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Dr. Eric’s thoughts on Music Education, including his Harmonic Learning Sequence.

AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Rhythm Development in Young Children (and why I don’t teach the labeling of beat functions) STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: rhythm-development-in-young-children-and-why-i-dont-teach-the-labeling-of-beat-functions CATEGORY: Education UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2018/02/rhythm-development-in-young-children-and-why-i-dont-teach-the-labeling-of-beat-functions.html DATE: 02/06/2018 06:48:05 PM —– BODY:

First, my core student population is 8 years old and younger. I teach children starting at birth, although I believe strongly that rhythm development begins earlier—at least three, maybe four or five, months earlier. During this time, the aural experience repetition of diverse rhythmic and stylistic repertoire is key. There is no rhythm content that should be off-limits with the relatively rare exception being pieces that have no consistent beat or meter. I wouldn’t necessarily avoid Chopin being played rubato, but I wouldn’t encourage it either. Twentieth century works whose composers actively sought to avoid conventional rhythms and meters would be something I would discourage. Any piece with too much subjective of meter (experts could disagree and both be right) would also be discouraged. 

 

On the other hand, the most complex content of some rhythm traditions, such as northern Indian tabla drumming, I believe would make for extraordinary acculturation. Rhythm repertoire represented in broad categories of traditional jazz, classical, blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, Latin, African, African diaspora, and other styles should comprise the meat of a child’s listening vocabulary, though important potatoes of Rock and Roll should certainly be included. Styles such as Rap, Hip Hop, contemporary R&B, and more do certainly have value. Still, they do not, in my opinion, typically and consistently provide what is an adequate foundation for a child’s rhythm listening vocabulary. The rhythm content simply is not broad enough without the inclusion of my A-list genres. Please understand that I already stated they certainly have value. Perhaps these lower and higher limits are self-imposed due to the level of my personal rhythm aptitude. I won’t deny that cultural bias, too, might play a role. (I’ve opened up a Pandora’s Box.) There are good and band exceptions in every kind of music. I adhere to this as gospel. As Duke Ellington said, "There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind." 

 

Regarding classroom teaching and rhythm learning, I always ask each child to perform (or just listen to) rhythm patterns individually that incorporate these beat functions in this hierarchical order: 

        A) macro/microbeats (starting at 9 months if they want to), 

        B) divisions (at 2 years old if they want to using ba-da-ba-da, not bah bah bah bah),

        C) elongations (whenever they show me they are imitating if not audiating divisions, as early as 2)

        D) pick-ups (whenever a few elongation patterns are imitated or audiated) 

        E) ties (whenever the above are being imitated consistently)

        F) rests – the most difficult patterns. I will try these to find the most rhythmically inclined child, but I’d rather acculturate them, or have them imitate and audiate A-E above. Rest patterns are just silently audiated bits inside all the above patterns.

 

Rhythm performance alone is not as important as movement alone. Said another way, encouraging a child to move has more value than having them perform rhythm patterns, especially early in life. Large body movements incorporating flow and weight are crucial to a child’s rhythm development. Continuous fluid movement (or CFM) is a major player in what I model for children and parents. But, I do not model CFM exclusively. (I don’t subscribe completely to the common CFM vocabulary I’ve seen. It’s typically far too limited and dynamically flaccid. [Ouch!]) I concentrate on modeling three elements—flow, weight, and space— while keeping a greater emphasis on flow. I move as expressively and as dynamically as possible. I conduct using my entire body, never shying away from being Bernstein, Ozawa, or Ormandy with legs and a full stage, not just upper body on a small podium. Simple and solid macrobeat movements I model keep flowing, moving between beats. Stillness, though, can be a valuable preparation for the next beat if prepared with movement and a demonstrative breath. Coordinating macro and microbeats simultaneously in the body is as important as rhythm pattern performance. Both are crucial.

 

Rhythm performance combined with movement is that much better. It is content and context happening simultaneously in a physical, objective reality. Further, helping children to feel form while audiating rhythm and moving is the holy grail. I lead function-feeling activities for the purpose of pure acculturation whereas moving rhythmically while performing rhythms has a different purpose of furthering rhythm performance audiation. (For example, the A section of an ABA piece is accompanied by locomotor move and the B is not.) These activities give children the opportunity to acculturate to form, a sort of longitudinal rhythm.

 

[Ideas for expansion.] Beat keeping is best done with the tongue or mouth first.

Coordinating the voice with rhythmic movement. Rhythmic coordination sequencing.

 

Why I don’t teach beat functions beyond macro- and micro-beats. 

So, say that I have had some children at the 99.99 percentile, (and I’ve had a few in my 30 years since BGE  [Before the Gordon Era]) who can perform and create all of the above by the time they’re 6 or 7. I have never felt compelled to teach them the labels of the beat functions. I just didn’t use the terms divisions, elongations, ties, upbeats, and rests. There was no present need. It wasn’t going to help their audiation. Neither were there questions from the children or the sense of them missing something by not having the labels.

 

Unlike beat functions, the label of a tonal pattern as tonic or dominant is specific. Labeling a rhythm pattern as one with divisions is not specific enough. And what of patterns with many different beat functions? I don’t feel that we’re given them any more meaning to rhythm than by performing it accurately and expressively. That one pattern has macro, micro, and elongations and that another has micro, elongations and divisions does not give you but cursory information relative to the musical meaning of the rhythm pattern itself. Labeling a pattern doesn’t bring any more understanding to the rhythm pattern itself. On the other hand, tonic and dominant functions can be audiated. Divisions cannot (or may I don’t) until you make them specific by putting them into a rhythm pattern that includes divisions. . .or maybe also has macrobeats, or microbeats, or both, or rests, or ties, etc., included with the divisions. A pattern of only divisions is like a pattern of only macrobeats—that is, not useful except at the Theoretical Understanding level of Skill Learning Sequence. 

 

These are my initial thoughts. This is a first draft with a few hours of editing. The writing is not the best. I hope it is clear.

 

Responses are most welcome.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 83.25.90.119 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/11/2018 12:02:53 PM Hi Eric! Thank you for your excellent and very interesting article about teaching movement and rhythm patterns to young children. I agree with everything you wrote and will use some of your wonderful ideas and suggestions in my work. I would like to ask you some questions though as I am not sure I understood everything well. I understand and agree that teaching labels to children 1-7 yo is too early. Movement (and context) is more important then patterns itself – which are second important. Gordon said that movement is the most elementary level of instruction when we teach Rhythm Learning Sequence of formal audiation. When we teach preparatory audiation it must be the same. My questions are: 1. You said you always ask children individually to sing for you certain beat functions. Is it possible at all to do it with such young children? Do they keep steady beat motion or it doesn’t matter at this stage? I teach children from 7 yo up and many of them can’t keep staedy beat movements. But I guess you ask only to repeat singing without the proper movement coordination… 2. You didn’t mention divisions/elongations patterns in your list. Do you sing them too? 3. Gordon said that an up-beat function is the most difficult. You said that the rest funtion is the most difficult. Why do you think so? 4. Do you have any video examples of your mevement exercises you do with youn children? There is so little of good examples available. Even Music Play DVD doesn’t have much. I would appreciate it very much if I could watch them. 5. I like your idea of acculturating children to such variety of styles in rhythm. Do you use CD recordings to do it? If yes, what kind? Could you give me some examples of the good rhythmic recordings you use with children of this age? Again, thank you very much for your wonderful article and great ideas. Best, Marek Runowski —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: IP: 73.213.132.14 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 02/11/2018 03:49:17 PM 1. You said you always ask children individually to sing for you certain beat functions. Is it possible at all to do it with such young children? Do they keep steady beat motion or it doesn’t matter at this stage? I teach children from 7 yo up and many of them can’t keep staedy beat movements. But I guess you ask only to repeat singing without the proper movement coordination… **It’s more than possible. It’s necessary. Chant simple two beat patterns to the unborn. They’re absorbing. Never too early. They don’t have to respond at all. I just give them a chance. I have 1 year olds imitating on occasion. I’m not looking for assimilation or audiation, or I am, but it’s never expected. You are looking at this through the eyes of formal instruction. Informal guidance and instruction do not necessarily have any expectations on the children. They can do what they want. They are always perfect in preparatory audiation. 2. You didn’t mention divisions/elongations patterns in your list. Do you sing them too? **Not when there’s a possibility of them imitating. The divisions and elongations make it next to impossible for them to imitate. Those more difficult patterns forces them into absorption. 3. Gordon said that an up-beat function is the most difficult. You said that the rest funtion is the most difficult. Why do you think so? **I disagree with Gordon. My students in imitation or assimilation often speed up over rest patterns. They won’t audiate a full macro beat or longer without speeding up. On the other hand, I have 2 year olds that will do pickup patterns. Certainly by 3 or 4, but I’ve seen it earlier. 4. Do you have any video examples of your mevement exercises you do with youn children? **Yes. I’ll send a link. There’s expressive movement and then there’s rhythmic coordination. This is rhythmic coordination, but mostly just trying to get them to create patterns on their own in PreK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiC1zg4mv3U&index=29&list=PL227DDC0E472E518E First time doing RPs individually. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dY0hh9dQi8&index=30&list=PL227DDC0E472E518E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kfqSOKVqhY&list=PL227DDC0E472E518E&index=31 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nTmPXQPMUo&list=PL227DDC0E472E518E&index=32 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqRY2jtZbuE&list=PL227DDC0E472E518E&index=33 Leads to reading like this by 2nd grade: https://youtu.be/XOq48z0p7uk 5. I like your idea of acculturating children to such variety of styles in rhythm. Do you use CD recordings to do it? If yes, what kind? Could you give me some examples of the good rhythmic recordings you use with children of this age? **My Spotify playlists: http://bit.ly/DrEric1 DrEric2, 3, 4, 5 These are for expressive movement. https://youtu.be/m8em1F4RU7w https://youtu.be/toekwmEYARk **My Spotify playlists: http://bit.ly/DrEric1 http://bit.ly/DrEric2 http://bit.ly/DrEric3 http://bit.ly/DrEric4 http://bit.ly/DrEric5 Enjoy! —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 83.20.165.196 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/12/2018 06:47:52 PM Eric, thank you very much for your wonderful and detailed answer. I don’t have any more questions for now. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 83.25.98.237 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/16/2018 03:23:15 PM Eric, I’ve watched the rhythm exercises clips on YT. These are amazing materials. I’ve learned a lot just from watching them. What do you think, what makes these kids move? They seem to be unable not to move. Is it the way you chant and your voice or maybe the patterns itself? There is a lot of groove and drive in your singing that may encourage them to move. Don’t you think? And I believe the idea is to move them first so then they have some context to repeat or improvise the patterns. Thank you again. I appreciate everything you do! Best, Marek —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Music notation: its limits—and potential ill effects STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: music-notation-its-limitsand-potential-ill-effects CATEGORY: Education CATEGORY: Music UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2015/11/music-notation-its-limitsand-potential-ill-effects.html DATE: 11/02/2015 06:13:04 PM —– BODY:

Can we notate in music a Stephane Grappelli solo accurately?( http://bit.ly/StephGrap ) The notes? Mostly. The rhythm? Partially. The style? Less likely. The tiny slides between notes, the rhythmic feel, and subtle expressive elements? Impossible. Absolutely impossible. The best anyone can do with notation would be to put something down that would remind the music reader of some of the basic elements mentioned above. All of he rest must come from audiation—the part that is in your head that cannot be well represented in notation: subtleties such as tonal nuances, phrasing, and most expressive elements. These would be just a few of the differences between your interpretation and mine, say, of a beautiful ballad. What you bring to the party—from all your past listening experiences that inform your choices—will be different from what I bring. Given this, notation falls horrendously short of representing music—that is with the exception of tones and some rhythm. If you never heard Stephane Grappelli play, your rendition wouldn’t match up much. Besides, what would be the point of putting into notation something Mr. Grappelli never had to read in the first place? If you can’t play it first by ear, then the notation serves only as a shortcut—a detour, actually—for you to develop your own musicianship.

Let’s look at this a different way: When you read a book, do you hear the author’s voice in your head? Is it different than my interpretation of the author’s voice? Do the letters and words actually convey all of the intention of the author? 

Consider most elementary school bands and your experience of listening to them. Their intonation is not well developed to put it nicely. The children have been taught to play notes, push buttons and blow air. Does their rendition of the piece of music groove? Or does it sit lifelessly? I believe we have taught them to count the beats and not feel what’s in between—where the music really lives.

Some adults say of themselves that they are not musical, but then I hear them perform. “Wow, that was really moving and beautiful. How can you say you’re not musical?” They answer that they don’t know the notes (names of notes) or the theory (like how many verbs did you just read in the last paragraph), or, more often than not, they don’t know how to read the notation. To me, this is simply absurd. Listen to Erroll Garner ( http://bit.ly/ErrollGarner ), and tell me why he should need to read what he’s playing. The truth is that he doesn’t know how to read and write music. Yet, many fine jazz musicians call him a musical genius.

Now, this is not to say that reading notation—with understanding—is not valuable. We would not have symphony orchestras to play some of the world’s finest music. Many rock and jazz bands rely on written music. Most probably do not. When they do, the notation reminds them of what it is they can already audiate. They can “think the music” in their minds. If you can do that, then I say that you are musical—whether you can play, sing or read music or not! And think about this for a bit: Musical listeners are actually half of the equation. Otherwise, for whom are musicians performing?

 Please leave your thoughts and share as you wish.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: Stephane Grappelli, Erroll Garner, notate, piece of music, symphony orchestras, audiation, rhythm, jazz, musicians, musicianship, notation, understanding, —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 79.186.236.219 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/14/2018 12:06:21 PM Hi Eric, another great article!!! I agree with everything you wrote. And decoding without audiation is nonsense. But I think we MLT teachers should be able to explain the difference between decoding and notational audiation in a more convincing way. Whenever I talk to excellent sight readers they say they can read – it doesn’t matter they decode. Whenever I talk to academic teachers they can’t believe when I tell them they decode and not read. The other thing is that we MLT teachers sometimes exaggerate and say that audiation (and playing by ear) is more important than reading and playing notated music. We forget that there are distinct differences between improvisation and composition. There are great improvisers (instrumentalists) and at the same time it doesn’t mean they are great composers too. It may be subjective but I consider Keith Jarrett one of the best improvisers who ever wlked this Earth but at the same time I don’t consider him to be the great composer at all. And vice versa, there are probably many great composers who can’t play piano like Jarrett. Best, Marek —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: IP: 73.213.132.14 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 02/14/2018 12:49:49 PM Thanks, Marek. I agree. Art Tatum comes to mind. Obviously, he was blind and couldn’t read. Garner never had the inclination. Monk played and composed but people argue which was better. Both were out of the mainstream. Gordon didn’t care as much for Jarrett as others. I was surprised when I heard him say as much. Oscar Peterson may have been more to his liking—standards interpreted traditionally. He certainly was more old school. Bill Evans tickles me no matter how many times I hear his Vanguard recordings. Jarrett with Peacock and Jack DeJohnette was my cup of tea for a long time. I think I’ll go back to hear that again with my ears of today. Best to you, Eric —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 83.25.97.54 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/15/2018 04:02:54 AM Eric, all I wanted to say is that for playing and improvisation reading skills are probably not so important. It is different with composition. Don’t you think that to compose you need to develop excellent reading and writing skills too? There are many examples of great improvisers whose compositions lack something essential – at least for me. Their compositions are never as great as their improvisations. Keith Jarrett is one of many example (I thought about his “In the Light” album) but there are many others in jazz and rock genres. Maybe in classical music it was different. Bach was great improviser and composer. The same was Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and many more. And I don’t think improvisations are the same as written compositions. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: IP: 73.213.132.14 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 02/15/2018 10:59:02 AM for playing and improvisation reading skills are probably not so important. ** probably not. Yes, I agree. Don’t you think that to compose you need to develop excellent reading and writing skills too? ** Usually, yes. Perhaps in classical music, those folks had to have it all, back then. I think you and I are on the same page. I appreciate your comments. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Marek Runowski EMAIL: IP: 83.25.97.54 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/6p01b8d2d8f95e970c DATE: 02/15/2018 06:49:50 PM Yes, I’m sure we are on the same page! Best, Marek —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Learning music is good for what? Research says. . . STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: learning-music-is-good-for-what-research-says- CATEGORY: Education CATEGORY: Music UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2015/09/learning-music-is-good-for-what-research-says-.html DATE: 09/04/2015 03:25:34 PM —– BODY:
Well, you'll have to read it for yourself. (See links below.)
 
Or, in the meantime, just hear this:
 
My take on all the research I've read is that there are indeed solid relationships between music and non-musical skills.  The problem is establishing clear causality. All of these studies could be seen as a very promising reason for why to study music or play an instrument.
 
Unfortunately, the research is replete with flawed research design, misinterpretations of data, and exaggerated implications of research findings. Most important to me, and probably to many of you, is that music is worth it for it’s own sake. Many great musicians cannot read music or know theory. In improvisational music, parts of the prefrontal cortex actually are best shut down. There is also this anecdote about a 40-year-old man who cannot tie his shoes and is socially a 4-year-old, and yet, upon first hearing can immediately imitate a Fats Waller composition he’d never heard before from beginning to end. No social, math, language skills got developed there. The outliers may tell more truth than the middle 68%. (I’m a bit of a Gladwell fan, though still skeptical of some of his work.)
 
All that said, still, the preponderance of the evidence is moving in a positive direction toward illuminating benefits of music education. Having read much of this type of literature—many high level research studies by prestigious universities some published in respected peer reviewed journals—my belief is this: 
 
People who have the innate nature to be musical—coupled with a rich interactive musical environment at the earliest stages in life—become musical. Period. 
 
Then, later on, because of how music is taught (e.g., a whole note = 4, 1/8 note in cut time = 1/16, You have to be good in math or you won’t jump through that hoop!), or because music probably helped brain development in a variety of ways in early and late infancy (rich webs of synaptic connections grown across areas of the brain not otherwise stimulated),  those connections are then there to be used in a multiplicity of ways that may make a difference in the development of a variety of non-musical skills. [Bad sentence, but not rewriting this now. Eesh.] Daniel Levitin makes a compelling case in This is Your Brain on Music, and A World in Six Songs. He is both thoughtful and imaginative. I’d like to think he’s right. He's also a good story teller but he didn't attribute  some of his writings (where he should have) to the greatest researcher in music psychology, Dr. Edwin Gordon. 
 
In the end, if we keep selling the value of music for the sake of the development of non-musical skills, we are selling ourselves out and doing a serious injustice to our profession in the long run, let alone to the children who have exceptionally high music aptitude and yet are low performing in many or most other subjects. Why is there no societal push to have studies that justify how learning Math helps English, or on how Science helps xxx? I find the current climate troublesome and to top it off, it is widely perpetuated by NAfME and the NAMM Foundation. NAMM's recent brochure does not include anything on how music education contributes to one’s ability to be musical. I find this completely out of whack.
 
Rant over. Here are some links to studies you might be able to use. 
The last paragraph comes closest to my way of thinking. The 'Rasmussen' quoted in the last piece interestingly is NOT me. I just searched for it and found out it is me!! It's from forever ago. PBS got it from ???

 

Attachments and links:
(The download links are all PDF files.)
 
Music and language learning: 
 
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Correlation between music and math: 
 
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Music Lessons, Emotional Intelligence and IQ
 
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Music Training and Second-Language English Comprehension and Vocabulary Skills in Indian Children

 
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Musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently than average people

 
 
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Early Musical Training and White-Matter Plasticity in the Corpus Callosum: Evidence for a Sensitive Period

 
 

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Download WLTP Brochure-2

Download Susan-hallam-music-development_research 

Download 2004-costa-giomi

Download Neu-25-3-378

Download KrausChandrasekeran_NRN10

Download Diw_sp0591

Another I cut and pasted.

Cereb Cortex. 2012 Dec 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Twelve Months of Active Musical Training in 8- to 10-Year-Old Children Enhances the Preattentive Processing of Syllabic Duration and Voice Onset Time.

Chobert J, François C, Velay JL, Besson M.

Source

Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, CNRS – Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille Cedex 3, France.

Abstract

Musical training has been shown to positively influence linguistic abilities. To follow the developmental dynamics of this transfer effect at the preattentive level, we conducted a longitudinal study over 2 school years with nonmusician children randomly assigned to music or to painting training. We recorded the mismatch negativity (MMN), a cortical correlate of preattentive mismatch detection, to syllables that differed in vowel frequency, vowel duration, and voice onset time (VOT), using a test-training-retest procedure and 3 times of testing: before training, after 6 months and after 12 months of training. While no between-group differences were found before training, enhanced preattentive processing of syllabic duration and VOT, as reflected by greater MMN amplitude, but not of frequency, was found after 12 months of training in the music group only. These results demonstrate neuroplasticity in the child brain and suggest that active musical training rather than innate predispositions for music yielded the improvements in musically trained children. These results also highlight the influence of musical training for duration perception in speech and for the development of phonological representations in normally developing children. They support the importance of music-based training programs for children's education and open new remediation strategies for children with language-based learning impairments.
 
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Improved Test Scores
A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts. Johnson compares the concentration that music training requires to the focus needed to perform well on a standardized test. 

Aside from test score results, Johnson’s study highlights the positive effects that a quality music education can have on a young child’s success. Luehrisen explains this psychological phenomenon in two sentences: “Schools that have rigorous programs and high-quality music and arts teachers probably have high-quality teachers in other areas. If you have an environment where there are a lot of people doing creative, smart, great things, joyful things, even people who aren’t doing that have a tendency to go up and do better.”

And it doesn’t end there: along with better performance results on concentration-based tasks, music training can help with basic memory recall. “Formal training in music is also associated with other cognitive strengths such as verbal recall proficiency,” Pruett says. “People who have had formal musical training tend to be pretty good at remembering verbal information stored in memory.”

Being Musical
Music can improve your child’ abilities in learning and other nonmusic tasks, but it’s important to understand that music does not make one smarter. As Pruett explains, the many intrinsic benefits to music education include being disciplined, learning a skill, being part of the music world, managing performance, being part of something you can be proud of, and even struggling with a less than perfect teacher. 

“It’s important not to oversell how smart music can make you,” Pruett says. “Music makes your kid interesting and happy, and smart will come later. It enriches his or her appetite for things that bring you pleasure and for the friends you meet.”
While parents may hope that enrolling their child in a music program will make her a better student, the primary reasons to provide your child with a musical education should be to help them become more musical, to appreciate all aspects of music, and to respect the process of learning an instrument or learning to sing, which is valuable on its own merit.

“There is a massive benefit from being musical that we don’t understand, but it’s individual. Music is for music’s sake,” Rasmussen [NOT ME, Oh, it IS ME!! from forever ago. PBS, where did you get my quote??]  says. “The benefit of music education for me is about being musical. It gives you have a better understanding of yourself. The horizons are higher when you are involved in music,” he adds. “Your understanding of art and the world, and how you can think and express yourself, are enhanced.”

 

 As always, I'd love your thoughts. 

 

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Subject: English

Lesson 1 – letters of the alphabet, sounds each letter makes

Lesson 2 – commas, periods, colons, semi-colons, other punctuation

Lesson 3 – Paragraph forms OR perhaps parts of speech—noun, verb, conjunctions, adjectives, adverbs, etc

Lesson 4 – Longer paragraph forms OR grammar, concision, clarity, eloquence,

Lesson 5 – Feet, half-lines, caesurae, etc.

Lesson 6 – Definitions of the above

Question: What does a child gain from learning the above lessons before he or she can learn to speak? Nothing! Zero! Zip! Nada!

Subject: Music

So, take a look at this picture of a well-known learning site and think about how you’d learn this if you hadn't already learned to perform scores of songs and learned to improvise (just like we do in language by 2 or 3 years old)?

A bad way to teach music

What would you learn?

Nothing! Zero! Zip! Nada! Scratch! Donut hole! A vast black hole of nothing musical at all. Just information. So, can I ask that music educators please stop teaching music this way until children’s EARS are “literate”, and their MOUTHS are musically rhythmic and tuneful. All the rest (that is, the stuff in this picture) is completely wasted information until that point.

Can you hear me? I hope you’re not reading letters here, but rather seeing patterns of letters called words. And, those words create meaning as they’re placed together in a way that hopefully has thinking occur at some level. Am I mad? Yes. Probably both kinds.

Send feedback. I want to know what you think. And, please check out some of my other posts here and elsewhere.

Thanks! 

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IndieGoGo – http://igg.me/at/teachmusictokids

@rizzrazz

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: “This music learning app is such a great ‘idea!’ Can’t wait to use it!” STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: this-app-is-such-a-great-idea-cant-wait-to-use-it UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2014/08/this-app-is-such-a-great-idea-cant-wait-to-use-it.html DATE: 08/19/2014 04:30:33 PM —– BODY:

These comments are common and very encouraging. But, it’s short of what we need. I’ve been reassessing our IndieGoGo campaign to date and at some point, we knew we needed help. So, we got some.

My partner and I just got off the phone with an entrepreneur and business coach* who was very generous of her time and talent. What great advice she gave us! *(Cool lady and one of her clients is Johnson and Johnson.)

First, she GETS it. She really loves, loves, loves our idea and so much about what we’re doing. She says our app we’re developing has so many positives—reaching children all over the world, that they can learn substantive music content and skills while playing an engaging game. “Moms will love this,” she said. She says we have amazing credibility and a fabulous idea.

What’s missing? Our message isn’t working quite like it needs, or it’s not getting out there to enough people—folks like our new coach who really gets it. Also, we absolutely need a finished prototype that would make it easier for people to understand what this app will actually do, so it will be easier to understand, get feed back, and gain traction. Ideas are easy. What’s hard is getting them into people’s hands and reiterating until we have it the way it needs to be done right. We’re bootstrapping this, making our dollars stretch far, but we are asking for your support. Give us your feedback and/or money. And please share with your communities. They may “get it” and help us create a more musical world together.

Click here if you haven't seen what we're up to:  IndieGoGo campaign We appreciate you taking a look.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Patterns are the reason we understand anything—music included! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: patterns-are-the-reason-we-understand-anythingmusic-included UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2014/08/patterns-are-the-reason-we-understand-anythingmusic-included.html DATE: 08/04/2014 01:01:42 PM —– BODY:

First, take a banana. Open up and smell it. Is it green, or over ripe, or somewhere in between? You "know" with your nose. You detect the smell and then compare that smell with other bananas you've smelled in the past. You can do the same with your eyes. You compare what you have seen in the past with the banana you have in your hand. The patterns that make you discern edible from inedible are automatically stored in your brain from previous experiences. Are you seeing the WHOLE banana? Probably not very much of it at all. You likely focus immediately on the badly bruised spots or the string hanging off of it. You're not taking in every cell. That's too much to comprehend. You detect the important patterns. Almost without thinking. That's very cool when you think about it. Ok, enough with the bananas and on to music.

Music. When you listen to music, are you hearing every note? Hearing? Maybe. That's physical. The sound IS hitting your ear—your cochlea is transmitting it through the auditory nerve to the auditory cortext and some other things between the air (on which the sound travels) and your brain.  Are you understanding every note? Almost impossible. You are comparing the patterns you are hearing (of tones and rhythms among other elements) with patterns you've heard in the past. Or in the case of reading language, 你是在比較你所看到的你已經看到在過去的模式的模式。Maybe you need that translated: You are comparing the patterns you are seeing with patterns you've seen in the past. You are NOT reading letters. You comprehend your language based on the patterns of letters you recognize as words. . . that carry meaning, but we must add one more thing—context. Context is decisive. It makes all the difference. If I said "to," or "two," or "too," or "tu" (fr.), which one would you hear? It depends completely on the context. Patterns and context are crucial in language and so they are in music.

Not letters, patterns! I've harped on this before but music educators teach note names (analogous to letters in language) often before we've taught patterns, or words. It's akin to teaching the alphabet to a child who cannot speak his own language yet. What does a 'K' mean? Nothing. In music, what does an 'A' mean? Nothing. Unless it's inside a pattern, say 'F A C,' but 'F A C' is still incomplete. There is no context—unless you gave it one yourself. So, I'm going to tell you that 'F A C' is the IV chord in C major. Now it has everything you need to understand it.

Music understanding is rooted in lots of songs and chants and movement and dance, but MUST eventually move to the understanding of patterns. How they are the same. How they are different. How the same patterns can sound in different contexts. The importance of patterns is hard to overstate. It happens to be how you can even read what I'm writing. Also, how you can recognize a loved one walking down the street. And of course, whether or not you should eat that banana.

Your brain is hard wired to make patterns in order to understand the world. Music must have as one of its cornerstones the teaching of tonal and rhythm patterns. Otherwise, we leave music understanding only to those who have high enough degree of innate ability that they can do it for themselves. I prefer another world where it's possible that all of us have access to understanding music—through patterns.

The Pitch (the sales kind, not the note). So, why not an app that teaches and scores you on your ability to hear and reproduce many of the most important patterns in music? There's no reason, except that its development needs to be funded. Would you consider helping us? Any amount is welcome. $5 even. 

Visit this campaign and see what we're up to. See the videos of what kids can do when they are taught to understand music through the teaching of patterns. It's quite amazing. Perks are available. Get on the ground floor of what could be a revolutionizing supplement to music education. Click here: http://igg.me/at/teachmusictokids.

And, thank you. Anybody that reads this blog is my kind of person.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Importance of jazz in early childhood music STATUS: Draft ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: importance-of-jazz-in-early-childhood-music CATEGORY: Education CATEGORY: Music UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2014/06/importance-of-jazz-in-early-childhood-music.html DATE: 06/05/2014 12:24:28 PM —– BODY:

I share this quick email I sent to a colleague who asked about the "importance of jazz as a component of early music education"

 

Hi, 
Glad to meet you.
 
I'll do a short spiel here to try to answer your question. It's really not rocket science. It doesn't need to be science at all when it comes to how children learn. [I have a very science-based understanding of how children learn though. When I boil it down, it becomes common sense, and most of the common sense I've come to is that we don't know how best to teach children. Still, some major tenets get revealed in good research and my observational work of over 20 years with children ages birth to 8+.]

My quip: "Children know better how to learn than we'll ever know how to teach them. Ever."

Here's my try:
Simply put, if as a child—especially birth (or prior) to 3 years old—you were not acculturated in, or at least exposed to, a style of music, you will not develop a "listening vocabulary" for that style and henceforth will be less able or unable to do so later in life. The more enriched an early childhood music environment is, the more potential there will be for obtaining (listening and performing) with appropriate musical vocabularies later in life. Without listening to your mother speak in utero, or hearing her and others speak your native tongue, you will be hampered in developing language skills. That is to say, if you don't hear that language, it would be near impossible to speak that language, read or write, create or improvise in that language. You would not be able to even think in that language. It'd be like me listening to Mandarin. I hear the sounds just fine. Don't understand anything.

Same for music. If you're not exposed, then you won't develop a listening vocabulary from which you can develop a performing (including movement) vocabulary. 

I think that's as simple as I can make it.

Jazz, generally being the most complex on a number of levels, is a critical component of what I expose the children in my early childhood classes. The parents need it too, though!

I play Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bichet, Roy Eldridge, Dave Brubeck (Blue Rondo and Take 5), Paul Desmond (Take 10), Mills Brothers (Tiger Rag), Nina Simone (Here Comes the Sun), Lionel Hampton (Rag Mop), Fletcher Henderson, Django Reinhardt, regularly and repeatedly for children birth to age 8, but that's only because I don't teach older children.

I, of course, play classical, gospel, blues, big band, some kids music, Harry Bellafonte, but not much rock, and one gospel song that has a rap section (Take 6 – "Harmony" off of Join the Band). I'm still looking for more repertoire from all genres that is appropriate for young ears.

Criteria for such:
Length – 2 to 3:45 minutes long (I don't like to fade out. I want children to experience the WHOLE many times.)
Groove – a must
Timbral changes at least 5-6 times if not 20 during the cut.
Strong dynamic changes, if not enough of the former. Gabrieli works here.
 
[Please contribute your favorite repetoire for children below. Thanks!]

Feel free to ask questions. Or shoot me an email back. [email protected]
Also, we've recently launched a campaign for a revolutionary music learning app. Check it out at http://igg.me/at/teachmusictokids 

Thank you!

Best,
Eric
 
—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Instrumental teachers – Stop teaching note names already! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: instrumental-teachers-stop-teaching-note-names-already UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2013/09/instrumental-teachers-stop-teaching-note-names-already.html DATE: 09/27/2013 03:34:54 PM —– BODY: The key to the *musical* success of any program would be to start early—VERY early—but not necessarily with instruments. At the upper elementary, MS and HS levels, my point is almost moot. At younger levels, consider that early music childhood experiences provides for children the crucial readiness for long-term success in music. Starting younger than 4 or 5 is HIGHLY recommended when possible. Bear in mind that children at this age, analogous to children who are in a "language babble" stage, do not need to know any theory, note names, durations, or lines and spaces—just as a very young child is not aware of grammar and punctuation. Still, the immersion and participation in his or her language—or in this case, music—is mission critical to make the most of a child's innate potential for musical achievement. From those listening experiences sprout a performing vocabulary (singing/chanting/playing). Then, teachers would be better off emphasizing improvisation and creativity before introducing the musical "grammar." The emphasis on reading and writing can come later—again, just as it does in language development. Eventually, we all should learn the alphabet to be "literate," but the fact that we share the alphabet with so many latin-derived languages, does not make us able to take any meaning from them. Who here knows Croation? (We share their alphabet of course.)

I'll boldly tell you that many of the top children in your programs who are excelling musically are doing so in large part based upon the early music experiences they had at home or elsewhere during the formative first two or three years of life, including the last trimester in utero as well. Brain development starts to slow down dramatically after 4 and 5 years old. After that, a child's brain is still fairly malleable, but without building a strong neural foundation early, everything else becomes much more difficult later. Of course, like me, a strong intrinsic motivation factors in strongly as not everyone has the best nature-nurture combination in those early years and yet still thrives in music somehow. Hard work, eh hem, I mean hard play! —– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Music ed affected? Congress moves on Ed reform – From NAfME STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: music-ed-affected-congress-moves-on-ed-reform-from-nafme UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2013/07/music-ed-affected-congress-moves-on-ed-reform-from-nafme.html DATE: 07/19/2013 03:56:32 PM —– BODY:

from Richard Victor's FB post in the GIML group:

IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE NEWS FROM NAfME: Today, after two days of debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the new GOP ESEA bill, H.R. 5, the "Student Success Act," by a partisan vote of 221-207. NAfME's Insert Linkown Shannon Kelly has been following all of the proceedings this week. The legislation seeks to drastically cut down on the "federal footprint" for education policy, striking down many key provisions of No Child Left Behind and also eliminating several signature education programs introduced by the Obama administration. Under the new law, states and school districts would gain a tremendous amount of control as to how they hold schools accountable for the progress of students. Amendments adopted during debate on Thursday included one that eliminates the requirement that states evaluate teachers based on student outcomes; under the amendment these evaluations would now be optional. The legislation also prevents the Department of Education from adopting the Common Core State Standards, and eliminates Maintenance of Effort (i.e. spending) requirements for states in order to receive federal funding. Finally, the legislation adjusts Title I funding allocation requirements; effectively allowing states and LEAs to allocate funding to any schools with students below the poverty level regardless of the number or concentration of children in poverty. This is the first time since 2001 that an education bill has reached the floor of either house of Congress. However, passage in the House is almost certainly as far as the bill will go—the Senate HELP Committee has forwarded a diametrically opposed version of ESEA for consideration by the full body, and the White House has also publicly stated its opposition to the House bill. Most importantly for music advocates, H.R.5 spells bad news for any federal support of music education. Ranking Member George Miller introduced a substitute bill that would have done more for arts education, but it never had any realistic chance of passing. In his remarks on the floor, Mr. Miller stated, “They fail to provide adequate funding and resources for students and schools. They fail to move beyond the narrow focus of reading and math to ensure students get a well-rounded education.” The amendment was soundly defeated by a partisan vote of 193-233. What happens next is in the hands of the Senate. Chairman Harkin has stated that he hopes his bill will reach the Senate floor by early fall. We will be active with the Chairman’s office (a key supporter of music education) in the days and weeks to come. Stay tuned for more soon on the Harkin approach to protecting music and arts education, and the work that is currently taking place throughout the greater arts education community, in preparation for the next round of lobbying efforts.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Teaching Harmonic Functions to 2nd – 4th grade children STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: teaching-harmonic-functions-to-2nd-4th-grade-children UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2012/12/teaching-harmonic-functions-to-2nd-4th-grade-children.html DATE: 12/20/2012 06:07:40 PM —– BODY:
Teaching Harmonic functions to 3rd and 4th grade on their first day.

via teachmusictokids.typepad.com

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rade on their first day

via teachmusictokids.typepad.com

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Teaching musical harmonic functions to kids STATUS: Draft ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: teaching-musical-harmonic-functions-to-kids UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2012/12/teaching-musical-harmonic-functions-to-kids.html DATE: 12/20/2012 06:04:55 PM —– BODY:
Teaching Harmonic functions to 3rd and 4th grade on their first day.

via teachmusictokids.typepad.com

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: My Favorite CDs for children (birth to 6 or so) — What are yours? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: my-favorite-cds-for-children-birth-to-6-or-so-what-are-yours UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2012/05/my-favorite-cds-for-children-birth-to-6-or-so-what-are-yours.html DATE: 05/31/2012 03:37:49 PM —– BODY:

What Great Music! Giamusic.com – Gordon's classical music selections for babies and young children

Classics for Kids (RCA Victor) Nutcracker, Parade of teh Wooden Soldier, Carnival of the Animals, March of the Toys, Socerer's Apprentice, more. . .Boston Pops, others too – (different mix of selections) 9026-61489-2

Bernstein's Favorites Children's Classics (Sony) – Carnival, Peter and the Wolf, Young Person's Guide

For the Kids – Mix of Artists – Cake, Sarah McLachlan, Tom Waits, etc

Sing Along with Janet – Kids love and I use 3 or 4 of these tunes regularly.

Miss Ella's Playhouse (Fitzgerald)

Putamayo: World Playground, Mali to Memphis, Afro-Latin Party,

Nicky's Jazz for Kids – Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, need I say more?

Nicky's Jazz Lullabies – Coltrane, NKCole again, Judy Garland, Clifford Brown, need I say more???

Bobby McFerrin and YoYo Ma – Hush – crazy good

Bobby McFerrin – Mouth Music

Smithsonian Folkways – Classic Blues I and II – adults but children too

Dave Brubeck – Time Out – adults but children too

Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane – At Carnegie Hall – adults but children too

 

WHAT ARE YOURS? 

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Naming notes vs. audiation: a conversation over Twitter STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: naming-notes-vs-audiation-a-conversation-over-twitter UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2011/07/naming-notes-vs-audiation-a-conversation-over-twitter.html DATE: 07/04/2011 10:47:39 AM —– BODY:

Interesting conversation I thought worth sharing. Please respond if you'd like.

[I added additional comments in brackets]

 pastedGraphic.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

Music lesson Plan "Naming Notes" worksheets "If they can't name notes then they can't build scales and chords" #mused goo.gl/UxBbx

[Seeing this tweet prompted me to respond right away—essentially because I hold off teaching theory—such as lines/spaces and durations (quarter/half/whole, etc.)—until I can’t go any further without it. Which is pretty far. Dare I say, sometimes further than many music teachers can go musically. I know I’m a heretic.]

pastedGraphic_1.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff But a 2 y/o child can speak well but can't tell you how to spell. Theory, intervals and note naming is overrated. #musiced

pastedGraphic_2.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz I agree that you don't need theory to enjoy and create music but you do need theory to understand it? 😉

pastedGraphic_3.pdf @rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff That's exactly what I'm not saying. A very young child doesn't understand the alphabet, but does understand his language.

pastedGraphic_2.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz So are you saying that children should not be encouraged learn to speak at a more advanced level that when they were 2 years old?

[pastedGraphic_4.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

Oops I just tweeted with the language skills of a (drunk) two year old! Kind of defeated my own argument? Bah! ]

[I didn’t see this tweet until later as I wasn’t mentioned. No, you didn’t defeat your argument, but interesting that you responded this way.]

pastedGraphic_3.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff That would be ridiculous. I'm saying that knowing the alphabet doesn't increase vocabulary or understanding.

pastedGraphic_5.pdf craigdab Craig Dabelstein

by musicteachstuff

Understanding theory doesn't help you understand the meaning of music, the Melos. Music theory is important for composers, not listeners.

pastedGraphic_2.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz I would tend to disagree but I think that curiosity is way more important than knowledge? Music theory is not "rules" but options?

pastedGraphic_3.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff Music Theory is a way of explaining *in language* what works and doesn't work in music. "Rules" are always broken. Ear>all

pastedGraphic.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz Music theory is a framework that we can adhere to or disregard at will. It's just a way of helping us to understand if req'd?

pastedGraphic_3.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff The best I can say is through the kids. No theory involved here. http://bit.ly/eWEQyd @craigdab #theoryisgoodtho–atitstime

[This is the same old video many of you have seen. If not, take a look. These 1st and 2nd graders have no theoretical understanding, but they do “name” what they can audiate.]

pastedGraphic_2.pdf

musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz @craigdab Just because good things can happen without theory surely does not mean that good things can only happen without theory?

pastedGraphic_6.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff Totally agree with you, with the caveat that audiation is coupled with it. @craigdab #seethelasthashtag?

pastedGraphic.pdf musicteachstuff robert hylton

@rizzrazz @craigdab Seems fair to me!:) Goodnight folks!

pastedGraphic_7.pdf rizzrazz Eric Rasmussen

@musicteachstuff Goodnight and thanks for the shop talk. Love it.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, education, audiation, theory, #musedchat —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Elissamilne.wordpress.com EMAIL: IP: 121.210.88.151 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/elissamilnewordpresscom DATE: 10/03/2011 10:17:25 AM Love it. There’s also the issue that ‘theory’ often doesn’t very accurately relate to contemporary meaning-making processes in music – so we’re using language about music (and rubrics for describing what it does) that are less than optimum for the experiences we are wanting to discuss. All this energy invested in ‘theory’ with young instrumentalists would be better redirected into ‘audiation’ – and the whole theory thing will unfold incredibly easily and naturally from there. If we teach children pattern-perceiving and pattern-reproducing skills first, then the ‘theory’ work is done. [Some bold generalisations!] —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Juliekastner EMAIL: IP: 69.89.102.253 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/juliekastner DATE: 11/23/2011 10:38:29 AM Great discussion! I agree with what you’re saying, but perhaps what you are talking about with young children is not an absence of music theory but a reconceptualization of music theory from something that is formally taught through language, to something that is cognitively understood and applied through active music-making. Perhaps the theory is still there, but not in the way that most of us learned music theory through our undergrad classes. Just a thought! —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 68.199.140.247 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 11/23/2011 04:42:37 PM Hi Julie, I appreciate your thought and it made me think about what you were saying. Still, I come back to this: Theory is usually absent in the “thing” itself. It’s a theory. It’s an abstraction from the thing you’re trying to understand. For example, in music, there is no perfect 5th that actually has any meaning. Even if there were a perfect 5th in a piece, which one is it? C to G? Even that’s insufficient information. C to G in D dorian means something quite different than C to G in C major. Theory is imposed to try to make order out of something that isn’t already there. Rules are broken all the time. Bach broke voice leading “rules.” Analyzing this response (in language) theoretically won’t help you understand what I’m trying to communicate. Neither will breaking apart a symphony, or even a song, into its component parts to help you understand what is actually there: the music. Only what hits your ears and makes “musical sense” in your brain—audiation. Looking forward to rebuttals or more thoughts. Thanks! —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Best music CDs for Children under 5 years old? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: best-music-cds-for-children-under-5-years-old UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2011/06/best-music-cds-for-children-under-5-years-old.html DATE: 06/07/2011 05:14:36 PM —– BODY:

Dear all,
Here’s some of what I have. Please add to the list.

Classical:
Bernstein Favorites – Children’s Classics
Classics for Kids – RCA Victor
What Great Music! – GIA publications
Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra; Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge; Simple Symphony
Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma, Hush

Mahler 1; Shubert 8; Beethoven 5; Bach Brand 4; Wagner Walkure; Ives Sym 4; Bartok Conc for orch; Dufay Ecco Primavera
Saint-Saëns The Carnival of Animals, esp XII Fossiles;

World:
World Playground – PUTUMAYO PRESENTS
Animal Playground – PUTUMAYO PRESENTS
World Music for Little Ears

Jazz:
Jazz for Kids (ECO)
Nicky’s Jazz for Kids
Nicky’s Jazz Lullabies
Miss Ella’s Playhouse

I Will Hold Your Tiny Hand: Evening Songs And Lullabies – Steve Rashid
Janet Sclaroff – Sing Along with Janet – has 5 tunes I use regularly
Keb Mo: Big Wide Grin

 

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Auntieemo EMAIL: IP: 108.86.129.45 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/auntieemo DATE: 06/07/2011 10:42:08 PM Indian Elephant Tea by Big Kidz Band any music by Laurie Berkner —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: How babies grow up to be musical: Imitation, Type 2 of PreAudiational development STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: how-babies-grow-up-to-be-musical-part-ii-imitation-stage-of-preaudiational-development UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2011/04/how-babies-grow-up-to-be-musical-part-ii-imitation-stage-of-preaudiational-development.html DATE: 04/26/2011 02:33:37 PM —– BODY:

In response to Jessica Tomlinson’s post about Imitation, the second type of preparatory audiation:
http://musicinsight.blogspot.com/2011/04/preparatory-audiation-type-2-imitation.html

Jessica,
Hi again!
I couldn’t get this much on your blog site, so I’m putting it here. Can you tell I’m passionate about this stuff?
See my comments after **.

This type of preparatory audiation generally lasts from age 3 to 4, granted that children have had enough experience with acculturation.

**The age range is misleading, but is helpful to frame for folks with minimal expertise. I’ve had children imitate as young as 1 year old. This is very rare, but still. . . I also have children in full audiation by age 4. Still, many children at age 4 are still in acculturation (a stage that should never end even through adulthood). So the range is widely variable, but the majority of children with a fair amound of acculturation by that age will be between acculturation (Type 1) and assimilation (Type 3 of preparatory audiation).

This time marks the point at which children should begin to receive some structured informal guidance in general music. (Before, in acculturation, children only receive unstructured informal guidance).

**I do structured guidance even earlier only becuase it models for the children the structured learning responses. In my opinion, any guidance prior to the imitation type necessarily has to be unstructured if only because that is where the child is. In other words, the child is still acculturating even if the activities are structured. It’s primarily about the child, not the stage. We don’t actually know that it’s more helpful to do one and not the other at various stages. These are educated guesses and Doc is way educated so I defer to him.
**Musical behaviors are so widely varied among children who sit and do nothing in class, and yet are extremely musical all of a sudden. My philosophy is to keep mixing it up and be responsive to the children, but don’t NOT do imitation activities for children in earlier stages and don’t NOT do absorption activities for children even in assimilation. Mix it up and let the child deal with it at their own levels of musical aptitude. No need to dumb things down, or to push things either. They can handle it all. Some may be more appropriate than others, but I think we start splitting hairs when adapting to children’s individual differences.

Through the reading of this chapter, I have come to better understand the reasoning behind the use of tonal and rhythm patterns. Gordon points out that when children are first learning to talk, they only say one word at a time, or they may join two words together. It is only later that they begin to speak simple sentences. This is why children are encouraged to imitate patterns when learning to communicate musically. In this type, children are encouraged to imitate tonal and rhythm patterns, however, notably, they are not encouraged to imitate songs, according to Gordon.
**Encouraged, yes; expected, no. It HAS to be perfectly fine for a child to say “no thank you.” and then you can say, “I can tell you really listened to that rhythm/those tones. That’s the most important thing anyway. Maybe you’ll try one next time?” Regarding singing songs, parents want them to show off for the teacher. I tell the parents, the quiet ones tend to be more musical down the road. If they sing in class and not at home, that’s a problem. If they sing at home and not in class, that’s wonderful. The children who do not participate in class at the imitation level (as a group) are better musicians (generally) down the road than those who do participate (taken again as a group). In Type 2 imitation, an individual child’s musicality cannot be predicted by their early performances nor by their lack of performance.

However, they are still hearing songs and chants performed for them, just as they are hearing whole language spoken around them. From these, they begin to establish syntax, or to find where the small pieces fit into the larger puzzle. It is important to note that when children perform something different than what they have heard, at least initially, the parent or teacher should imitate what the child has performed. This not only gives validity to what the child has performed, but also causes the child to become more aware of what s/he is performing.
**Yes! This is wonderful. I do this with babies and toddlers with a lot of success. I do NOT wait until 3 years old. Not even 2. I do this when a child can show any atteention at all, sometimes as early as 6 months.

Once children can successfully imitate, improvisation is encouraged. When children intentionally perform something different, not only are they creating for themselves, but they are noticing the difference between various examples. Finally, as with any early childhood music setting, it is important to model good singing behavior in a light, high head voice register. Most authors, including Gordon, agree that the young child’s vocal range lies approximately between D and A above Middle C.
**Children can sing much higher; there’s no need to limit the range to A. I go up to C or D and many chidlren reach that easily. They don’t know it’s high.

I’m not sure why Gordon suggests clenching the fists, but I totally agree that a deep breath is in order before beginning to perform.

**I don’t get the fist thing either. I bet he just finds that comfortable. There needs to be movement associated with the breath. The breath is of monumental importance. It should be exaggerated but freely moving.

I’m still having some trouble understanding the idea of “free flowing continuous movement” which is mentioned time and time again. What is this, and how is it different from the way that we move when we keep a steady beat, for example? Why is it superior?

**The beat is either right or wrong, on or off the beat. In free flowing continuous movement, the child is experiencing the more fundatmental elements of movement in this order: Flow, Weight, and Space. Time, especially in the form of beat-keeping, is of far lessor importance, but I don’t believe it should be avoided altogether. A child modeling free flowing continuous movement canNOT be wrong with regard to feeling where the beat is. It’s anywhere his body is at that moment. Later, he or she will refine his movements to include beat keeping, but it’s not important and should not be encouraged early. I especially make a point to parents that they absolutely do NOT manipulate a child’s limbs to help them imitate me or to keep the beat. That has the detrimental effect of having children often tighten up their muscles while moving to music. Let the children be and they’ll be fine. My mantra: children—especially babies up to 5 year olds—know better how to learn than we’ll ever know how to teach them.

 

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First, it’s great to see this post. (See below.) Early childhood music education and the learning theories behind it are relatively new to the music education profession and extremely important to its future.

Having been an early childhood music specialist for 20 years and also having been in class with Dr. Gordon as he was in the process writing the manuscript for “A Music Learning Theory for Newborn and Young Children,” I’d like to respond with some of my thoughts. 

I think Doc would say that absorption, the first stage of Acculturation, begins even before birth—for sure during the last trimester, if not before. Some studies (Sandra Trehub, et. al.) show the fetus responding to music at 5 months in utero. Dozens of mothers I’ve spoken to know their child’s favorite songs prior to their birth and often use that music to comfort the child in the first months and years of life outside the womb.

In response to this blog:

http://musicinsight.blogspot.com/2011/04/preparatory-audiation-type-1.html

Re: songs without words

I believe that different parts of the brain are stimulated when children hear songs and chants without words, and vice versa. If children listen to songs and chants that are always coupled with language, they attend to both and thus (Doc believes) they are “distracted” by language away from more pure attention to the musical qualities. Still, songs with words—think most lullabies—have a significant cultural place in the home and in society. This does not mean they are of more value to the musical development of children. And, in my opinion, nor does it mean they are of lessor value. They are simply different. Both concurrently stimulate various areas of the brain, and in the one case including a portion that processes language and music simultaneously. Perhaps there is decent benefit for language development through music, but I would argue that  language development would occur best when music would not always be coupled with it. So, like Doc, I would tend to take the inverse position as well: music development is probably better when language is not present.

Still, when songs and chants have words associated to them, parents learn them more easily. So, if that means they sing a wider vareity of repertoire throughout the week, that value outweighs the value for children to hear songs without words (ususally for a 45 minute class once a week) simply because it is “more appropriate for their music development.” In EC music classes, aren’t we modelling behaviors we want parents to take home as much as performing for the babies and toddlers? I think we can do some of both. Many parents find songs and chants without words uncomfortable and sometimes just weird. Even still, this is no excuse to avoid them. In the end, I differ with Doc on this in practice, but not in theory

Regarding recordings, I believe them not to be supplementary but indispensible to a child’s music environment. How many live concerts of orchestral music will they see before turning two years old? Modeling musical behaviors in live interactions is key whether one is performing vocally or not. In listening to recorded music, we are modeling movement, but I also accentuate and sing along with the music while I dance. I see no philosophical difference. As to the continous fluid movement Doc purports to be most valuable, I tend to believe him, but again, some parents can find this uncomfortable to do or watch so I do both. I have found a balance between what Gordon believes to be most appropriate for our youngest children and what I am comfortable with in providing while maintaining a strong and vibrant music program for babies and young children. 

Please share your questions. I love the dialogue and am happy to hear anyone’s thoughts. Let's keep sharing. Thanks.

Here is the post I responded to.

Preparatory Audiation Type 1: Acculturation

Acculturation is the first type of preparatory audiation in Gordon’s Music Learning Theory.  It begins at birth.  The primary characteristic is that infants and toddlers are becoming accustomed to the musical culture which surrounds them, in much the same manner as they grow accustomed to language.  One of the hallmarks of the three stages of acculturation is that children should hear a great variety of songs and chants without words performed live by a parent or a teacher.  I needed some time to think this over, since I have fond memories of hearing music withwords as a young child.  In fact, I can’t recall ever hearing music without words performed for me.  According to Gordon, the purest musical development occurs when language is not present at the time, which gives me pause.  Does this also mean that the inverse is true?  Does the purest language development occur when no music is present?  What if we consider the development of the whole child. What is the right balance among music and language, and other stimuli for developing a healthy balance of musicality, language readiness, and countless other mental and physical necessities?  Should music and language always be separated for infants?  This seems to be what Gordon is asserting, and I’m not so sure that I agree. However, I do appreciate the importance of performing without words at times for infants, and exposing them to a variety of meters, modalities and styles.  I also agree with Gordon that recordings should be viewed as supplementary to live, face-to-face interactions.  Gordon also states that one should move continuously while performing songs and chants without words.  P
Here are the three stages within Acculturation according to Gordon’s text:
Absorbtion:  In this stage, the infant or child is listening and absorbing the musical environment, even if s/he does not appear to be attentive at the moment. 
Random Response:  This is commonly referred to as music babble.  This is where the child responds, but the responses aren’t necessarily coordinated to what is occurring in the environment.  Though these responses may not have all of the musical context that we as adults recognize, they carry some meaning for the child, and should be encouraged.
Perposeful response:  The only difference that I could gleen between this stage and the last, is that the child is responding intentionally to the environment rather than by chance.  The above principle still holds true, regarding the nature of the responses.  articularly when children are in stage 3, there are times when the tonal and rhythmic aspects of music ought to be separated for the child, with the chanting and singing of rhythm and tonal patterns so that the child may more readily attend to each.  Use a neutral syllable such as Bah or Bum when doing this. 
The above summary is from Chapter 5 of:
Gordon, E. E., (1990) A Music Learning Theory for Newborn and Young Children.Chicago. GIA. 
This is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all material contained in this chapter, simply a brief overview.  If I have misinterpreted any of the information within it, please feel free to correct me.  Afterall, one of the aims of this means of communication is to compare and share ideas.  

 

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Background:

I studied for several years with Dr. Gordon, the man who coined the term audiation. His ideas about how we learn to be musical handily refuted my undergraduate training in music education. It also profoundly affected my musicianship as I learned how much I did not audiate. This was at once confronting and exhilerating. To this day, I still grapple with how children best learn music. My continuing professional development is almost entirely due to the distinctions in music development and Gordon’s sequence of music learning I began digesting over 20 years ago. 

This blog post is probably longer than any should be (7 pages?). Who said, “Had I had more time, I would have made it shorter.”? If you can’t make it to the end or you’d like to skip it, you can learn about audiation from a podcast, go here: http://bit.ly/d2Cydi

Also see a short video of audiation in action here: http://bit.ly/f2dpIe

What follows is a transcript of the #musedchat with my comments inserted.

Paragraphs with NO ** are where I copied and pasted the transcript.

**Paragraphs that start with ** are my comments.

**Your comments and questions are most welcome. I love professional disagreement. It’s helpful to me to continually reconsider any position I’ve taken. My Twitter and email are at the end.

The #musedchat transcript begins here:

– – – – – –

What is Audiation?

The #MusEdChat participants started the chat by defining and describing what is audiation. Audiation is a complex subject that has many definitions. Most musicians and music teachers define audiation by saying it is inner hearing. 

**Inner hearing was insufficient to Gordon’s thinking when describing the process of audiation. Hearing is physical. Audiation is not physically hearing. In fact, it can occur without any external stimulus at all. I believe that Kodaly used the term “inner hearing” to describe what audiation has evolved to be. It was a bold first step in the psychology of music understanding. Gordon expounded on this idea using an extraordinary amount of research, both observational and experimental. 

The #MusEdChat participants disagreed and said that definition of audiation is not specific enough. 

**The definition of music audiation is defined by the man who coined the term, Dr. Edwin E. Gordon, in his seminal book titled, “Learning Sequences in Music.”

There are 8 types of audiation which include 

1) listening to, 

2) reading, and

3) writing music (both familiar or unfamiliar music)

4) recalling and performing music from memory (necessarily familiar music)

5) recalling and writing music from memory (necessarily familiar)

6, 7 and 8 consist of creating and improvising music while performing, reading, and writing (all necessarily unfamiliar music).

**Gordon describes 6 stages of audiation. These are theoretical and thus cannot be proven. Rather, they are detailed descriptions of the possibile psychological processes that occur when one audiates music.

**The stages go from momentarily retaining an “after sound,” through making sense of the essential tones/beats, then comparing these to a reservoir of patterns stored in your “musical memory” or past experiences, to the eventual prediction (in audiation) of what will occur next in the music. These stages cycle through as one engages in audiation. Sometimes, only the first or second stage is attained (as perhaps the first time I listened to Balinese gamelon). At other times, one could predict quite accurately and cycle quickly through the 1st through 6th stages frequently and easily. Take a second and audiate “Twinkle, Twinkle.”  Hopefully, that comes easily. Now, audiate “Twinkle” in minor and moving in 7/8. Ah ha. If you stopped to try to count out the rhythm, that’s is music theory, and not audiation. If you had to run to the piano to play it in minor, that is theory or imitation or something else, but it is not audiation. Perhaps the reason I like jazz and Stravisnky is that my predictions don’t always match what comes next in the music. I like the feeling of being tricked some of the time. I don’t enjoy the tonal aspects of dodecaphonic music as my predictions fail all too often.

**Analogies can be helpful if you don’t have time to read and digest the first chapter in “Learning Sequences.” Here are two:

1) Thinking is to language what audiation is to music.

If you do not understand the language you are listening to, reading or writing, you are not thinking in that language, or if you are, it may only be at a cursory level.

2) Visualization is to the eye what audiation is to the ear. If I asked you to visualize a purple dog, your power to take that image from your mind and render it on canvas would represent your depth of visual understanding or power to visualize. I would bet that Monet’s purple dog is more vivid, or has more depth of understanding of the elements of art—line, form, perspective, contrast, color, etc.—than the purple dog most of us visualized. 

**Of course, at some level, analogies fail and music or art can become a matter of what one likes or not. Gordon’s point about audiation relative to music appreciation is that without audiation, appreciation has less depth and is probably all but superficial. 

**A child who reads a story and only sounds out the words does not understand the story. An artist who visualizes before she draws or paints is matching her mind’s artistic eye to what she is about to create.

**When you listen to a foreign language that is unfamiliar to you, you cannot think in that language. Eventually, you retain some sounds, or even words, and later phrases. Later, you begin to give meaning to some of what you heard in the past (distant or immediate). Audiation works the same way in music.

@michellek107 said “In order to be true audiation that inner hearing must have some meaning attached to it.” 

**The power to give meaning to music is an excellent short hand definition of audiation. 

@Zweib7 agreed saying that context and meaning is a big concept that many overlook when attempting to define audiation. A great way to better understand audiation is by comparing it to art. @richardmccready said “In art, visualization is being able to see in your mind and in music audiation is being able to hear music in your head without hearing it out loud first.” 

Richard’s statement is correct regarding types 2 and 3. Additionally though, one can be audiating music just physically heard (type 1).

@lovedrummin said “To me audiation is when you can look at music and hear and understand it before even putting out any sound.”

**Another good example. This is type 2.

 @DrTimony said “Audiation is a just a name given to what students already do. 

**I have to disagree. Many students do NOT already do this. Many do, but children who play out of tune are not audiating tonally or harmonically. They probably don’t understand the tonal and harmonic contexts inside which they are performing.

What we are talking about here is calibrating what they already do.”

**Some are only imitating.  Worse, some are pushing buttons and blowing air. If they are not audiating, we need to be bringing them through the stage of music development they are in. Some children (and adults) are still in music babble or a stage of pre-audiational development (See “A Music Learning Theory for Newborn and Young Children.”). They don’t know that they’re not in tune, or not on the beat. They are not aware of what tonality or meter they are in. 

The Gordon definition of audiation seems to encompass all of the qualities of audiation that the #MusEdChat participants suggested. The Gordon definition of audiation says “Audiation takes place only when we hear, comprehend, and internalize music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present.”

**This is Gordon’s succinct definition. The implications of it laid the foundation for a working definition of music aptitude and also for Music Learning Theory, especially skill learning sequence.

Audiation in Relationship to Sight Reading and Solfeggio

Next the chat shifted to discussing how audiation is related to sight reading and solfeggio. Most of the chat participants agreed that audiation and sight reading are not correlated. 

**One can be sight-reading and audiating. In fact, they should be. Unfortunately, most are not. We instead are deciphering the code, much like the child who sounds out the letters or words and thus misses the story.

Your students can be a great sight reader, but still not be audiating in their head. 

**I’d say, good imitator or perhaps good being relative to others. Either that or you’re short changing yourself as you were actually audiating, or partially audiating what you were reading.

@brandtschneider said “some students can sight read very well, but they have no idea about what they are singing. Instead of knowing what they are singing they are just doing the mechanics.” 

**I call these individuals technicians, not musicians. Harsh, I know. This is how I was trained through college. To my mind, it’s shameful.

@lovedrummin said “I was a fantastic sight reader when I was growing-up, but never truly audiated until after I started teaching.”  

**You and the rest of us probably have an above average to high level of music aptitude. Because of that, we taught ourselves how to audiate. This happened despite the traditional theoretical approach to music instruction most of us received.

Next the chat shifted to discussing audiation in correlation to solfeggio. Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze all claim that solfeggio facilitates the inner ear which would lead to solfeggio helping with audiation. @Dianawinds456 agreed saying “Teaching solfeggio and sight reading by example with help improve the performance of our students. Solfeggio and sight reading is all about singing before you play, which I believe is a big part of audiation.” The majority of the #MusEdChat participants believe that solfeggio does not help with audiation and that it may actually hinder developing the skills of auditation. Most of the chat participants said that they have never used solfeggio and that has never been a hinderance in reading or audiation. @richardmccready said “I learned how to audiate by having good sight reading skills and from singing the notes on the page. I could never hack solfeggio, but I am still able to audiate.” @DrTimony ended this portion of the chat by saying “I am not a fan of using solfeggio for reading or audiation. Solfeggio can be good for warmups and intervals, but it does not help to build audiation skills.”

Oh boy. I’m gonna get in some hot water now. I am going to challenge Richard and DrT now. Solfeggio (or I call it Solfege and I have no idea what the difference is, if any) ABSOLUTELY helps in teaching children to audiate, but it is a technique used at the 2nd level of Skill Learning Sequence. Let me break it down.

Once a student is audiating, we should increase the size of his tonal and rhythm vocabularies. Agreed? Later, we should help his understanding of tonal and rhythm contexts, and to differentiate among these tonalities and meters. The first level of Learning Sequence is the Aural/Oral level. Basically, listen first and perform back. This level should begin only after a child has emerged from music babble and it is accomplished by singing tonal patterns on a neutral syllable, preferably “bum” or rhythm patterns chanted on a neutral syllable, preferably “bah” and asking a child to perform them back. Once a large number of patterns are accurately performed back in solo by most of the children, you are ready to move to the next level of Skill Learning Sequence called Verbal Association. This is when you put tonal syllables and rhythm syllables (solfege) to the patterns that the children have already learned to audiate. Why do such a thing? ALL of the psychology papers suggest that, just as in language, you will not be able to remember as many “things” if you don’t have it attached to some type of verbal associate. All or most of the things you see around you have names in language. Without those names, you could never remember as many things. When you add verbal associates to tonal patterns or to rhythm patterns, you are making it easier for children (adults and music teachers alike) to expand their vocabularies even further and to make connections in language (and draw inferences if they can) about the patterns they know how to audiate. They are then able to not only increase their tonal and rhythm vocabularies even further, but also name tonalities and functions. Bringing language into the fold after having taught a sufficient number of patterns at the Aural/Oral level of learning, cements what it is students have learned to audiate at the previous level. 

**Ok, kill me if you want. I’m ready for it. Bring it on. 

(You’re brave if you got this far. It’s better than reading the book I’ll tell ya.)

How to Teach Audiation

Next the chat participants shared ideas on how we can teach audiation to our students. One way is by using Conversational Solfeggio created by Feierbend who studied under Gordon. Conversational solfege is a watered down version of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. Conversational solfege helps students become independent musical thinkers **[Audiators]** by using an ear-before-eye approach to music literacy. The goal of conversational solfege is to create fully engaged, indpendent musicians who can hear, understand, read, write, compose, and improvise. Many of the chat participants who have used conversational solfege said they have found a huge difference in the musicality of their students because they are audiating. Another way to teach audiation is to emphasize active listening. @michellek107 said “Listening needs to begin in Kindergarten even if it is not in the curriculum. I believe that there never can be enough emphasis placed on listening.” 

**Listening begins in the last trimester before birth. By 3 years old, the importance of the acculturation a child receives cannot be overstated.

Teaching improvisation is another great way to help students improve their audiation skills. @brandtschneider said “In my ensembles we do a lot of silent band performances as students sing and play. I hold out one hand for out loud and the other hand for in head.” 

**Improvisation (and creativity) is the next to last inference level of learning in Gordon’s Learning Sequence. The last leve is music theory, something that Gordon says should be avoided so that the thinking and analytical brain (outside of audiation) can stay our of the way of children’s ability to audiate. Improvisation (and creativity) is the hallmarks of the best music education. We improvise in language all the time, why not in music as much? Probably because we lack enough vocabulary as a readiness to improvise.

Audiation can also be taught in classes such as music technology by using a sequencer window. @lovedrummin said “When teaching audiation it is important to keep it simple and practical. Too often audiation is so technical and students don’t get anything out of it.” In order to help our students get better at audiation we need experience, experimentation, calibration, and regular practice.

**Teaching audiation is a function of understanding Skill and Content Learning Sequence and if you don’t follow it’s general prescription, you are likely making it more difficult for children who do not have a high level of music aptitude. You can, as I do, jump among levels of learning sequence, but It’s important to spiral back to the level which has not yet been mastered to give everyone—despite their level of music aptitude —the opportunity to succeed at the skill level you jumped away from.

Importance of Audiation

The #MusEdChat participants ended the chat by discussing the importance of auditation. Audiation is an important skill for students to learn in order to become more musical. @lovedrummin said “I have become a much better musician over the past three years since I began audiating.” It is especially important that we start teaching audiation in the primary grades. Instrumental students usually make less mistakes when they audiate and hear the music before they try playing. It is vital that we teach our students to hear first. It is also important for us to teach them to hear the whole ensemble sound not just their individual note. @brandtschneider summed up the chat by saying “As music teachers our mantra about auditation should be think, hear, breather, and then play.

**I’d say, if you’re not teaching children how to audiate, you are not teaching them to be musical. It is like teaching a language without teaching thinking. It is like teaching about a Cezanne painting without using your eyes. To me, it is that critical to music education and yet, I was never trained in it until I stumbled upon Dr. Gordon in my graduate studies. Then I was seriously bad at it for the years I tried to use it in the classroom. I only got better as I taught it for the last 22 years. I consider myself somewhat competent now and still make plenty of errors. In the end, the children’s musical achievement speaks for itself.

Also see a short video of audiation in action here: http://bit.ly/f2dpIe

You can learn more about audiation from my podcast here: http://bit.ly/d2Cydi

@rizzrazz on Twitter

[email protected]

 

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: musedchat, music, education, audiation, Gordon, Music Learning Theory, musiced, —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Lindagaboardi EMAIL: IP: 99.7.182.80 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/lindagaboardi DATE: 04/25/2011 07:43:50 AM Hey there Dr. Rizz Razz- I stumbled on your new blog, when a link redirected me! I thought you were gone! Great discussion- I wish I had been in on it! Anyway, your video link is broken. I’d love to see your “audiation in action” video! Best wishes- Linda (audiction) —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 74.107.92.250 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 04/25/2011 11:08:03 AM Try this one: http://rasmussenmusic.com/ericrasmussen.com/Results_on_video.html —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Elissamilne.wordpress.com EMAIL: IP: 121.210.88.151 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/elissamilnewordpresscom DATE: 06/17/2011 11:45:33 PM “Who said, “Had I had more time, I would have made it shorter.”?” That was Pliny the Elder. He may not have been the first, but he certainly did famously say this about a letter he wrote to someone or other! —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: What instrument can a young child start and when? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: what-instrument-can-a-young-child-start-and-when UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/10/what-instrument-can-a-young-child-start-and-when.html DATE: 10/31/2010 11:56:06 AM —– BODY:

Piano, cello, and violin are the typical instruments for kids to start on at the young ages, even as early as 3 years old.  Other instruments such as trumpet, clarinet, flute and saxophone can be started at age 6 at the very earliest, but more typically at 7 or 8. Trombone, tenor saxophone, string bass, and other bigger instruments (requiring more wind or a bigger reach) can also start about then, around 8 years old. In public schools, most band or orchestra programs now start in the 5th grade. Forty years ago, most instrumental programs started a grade earlier, in the 4th grade.

"El Sistema" programs in the United States, modeled after the one in Venezuela (where Gustavo Dudamel, artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic came from [see episode on 60 Minutes]) start children very early on these typical orchestral instruments. I actually teach for one of these programs in Baltimore. We have a Kindergarten child on baritone! This is highly unusual and he's a little guy too. He does get a steady sound, but he can't hold it very long. Still, he loves it, and that's the key. Starting early if the child doesn't like it is a bad mix. In fact, there are several factors that should be considered when considering when to start a young child on an instrument:

1) musical readiness – Can the child sing in tune and move rhythmically? Any instrument is, after all, only an extension of the child's own musicianship. Without this musicianship already in place, any music lessons will teach a child only to be a technician. That is, the child will be able only to pluck out notes and will not be able to be musical—certainly not initially, and perhaps not for a several years. Here's an analogy: This is not unlike a child who can sound out the letters in words but does not understand the meaning of what he or she is saying.

2) psychological readiness – Is the child ready—even eager—to take correction from a teacher regarding the right notes, rhythms, posture, hand positions, fingerings, technique, etc.?

3) physical readiness – Is the child big enough for the instrument? (Stringed instruments are sized for smaller children.) For wind instruments, is he or she able to blow enough air? Does the child have enough small motor coordination skills to have enough early success that can help maintain initial enthusiasm.)

4) intrinsic motivation – This is probably the most crucial factor. At any early age especially, a child needs to have the inner desire to take lessons. This factor can trump all the other factors combined. That is, if there's enough "want to," that's all you need. Everything else will work out in time. 

Note: Having said all that, there is actually NO such thing as starting too early. What?! What about all those readiness factors? Well, the above information applies to "formal" music instruction. The importance of "informal" music instruction in early music development, much like language development, cannot be overstated and needs to start much earlier than 3 years old—even before birth! Children can start absorbing music and sound in the last trimester in utero. A child's musical potential is a product of nature and nurture. The role that nurture plays in the earliest months and years of life is undeniably important should we want children to grow up to enjoy and participate in music.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Brandtschneider EMAIL: IP: 96.32.33.163 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/brandtschneider DATE: 10/31/2010 01:10:19 PM I am sure this requires a lot of coordination, discipline, and $$. Any figures or plans on how to implement this? I’m starting band kids in 4th grade and I’m struggling to get instruments in their hands at that stage. Any evidence that they stick with it more or less than the traditional system? —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 108.3.216.233 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 10/31/2010 07:54:09 PM – – I am sure this requires a lot of coordination, discipline, and $$. ** Knowing the above would only help guide appropriate decisions. It’s informational, especially for teachers and parents who want to start children on instruments. – -Any figures or plans on how to implement this? I’m starting band kids in 4th grade and I’m struggling to get instruments in their hands at that stage. ** How so struggling? Don’t have instruments? . . . To be clear, I don’t think children should start early on instruments unless the above readiness list is met. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 74.88.199.241 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 04/20/2011 07:19:30 PM To YUNiversity: For guitar, a typical age is usually around 7 or 8. Some start very early but there are dangers with starting too early if it’s not anything by completely enjoyable for the child. It needs to be “play” even up until 5 or 6 years old. After that, there can be 15-30 minutes of day of practice and some formal instruction from a kid-friendly and professional teacher. Some early guitar programs start at 5 or 6 years old and are based on Suzuki-style instruction. Play by ear and play by modeling. No note reading. This is key at the earliest ages that you avoid note reading. The less information, the better. The more playing and enjoying music better—whether that’s with or without the guitar. I would strongly recommend buying a ukulele (or actually two, so you can play together) and play melodies for him. Then he can pluck and you can finger it. Show him by demonstrating. Start simple. When he’s done, you’re done. No pushing for anything extra. Also, play great music for him. I recommend Julian Bream for classical, also Ana Vidovic is tremendous. For jazz, no less than Django Reinhardt (early jazz). He’s a pure genius. I’m sure there are plenty of other greats: John McLaughlin (with Shakti, especially “Natural Elements[great Indian fusion]), Charlie Christian (40’s jazz) and Al DiMeola (70’s jazz). Find and share YouTube videos with him. Ask a great guitar teacher what he should do while he’s growing what I call “instrumental babble.” This stage can last a few years, so you have to be patient about it. Let him lead the way. Listen to him and his needs. To be clear, NO formal instruction at this age. Maybe by 5 years old, but starting early does not necessarily breed long-term success. There is NO hurry. Just enjoy. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions. Best, Eric —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Early Childhood Music – How to teach it! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: early-childhood-music-how-to-teach-it- UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/10/early-childhood-music-how-to-teach-it-.html DATE: 10/15/2010 07:49:28 PM —– BODY:

This is a response to a new early childhood music teacher who had a lot of questions and thinks starting early makes the most difference.

First off, just sing and chants tons and tons of repertoire. Find out what they really like and do a bunch of it. Play great great music. Use CDs of the Masters (classics, jazz, blues, all styles are great to expose young ones to—just have to find the right content). Dance to it and be expressive. GO crazy over the top in modeling your enjoyment of what you do. Don't talk much "about" anything. On the other hand, I do tell children when they're not using their singing voices, at age 3 or so. At 4 or 5, I tell them they are singing different tones than me if they're not in tune. I distinguish tones from rhythm by having them show me their singing voices for tones and their talking voices for rhythms. I do a wide mix of individual patterns—diatonic and arpeggiated patterns—with a mix of sounds and syllables. This is especially so in 2-3 year olds. I find that singing ooo-ooo, say on D to A above middle C in the key of D helps children use their singing voices. Then I use the syllable BUM when they're ready—very infrequently before 4 years old. You have to keep listening and learning from the children. They'll demonstrate for you what their needs are if you are challenging them appropriately. Sometimes I stretch too far, other times not far enough. That's why I like EC sooo much. Yes! I'm with you that this will make the most difference in the long run.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: early, childhood, music, audiation, education, —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gakingmusic EMAIL: IP: 99.74.9.107 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/gakingmusic DATE: 10/31/2010 03:28:22 PM Start with John Feierabend’s First Steps in Music curriculum, then pick up his other books for more songs you can add to the curriculum. Feierabend’s CD’s, including Keeping the Beat! and Move It!, help you to use recordings of great classical music for movement activities. I use the songs and recordings from Feierabend’s resources for all my classes from ages 3 to 6. I use selections from these materials with older students as well. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 108.3.216.233 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 10/31/2010 07:38:00 PM Feierabend’s repertoire is a pretty good start, but it doesn’t have the diversity of repertoire, especially when considering the variety of tonalities and meters. I’d still use a lot of it. Also, using good classical recordings is great. But, also, use jazz, blues, world music, EVERYTHING that you think is great music. Move expressively to it all. Sing tonal patterns and rhythm patterns. You’re on the great track, but I’d just use more diversity of music—stylistic, cultural, and contextual. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gakingmusic EMAIL: IP: 99.73.250.111 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/gakingmusic DATE: 12/20/2010 10:07:36 PM I agree about needing more diversity than what’s in the Feierabend curriculum. I like to use other materials within the Feierabend structure as well. I started bringing in more world music last year, and the kids loved it. Are there any listening suggestions you could make from jazz and blues that would be good for movement? —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 108.3.223.233 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 12/23/2010 08:44:07 PM Q: What is your synopsis of Feierabend’s structure? Here’s a list of repertoire I’ve used for movement. http://www.peabody.jhu.edu/2965 —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Teaching Harmonic functions to 3rd and 4th grade on their first day. STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: teaching-harmonic-functions-to-3rd-and-4th-grade-on-their-first-day-ive-posted-this-kind-of-thing-before-but-its-worth-pos UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/09/teaching-harmonic-functions-to-3rd-and-4th-grade-on-their-first-day-ive-posted-this-kind-of-thing-before-but-its-worth-pos.html DATE: 09/28/2010 10:43:22 PM —– BODY:

Teaching Harmonic functions to 3rd and 4th grade on their first day.

I've posted this kind of thing before, but it's worth posting again with a sequence of how I taught them.

I sang Mary Had a Little Lamb using the appropriate I and V7 accompaniment, but I stopped on the penultimate chord (the V7, fleece was white as. . .) and asked, "Can I end there?" Most said, "No!" right away. After playing the tonic (I), I asked, "How about there?" Yes. I then taught them that there are two functions that go underneath the melody to Mary Had A Little Lamb. Listen to when they change. Sing them with me. "Yes Yes, No, Yes." Again. "Yes Yes, No Yes." We then did the same thing with London Bridge. Hey, they have the same functions at the same time!

After successfully testing a handful of individuals to tell me whether I was playing NO or YES, I then played I V7 I V7 I V7 I V7 I V7 I V7 I V7 back and forth for 20 seconds or so. I said to listen carefully. Is this YES, NO, or something else. Then I played a IV chord. Uh-Oh, that's not NO or YES. It's something different Remember we sang On Top of Spaghetti? Listen. Here are the functions to that song. I (on top of spa-) IV (ghetti) – I – V7 – I , IV – I – V7 – I. Then we sang UH-OH, YES, NO YES a bunch of times. Afterwards, I tested a few more individuals. Most of them could hear all three functions. We did this on the first day of class with no previous instruction and did it in less than 15 minutes. I even played a V/V7 chord for them to hear. Yes, there's gonna be more and I'll help you learn them over the next couple of weeks.

My older kids already hear functions I couldn't do even after playing Dixieland Jazz for years. They "feel" these functions V/vi, vi, V/ii, ii, and this circle of 5ths sequence in the key of C: C E7 A7 D7, G7 C. Those are the changes to 5 Foot Two, Eyes of Blue. Can you hear the song and the functions in your mind? My 2nd year 3rd and 4th graders can. I'm astonished at what they can learn when taught through their ears. I wish we could get away from the theory a bit. It never helped my musicianship much. Teaching these functions to the children has helped my improvisation with the dixieland jazz band tremendously. I win. The students win. I feel good. [James Brown just ran through in my head.] I've got to figure out the changes to that tune now. Oh my! I just did it in my mind. Isn't it just a blues? I think so. You see, I couldn't do that before I started teaching this way. I'm modeling the learning which may be the best way to teach. Model the learning YOU are doing. 

I've since done Muffin Man and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. They've learned:

Do you know the muffin man? The [I – I]

muffin man the muffin man, Do you know  [ii – V7/V – V – I]

 

And:

V/ii – ii – V7/V – V7 -I  [Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack, I don't care if I ever get back for it's root, root, root for the]

 

And they're getting this in 2nd grade now, not just 3rd on up. One is a first-year child. Never had her in previous years. 

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Homework is optional? Assessment should be mandatory! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: homeworkisoptional UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/09/homeworkisoptional.html DATE: 09/08/2010 08:05:58 PM —– BODY:

This was a response to a blog (see it here: http://bit.ly/ayQeo2) whose author said that homework is optional and that learning cannot be measured by number or grade.

I thought that no homework was silly. I believe in good assessment. Here was my response:
Oh, I am sorry that you thought I called you silly. I don’t think you’re silly. It was only the idea of no homework that I find silly, and especially with music. Isn’t math worth some practicing? Reading 20 minutes everyday (or almost) is an awesome standing homework assignment. Reading is very worth doing every day. Responding to your list is providing your readers an opportunity to clarify their thoughts. Doesn’t homework help in the same way?
Learning needs to be measured. You’ve agreed. I’m so glad. Ultimately, any assessment is not perfect. So I agree with you in spirit. Still, numbers (measurement which is objective) are the best way to measure, and letters (evaluation which are subjective) are what we’re stuck with. I don’t know what a B means from your school compared to a B in mine. They’re not standardized. Grades are practically devoid of validity. For example, a “C” from my HS is worth more than the A+ at the city schools I see.
So, how else do you propose measuring student learning? Numbers are more valuable than most teachers know. Means, standard deviations, percentile ranks, standard scores, reliability, validity. All are the basic ingredients to learning how to better one’s teaching through measurement. Tests ultimately help to improve instruction. Hopefully, they’re useful for children to learn from, not just used for the purpose of handing out grades.
By the way, there’s a brand new book release on assessment—it’s phenomenal. ALL teachers should look into this, but especially music teachers. It holds the possibility of transforming education if used to improve instruction and better challenge individual differences of our students. We’d be all the better teachers for having read this book. Again, all to improve instruction.
As I stated earlier, I agree with you in spirit that learning cannot be reduced ONLY to numbers and letters, but to suggest that it cannot be, is misleading to teachers who don’t understand the value of good measurement of student achievement. I don’t understand anyone who teaches only by the seat of their pants, perhaps because they don’t “believe” in tests. Maybe their tests need improvement. Most teachers are not in reality with regard to the achievement and aptitudes of their students. Good measures are the only way to begin the parting of the clouds.
As you see, I’m strongly opinionated here. I love research, and its value to education is immeasurable. Without measurement, though, research is difficult to do. How many of your readers are doing *research* to improve their instruction?
I’d be interested in some more responses.
I love that your post is getting so much response.
Congratulations on the activity and attention. It shows that there are a lot of caring teachers out there. —– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, education, homework, assessment, instruction, grades, measurement, teaching, —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gakingmusic EMAIL: IP: 99.74.9.107 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/gakingmusic DATE: 10/31/2010 03:40:22 PM Without measured assessments, how do we show the progress of an individual student’s development in any subject? My assessment system for elementary music uses a simple rubric which helps me to monitor the student’s development of vocal and rhythm skills and inform parents of their progress. I also inform parents of the student’s level of participation and cooperation in music activities. Is it fair to measure the kids’ progress in these four categories and share the information with them and their parents? You bet it is! My students and their parents agree. This system holds me accountable for teaching the standards and holds the kids accountable for being on task in music class. It also justifies my program and builds the students’ confidence by demonstrating their progress, which almost always improves. My elementary assessment rubric: http://sites.google.com/site/holycrossindymusic/general-music/assessment My middle school band assessment rubric (scroll to the bottom): http://sites.google.com/site/holycrossindymusic/band —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz EMAIL: [email protected] IP: 108.3.216.233 URL: http://profile.typepad.com/drrizzrazz DATE: 10/31/2010 07:59:04 PM You’re dead on. I agree with you on everything here. I’m glad you’re using assessments. They are valuable as one of a few great tools in a teacher’s utility bag. The next step would be to test their reliability. That’s goes to a whole other level. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Teaching Gordon’s Music Learning Theory to Level 4 Kodaly STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: teaching-gordons-music-learning-theory-to-level-4-kodaly-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/teaching-gordons-music-learning-theory-to-level-4-kodaly-1.html DATE: 08/09/2010 03:29:43 PM —– BODY:

I taught a graduate level class to Kodaly folks, some of whom had taught 10 years. It was very interesting to ask them to read rhythm patterns that they had never practiced with the rhythm syllables. They had trouble. Why? Because they were missing steps in learning sequence. 


If children are brought through the appropriate steps, the same patterns are easily done. I taught 1st and 2nd grade children to read these same "difficult" patterns. They're not trying to figure out the rhythms by counting or by adding syllables to what they see. No no. They see and hear them in their audiation. They come out sounding fluid and expressive.

If you don't know the term audiation, hear this recent podcast:

Search
teachmusictokids

in the iTunes store.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, teaching, training, education, kodaly, ear, teach, gordon, audiation —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: ORCHkids made it on 60 Minutes!!! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: orchkids-made-it-on-60-minutes-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/05/orchkids-made-it-on-60-minutes-1.html DATE: 05/17/2010 10:07:33 PM —– BODY:

AND. . .I got a few seconds of b-roll, but, hey, I was on 60 Minutes. My Mom and Dad were so proud. 

Now, really, the piece was about Gustavo Dudamel. If you're asking, "Who's that?", then you MUST see the segment they did last Sunday. Here it is. 
I welcome any feedback. We're off to some good things with the ORCHkids. I'm hopeful that the press will cover us as much in ten years.

And here's a big question:
Does this kind of program have the potential to make irrelevant traditional instrumental music education?

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, instrumental, orchestra, education, teach, orchkids —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Helping music teachers in Balitmore STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: helping-music-teachers-in-balitmore-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2010/01/helping-music-teachers-in-balitmore-1.html DATE: 01/14/2010 03:58:03 PM —– BODY:

See this Johns Hopkins University video on music mentoring in Baltimore City (1 of a few vignettes to be used). http://ping.fm/J5eZf

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Whole hog music education with PreK through 2nd grade. STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: whole-hog-music-education-with-prek-through-2nd-grade UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/11/whole-hog-music-education-with-prek-through-2nd-grade.html DATE: 11/15/2009 12:39:22 AM —– BODY:

The Abreu Fellows of El Sistema model came to play with the ORCHkids all week. The kids had quite an experience.

 

What I've been doing with the ORCHkids, my inner city children.

Singing songs in all tonalities: major, minor, dorian, mixolydian, phrygian, etc.  

Singing songs and chanting rhymes in all meters: duple, triple, 5/8, 7/8, etc. 

 

Some are multimetric (switches around among meters)

Singing in tune with a light voice. Singing tonal patterns individually with each child.

Chanting rhythm patterns in the meter and style of songs just sung. Again, individually with each child.

 

Hearing the changes (chords that go under the melody) to "On Top of Spaghetti" by singing 

the roots and listening to that the IVchord sticks out if you already know the V and I chords well enough.

–Yes preK knows tonic, dominant and subdominant, but we're not calling them that yet.


Oh, and for real fun, we're moving expressively to music. Really jamming.

C'mon music teachers. Get up and really groove. Stop it with clapping TA TA TI TI TA. 

**That's so STOOPID—way below the rhythmic "intelligence" of school-age children.


We were scarf dancing to Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band "Hit the Ground Running."

I love it. I could do it all day. SO I do. Learn that tune folks. It's fun.

 Some say that's not PreK appropriate. Yeh, and what was Coltrane or Parker or Tatum listening to when they were 4?

So, why not??

 

 

 

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, teaching, singing, dancing, education, movement, gordon —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: El Sistema – Venezuelan music education American Style and DVD STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: el-sistema-venezuelan-music-education-american-style-and-dvd-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/11/el-sistema-venezuelan-music-education-american-style-and-dvd-1.html DATE: 11/08/2009 07:23:46 PM —– BODY:

The Baltimore Symphony has an outreach program called ORCHkids which is fashioned after El Sistema. I teach for this program in a west Baltimore city school. The very popular 60 minutes episode on the difference El Sistema is making with underprivileged youth in Venezuela was broadcast in spring of 2008. Now, they're coming to my school. That's right. 60 Minutes (and Bob Simon) is coming to our program to document the seeds of the El Sistema attitude begin to sprout in Baltimore. It's a very exciting development.


I've also been invited to Venezuela to share my teaching methods. I'm going down to steal some of their heart and soul. I'm very moved by their program. I just finished watching a very well-done and inspiring DVD titled "El Sistema: Music to Change Life." It's a no brainer purchase for those familiar with the story. For those not, play the 60 Minutes segment and decide if you'd like in depth coverage of the topic. I highly recommend it.

DVD here:
http://el-sistema-film.com/

60 Minutes video here:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/11/60minutes/main4009335.shtml

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: dvd, music education, baltimore symphony orchestra, 60 minutes, music teaching, el sistema, orchkids —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Understanding crazy harmonic functions – in 2nd grade!!! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: understanding-crazy-harmonic-functions-in-2nd-grade UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/10/understanding-crazy-harmonic-functions-in-2nd-grade.html DATE: 10/07/2009 11:16:42 PM —– BODY:

The first grade students last year learned to audiate (hear in their minds, predict) I, V7, IV and V7/V in major; i, V7, iv in minor.

This year, they not only remembered those, but have added V7 of vi, V7 of ii, and V7 of V7 of V7 of V7.

Translation: they know the changes to "5 Foot 2 Eyes of Blue" which goes (in C) C, E7, A7, D7, G7 C.
This Little Light of Mine goes at the end: C, E7, a, D7, G7 C. Almost half the children recognize and identify the difference in the two changes: E7 to A7, or E7 to a. 

For the V7 of ii, they know that in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." 
"Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack I don't care if I ever get back" goes (in C again) A7 d D7 G7.

Quadruple dominant, triple dominant, dominant of the submediant, dominant of the super tonic.

If anyone would like to add to the list of songs that have similar changes, I'd be really happy.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Craig Cortello EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 10/11/2009 12:15:57 AM [this is good]

Interesting concepts regarding the ability of children to differentiate. I’ve always believed that even minimal exposure to music education will help develop more sophisticated listeners.

The song that came to mind immediately with similar changes to the “Take me Out to the Ballgame” passage was Daydream (What a day for a Daydream…) by the Lovin’ Spoonful:

C

—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Craig Cortello EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 10/11/2009 12:19:18 AM

Interesting concepts regarding the ability of children to differentiate. I’ve always believed that even minimal exposure to music education will help develop more sophisticated listeners.

The song that came to mind immediately with similar changes to the “Take me Out to the Ballgame” passage was Daydream (What a day for a Daydream…) by the Lovin’ Spoonful:

C   A7   D7(or Dm7) G7(or G7 to G7+5)

—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 10/11/2009 10:46:23 AM Thanks. That’s great. I should use it. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: First week under the belt STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: first-week-under-the-belt-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/09/first-week-under-the-belt-1.html DATE: 09/14/2009 10:04:53 PM —– BODY:

In a school not more than 1/2 a mile away from the school that hosted a very special music program last year, the children are notably different. Most of the Pre-K sings in tune even without having had any formal music instruction. I expected 70% or less to use their singing voices consistently, but not 80% to sing in tune! 


The reason for my underestimate was based on experience from the school only half of a mile away. There, a good percentage of the 1st grade children didn't sing in tune until after I worked with them two times a week for 45 minutes each class from September to November. Then, they started to come around. I think many of them had always had the talent, but they were lacking in appropriately guided experiences. Many didn't even use their singing voice. Some had issues simply staying in their seats. The first few weeks, more than a handful of children would consistently fall asleep during class.

The new school situation is striking in comparison. No children goofing in the halls. A stronger presence from the administration. The faculty seems more experienced and stable, less transitive. Being there during the day makes some difference, but that doesn't account for the musicianship the children already come with.

The program for which I teach promises exceptional results. Without the strong foundation I found at the new school, our work would have been significantly harder. Now add this to the mix: When the program is going at full bore, some of the children will be receiving music instruction 3 times a week during the school day and 4 times a week after school. 7 times a week! That's a lot. Music will just be part of the air they breathe.

Music teachers may look at the outcomes of this program down the road and suggest the schedule was a major factor. I want to suggest that high quality faculty/musicians and a specialized curriculum will contribute even more. In the end, it may not matter so much how it happened. The children's performance abilities will speak for themselves.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Read this, music teachers! Really. STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: read-this-music-teachers-really-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/08/read-this-music-teachers-really-1.html DATE: 08/25/2009 07:38:24 PM —– BODY:

Quincy Jones on "Arts Education in America."

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, arts, education, music education, arts education —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Teaching music to Pre-K, K, and 1st grade in the inner city STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: teaching-music-to-pre-k-k-and-1st-grade-in-the-inner-city-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/08/teaching-music-to-pre-k-k-and-1st-grade-in-the-inner-city-1.html DATE: 08/24/2009 05:50:39 PM —– BODY:

That's what I'll be doing twice a week this fall. I plan to keep you updated on the children's musical progress after we start the school year. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra started their ORCHkids outreach program last year (http://www.bsomusic.org/main.taf?p=3,17). Now most of the kids have moved to a new school where I'll be teaching their younger schoolmates musical readiness skills. This will be hard-core ear training for the youngest.


The kids from last year (2nd and 3rd graders now) know major and minor tonalities, duple, triple, combined and unusual meters. They also started reading tonal and rhythm patterns that were too difficult for me after 3 or 4 years of private instruction in a privileged environment. 

I'll be using this blog to bust open any misconceptions about what children can learn if they're taught in a manner that challenges their musical potential.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, teaching, kindergarten, education, teach, pre-k, teacher training, inner city, young children —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Yavie Andromeda EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/26/2009 12:42:44 PM [this is good] I would love to know more about your program, I teach in a school district a before school music program, we are struggling to keep the interest of the school district and we have very little support from our symphony.. can you suggest some ideas to help us build and keep a stronger string program?  —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/27/2009 12:02:05 AM If I can be bold: First, teach musicianship to the children, work hard, and then put them in the public light. Lead the community to your musical buffet. Don’t expect them to feed you first. They should, but that’s a tougher and less tenuous battle than what I propose. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: School music programs getting axed. What now? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: school-music-programs-getting-axed-what-now-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/school-music-programs-getting-axed-what-now-1.html DATE: 05/06/2009 12:43:47 PM —– BODY:

The economy is taking its toll and some schools are cutting music programs. Some parents get music lessons for their children. What percentage? Maybe 10%?

Of the remaining 90%, who has children who would have excelled in music, but no longer have a program offered in their school? And many of these children already have disadvantages from being in inadequately funded schools.

Here's where I ask you for your ideas. What would you want from an online music service? Think of the 2-way interaction: forums for your questions; a wiki for collaborating on the content you want; video and audio content; live chat/video; tons of possibilities.

Is this something to consider in the new technological age we're in?

I'd love your thoughts.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/09/2009 12:15:53 AM While many subjects are able to make the transition to online course offerings, I am not sure that music could fully do that. The human interaction is what I think would be missing, making music with others. Sure you could make videos for an online music lesson, or use Skype or a similar program to interact in real time, but would it be the same as/as good as working together in the same room? I don’t think so. My students currently use a “track” of websites that I compiled for note naming practice.  The link is below. Type Waldman in the author search box to see my tracks.
 http://trackstar.4teachers.org/trackstar/

However, this activity is just to help students learn to read music and help them gain speed naming their notes (in hopefully a fun interactive way). Sites 5-9 and 12 are games for the practice. The other sites explain how reading music works. Students have access to this at home from my music website
http://mail.ccsd.k12.co.us/[email protected]

I don’t envision my trackstar tracks taking the place of the music my students and I create together in class. I can see creating a wiki but talking about music is such a small part of most music classes (at least in grades K-12).  I think trying to meet the National Music Standards through an online delivery method would be a pretty tall order.  Maybe I can’t see the possibilities or my thinking is too narrow at this point.  Share more of what you’re envisioning, please?

With school districts and state health dept. going somewhat overboard about H1N1 (Swine) Flu, our staff was asked this week to create lessons that will be ready to be posted online in the event that our school has to close for 1-2 weeks. In addition to my students continuing to gather information for their Romantic Composer Comic Life project (4th & 5th grade), practicing their note naming, singing their concert songs at home either accapella or with the podcast section of my website, or practicing their recorders, I haven’t come up with other activities for them to do musically online.  Your thoughts?
—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/15/2009 03:30:28 PM Thanks for the response.

Here is my rebuttal. Online interaction is now almost as good as live with the new technology. Live video chat is becoming more and more standard to web users. I agree that something would be missing, but it’s pretty close now. You’re right though, not the same.

This is controversial, but I have proof in this statement: I don’t believe naming notes, lines and spaces is a good way to teach music reading. The very first day of reading, I have first graders read several tonal or rhythm patterns in major and minor or duple and triple. They bring understanding to what they see, not decipher the code. See my earlier blog: Music Learning-something to consider

I’m interested in helping babies through to pre-teens to be able to create, improvise, and compose music in a non-traditional sequence that yields extraordinary results. Could you read in three major keys the first day you read music? Or in two meters, using 16th, 8th notes and quarter combinations? Well, I have first graders who can—some of which were from musically deprived beginnings. By 2nd grade, they’re able to do dictation. We once did a day devoted to a mixolydian melody!

I’m really happy that more music educators are reaching children on-line. I’m glad to see more moving that direction. You’re among a small percentage.

Still, I’m concerned that we’re only using new “techniques” and not reconsidering the old-school “methods” that only reach a small portion of the musical public we educate.

Ok, so let’s keep this dialogue moving.
—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/15/2009 10:09:32 PM Hey Dr. Rizz,

I’m impressed with what you’re doing with your students. I am open to new methods to teach music. I vacillate between whether or not it is important to teach note naming early and follow traditional methods. My own children are Suzuki string students (violin and cello), and my husband was a Suzuki kid (he’s 4th chair violin in the Colorado Symphony).  My children’s music reading is strong but they played first for quite a time before note reading was introduced.

As far as online music learning, I’m thinking it would be very hard for my son’s cello teacher to help him get his hand in the right position if she wasn’t standing next to him repositioning his fingers and making him feel the right shape of his hand.

(By the way, my students follow notation long before we talk about note naming.)

Gwen
—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/24/2009 10:35:26 PM That’s great. Notation before note naming. Awesome. I think you’re right about the technical aspects of teaching music. I’m talking about the skills that are far more fundamental—those that don’t need much technique at all: singing melodies, chanting rhythms, and moving expressively. 

Most folks wonder how one can possibly teach music to babies. I find this baffling, but we’re geared to think that music lessons HAS to be on some kind of instrument. By that time, 4 years old at the earliest, it’s way way too late to catch a child up if they haven’t been singing and moving.

That stuff I believe can be done online. Not as well as if it were live, but it will augment what already happens in the musical home, as well as bolster the music making in those homes less so.
—– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Nice Seder tonight. My daughter sings well. STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: nice-seder-tonight-my-daughter-sings-well UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/04/nice-seder-tonight-my-daughter-sings-well.html DATE: 04/09/2009 10:08:25 PM —– BODY:

My daughter sings better than anyone in the family. I wasn't always confident that she would be musical. She was always expressive, but not always in tune or with the beat. She's always had a lot of style.

It doesn't matter when children start singing in tune. Sometimes it's as early as 3 or 4, but often not until 5 or 6. My daughter was still not consistently singing intune until almost 7 years old.

It does matter that we sang and had fun all these years. The best fun we have is when we improvise together. We made up the "Poopy Blues" a couple years ago. She never forgot it. The second verse is the "Ploopy Bues" or the "Bloopy Poos." It's all the same imagery and we giggle about it.

Sing and have fun. That's the best a family can do.

Around the Seder table makes it just a little more special.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: How early can you expect students to hear I, V, IV and V/V? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: how-early-can-you-expect-students-to-hear-i-v-iv-and-vv UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2009/03/how-early-can-you-expect-students-to-hear-i-v-iv-and-vv.html DATE: 03/25/2009 01:12:14 PM —– BODY:

How about 6 years old?
I'm not kidding!

Children as young as 6 hear these harmonic functions, name them, and discriminate among them.
I've done this in minor too.

I've had 4 and 5 year olds hear tonic, dominant and subdominant. We don't call it that, but they can discriminate among them when presented to them in context and WITHOUT the theory.

In fact, I believe that the theoretical approach, in which most of us music teachers were trained in, actually inhibits ear training.

What's that mean when young children can do what some college music majors can't?


—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, teaching, children, harmony, education, music education, ear training, functions, music teachers, audiation —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: What makes me mad about music education? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: what-makes-me-mad-about-music-education-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2008/11/what-makes-me-mad-about-music-education-1.html DATE: 11/14/2008 11:22:22 AM —– BODY:

This: A national workshop presenter of a major music education approach (in this case, Kodaly) teaches a workshop and incorporates an Irish song. She says the song is in Mixolydian (sounds like it supposed to come to a "rest" on the tone SO of the do-re-mi scale). The song has one sharp in the key signature which makes G “DO” of the do-re-mi scale. Now the song ends on D, which is the last note of the melody. D is “SO” of the do-re-mi scale. With me so far? Now most songs end on the sound (or a special tone) that is the “ending tone” or “resting tone.” Mary Had A Little Lamb, London Bridge, Twinkle Twinkle, etc. all end on a last note of a melody which is also the resting tone—the one that feels like you’ve reached home. It comes to a rest there. Usually, songs do end on the resting tone.

Well, this Irish song ends on SO but the resting tone is easily heard as being DO. It’s not really a subjective matter. If one listens to the melody and the accompaniment that goes with the song, it’s very clear that the song is in major tonality (sound like it “rests” on DO). After two years of instruction, some of the children that I teach (2nd graders) can not only hear the difference between mixolydian and major, but also identify unfamiliar songs as mixolydian or major. What’s this say if our leading music educators can’t do what 2nd grade children can? It says to me that we music educators have been trained to understand music theory, not to understand music. Notation is only supposed to be a reminder of what we already can hear in our minds. It’s incomplete.

I can go on, but can you hear where I’m going?

Tell me I’m not crazy.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, kodaly, music education, teach, teacher training, music teaching, music teachers, tonality —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Linda EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/24/2009 11:05:00 PM [this is good]

I’m with you on this one!

—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Linda EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/24/2009 11:16:37 PM

…A Common case of using eyes instead of ears!

And my pet peeve: similar- when the editor insists on flatting every 7th step with and accidental instead of realizing the tune is mixolydian, and using the correct key signature!

—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/25/2009 11:45:01 AM I’ve hear a good number of folks say that Ol’ Joe Clark is Mixolydian. It usually isn’t. Most of the time it’s in major, the lowered seventh being a blues note. Then, people bring me the melody and say, “Look the seventh is flatted; it IS mixolydian!” I then ask, “What are the last three chord changes?”
 [Say we end on “D.”]
D, C, D or D A7 D?
They look confused.
Rarely do you hear the former. Often, the latter.
D Mixolydian doesn’t (can’t) have a dominant function that’s “major” sounding—A,C#, E, G. Dominant function in D mixolydian would be A C E, no G.

Most of the time the song is major. Depends on how you harmonize it.
Is “West End Blues” major? It has a flatted seventh. Use your ears folks, not the theory. Which is more important?
—– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Linda EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/25/2009 01:01:24 PM It;s true, it depends on the changes you use. But songs do modulate, I think the bulk of it is mixolydian. But it’s hard to get around that dominant in the cadence! So, think outside the box! 😉 —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Thomas J. West EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/25/2009 05:35:29 PM [this is good] There’s really no way to know if this was a lack of knowledge on the presenter’s part or just merely a matter of not paying attention to details. In either case, one would hope for a higher quality presentation, especially at a national level event.

2nd graders can totally get mixolydian with no problems.I teach it to my students all the time.
—– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Singing in tune STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: singing-in-tune UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2008/09/singing-in-tune.html DATE: 09/14/2008 10:24:02 PM —– BODY:

Step one:
With most young children, have them learn to use their singing voices by distinguishing it from talking, whisper, and yelling voices. Each child needs to demonstrate his singing voice in solo–not in a group. Otherwise, you really don't know who's using their singing voice well, and worse, you are not able to let each child know whether he/she's using it or not. You're losing an opportunity to teach each individual.

Step two:
Have each child sing in solo a tonal pattern. When you sing a tonal pattern, each child will either sing the same pattern, or not. Then the teacher can say, "That's not your singing voice. Can you try it again in your singing voice?" or "Are those tones different than the ones I sang?" They'll answer. Then you say, "Can you try it again and sing the same tones as me?" or "You sang that exactly right. Good job!" The other children then hear each other and learn to sing in tune very efficiently.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, voice, children, music education, intonation, young children, sing in tune —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: bobr512_41 EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 12/24/2008 01:48:54 PM O, well, thank`s for the article that you wrote article… A lot of time I was trying to find some new material for me, and I guess I have it thanks to you. Thank`s once more. I will be waitingimpatiently for interesting articles from you. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Music learning – something to consider STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: music-learning-something-to-consider-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2008/08/music-learning-something-to-consider-1.html DATE: 08/28/2008 02:33:10 PM —– BODY:

Traditional music education puts note reading high on its list of priorities. Despite the lack of the ability of many children to sing in tune or to move rhythmically and with style, we teach them to decipher the code of musical notation. "F is the first space. A whole note gets four counts. Etc." Furthermore, we complicate the process of music making by teaching executive skills to them at the expense of teaching musicianship. "Push this button down to get this note. Tap your foot. Sit up straight." The last thing the student is being directed to do is to make a musical product.

If you draw an analogy to language learning, it's as if you're asking a toddler who does not have command of his/her language to learn the alphabet as a way to make him literate. Or consider this question: Ever hear a child read every word of a paragraph and then when you ask him to tell you about what he read and he can't tell you? Where's the comprehension? It was in the thinking (or lack thereof) that accompanied the reading. With music, all the necessary skills are for naught if there is no musical "thinking." Understanding music doesn't come as a byproduct of traditional instruction. It's fundamental and must be taught.

Can we learn to focus on this as a priority in our music teaching?

In this blog, among other things, I'm going to discuss how.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, reading, education, learning, music education, notation, teach —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Linda EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 07/24/2009 11:41:40 PM

Did you ever read the story of “Typing in a Foreign Language”? Here’s the link:

http://www.giamusic.com/music_education/feierabend/articles/aural.cfm

It’s what we have our instrumental students do every day, unless they audiate!

—– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Why do people think music makes you smarter? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: why-do-people-think-music-makes-you-smarter-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/why-do-people-think-music-makes-you-smarter-1.html DATE: 03/30/2007 11:14:39 PM —– BODY:

Because the popular press and music education proponents have tried to justify music education on the achievement of children in other subjects. What about children whose natural talent is IN music and yet their other propensities are relatively lacking? Don't they deserve to learn music despite their other delays?

Any questions?

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, early, school, childhood, education, intelligence, learning, lessons, achievement, teach, talent, differences —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Allison Cramer EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 09/06/2007 11:21:25 AM I compeletely agree! —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Allison Cramer EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 09/06/2007 11:23:43 AM Howard Gardner is very clear that musical intelligence is separate from the rest!  Why not teach music for its own sake! —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: mr-freek_ru EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 12/24/2008 11:40:57 PM Hi, thank you for the article that you wrote your article! A lot of time I was trying to find some new material for me, and I guess I have it thanks to you. Thank`s once more. I will be waitingimpatiently for exciting articles from you. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Music does NOT make you smarter! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: music-does-not-make-you-smarter UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/music-does-not-make-you-smarter.html DATE: 03/06/2007 10:22:30 PM —– BODY:

At least there's no research to support that yet.

Kindermusik, a very popular early childhood music program (They can stamp out programs—and "certified" teachers—like McDonald's does burgers.), asks potential teachers if they believe that "music is a key to all kinds of learning."

All?

Do they really think that Mozart was socially intelligent? or that musicians are all good at math? or that  was an eloquent speaker? or, conversely, that Einstein or Hawking would have to be good musicians? As if music causes one to have other kinds of intelligence? Forgive the rant, but they've got to get with the current research on neuroscience and cognitive psychology! Really. It's bothers me that they, and many others—so-called leaders in music education—perpetuate a [potential] myth: that music will somehow enhance children's cognitive abilities.

In my experience, there are several children in every school who have exceptional music talent, and yet have very low achievement in all, or almost all, of the traditional school subjects. Does that not ring true to anyone? And so, because these children do not succeed in math, or reading, they are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in the one thing in which they would have success.

It's saddening.


—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, early, school, childhood, education, intelligence, learning, lessons, achievement, music education, teach, talent, differences, early childhood, early childhood music, early childhood music education, music teaching, music teachers —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: rush EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 01/26/2009 06:43:52 AM Interesting, I have never thought about that before… —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/07/2009 12:49:05 AM [this is good] I would like to respectfully disagree with the post Music Does NOT Make You Smarter. I am a music educator of eighteen years. While I believe music education is a very important part of every child’s education, I do not think music ed can solve all the problems in education and/or make everyone successful. I have had many experiences where student success in my general music class has provided necessary skills for students to be successful in academic subjects. Most often I see this connection with reading. In addition to personal experience in the classroom, there is a an excellent article I just read that addresses brain development and music education while providing a research based argument for why music education does increase brain function . The article “New Brain Research on Emotion and Feeling: Dramatic Implications on Music Education” was written by Bennett Reimer, music educator and philosopher. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/07/2009 10:14:37 AM [this is good] Thank you for the comment. I’ll read that article and comment back. I want to continue this dialogue. Could be juicy.

In the meantime, can I ask:
Do you agree with Kindermusik that music is key to all kinds of learning?

And comment specifically on this, if you would?
“In my experience, there are several children in every school who have exceptional music talent, and yet have very low achievement in all, or almost all, of the traditional school subjects. Does that not ring true to anyone? And so, because these children do not succeed in math, or reading, they are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in the one thing in which they would have success” —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/08/2009 11:42:10 PM Hey Dr. Rizz,

No, I have to agree with you that music is not the key to all kinds of learning. I do think music can be a path to unlock other kinds of learning, however.

How do you mean that students who have low achievement in academic subjects are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in music?

In my school, and my experience at my former schools, all students regardless of academic ability participated in music class. Students are not pulled from my class to do remediation for the core subjects. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/04/2009 09:36:58 AM Oftentimes, children who don’t “make the grade” in their three ‘Rs’ don’t get the extra opportunities in music that the other children already get—being pulled out for instrumental lessons, after-school music programs, etc. I’ve frequently seen children held back from music classes to finish their classwork. Do we hold them back from math class because they’re not singing in tune? It’s obvious we’re not on a level playing field, and for some children, music is the ONE thing with which they’d be especially successful. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Music does NOT make you smarter! STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: music-does-not-make-you-smarter-1 UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/music-does-not-make-you-smarter-1.html DATE: 03/06/2007 10:22:30 PM —– BODY:

At least there's no research to support that yet.

Kindermusik, a very popular early childhood music program (They can stamp out programs—and "certified" teachers—like McDonald's does burgers.), asks potential teachers if they believe that "music is a key to all kinds of learning."

All?

Do they really think that Mozart was socially intelligent? or that musicians are all good at math? or that  was an eloquent speaker? or, conversely, that Einstein or Hawking would have to be good musicians? As if music causes one to have other kinds of intelligence? Forgive the rant, but they've got to get with the current research on neuroscience and cognitive psychology! Really. It's bothers me that they, and many others—so-called leaders in music education—perpetuate a [potential] myth: that music will somehow enhance children's cognitive abilities.

In my experience, there are several children in every school who have exceptional music talent, and yet have very low achievement in all, or almost all, of the traditional school subjects. Does that not ring true to anyone? And so, because these children do not succeed in math, or reading, they are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in the one thing in which they would have success.

It's saddening.


—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, early, school, childhood, education, intelligence, learning, lessons, achievement, music education, teach, talent, differences, early childhood, early childhood music, early childhood music education, music teaching, music teachers —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: rush EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 01/26/2009 06:43:52 AM Interesting, I have never thought about that before… —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/07/2009 12:49:05 AM [this is good] I would like to respectfully disagree with the post Music Does NOT Make You Smarter. I am a music educator of eighteen years. While I believe music education is a very important part of every child’s education, I do not think music ed can solve all the problems in education and/or make everyone successful. I have had many experiences where student success in my general music class has provided necessary skills for students to be successful in academic subjects. Most often I see this connection with reading. In addition to personal experience in the classroom, there is a an excellent article I just read that addresses brain development and music education while providing a research based argument for why music education does increase brain function . The article “New Brain Research on Emotion and Feeling: Dramatic Implications on Music Education” was written by Bennett Reimer, music educator and philosopher. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/07/2009 10:14:37 AM [this is good] Thank you for the comment. I’ll read that article and comment back. I want to continue this dialogue. Could be juicy.

In the meantime, can I ask:
Do you agree with Kindermusik that music is key to all kinds of learning?

And comment specifically on this, if you would?
“In my experience, there are several children in every school who have exceptional music talent, and yet have very low achievement in all, or almost all, of the traditional school subjects. Does that not ring true to anyone? And so, because these children do not succeed in math, or reading, they are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in the one thing in which they would have success” —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Gwen EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 05/08/2009 11:42:10 PM Hey Dr. Rizz,

No, I have to agree with you that music is not the key to all kinds of learning. I do think music can be a path to unlock other kinds of learning, however.

How do you mean that students who have low achievement in academic subjects are systematically denied the opportunity to participate in music?

In my school, and my experience at my former schools, all students regardless of academic ability participated in music class. Students are not pulled from my class to do remediation for the core subjects. —– COMMENT: AUTHOR: Dr. Rizz EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/04/2009 09:36:58 AM Oftentimes, children who don’t “make the grade” in their three ‘Rs’ don’t get the extra opportunities in music that the other children already get—being pulled out for instrumental lessons, after-school music programs, etc. I’ve frequently seen children held back from music classes to finish their classwork. Do we hold them back from math class because they’re not singing in tune? It’s obvious we’re not on a level playing field, and for some children, music is the ONE thing with which they’d be especially successful. —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Building Music Understanding: New Music Educators blog, info for parents too STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: building-music-understanding-new-music-educators-blog-info-for-parents-too UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/building-music-understanding-new-music-educators-blog-info-for-parents-too.html DATE: 10/22/2006 03:41:34 PM —– BODY:
Hello. I'm Dr. Eric Rasmussen, music educator of everybody from babies and toddlers to music teachers and parents. I'm just getting started, but I'll be doing podcasts and answering questions for anyone whose interested. This blog is where I kick it all off.

So far, this is just one big experiment.

Questions I've found most people ask include:
  • When should my child start music lessons?
  • What can I do to develop my child's natural talent?
  • What if I don't sing in tune? Might not I damage my child's musical development?

Let me know if you have questions and comments.

Thanks for blogging with me.

—– EXTENDED BODY: —– EXCERPT: —– KEYWORDS: music, early, school, childhood, education, intelligence, learning, lessons, achievement, music education, teach, talent, differences, early childhood, teacher training, early childhood music, early childhood music education, music teaching, music teachers —– ——– AUTHOR: Dr. RizzRazz AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected] TITLE: Vox Tips & Tricks STATUS: Draft ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CONVERT BREAKS: wysiwyg ALLOW PINGS: 0 BASENAME: vox-tips-tricks UNIQUE URL: https://teachmusictokids.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/vox-tips-tricks.html DATE: 10/19/2006 09:24:51 AM —– BODY:

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