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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future

Dr. Pattye Casarow Clearwater Christian College

I.

Introduction A. What the Research Says 1. No one system has emerged from the research as most effective. 2. Teacher attitude and consistent instruction appear to be stronger influences on sightsinging than the system used. 3. Instrumental participation is a much stronger predictor of sight-singing achievement than vocal ensemble participation. 4. A strong relationship exists between sight-singing ability and regular structured lessons, possibly sessions as short as two minutes. 5. Individual assessment and accountability appears to promote individual musicianship. 6. A consistent pedagogical continuity from elementary to high school may be a means to greater sight-singing achievement. B. Sight-Singing Systems Used in the US 1. Intervallic Recognition System

2. Seven-Syllable Fixed Do System

3. Chromatic Fixed Do with Solfege

4. Fixed Letter Names

5. Moveable Numbers

6. Moveable Do, La-Based Minor*

7. Moveable Do, Do-Based Minor

II.

Identify and Prioritize A. Rhythm B. Pitch

III.

Two to Five Minute Lessons A. Rhythmic Training 1. Start with simple rhythms; build from where the students are. (see pages 5-9) 2. Read rhythms using syllables (ta, ti-ti, etc.) (see page 3) 3. Give rhythmic dictations. Quiz periodically. (see page 10) a. Listen carefully. b. Write what you do know. c. Dont get bogged down with one note. d. Keep filling in on repetitions. e. Think rhythm syllables. 4. Have students clap and speak rhythms.

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

B. Pitch Training 1. Use some system consistently; provides foundation and anchor points. 2. Start with pentatonic scale. Use Curwen hand signs for your kinesthetic and visual learners. 3. Master steps and frequently used intervals first. 4. Moveable Do System 5. Progressively more complex: a. Solfege with hand signs and chart (see page 11) b. Solfege off the staff with rhythmic notation (see page 13) c. Solfege on the staff (Key of C only) with rhythmic notation (see page 14) d. Teach how to name and find do (Treble/Bass, line/space note names, sharps/flats, key signatures (see page 15) e. Solfege in various keys (see page 17) f. LOTS OF PRACTICE! (see page 18-19) 6. Give melodic dictations. Quiz periodically. (see page 20) 7. Quiz individual sight singing as often as possible (record in separate room; listen to individuals while others in the class work on test or projects; have students team up and listen to each other).

HAVE THE STUDENTS READ EVERYTHING IN THEIR MUSIC THAT THEY CAN POSSIBLY READ, EVEN IF ITS ONLY A MEASURE OR TWO AT FIRST. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Rhythmic Sequence as Suggested by the Kodly Method


Simple Meter Compound Meter

ta ti-ti ta rest tiri-tiri ta-ah syn-co-pa ta-ah-ah ta-ah-ah-ah tiri-ti ti-tiri tri-o-la tai ti ti tai tim-ri ri-tim

q sd Q xxxc wW aqa t e xcd sxc ssd ra ar gc vh

ti-ti-ti ta-ti tai tiri ti-ti

ssd qar xcdd

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Examples of Kodly Rhythm Syllables

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Name ____________________________________

RHYTHMIC DICTATION

1. _______________________________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________________________________________________

5. _______________________________________________________________________________________

6. ________________________________________________________________________________________

7. ________________________________________________________________________________________

8. ________________________________________________________________________________________

9. _______________________________________________________________________________________

10. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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PENTATONIC SCALE: do re mi so la

DIATONIC SCALE: do re mi fa so la ti do

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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CHROMATIC SOLFGE SYMBOLS

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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ORDER OF SHARPS: Fresh Carrots Go Down Awfully Easy Boiled ORDER OF FLATS: Bugs Eat All Dead Grass Cut Fine

LAST SHARP IS TI

LAST FLAT IS FA

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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____________________________________ Name APPLYING SOLFEGE Instructions: 1. Determine where do is. 2. Label the solfege syllables above the notes. 3. Speak and clap the rhythms using tas and ti-tis, etc. 4. Sight sing the tunes using solfege. 5. Sing the tunes with the words.

Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow

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Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal: Investing in the Future Dr. Pattye Casarow