuals become musically literate is central to the school and church choral and instrumental curriculum. While there is much agreement about why we should teach sight singing, there is less agreement about how we should teach those skills. Are we teaching students to be independent musicians or savvy symbol decoders? This workshop will present real world concepts to implement a sound before symbol approach to teaching music literacy—an approach that will help students learn to read music from the inside out.
Working from the premise that we learn musical skills in much the same order as we learn language skills, participants will explore how we ‘learn’ music through hearing and imitating patterns before reading (translating notation into sound) and writing (translating sound into notation). The pedagogy also includes a sequence of instruction that results in a strong link between sound and notation.
The TAKADIMI rhythm- pedagogy system, a beat-oriented system whose originators see it as evolving from Gordon’s syllables, will be incorporated. The rhythm syllables can easily be adapted to elementary through adult choral and instrumental rehearsals in the church and K- Collegiate setting. To aid the development of aural-oral tonal skills, a sequence of vocal pitch exercises will be presented in a graphic form that can be utilized in the classroom or rehearsal setting.
Specific techniques for developing tonal, rhythmic and melodic reading readiness, literacy, audiation, musical memory, dictation, improvisation and elementary composition will be addressed. Music educators will also be presented with teaching strategies and techniques for integrating and applying reading skills to appropriate repertoire.