Music reading games

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Barb said: Mar 20, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Essie asked about some simple music reading games in another post, but I thought it would be nice to start a new thread for sharing ideas.

One I do is, using Joanne Martin’s I Can Read Music books (I use the cello books, of course), I play a line and the student watches the page to see if he can tell which line I play. I do this at a level where they can be successful, but if they don’t get it correct the first time, we do it again. I let them take a turn too. :-) I cannot remember where this idea came from—probably someone here!

More ideas?

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

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Mar 27, 2013
 Violin
Albuquerque, NM
19 posts

Hello Barb,
Here is some very simple games I do.
I like doing lots of activities with note and rhythm cards in private and group classes. One is making a line in front of the door. The students need to name the note or they “shall not pass” If they don’t get it right, then they go to the end of the line.
When the students get to the end of the Joan Martin book, I want them to go back and review previous exercises. I ask them to close their eyes and open the book on a random page. Then with their eyes still closed they point at one of the exercises. Whichever one the child gets to, they need to play it. For the second turn, the parent picks a page for them. Most students like that quite a bit.
Catch the mistake—the teacher plays a line and makes a mistake with pitch or rhythm. The student needs to catch the mistake and correct it by playing it the right way.

Essie Liu said: Mar 28, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
26 posts

Thank Barb for spreading the thread, and thank you and Maria for sharing. I like the idea of matching what they hear to what they see, which is an excellent way to transform as well as to strengthen the both learning abilities. Maria, I think your reading-games are also very effective review-games. They are challenging for kids but it seems not complicated at all. I really like that.

So you both are using the book I Can Read Music. I’m wondering if it includes any instructions or there’s only sheet music inside. By the way, what do you like about the book? Maybe I will check it out.

Barb said: Mar 28, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

What I like about the books is that they separate rhythm reading from pitch reading. Big notes, easy to see. Spiral bound, sits nicely on stand even though there are about 100 pages. The teachers’ notes show clearly in which lesson each new element is introduced. They are well set up for sequential teaching.

There is an introduction for teacher/parent at the beginning talking about how to use the book, and as each pitch or rhythmic element is introduced it is diagrammed at the top of the page. For instance, lesson one for cello shows open D and E (1 on D) on the pitch page, and 2 quarters = 1 half on the rhythm page—with the notes on the staff for the pitch side and 2 quarter notes and a half note drawn on the rhythm side. There are 50 lessons, each with 5 lines for rhythm and 5 lines for pitch. (Just realized if you follow the link in my first post you do get to see one page of the first and second lessons on “Look inside”!)

Book 2 still introduces new rhythms on open strings, but then combines rhythm and pitch and is mostly in duet form. Includes a lot from reviewing the basics to syncopation, different time signatures, offbeats, slurs, etc. 100 lessons. The book says if the student has some reading experience and can play around the end of book 2 they may be ready for this book. Otherwise it is for following book 1.

I bought the books after seeing them mentioned on this forum!

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

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Mar 28, 2013
 Violin
Albuquerque, NM
19 posts

I feel that it is a good book to start young students on reading. As Barb said, the pitches and rhythms are introduced very systematically. It is easy for the students to begin leaning and navigate through it. However, as the lessons are separated between pitch and rhythm, I find that some students have a harder time combining the two concepts later on. This is why I also supplement with other activities while they are still in the first volume.

Essie Liu said: Mar 29, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
26 posts

It sounds great. Thanks for your recommendation. I just checked the two volumes out. Looking forward to them!

Joelle said: Apr 11, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Cello
Columbus, IN
1 posts

I also use that book for the Cello and really recommend it, however I am urgently looking for something similar for the piano suitable for a child towards the end of book 1. Any suggestions?

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