With the Conversational Solfege approach, music literacy starts with great literature and an "ear-before-eye" philosophy that correlates with the National Standards. Great songs are broken down into their component parts and then reassembled so that students can bring greater musical understanding to everything they do. The ultimate goal is to create fully engaged, independent musicians who can hear, understand, read, write, compose, and improvise. Also new to the GIA edition is an extensive assessment section by Dr. Clark Saunders, which will enable you to more completely track the progress of each student.
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In my own instruction, there are goals I consider crucial, with two rising above the rest. First, I want my students to know, without doubt, that they are inherently musical at their own unique level. And secondly, when they leave me in 4th grade, I want them to do so not just as competent music-makers, but as independent musical thinkers.
As with all goals, a firm foundation is vital in order to get there. I view the early years as a time to help my students become, as Dr. I do this via Dr. Photo courtesy of Missy Strong Once I feel like students are tuneful, beatful, and artful, which generally happens around the end of 1st or the beginning of 2nd grade though this depends entirely on the student, they are ready to move on to more formalized instruction.
In other words, students learn how to read and write the things they can hear and perform. When done this way, reading and writing is, as Dr. The first has only one step and is called Readiness. It is here where students learn songs and rhymes that are comprised of the rhythm or melodic focal point for that unit in a joyful and engaging way. As the name implies, the teacher and students are engaging in an aural and oral conversation that entails hearing and saying or singing.
Lastly come the Writing steps when students sing or say notation before writing it down. It is at this point in each unit that students are truly learning to be independent musical thinkers!
In other words, you cannot simply buy the book and expect to start teaching your entire lesson, week after week, from it. Doing music is of equal importance to notational literacy, since making music should be at the heart of what we teach.
While it is simple and elegant in concept, learning to use it effectively can be challenging if you try to do it in isolation. The absolute best way to learn is to take a certification course from Dr. You can also get Dr.
I invite you to join the community of music teachers utilizing Dr. Lastly, please also consider joining the daily conversation taking place on Facebook amongst a wonderful group of music educators almost 10, strong! About the author: NAfME member Missy Strong has taught general, choral, and instrumental music at the early childhood, elementary, and middle school levels in a career spanning two decades.
In addition to teaching elementary general and choral music, Missy is also adjunct professor at Montclair State University. A frequent music education consultant and clinician, Missy presents conference sessions, professional development workshops, and courses at the international, regional, state, and local levels.
She is a published author and editor with articles in both state and national music education journals. She is also a contributing author for an upcoming music education book from Oxford University Press.
Did this blog spur new ideas for your music program? Share them on Amplify! Interested in reprinting this article? The National Association for Music Education NAfME provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal.
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Fostering Independent Musical Thinkers with Conversational Solfège
They would be given ten minutes. He decided to do his best but his hope for the job quickly faded. He searched the keyboard. Eventually finding the letter, he touched the key. Another hunt resulting in an eventual press of the key. And so it went with Jason occasionally remembering the location of one of the foreign letters.
Series: Conversational Solfege Description: Conversational Solfege is a dynamic and captivating second through eighth grade general music program that enables students to become independent musical thinkers with the help of a rich variety of folk and classical music. Great songs are broken down into their component parts and then reassembled so that students can bring greater musical understanding to everything they do. The ultimate goal is to create fully engaged, independent musicians who can hear, understand, read, write, compose, and improvise. Clark Saunders, which will enable you to more completely track the progress of each student. Central to the Conversational Solfege program is the use of music harvested from our rich and diverse American musical history.