Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sight Singing Crash Course

If you enjoy singing or playing an instrument and would like to learn to read music, then this class is for you. Being able to read music is a wonderful, liberating skill that enhances your ability to learn by ear. It allows you to sing or play a new song just as you would read a new book.

Sight singing (as opposed to sight reading with an instrument) is especially useful because you need only your voice to make music. Singers often rely on a piano to play the music before singing it. This is not necessary. Once you learn to recognize the relationships of the notes to one another, sight singing is not so difficult. We will use the moveable "do" system of solfege to learn these relationships. Don't worry if you don't know what this means. The first session will start at the very beginning...You know, just like in The Sound of Music.

The class will meet once a month on Saturday morning, 10-12 at my home in Charlotte (email me for the address) starting on March 3rd. and continuing on April 7th, May 5th and June 9th. This is not a lecture class. We will be making music as we learn about music. Each session will build on the knowledge and understanding from previous sessions, but you can still participate even if you can't make all of the sessions. The cost is $20.00/session and you only pay for the sessions you attend. You will receive a listening CD and handouts that will correspond to what we do in the sessions. After each session I will post follow up lessons and an overview of the next session.

Overview of March 3rd Sight Singing Session (it's a lot...remember this is a crash course)
The musical alphabet (What is a note and why do we name them?)
The musical staff
Note equivalencies (types of notes and how they are all related)
What is a scale?
What is a key and why is it important to know?
Major and minor keys
Steady beat and meter (is it a march or a waltz?)
Rhythms using quarter, eighth and half notes and rests
Songs using do re mi fa so (the first five notes in a major scale)
Songs using so la do re mi so la (i.e. Tom Dooley, Amazing Grace, Swing Low)

Friday, January 27, 2012

How Deeply You're Connected to My Soul

This is a great song.  I am singing the melody and two harmony parts.  Listen and try to hear each of the parts.

How could anyone ever tell you that you're anything less than beautiful?
How could anyone ever tell you that you're less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice that you're loving is a miracle?
How deeply you're connected to my soul

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Come Follow Me in Bb major

Today's lesson gives you practice sight singing with the round "Come, Follow Me" in the key of Bb major.  This round was written by John Hilton (1599-1657).  It is great for practicing a diatonic major scale (drmfsltd) and also descending thirds in various places (s-m, f-r, m-d, r-t, d-l).

Come, follow me
Whither shall I follow thee?
To the greenwood tree

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I filmed this video when I was visiting my family in Emory, Virginia over the holidays.  You'll probably need to enlarge it to full screen or else the deer just look like small dots with an occasional white tail.