All About Clefs
Friday, August 18, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | OCMS, theory, parents,
When my students are first working with the Grand Staff, they are often confused about the placement of the various clefs.
In piano music, we generally use only the G-clef (Treble clef - not "trouble clef" as some think!) and the F-clef (Bass clef) I try to show students how the curvy part of the G-clef wraps around the G above middle C and the F-clef looks sort of like an F marking the F below middle C. I draw out G and F on the staff to show how these could have looked.
Originally, instead of a special clef symbol, the reference line of the staff was simply labeled with the name of the note it was intended to bear: F and C and, more rarely, G. These were the most often-used 'clefs' in Gregorian chant notation. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Over time the shapes of these letters became stylized, leading to their current versions.
Help Your Kids with Theory
Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | OCMS, theory, book, parents, CD,
I have ordered this book and CD combo for the music studio so parents can check it out to see if it would be useful for them to buy for home use. If any of the studio parents have this book already, please let me know what you think. Thanks!
My copy came today and it looks fantastic. I am considering ordering some for the studio for parents. The list price is $19.95 plus tax and shipping but I can get it for $17.00 including tax and shipping. Please let me know if you'd like a copy - or you can borrow mine a week or so to see if you think it would be helpful.
From Amazon: Help Your Kids with Music is a step-by-step visual guide to music theory and is the perfect primer to help students gain a solid foundation in music, no matter their age, skill level, or instrument. Help Your Kids with Music clearly explains key concepts in five step-by-step chapters:
- The Basics explains the types of instruments, notation for keyboard and stringed instruments, the "musical alphabet," and counting a beat.
- Rhythm covers the length of notes and rests, as well as basic rhythms and meters, phrasing, syncopation, tempo, and using a metronome.
- Tone and Melody includes everything a student needs to know about tones and how they work together to build a melody.
- Chords and Harmony shows how intervals work together and includes examples for horn and woodwind instruments.
- Form and Interpretation helps students understand how musical form can aid appreciation and interpretation for classical, jazz, blues, and other musical styles.
NoteWorks for Android and iOS
Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Mary O'Connor | apps, OCMS, note reading, Android, iPhone, iPad,
There's a new app in the studio! It's called NoteWorks and it looks like it will be fun for the students. NoteWorks is an engaging, fun game, designed to teach note reading. Beginners use NoteWorks as a terrific alternative to flash cards. More advanced students use the full version to practice key signatures with up to seven sharps and flats in multiple clefs. Kids love the app because it's fun and addictive. Teachers and parents love how the game improves students' note recognition and sight reading skills. If you want this for home use, it's available for iPhone, iPad and Android. The cost for the full version for home use is a one time fee $4.99, directly in the app. More info at https://doremiworld.com/Games/NoteWorks I already have my students set up so we can use this during lessons, but let me know if you plan to use this at home and I'll give you the code to connect to the studio account. The objective of this game is to teach note recognition and improve sight reading skills. Game options include treble and bass clefs (with the grand staff option) as well as tenor and alto clefs.