Monday, February 28, 2011

rhythm practice

Today's lesson will give you practice reading rhythms in 2/4 and 6/8 time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

duple, triple and compound

Watch today's lesson to practice rhythms in duple and triple meter.  This is a follow up to the Feb.19th post that asked you to listen to songs and determine whether they were in duple or triple meter.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Old Hungarian Round" - sight singing

Today's lesson walks you through sight singing a song in A Minor.  This is the same key signature as C major.  You'll also learn about repeat signs and D.C. al Fine. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

relative minors

Each major key has a relative minor key which uses the same key signature.  The relative minor scale starts and ends on "la" rather than on "do" as in major scales.  Watch this lesson on YouTube to hear the comparison of major and minor.  Also, practice this singing exercise in minor.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ode to Joy - sight singing

Here is the YouTube of today's lesson.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

notating a song in 9/8

Today's lesson takes you step by step through the procedure of notating a known song.  The song is "Down in the Valley" and I will notate it in 9/8 time in the key of D on a bass clef.  I suggest that you participate by writing the notation as I walk you through it.  You'll need a pencil and a blank staff.

Monday, February 21, 2011

key signature review - major keys

Here is the YouTube of today's lesson reviewing major scales and key signatures for major keys.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

triple meter: simple and compound - part 2

Here's part 2 to the lesson comparing triple meter songs written with simple and compound time signatures.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

triple or duple meter

I was going to post part two of the YouTube lesson from yesterday, but I am away from home and have not been successful at uploading the video; so, listen to the following songs today and try to determine whether each is in triple or duple meter.  Tap the beat, divided beat and/or the rhythm.  Can you find the tonic pitch in each song?

Ash Grove
Shalom Chaverim
Irene, Goodnight
Make New Friends
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Friday, February 18, 2011

triple meter: simple and compound

Watch today's lesson on YouTube.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

simple or compound?

The song for today is written in three time signatures: 3/.4, 3/8 and 6/8.  Listen to the lesson as you read the notation

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

compound time signatures

Songs written with compound time signatures use a dotted note to represent the beat. The beat is divided into three parts and the top number in the time signature is always divisible by 3.  They have a triple meter feel because of this beat division.  Listen as you follow the notation for "Down in the Valley" written in 9/8 time.  A dotted quarter note represents the beat in this song.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

drmfs and dotted quarter eighth practice

Today you'll sight sing a short section from a Mozart piano sonata.   It has the familiar dotted quarter eighth pattern and also a small range of notes (drmfs).  I think you might recognize this piece.  Listen as you follow the notation. Listen for the dotted quarter eighth pattern in other songs that you hear throughout the day.  See if you can tap the beat and rhythm at the same time or you could say the rhythm and tap the beat.   Also try to sing the tonic every time you hear it in a song.

Monday, February 14, 2011

songs for Valentine's Day

Here are a few songs for Valentine's Day:  "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "You Are My Sunshine".  One is in duple meter and one is in triple meter.  Sing them to yourself and see if you can tell which is which.  Now listen to the lesson as you follow the rhythm notation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

sight singing practice

Here's some practice with sight singing in the key of G.  You can listen as you follow the notation or you can try it solo and then check by listening.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle in 3 keys

There are 14 different key signatures that can be used to write music.  This may seem like a daunting fact as you are learning to read music, but the cool thing is that you only need to know what the tonic note is and then you can sing all the notes in relation to the tonic regardless of how many sharps or flats are in the key signature.  You'll see what I mean in today's lesson.  Print out today's worksheet and have a pencil handy as you listen to the lesson.  Don't forget to keep practicing the scale exercises. Here is the answer sheet for today's lesson.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

key signatures

Today's lesson teaches you about key signatures.  Listen as you follow the notation.  This lesson assumes that you understand whole and half steps.  If you need a refresher, listen to the lesson on chromatic scales.  I hate to have a day without singing, so keep practicing the scale exercises too. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

scales and rhythms

Here are the answers to yesterday's solo sight singing.  Today's lesson is a singing exercise and some aural rhythm patterns.  The more you sing these exercises the easier the sight singing will become because the patterns will be in your ears.  Follow the notation as you listen and echo the patterns.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

solo sight singing

Today is a big day.  You are ready to solo sight sing.  I have written out four songs that we have been singing in the previous lessons.  The songs are in either 2/4 or 4/4.  I have indicated the tonic ("do") with a box and the beat with dots under the notes.  The tonic is also the name of the key of the song.  You may use an instrument to get the tonic pitch or just pick a note that is comfortable for you to sing. Sing the major scale (d r m f s l t d t l s f m r d) to get your mind thinking in the key of the song.  Tap or say the rhythms.  Now add the melody.  Number 1 and 2 use only drm.  Number 3 uses drmfs.  Number 4 is a little harder as it goes up to "la" and down to low "so", but I think you will recognize the song before you get to those parts.  Good luck and I'll put the answers in tomorrow's post.

Monday, February 7, 2011

rhythmic and melodic practice

"Michael Row Your Boat Ashore" is good practice with the dotted quarter/eighth rhythm pattern.  Listen as you follow the tone map.  You will also practice recognizing and singing familiar melodic patterns (e.g. drmrd) within the song.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

C major singing exercise

Echo the patterns in this singing exercise as you follow on the Tone Ladder for major scales.

Friday, February 4, 2011

drmfsl dictation

You will need the blank staff and pennies for notes or a pencil and today's worksheet to write out the exercises that I dictate in the lesson.  This may seem hard at first, but it really will help you sight sing well if you can write out patterns that you hear.  The answers are at the bottom of the worksheet.  Good luck and have fun.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

reading s drmf

Follow the notation as you listen.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

dotted rhythm practice

Yesterday's post linked to "Music of the Universe" instead of "This Land Is Your Land".  Sorry about that.  You could still do the exercise, but I chose "This Land Is Your Land" because it has lots of dotted quarter - eighth patterns.  As you follow the notation for today's lesson you will notice that there are only note stems and beams in exercise one.  This is called stick notation.  It is a quicker way to write rhythms if you are trying to write as you listen.  You can go back and add the note heads later.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It is important to be able to feel the divided beat in a song as well as the beat. If the beat is a quarter note, then the divided beat is two eighth notes.  Listen to "This Land Is Your Land". Tap the beat (quarter note) with one hand and the divided beat (two eighth notes) with the other hand.   Now tap the divided beat with one hand and the rhythm (the words) with the other hand.  If that was easy then you can try tapping the beat with your toe, the divided beat with one hand and the rhythm with the other hand?   Now turn around as you do all of this (just kidding).  I am getting a little punchy as it is 11 at night...way past my bedtime.  As you go through the day try this beat and divided beat thing with other songs you hear.  Just don't do it while you are driving.