Chapter 9 Mini-Project

Choose four published sight-singing books and write a review to see if they would work in your curriculum.  Answer the following questions about each set of material:

“You’ve Got Rhythm” A complete method for Reading Rhythms by Anna Dembska and Joan Harkness

  1.  Are the materials specific to one method of teaching?

Yes. This book is specifically speaking rhythm rather than putting specific pitches to it.

  1.  Are the materials graded for difficulty?

Yes.

  1.  Is the material scaffolded appropriately?

Yes, the book increases in difficulty.

  1.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this materials?

The strength is that is connects using your words to rhythms which could help singing rhythms. However, that is also a weakness. Because you put no pitches to the rhythms there is that missed concept of learning to read leaps and pitches when sight reading.

  1.  Are the materials based in real music or specially composed exercies?

It seems to mostly be based on specifically composed exercises.

  1.  Do the materials feature a variety of rhythmic and melodic content?

There is rhythmic materials, however there is no melodic content.

“Five Minutes to Reading Music – A Roadmap to Musical Success FIVE MINUTES SERIES” by Jerry Estes

  1.  Are the materials specific to one method of teaching?

Somewhat. They mainly use Solfege to learn how to read pitches which is a specific teaching method. The way they use that differently is that without music notes attached to the solfege they will have passages like D R M R D, instead of putting it with notes directly above it. So there are some different methods of learning the solfege and reading pitches and leaps but it is limited to using Solfege.

  1.  Are the materials graded for difficulty?

Yes

  1.  Is the material scaffolded appropriately?

I think so. These don’t advance a ton within one book, however, these exercises are meant to take up 5 minutes of your class time, so they have to be somewhat slow when increasing difficult because of the little amount of time that a person is supposed to spend with the class.

  1.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this materials?

A weakness is that is only used solfege. Some individuals just dont get solfege. The strength is that it takes a short amount of time each class period. It slowly gets more difficult which makes sense with the time constraint. Another strength is that is starts with single part and turns into multiple parts.

  1.  Are the materials based in real music or specially composed exercies?

These materials are based on specifically composed exercises.

  1.  Do the materials feature a variety of rhythmic and melodic content?

There doesn’t seem to have much variety with rhythm. There are only quarter notes, eighth notes, and half notes. That is so boring! This is fine for trying to just get notes down, although, if you truly want to learn out to sight read you have to have every aspect. The melodic content become gradually different.

“The Independent Singer” by Richard Edstrom

  1.  Are the materials specific to one method of teaching?

No. There are basics that aren’t forgotten when working out of this book while still emphasizing new concepts.  

  1.  Are the materials graded for difficulty?

Yes

  1.  Is the material scaffolded appropriately?

Yes

  1.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this materials?

The weakness is that this book is only for Junior high and Senior high. The strength is that there are original exercises and “fine music reading materials”.

  1.  Are the materials based in real music or specially composed exercies?

Yes, there are both real music and specially composed exercies.

  1.  Do the materials feature a variety of rhythmic and melodic content?

Yes

“One-Minute Sight Singing” by Holly Shaw-Slabbinck and Ronald Slabbinck

  1.  Are the materials specific to one method of teaching?

This uses two methods, movable “Do” solfege and Curwen hand symbols.

  1.  Are the materials graded for difficulty?

Yes

  1.  Is the material scaffolded appropriately?

Yes

  1.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this materials?

The strengths are that there is theory that is introduced in this book. This also serves as a warm-up to sight reading. The weakness is that this is only a warm-up and not extensive pieces or exercises.

  1.  Are the materials based in real music or specially composed exercies?

Specially composed exercises

  1.  Do the materials feature a variety of rhythmic and melodic content?

Yes

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