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Originally Posted by hreichgott
...Mikrokosmos is SO intervallic that they don't really learn landmark notes as well as they should....


I have two siblings that need to learn to read. With one I am using the Marlais/Olson books starting from the beginning, and with the other who has been out of method books for a few years I am using Mikrokosmos in conjunction with flash cards for note naming, focusing on the notes starting each number. My student in Mikrokosmos found #10 was suddenly too difficult because the insertion of rests between the notes forced her to have to read more actual notes at the start of each phrase, but other than that I liked it that my student started to feel more confident that she CAN read. Do you think Mikrokosmos would still be too intervallic this way?


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No, that sounds like a great way to use Mikrokosmos. How is it going with the student?


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
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I think it's going ok for now. It's not the most musically satisfying material to play (it sounds weird), so I'm not sure how long she's going to stick with it but at least she's reading something and it doesn't have kiddie pictures or instructions with it.

I was hoping to use some to improve technique, but it is too challenging for that so I think I'll go back to pentascales.

Something I've noticed with her and my other similar-aged student is that they frequently skip over notes in measures or get lost unless I'm pointing ahead at each note as they play. I'm fairly confident it isn't dyslexia in either case because they enjoy reading books.

OTOH I asked her how her theory homework went, and she confidently said it went really well. Then when I checked it, she hadn't done any of it. For sure she wouldn't have any problems with it that way crazy


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Another way to use the SR books- as a "warm-up" at the beginning of a lesson. My students buy the PA Lesson, Theory, and Tech/Art, with the Performance book as optional, but highly recommended.
I own the SR books, and especially for the dabbling student, can easily tell if they have practiced at all by how they respond to the modified variations.

As for counting note values vs. measures, I explain that as soon as you put hands together, you only have one mouth, so better to count beats all together.

For students that struggle, I say, " Lets remove the melody and just do rhythm. I'll close the lid and we'll just tap it out.". And that is when they see how rests are just as important as notes; how the hands work, and they can focus more.

And, SLOW IT DOWN!! I tell them, I want slow and correct over rushed and wrong.

Sight Reading to me is something you literally only do once per piece/ song/exercise. You look it over and glean everything you can before the first note is played. Then, you dive in at a reasonable tempo, based on your "pre-reading" of the trickiest passage. A unnnnd, keep on going, doing your best.

Anything after that, from second time to one hundredth time, is practice.

Last edited by missbelle; 10/31/15 06:44 PM.

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Just went through my stash of books I've collected over the years because these books looked familiar. I thought I had these Marlais/Olson sight reading books but turns out I just have the Marlais Theory books (they have very similar covers). I've never used them yet. Anyone have opinions on the theory books? People here really seem to like the Sight Reading ones. Are the theory ones just as good?

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I have the theory books, and according to the title they are also intended to be done every day like the sight reading books, but unlike the sight reading books the chapters are not organized into what to do each day.


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Does anyone have some of the volumes beyond 2B and can answer a couple of questions about when these things are first introduced?

- dotted quarter notes
- ties involving 8th notes
- 16th notes.

Now that I've used these for a while, I'm still generally happy with them, but I do find it slightly odd to have students reading in 4 sharps or 4 flats before they get dotted quarter notes. Just curious about which volumes introduce them.

thanks!


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
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