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Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2250444 03/22/14 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonTeacher
I have been looking at the Yamaha Piano School . Their teaching integrates singing and solfege.


If you're looking at the Yamaha program, consider also the Harmony Road course.
www.harmonyroadmusic.com

Both programs are group piano-based programs; the curriculum is not designed to be used in private lessons. Lots of singing, rhythm ensembles, ear training, and the parent participates as well. I taught Yamaha in the 80's and now teach HR. There are over 100 locations in the US.


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Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
laguna_greg #2250972 03/23/14 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Boston,

Can you get copies of that method here in the US? I'd very much like to read it.


Hi Greg,
I don't think the book is available through any store because it hasn't been translated. I googled it though and I found it is available in google books:
http://books.google.com/books/about/El_Meu_llibre_de_m%C3%BAsica.html?id=6e4fBPjzgogC

It's in Catalan though !

In the past I have used the two volumes of Kodaly method book called Sound Thinking by Philip Tacka and Micheal Houlahan. It has similar exercises as Ireneu Segarra but the songs are from the North-American popular repertoire. It's very well explained.

Last edited by BostonTeacher; 03/23/14 12:30 PM.
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
landorrano #2250983 03/23/14 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by landorrano


Just to be clear, and in response to a comment in Riley80's post, I am not suggesting that you should make your students do solfège. But I do believe very firmly that the european solfègic formation is a very important musical capital, to be cultivated and passed along as best as one can. This way of bringing everything back to the voice and of considering reading music as a subject in itself is very important, very rich. As I said earlier, it is a great chance for the kids who happen into your studio. Of course you will use this capital in your teaching in Boston in the way that you judge best.



Beautifully written ! Can I hire you to write my school marketing ? heart

Originally Posted by landorrano

Doncs benviguts al forum, amic meu !!! Veus, la multiplicitat des cultures i llengues es un riquesa a mai desvalorar!


wow
Em pensava que parlaves frances i no catala !

Originally Posted by landorrano

In fact, when you wrote about kids crying during exams, I suspected that there might be something Iberic in your origins ... although I am not so sure that it wasn't similar in France or other countries in those days.

This is very funny. I heard all the stereotypes but not this one !

Last edited by BostonTeacher; 03/23/14 12:57 PM.
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
dumdumdiddle #2250984 03/23/14 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
Originally Posted by BostonTeacher
I have been looking at the Yamaha Piano School . Their teaching integrates singing and solfege.


If you're looking at the Yamaha program, consider also the Harmony Road course.
www.harmonyroadmusic.com

Both programs are group piano-based programs; the curriculum is not designed to be used in private lessons. Lots of singing, rhythm ensembles, ear training, and the parent participates as well. I taught Yamaha in the 80's and now teach HR. There are over 100 locations in the US.


Thank you so much for letting me know. I will definitely look into it !

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
landorrano #2250996 03/23/14 12:58 PM
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Landorrano,
I thought you would enjoy this quote:
"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil;instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime. Music must not be approached from its intellectual, rational side, nor should it be conveyed to the child as a system of algebraic symbols, or as the secret writing of a language with which he has no connection...Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a life time. This experience cannot be left to chance, it is the duty of the school to provide it."
Kodaly , Selected Writings.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
landorrano #2251008 03/23/14 01:38 PM
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Just a note for accuracy
Originally Posted by landorrano

But I do believe very firmly that the european solfègic formation is a very important musical capital, to be cultivated and passed along as best as one can.

I do not believe that this is done across all of Europe. I suspect that it's done in some countries in Europe and that there may also be differences. When it's Kodaly, is that still fixed Do, or is that movable Do? In countries that use movable fixed Do because of language (what the notes happen to be called) do all those countries follow that tradition? Etc.

Last edited by keystring; 03/23/14 04:15 PM. Reason: fixed error
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251090 03/23/14 04:53 PM
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Hi Keystring,
Kodaly method uses movable do but it still uses solfege sillables. Movable do and fixed do use solfege sillables too.
If I want to teach Kodaly I would have to learn it first.
The difference is that if you sing in fixed do if you are in the key of GMajor( sol Major) sol would be tonic in fixed do. In movable do sol would become do because in movable do always the first scale degree is do. This way it's easier to see the tonal tendencies.
If you are trained in fixed do switching to movable do is a headache at the beginning because you have to transpose mentally onthe spot ( you see a sol but you need to sing do ) I know some people who have done the switch and they say its worth it though .
By the way, I'm just sharing my opinions here but I'm really not an expert or I don't hold any academic position anywhere. It's just something that I've worked on in the past and now it's popping up again . I hope it doesn't seem like I'm imposing my views.
I believe that everybody needs to find their own way . This is what I have learned in America. There are many ways of doing things , not just one.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251118 03/23/14 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonTeacher
Hi Keystring,
Kodaly method uses movable do but it still uses solfege sillables. Movable do and fixed do use solfege sillables too.
If I want to teach Kodaly I would have to learn it first.

Yes, so I remembered right. Things were starting to be mixed together, as though Europe as a whole taught the same thing, and I saw movable Do systems being mixed together with fixed Do. As long as people are aware that different things are being talked about, it's fine. smile

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251304 03/24/14 07:37 AM
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I heard an interesting comment at a panel discussion this weekend. (I just spent three days at a trombone conference watching masterclasses, seminars, and performances).

A university professor talking about auditions for entrance to music programs said he always requires sight reading along with the usual prepared solo. He said sight reading is your true level of performance; that's where your actual level of tone production, rhythmic accuracy, intonation, etc., show.

Of course it's a bit different for a monotonic instrument like low brass, where you play one note at a time and the instrument itself limits what you can do technically. I'm not sure if his comment applies to piano much if at all. But it was a comment that caught my attention.


gotta go practice
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
TimR #2251436 03/24/14 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
He said sight reading is your true level of performance; that's where your actual level of tone production, rhythmic accuracy, intonation, etc., show.

Amen. It seems he knows what he's talking about.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
TimR #2251453 03/24/14 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
I heard an interesting comment at a panel discussion this weekend. (I just spent three days at a trombone conference watching masterclasses, seminars, and performances).

A university professor talking about auditions for entrance to music programs said he always requires sight reading along with the usual prepared solo. He said sight reading is your true level of performance; that's where your actual level of tone production, rhythmic accuracy, intonation, etc., show.

Of course it's a bit different for a monotonic instrument like low brass, where you play one note at a time and the instrument itself limits what you can do technically. I'm not sure if his comment applies to piano much if at all. But it was a comment that caught my attention.

I think sight-reading says a lot about your performance potential. It also indicates students who have over-prepared on one or two audition pieces, because even if they play very well, they will probably have problems learning new repertoire.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251478 03/24/14 03:51 PM
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There are students who are super fast at sight reading new music, but they lack the discipline and/or desire to polish one or two pieces for performance. All they can do is sight reading.


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Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251500 03/24/14 04:17 PM
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I can't fathom a student like that.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
AZNpiano #2251548 03/24/14 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
There are students who are super fast at sight reading new music, but they lack the discipline and/or desire to polish one or two pieces for performance. All they can do is sight reading.

That's a problem, but there are also many different levels of sight-reading.

The really top sight-readers come close to playing a lot of music right before polishing, and they play musically.

So it's not a black and white thing.

If someone has enough talent to play fairly well sight-reading and then won't move to the next step, that's just a kind of laziness that is beyond what we do when we teach.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2251780 03/25/14 06:24 AM
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I've only read bits and pieces of this thread, but thought I'd drop in with my own thoughts. I'll be going to France at some point in my life, and will be discussing music at one point or another, so I know the differences and have considered this topic before.

It's quite simple. You teach the method that would be used in that country. So if you're in America/Australia/UK, you use letter names. If you're in France/Spain/elsewhere, use fixed do. That's not to say I wouldn't use solfège at all. I'd probably use moveable do for aural training.

I've learnt a second language, so I'm sure I can translate the different notes into solfège names.


I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee
Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
BostonTeacher #2252394 03/26/14 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonTeacher
Landorrano,
I thought you would enjoy this quote:
"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil;instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime. Music must not be approached from its intellectual, rational side, nor should it be conveyed to the child as a system of algebraic symbols, or as the secret writing of a language with which he has no connection...Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a life time. This experience cannot be left to chance, it is the duty of the school to provide it."
Kodaly , Selected Writings.


Definitely an interesting comment. And a most interesting person. Kodaly said, it seems, when asked at what age the musical education of a child should be started, "at nine months before birth"!

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
Maechre #2252589 03/26/14 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Maechre
I've only read bits and pieces of this thread, but thought I'd drop in with my own thoughts. I'll be going to France at some point in my life, and will be discussing music at one point or another, so I know the differences and have considered this topic before.

It's quite simple. You teach the method that would be used in that country. So if you're in America/Australia/UK, you use letter names. If you're in France/Spain/elsewhere, use fixed do. That's not to say I wouldn't use solfège at all. I'd probably use moveable do for aural training.

I've learnt a second language, so I'm sure I can translate the different notes into solfège names.

The only way I see a true need for letters vs do re mi is for people who want to get fast at reading letter chord notation.

I don't you are going to see "do7" instead of C7.

Other than that I have NO preference. The syllables seem much better for singing. (I don't sing, never have...)



Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
keystring #2252602 03/26/14 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
The ability to sing what I saw lost its effectivess when the music became atonal, and when the music consisted primarily of constantly changing chords creating a kaleidoscope of harmony. Otoh, being able to relate a note on the page with a location on the instrument and also a feel in the hands, served me well every time. One of the pieces I work on is Debussy's Feuilles mortes. I can hear it in my head. The chords have a texture because of the combined sound of their notes. I would not be able to sing what I hear, because I cannot create multiple sounds with my voice.

The ability to sing what I saw also left me with a deficit in recognizing register. I could easily play an octave too high or too low and not notice it, because when you sing, you have to shift toward the range of your voice. You learn to discount register so that all C's are the same. But in fact, we must hear the difference and not just the sameness, or at least know how to reach in the right spot.

I do not understand why more people do not mention the "register" problem and keep harping on singing everything when a great deal of what we play on the piano is not singable.

It's just stupid, but no one ever brings up the problem.

The object is to hear things accurately in your mind, not to drive people insane by humming all the time.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
Gary D. #2252682 03/26/14 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
The object is to hear things accurately in your mind, not to drive people insane by humming all the time.


I've heard of people who do exactly that: hum constantly as they play. I even saw one perform live, once. But I can't imagine those who do that are anything other than a small minority, especially among those who play a polyphonic instrument with a range that's obviously beyond any singer's.

As you say, the object is to develop a good inner ear. Learning to read through singing rather than playing is a good way to do that, I think, because singing, more than any other way of making music, forces you to hear every note in your mind. If you can't hear it, you can't sing it. You can lack that inner ear entirely, and you'll probably still be able to play the piano passably. Assuming you know basic fingering, you'll even be able to get by, more or less, on strings or brass, although if you can't hear the difference between 440 Hz and 455 Hz (which is somewhere North of A4, but not quite A#) and correct accordingly, a teacher or roommate who does hear that difference may eventually run away screaming.

The idea behind solfège, I think, is just to get people into the habit of hearing notes internally. The singing is just a way go get there. Eventually, the singing stops, or at least it should. For pianists, it should probably stop after the first ten or so pages of the first method book, because no singer, no matter how skilled, can sing harmonies on their own. That doesn't mean it's a useless or stupid way to go about developing the inner ear.

Re: Teaching how to read music- solfege versus letter names
Saranoya #2252833 03/27/14 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Saranoya
Learning to read through singing rather than playing is a good way to do that, I think, because singing, more than any other way of making music, forces you to hear every note in your mind. If you can't hear it, you can't sing it.

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