The supervision of the teaching of music in the elementary grades

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The supervision of the teaching of music in the elementary grades

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#t wngfti WESTERN COLLEGE ^a.-jHi: .lit-*--,u^. * BiainlnIM P. 15$* 15Ihid,» p. 153.

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27 It is improbable that anyone would seriously dispute the fact that music, considered as intelli­ gible discourse, embodies degrees of emotion and shades of meaning analogous to poetry and drama, which, escape the attention of all who are unfamiliar with its vocabulary and idioms, its structure and design, its rhythmic, thematic, harmonic and dynamic means of development, Admittedly then, music is a language that appeals directly, not only to the motor senses and to the emotional centers, but also, quite distinctly to the Intellectual faculties of those who have learned to listen or to perform with that fine discrimination which differentiates the lovers of good literature from the devotees of cheap doggerel. Three important inferences must be drawn in com­ paring the development of language and that of music. First, that in all languages words have no intrinsic or inherent meaning, but only those assigned to them and accepted by a general consent and custom. Second, that in the course of centuries, the laws of simpli­ city and euphony prevail* The tendency through the centuries has been to shorten the 'Names for Tones' The third, and most remarkable Inference 1st The young acquire the use of their mother tongue with little difficulty by imitating and constant use. The laws of learning are in evidence and we will do well to heed them when we devise methods by which children shall l e a m the language of music, The question 1st Is music a languagef If so, what is its nature and how shall It be acquired? The histo­ ry of music and its evaluation, the attempts of philo­ sophers and scientists to organise it, and the work of creative geniuses answers these questions* I might say I am thinking of a major triad in its root position in the ascending order of root, third and fifth* This requires twenty-five English syllablesi but how well you understand thisi Bo - mi - so, provided only that you have accepted this Tone Word of Three Roots as representing exactly this tonal relationship and no other* The same logic applies to all tone groups as it applies to words in all languages* No simpler names have ever been, nor ever can be devised, whoever attempts it is in com­ petition with out greatest scholars that civiliza­ tion has ever produced* It is the simplified product of 2500 years (since 600 B. C.) of concentrated think­ ing by men who knew how to think. Inflections like Ri- for le sharp and We- for ml flat cover all chro­ matic possibilities within the prevailing key. C is

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28 merely the name for a fixed pitch, as Jones for a given person. But C say fee considered as any one of twelve chromatic tones, as Jones say fee in turn brother, husfeand, etc., in human relationships, This is the real function of the aovable syllablesj to indicate tonal relationships* The use of syllables may fee safely dropped in elementary schools after their use has become auto­ matic in tonal thinking, provided the music does not modulate to remote keys* The study of advanced sight singing is hampered by a fixed Bo, the modulatory limitations of Movable Bo and the futility of the 'Bu-Lu* Method. This might be remedied by adapting some system of vocally inflected letter names. . , . It is important to remember that from the earliest attempts to organize musical sounds it was indispensa­ ble that Names for Tones should be found, for, without names for things, no clear thinking is possible. It was this same need for signs, names and characters to represent things and meanings that impelled the invention of languages, numbers, letters, as well as musical names and notation. Without names, no sci­ entific knowledge is possible* Consider radar, the telephone, etc. We can have no transfer of experi­ ence from race to race Or from generation to gener­ ation. It is to prove this fundamental principle that we have sighted the origin and evolution of language and of music as a means of expression. We have faults and limitations in a study of our modern languages such as 'pear and pair,* Our simplest device to Indicate order of succession is fey the use of numbers. The next simplest Is the alphabet, as used by the ancient Breaks, but these designate only the name of the old Aeolian as our natural minor mode and only in one key. Clearly it is impossible to sing numbers chromatically altered or even diatonic pitch names rhythmically in flat or sharp keys. We can't think C# and sing it C. leering rhythmic difficulties, amateurs would have to learn fifteen sets of letter names for the major keys and fifteen more for the minor keys. This ut­ terly defeats the object of names for associating tonal relationships. And what shall we say to the No-Bo people who would throw overboard all methods of definite tonal thinking and take us back to the blissful effortless enjoyment of our ancestors? No scientific progress has ever been possible in any field of experience without generic and specific names. Bo we want to

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29 think of strawberries, oranges, etc., as simply fruit? Would you say that persons Ignorant of the names of birds derived greater enjoyment from nature than an ornithologist? No progress could have been possible in this science without the minutest differentiations as to species and the Invention of names for the®. Consequently advocates of neutral syllables have little ground to stand on, if it is conceded that music education must develop power along with pleasure. If our children are to obtain the ability independently to acquire their musical heritage as It is inculcated In its literature, it must be brought about by training them to hear and think, sing and play, read and write in the idioms conventionally used in expressing music. It is frequently stated, ’the learning of sylla­ bles requires too much effort,’ ’they stand between the children and their enjoyment of music,’ but this should be remembered; that nothing worth knowing or having is acquired without effort; that the proper use of language must be learned; that the uses of numbers must be mastered; that skills must be practiced; that the aesthetic sense must be culti­ vated if we want a state of culture* The barbarian does none of these and hence is a savage. Only by concentration and thinking has our own race lifted Itself to civilisation. As John Dewey says, ’It is the function of the school to direct pupils’ oral and written speech, used for social and practical ends, so that it shall gradually become a conscious tool of conveying know­ ledge and assisting thought.’ This same statement applies as forcefully to music as to spedch. Teachers are the living representatives of these scientists and philosophers. It is up to them to impart the languages, literatures, sciences and arts to their youthv^T Perhaps the music teacher has a harder task than the inglish teacher*

The musician knows that the student

who is a poor sight reader is badly handicapped in obtain­ ing full enjoyment and understanding of music.

■^Miessner, oj>. cit». p. 152.

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30 Mr, Seashore tells ms that musical talent Is a gift bestowed very unequally upon individuals,

ttIt is

not a single talent but a hierarchy of talents,”


his intelligence tests he has found that one pupil has a strong intellectual response while another has a motor reaction, 18 there are no pure image types.

Probably all persons

have some degree of capacity for imagery in all senses, the most common type Is visual.

It is up to the educators to

study and develop these possibilities as they affect sight reading, Mr* Mursell says: Syllables and other devices should be used to build up a 'mental effect* an awareness of the tonic with the other elements of the scale clustering around it In a system of relationships, the.Whole thing being indicated by the key signature,*19 Those Who Do Wot Favor These Syllables Research reveals that there are persons who are not in sympathy with the use of syllables,


following quotations indicate their opinions: We must not make a fetish of the use or avoid­ ance of syllables* Much heat and precious light has been generated by debates on this point. • , ,

l8Seashore, «&, clt.. p. 102, ^Mursell,

clt,. p. 243.

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31 The decisive question about any technical learning is whether the learner can relate It to his actual musical experience, If he can, it is of benefit to him*2® "Syllables have not yet been thrown overboard and encouragement should be given to both sides* research must be done*


Probably neither side will

establish itself.^1 Mr* Kalwasser*s comments in the following paragraph are noteworthy: The only kind of note reading that has any social utility is proficient note readingj and proficient note reading is only rarely developed for the important reason that we have not yet learned to teach it profici­ ently, If we are to develop a science of music peda­ gogy, we must resort to experimentation under rigidly controlled conditions* As a result of tests, we find that notational knowledge Is acquired twice as fast in the primary grades as it is in the higher grades. The acquisition of notational knowledge is so slow as to reflect discredit on the present status of music pedagogy. Children are unable to recognize songs by sight which they know by sound with any degree of efficiency,2® In a modern book. On Minas g£ Song in


room* Miss Hood states: Both sol-fa syllables and numbers are suggested in each lesson* It is better to use either syllables or numbers but not both, when the first reading is dene*83

^ I b l d ** p. 34. 21lacob Kalwasser, Testa &£d ffeaTOtllfllfeg M k p. 89* 22Ibld. ^Marguerite V. Hood, gn Wings & room* p. 25*

M M Mk

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32 Music ha® been successfully taught without the ms# of syllable®| though it doe® not seem very easy to do* the threefold argument against sylla­ bles Isi 1* Meaningless and routine; 2. It takes time which could be better devoted to other things (rote and singing more songs)? 3, Avoids awkward transfer from syllable naifs to letters which is apt to present a p r o b l e m * 24 Instrumentation may be the answer, as an instru­ ment defines the notes far more clearly than the human voice and makes syllables unnecessary and starts from beginning with letter names, When sylla­ bles are used plus instruments, the transfer from syllables to letter names is made very much easier, there is no need_|o cling to any one approach, as all have values,^ In yet another book we find* It is a singularly strange circumstance that no on© has attempted in this connection the type of analysis which seems necessary for gaining a rather complete knowledge of basic principles of linguistic learning and an understanding of the procedures in teaching music which grow out of such knowledge. A child will grasp a musical phrase as a whole with n© separate notes. When a teaching practice is used which is in accord with the principles of linguistic learning and when other facts about good learning are observed, children will readily learn to read music with facility,26 It is not true to say a score is so complex children can not read it. It is far less so than any modern language, There is no reason why the school ©an not turn out a great many more success­ ful readers than they are doing at the present tim©»2? fhere can not be the slightest question that musical illiteracy Is a tremendous handicap and a potential limitation upon the use and enjoyment of music• It is all too true that reading as ordinarily exemplified in the average elementary school is not very practically taught. There Is far too much ^.Mursell, jg», clt,. p. 25t.

25lbid. 2%arian Brooks and Harry Brown, Music Education in H a Elementary Schools, p. 250, 2T|Wt«#Il, an*

I** P* 236,

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33 attention to detail. If we shut off the reading process entirely, we ignore many of its essential activities and outcome, If a definite pleasure in the work at hand is absent from the music lesson, no amount of drill will achieve the desired objectives, the mastery of technical problems should not be undertaken un­ less there is need for such mastery in the songs at hand and unless that need is apparent to the stu­ dents. Some teachers have emphasized the Importance of sight reading ability on the assumption that it opens up the whole range of musical literature, there may be some Justification for this attitude if the students come to junior High with consider­ able reading skill. But if, as so often happens, this is not the case, the training in the Junior High School will scarcely make sight readers of them.29 Mr, Campbell gives yet another slant on sight reading* the chief difficulty in sight reading lies in rapidly moving eye or sight nerves and the slow functioning motor nerves. Music reading should be begun early in life* the first as well as all later sight reading should be done by positions to make a single nerve transmit from a note, without any name, to a key, according to Professor James, takes one-tenth of a second, to make the complex act re­ quired to see a note, then name it, and then find the key requires one and one-half to two seconds— from fifteen to twenty times as long as to sight read,. Children must read by position if with facility.30

28Ibld., p. m b * 29john W. Beattie, Osbourne McConathy, and Kussell V. Morgan, M § i c in l&g £ m m M M k M & S & * P* 66* Leroy B. Campbell,^Finding the Path to Better Sight l e a d i n g F e b r u a r y , 1930, p. H .

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3^ Those Who Do Hot Assume Either of the Preceding Extremes Before offering an effective use of syllables and numbers in teaching children to read music the writer wishes to submit ©pinions and ideas of prominent contempo­ rary musicians and teachers evaluating the use of syllables« In this research, letters were written to distinguished musicians, of noted musical institutions and organizations in the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern parts of the malted States asking them their ©pinion of the use of syllables as used in the teaching of sight reading in music, hoping to arrive at a consensus of opinion about modern methods,

Their opinions, briefed from their o-

riglnal letters are submitted belowi 1.

larvard diversity* fees numerals first; in fourth and fifth grade uses syllables because lovelier tones are possible,


Cleveland Institute of Music, Uses letter names as syllables; use of syllables becomes a duplication of the process,

Northwestern University, Uses syllables and advocates much practice in their usage.

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35 4.

Michigan State Normal. Heartily approves of the use of syllables. "From studies, experiments, conferences and debates 1 have learned that the majority of sound music teachers advocate their usage."


Vuillard School of Music.

(Three professors’

opinions). A.

Syllables difficult to learn but having been mastered, increase sight reading ability.


Does not approve of either syllables or numbers because of modulation.


Intervals, C.

Approves the use of syllables or any other device that will help sight read­ ing, such as syllables, letter names cr numbers.



Stresses motivation.

Choir College,

Questions the use of syllables. pitch and rhythm.


Taps rhythm and memorizes

intervals, 7.

University of Pittsburgh. Syllables work when the teacher knows how to use them.

Instrumental training used and

sight reading.

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36 8*

State Teachers ©allege, Potsdam, Hew York* Approves heartily of the use of syllables and much drill#


Rochester, Hew York Public Schools# A#

Uses numbers instead of syllables; stresses intervals#

In one practice school Rochester uses syllables because of cadet teachers who may need to use syllables in other City Schools, but feel that syllables stand between the child and music. Ad-* vacates the use of numbers,


Curtis Institute of Music.

Philadelphia, Penn#

Approves the use of syllables.

Students are

given a choice of syllables or letters and It is found at the end of a certain time syllables are preferred by practically everyone. ■ 11#

Wo m a n s College of the University of Horth Carolina* Intervals Important*

Students fall back on

use of syllables for a difficult passage if they have ever used them.

Any method

is successful if one has the will to learn. Much practice is necessary.

Uses both

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37 numbers and syllables and has very little choice between the two. 12.

Chosley Kills Studios# Los Angeles# California. “Students who have studied Solfege in this country have gained nothing that helps the® In the slightest degree in instru­ mental work*

The glaring fault is in the

inefficient manner Solfege is taught." 13.

University of Southern California. Does not use syllables, but uses numbers• Approves of reading music as language is read.


A ITiter for The Etude Magazine. formerly of Oberlin College, Ohio. Approves of the use of syllables.


Lara J. Heggard# Improving Music Reading in the Choral Rehearaal.

A study prepared for

the Fred Waring Studio.

Views will be found

In the following chapter. The writer has tried to give an unbiased discussion of the free and Cons of the use of syllables and numbers in the teaching of sight reading in music. The discarding of syllables has not been urged nor has it been shown that they are the coming thing.

The issue is not settled by any mess s.

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Rochester, Hew York, has an outstanding Public School Music Program, worthy of considering in the next chapter, which will also contain excerpts from Mr, Lara Haggard*s thesis on improving music reading.

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CHAPTER IV TWO SELECTED PROGRAMS FOR IMPROVING SIGHT READING IN MUSIC la order to make this study more objective, two well known, highly respected programs have been selected for brief presentation here*

These programs ares


Rochester Primary Course of Study in Music, and Lara 0* Hoggard1s thesis entitled “Improving Music in the Choral Rehearsal," written for the Fred Waring office. It may prove helpful to study in detail shat Rochester, New York, advocates in their Primary Course of Study in Music.

The fact that they believe in the

use of numbers, then intervals, but not syllables, is of Interest,

The writer will discuss the division of

their fields of Literature, Art, and Music into Units or Centers of Interest, as it relates to music. Rochester Program The Centers of Interest which Rochester names in their Course of Study ares •Our City,1 ‘The Farm, • *0ur Need for Food, Cloth­ ing and Shelter,1 *Home and School Interest,‘ Hornes of feople Far Away.• Under fHome and School Interest• for example are listed the following unitss I. II.

Home and Surroundings. Family Life and Pets.

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III. flowers and flants at Home and at Sohool, IV, Use San Weather and seasons, V* the family at Home. VI, the Sohool Family and the Sohool, VII, toed times at Home and at sohool, VIII. Special ©ays and Holidays. tkider these unite are listed speoial or explicit songs to be taught, for example? Oilt I * Home and Surroundings. .Bfhe:SQuirrel,** (2) Bentley, p. to

p, II* "The Buck and the turkey* (2) Child lend n Song and Hhvthm, Book II, p* 28. A aihy p ^ T 22)^ lHeidlinger e ^ l l n g e r tt Small Senas for Small Singers. p. p. little i^eww*r(I)r»3BC Idna* Bunas


ItJPlJliSr *\% ) Warn, Bdruu Sonaa Jg In f t a * M a a M r ( $ ) Shaw, Bdnas Songa J g sl^f - f * ^3* 'Mlatresswwyw{2 ) Smith, Eleanor: Song .Bavloaa and Singles. p. 19*1, H«i^s fairly difficult Means easy. Ieoh Center of Interest is accompanied by a list


Qualitative Standards and Quantitative Standards*


exameles Qualitative Standards. Standard W w ^99* 1.

1 •*

Attainment ^WPi p ^ .Im i lP I .R i»w•

Intensify feeltngreaetton to song form through diagraming by ear and eye*

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41 2.

Be able to sing selected songs In the most musical manner. 3. Be able to scan and tap songs using the rhythmic figures Involved. 4* Recognize by sight and by sound and by figures simple intervals of a second and a third* 5. Begin to follow music from the book. 6. Compare songs for measure, signature and mood* 7. Be able to recognise walking notes (quarters), running notes (eighths), long notes (half, e dotted half, whole). 8. Develop feeling for the scale by singing with neutral syllables and numbers. 9. Be able to sing the reading song in classi­ fication three (3) using figures and words. 10. Be able to respond bodily to various kinds of rhythm. 11. Be able to read the quarter, eighth pattern in a book by the use of the words 'walk,1 'long,* 'run.1 12. Be able to sing the art-rote songs not used for reading material. Standard X % - Additional Attainment 1 3 - 1 4 . Sing alone and in small groups Sing from memory.

Standard I •* Minimum Attainment . 1. 2. 3. ,

Elimination of all monotones (except ex­ treme cases). Cover the reading material in Book X as as outlined in Methods and Processes. Learn the indicated rote songs, p. 13 , s l m M pm -

Standard II - Additional Attainment 4. 4.

Learn seasonal songs and other rote songs appropriate for Third Year.

Creative rhythm, Polk Dances, Rhythmic dames, Drama­ tization and Toy Bands arelisted as Rhythmic Work.

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42 listening habit Is given as the first step toward Appreci­ ation*

The use of phonograph records is recommended. in listing tone work it is suggested that low

voices (monotones) be discovered but not segregated. Work with them daily matching tones by means of blowing whistle and sliding the voice as a siren. Later a group of tones taken from a known song may be used as a low voice drill. Since each of the songs in the outline has been listed in its relation to the others, the author wants the exact list followed. Slow groups may hear the songs but possibly not learn them* In no case should the song problems of the outline be sacrificed. In conducting rote songs the teacher should use the legitimate beat, four-four, two - four or three four* This gives the child excellent training in following a conductor, which is a skill particularly valuable in glee club and orchestra work. The chil­ dren may give rhythmic response to the teachers' singing* Under “general Suggestions” are given these Ideass Rotation is an arbitrary form of record or plan for written representation. It is not the embodi­ ment of music itself. Whatever sight-reading or Intellectual processes take place must be subordi­ nated to the feeling reaction which is, after all, real music. • . . Reading music is a by-product of musical development. The training of the senses differs from the training of the intellect (sightreading). Success in teaching music Is not Judged by how many songs children can read, nor how fluently they can read, but should be Judged by what has hap­ pened to the child musically. Intervals must become differences in sound, *a close sound,' or 'a far sound*1 These sounds when attended by their techni­ cal re-enforcement will come to mean a definite heari m & S g 4! ?

SPSlSi ^

eight reading. It is al-c brought out that Unity, Continuity, Balance and Proportion stimulate musical feeling.

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*3 expressive process is brought about by imitation, memory and notation (independent singing from notation is also imitative singing). the songs when first sung are tunes not tones*

In discussing '‘Form Analysis" it is stated

that a form outline on the black board is a necessary ex­ perience*

In the beginning not much stress is placed on


The phrase and motive structure may be graphi­

cally represented on the black board in fora outline. The "germ theme" Is the first motive* rhythmic and melodic relations#

It has in It all the It creates a demand for

repetition which Is satisfied by the creation of a second motive, then a near return to the first phrase and a cumu­ lative effect in the close of the song. In giving "special Suggestions" this outline appears * 1. 2. 3. 4.


The teacher sings to the children and draws the phrase lines on the board. The children recognise like phrases by ear and letter the phrases already written on the . board* Gall attention to ‘swinging movement* six-eight. He-sing the songs putting books in the children*s hands, showing the® how to follow the notes phraaewise* familiarise the class with the terms, staff, line, space, note. By continually reainging the songs, develop . the following ideas; a. Recognize running, walking and long notes. b» Recognize the directions of note move­ ments, on the printed page, c. ialn familiarity with measure signature by having part of the class sing, the balance of the class count (known songs only)* find songs containing similar or contrasting measure signature and mood.

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44 d.


Re-enforce pitch movement by asking the class to picture tune with hand motions while the teacher slowly sings the known song. e. Show the children how to follow the notes in more detail (Re-sing with neutral syllables - loo and la). After presenting three or four of the above songs by ear recognition present the remain­ ing number by eye recognition. Before the song is sung put the books in the hands of the class and proceed to diagram from ob­ servation of like and unlike phrases as in­ dicated above. The teacher may then sing the songs to the children while they follow in the books»

At this time the scale is put on the board and sung with neutral syllables and figures. *Independent Sight Singing* now follows by this methodt 1. 2. 3.

4. 5.

Class diagram by sight. Scan and tap the songs (Teacher scanning first phrase, children repeating and finishing the song). Use words 'walk,* ’run* and 'long.* Teacher sings the first phrase very slowly with numbers. The children follow while she does so. The children repeat the phrase Just sung and continue independently to the end of the song. After two or three songs sung with figures, sing the next few with words. Children should follow accurately under the notes. When taking a new song mention the fact that 'one' is located in the first space or on the first line when there is one sharp or one flat. Keys are learned entirely by association. Children should know that intervals are steps. Pupils should know that 1 - 3 - 5 are skips of a third. Teach key chord by rote. When sight-singing the songs for the first time take them very slowly. This will cause some deviation from pitch, but do not correct at this time.

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Re-establish the pitch before the ing. In slower moving classes it sary to put the song on the board through with neutral vowel - la* is successfully done, re-sing the the book*!

next sing­ may be neces­ and sing When this song from

Lara Hoggard’s thesis for the Fred Waring Office Lara Hoggard*s thesis does not give a sight reading method or course but presents a collection of ideas and de­ vices that a director may use to produce better sight readers in his chorus* there were three classifications of applicants for Fred Waring *s chorus before these findings were published: 1* 2. 3*

Classification of 1000 auditlonees according to reading ability. Classification of 582 audltionees who indicated some training on the college or conservatory level* . Rating of 1000 applicants according to voice proficiency.

Host of these men had good voices but were unable to demonstrate their talents and ability or procure posi­ tions because most auditions required sight reading.


course was originally Instigated by the American Theatre wing when asked by the Veteran’s Administration to provide veterans with refresher courses. 2 upon to set up these courses.

Mr. Waring was called

% o a r d of Education, Rochester . N. Y. Study: Kindergarten Primary Promotional Unit. 1 Lara fit. Hoggard, "Improving Music in the Choral Rehearsal,"19^7, p. 3*

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46 in most choral societies reading is done in a fambling sort of way and each part is thumped out separa­ tely on the piano.

This takes such a tremendous amount

of time that only a few numbers can be sung in a year. An argument is given here against "State Championship" school organizations: namely that township people de­ mand so much time be spent

on contest numbers that

little else is done throughout the year. An example Is given of a non-reading group of amateurs requiring two months of daily one-hour re­ hearsals in order to give a finished performance of Brahm ‘8 "Requiem" as compared with a literature group who rehearsed the work for only two weeks. group learned by the tedious rote method, sight reading.

The first the second did

One would not think of having actors on

the stage who could not read their lines j nor an orches­ tra which had to be taught by rote. Mr. Hoggard believess It is possible to maintain high standards of per­ formance while at the same time devoting the rehearsal period toward the goal of developing reading ability which in turn facilitates the acquisition of an ex­ tensive repertory.3 4

Out of 100 application forms examined,only one and seven-tenths percent were classed as highly profici­ ent readers. Twelve percent were classed as musically

^Ibid», p , 2 *

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Illiterate* each and all were seeking employment as pro­ fessional musicians,

This is the chart showing classi­

fication of 1000 auditions according to reading ability. Hating I*



Number Excellent Independent readers whose skill paralleled that of professional orchestra musicians *


Read simple material well but confused by unusual intervals, key changes and complex rhythms*


lead fairly well, but made many mis­ takes ; helpless without the piano.


Demonstrated very slight ability to read*


Could not read at all,


Five hundred eighty-two specified either college or con­ servatory music training*

Figure 2 chart shows in the

same manner that no applicant with college background was totally deficient in reading ability but nearly eleven percent were given a rating of IF (very slight ability to read) while sixty-nine percent were rated 111 (Many mistakes and dependent upon the piano to keep them going)*

The findings in this Figure were I - fifteen;

II - one hundred and three; III - four hundred and one; I? sixty three; V -aero. It was stated that voice students generally re­ ceive three distinct types of instruction; techniques of tone production, the development of the instrument, and

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the building of the usual repertory of art songs.


student must learn to sight-read elsewhere, the voice is all that matters.

Figure (3) three shows the relation­

ship between good voice and good musicianship (including the ability to read music). Figure three Eating of 1000 applicants according to voice proficiency* Rating


I. II.


Excellent singer, beautiful voice, completely adequate.


good| voice well trained, but not altogether exceptional; some minor faults in quality, range or in­ tonation.


Fair; some objectionable faults.


Poor; definitely unpleasant and un musical. Pitifuli hopeless go many courses in Solfeggio are dry tireless drills, notation studies, Internal and triad combinations, at cetera.

Choral directors feel their applicants want

to sing for the joy of singing and do not care to go into the theory*

In this, they are partially correct. But Mr.

Hoggard feels very strongly that it is the duty of every music teacher not only to teach prescribed materials and skills in his class but to seek ways of relating that work to the ideal of developing competent well-rounded musicians

5Ibid.. p. 5

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who can use with facility and ease the symbols employed In written music* Study and drill on the formation of scales, or key signatures etc*, or the time values of certain notes alone or in combination, with little regard for their real relationship to the total process of reading music, gives very little help to the reader*

After all this drill, the

student still remarks, "Why can't I read music?" A written questionnaire, was given these thousand men* ferent background.

followed by an audition

Each one had a very dif­

Only one of the sixty men who consti­

tuted the total enrollment of the four sessions could at the time be called Independent sight reader.

Out of all

this, music reading developed out of the choral activities. Heading music was stressed by reading*

psychological order

of learning and not logical learning paid dividends. "When a difficult situation arises, Isolate and concentrate on it*"

the student must see the need for the Immediate knowledge,

this same statement was made in my fourth chapter. wonders with any age student.

It wodc s

The real foundation for read­

ing must rest in living musical experiences with tone and rhythm.

The material used for drill was taken directly

from the music rehearsed by the group.

All devices used

were "musical experiences possessing form and order."


material was selected so that every possible problem would

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50 be included during the tern*

’’Wholes" or phrases were

stressed so that "Hote-wise" reading was eliminated. Students were reprimanded for bad tone quality or for wrong phrasing, as for wrong notes#

Manuscript was used

for wrong phrasing, as for wrong notes.

Manuscript was

used a great deal for that is what many would encounter out in the world, casts were used*

phonograph records of the Waring broad­ This made the music seem alive and worth

while for this chorus was going to sing the same thing. After the chorus had read and rehearsed a number, they were allowed to hear its recording.

Following the score

while hearing it develops sight reading, given to this chorus.

"Jive" was also

Hearing recordings, is a fast,sure

way of developing vertical, harmonic reading which is so important when reading "parts" in a chorus.

You must hear

all the voices* One rule established was that a singer never sang a new score until he had studied it as a whole.

It is com­

pared to a map on which some one has blazed a trail that must be followed musically.

The students studied their

parts in relation to the others— where did the parts con­ verge, jgt cetera. They studied through to establish breath­ ing spacesi they listened to the key tone played on the piano; they "thought" the scale,then they listened to the chords I-IV-V-I played on the piano.

After finding their

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pitch averyon© kept tin© by conducting the meter.


is similar to our primary method but so often we do not have a piano for the children t© hear the chords.


this no -play by play” account is attempted, because all situations5are so different.- A rhythmic problem was placed on the blackboard, "lifted from the score,* the students clapped, then sang it,

If errors were heard, these were written on the board

and compared,

The writer mentioned this negative teaching

method in Chapter IV where the teacher intentionally made mistakes to the delight of the class,

Comparing right

with wrong is always enlightening. On® excellent device dealing with rhythm is; IveryOne.sits erect with both feet firmly and squarely on the floor, Using his heels on the floor the leader starts a steady meter (4, 3, or 2, to the bar) which is taken up by the chorus. Constant tempo is important, do not rush the beat. The leader speaks, swings or claps a rhythmic pattern which lies within a measure of the meter; the group imitates the pattern In the next bar. I I l i t I t

-^(SpoWcn oy* clqpped' Leader:



Ta.W TahTaWToL K


---- .-j;, $ T^HTa.KTa.K'tV-n

p* 15*

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52 Words may b© used such as "We Want a Touch-down"


rhythm patterns that might occur in any song are used. Errors made in faulty rhythm patterns that might occur la any song are used*

Errors made in faulty rhythm

reading mere used in these exercises. The class must conduct the meter during the read­ ing of every song as well as during the drills devised and they must develop a feeling for the down beat, co­ ordinating that feeling with what the eye sees in each measure*

The reader looks ahead and although he may

flounder, he must re-enter at the next phrase. Another clever device was used when it was dis­ covered that the class had difficulty reading "cut" time (four-four rhythm taken two beats to the bar). When ’Lead Kindly Light* was given to the class to read, they seemed confused by its three/two (3/ 2) time. The teacher placed on the blackboard (with help from the group) the first phrase of the music written in three/two (3/ 2), three/four (3/^) and three/eight (3/d) time. Invariably a student thought three/eight (3/ 8) time must *really get up and go.* -t-- t-s— ;----L . . f r — D^----- |_J— .^.JQhP-3 -- J * ---1-------- -e— J-