Transfer student that is in book 4 and can’t read music

Shannon Farley said: Nov 28, 2012
Shannon Farley
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Madison, WI
11 posts

I just accepted a new violin transfer student who is in book 4. She has beautiful tone and good technique but her former teachers never really taught her how to read music! Are there any good music reading exercise books for an older student (she’s 15)??

Alissa said: Nov 29, 2012
Alissa Rieb
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
61 posts

The “Quick steps to note reading” books have worked for me in those
situations, followed up by learning harmonies or alternative styles. I
have found if they’re in orchestra it moves much faster, but if not, it
takes a long time if ever for their reading to truly catch up to the ear.

Alissa Rieb
ABQstrings

On Nov 28, 2012, at 11:55 PM, SAA Discussion
wrote:

New Comment on Transfer student that is in book 4 and can’t read music from
Shannon Farley
Transfer student that is in book 4 and can’t read
music

Shannon Farley said:

I just accepted a new violin transfer student who is in book 4. She has
beautiful tone and good technique but her former teachers never really
taught her how to read music! Are there any good music reading exercise
books for an older student (she

Barb said: Dec 2, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

I can’t answer your question regarding exercise books, but would suggest reading duets with her, or putting together an ensemble if she doesn’t have an orchestra to join. You could use things like Joanne Martin’s Folk Strings for violin Ensemble and William Starr’s Rounds and Canons.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 5, 2012
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

My thought would be lots of short easy sight reading plus systematic theory. I like to use Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory workbooks.

Gloria said: Dec 5, 2012
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
72 posts

“My thought would be lots of short easy sight reading books…”
I heard of the Minibooks, which you can see at minibooksmusic.com, at a workshop, and t hey are PERFECT certain situations. I will quickly add that they are for piano, but maybe the author (Kristine Gore) has something for strings, I do not know.
I like the little books a lot, and my students love them even more than I do!

Shannon Farley said: Dec 6, 2012
Shannon Farley
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Madison, WI
11 posts

Thank you everyone!

Rose Lander said: Jan 9, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
55 posts

i find that rhythm reading is the most challenging for all students (always a few exceptions). i have almost all of my students going through rhythmic training by starer. they should march the pulse, as that is so crucial.
i would have the student start with book I and “read ” all of the songs. stop freqently, point to another passage and decideif she can read the notes independently. after going through the songs by reading them, my favorite reading book is the Violinshule from budapest. it starts very slowly, and then there are wonderful duets and lots of new hungarian , gypsy rhythms.
i can’t imagine a student who cannot read basic music to be confronted with the vivaldis, much less the bach double!
cheers, rose lander

Michelle McManus Welch said: Jan 9, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Lindenhurst, IL
42 posts

What is the title for the rhythmic training book(s)? I have a college student who has studied about a year and yesterday correctly pinpointed his weakness to rhythm- counting he calls it, but it is a lack of rhythm experience. I’ve always worked on counting with him, but I think a separate book might be a good thing. I actually suggested that he walk to the rhythm of his piece yesterday to help him!

Michelle Mc Manus Welch

Paula Bird said: Jan 9, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

I use the rhythm training books by starer. I asked the student to continually tap the beat with a pencil in the left hand, and to tap the actual rhythmic pattern with a pencil in the right hand. It’s a little tricky for the student at first, but once they make the breakthrough and gain the insight, it works miracles. Stepping to the beat while playing is also an excellent idea.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio
http://teachsuzuki.blogspot.com (blog)
http://teachsuzuki.com (podcast)

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 9, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I believe the robert starer books is simply called “Rhythmic Training”. http://www.amazon.com/Rhythmic-Training-Instructional-Robert-Starer/dp/0881889768

There is also a “Basic Rhythmic Training”—http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Rhythmic-Training-Robert-Starer/dp/0881884499/ref=pd_sim_b_4/192-3095808-5176607

The “basic” is (I think) designed for slightly younger students? But the “rhythmic training” briefly covers in the first few chapters what the ‘basic’ book covers.

Gloria said: Jan 9, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
72 posts

Years ago Mark Bjork recommended this book, The Logical Approach to Rhythmic Notation, from Logical Publications, a division of Heritage Music Press. The author is Phil Perkins.
Maybe there are newer books around, but I have always liked it very much.

Pierre Yves Gagnon said: Jan 11, 2013
Pierre Yves GagnonViola, Violin
Oakville, ON
17 posts

Here are my thought about music reading,

The strength of the Suzuki method, (listening, learning by ear, proceeding with small steps, reviewing) is also its weakness when it comes to reading music. It is easier for a well trained Suzuki student to pick up a piece by ear then by reading it from a score. In my reading group class, I cannot help but to notice the weak readers watching the fingers of the stronger readers to “read” the song rather then by reading it from the score itself.

Regardless of the level of the students, one should not be afraid of going back to basics in order to teach reading. A bit like when a transfer students with poor playing habits comes through the door, good teachers have no hesitation to bring that student right back to Twinkle.
These are steps to consider to remediate reading issues.
Single note flash cards:
(Consider notes as letters of the alphabet, coming from a French background I could not use Every Good Boy Deserved Fudge with Do, Re, Mi to learn my notes. Build up the students speed of recognition.)
Four notes flash cards:
(Create your own or simply place four flash cards on a music stand. Ask students to read all four notes at once. You can ask them to name, play and/or sight sing the notes. Reading four notes at once is the same as reading words. Build up the student’s speed of recognition.)
Rythm flash cards:
(Create or ask your students to create four beat rhythm flash cards. Ask them to clap or play the rhythm on the flash card on an open string after seeing it briefly. You can string a group of flash cards on the music stand and do the same. Build up a deck of increasingly difficult rhythms. Always play or clap rhythms to a beat. “I can read music”by Joanne Martin is a great source of different rhythms.)
Simple melodies on one string:
(Choose simple melodies that can be played one string. Let the student become an expert in reading notes on the A string, E string, D string or G string)
Simple melodies on more then one string:
(There is wealth of music to choose from, I like to use melodies found in method books, fiddle tune or rounds that are appropriate to the reading level of the students)
Ensemble playing:
(Students involved in small or large ensembles learn to read faster because they have no choice but to read. There are no recordings of their parts.)

Reading is important when the student is ready to learn. This process takes time and persitence. However, it is too easy for teachers and students to get caught up with studying violin technique and learning pieces and to forget to include reading in the lesson plan. There is only one way to read music: read music every day and it becomes easier!

Pierre Y Gagnon

Kiyoko said: Jan 25, 2013
 84 posts

Hmm, sounds like me! Interval training helped me a lot. I don’t remember what books my teacher used, but learning intervals helped me transition from hearing/feeling what I was playing and correlating it to what was on the page.

This topic is locked. No new comments can be posted.

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services