The Music Only Format is used to test students reading abilities or, as a starting point for advanced readers. This format is also used at instrument centers in grades 4 and 5, after pitch letter names are known. After a particular format is read, switching to the Music Only Format concentrates the visual field on the music and forces the learner to look at the music, not the answers. As a class lesson, center activity, or time-out activity, Music Only Formats are excellent worksheets to assess your student’s knowledge of beat divisions, rhythms, and pitches.
The Beat Format introduces the learner to the divisions of sound and silence within the song. This format is also useful in singing or chanting pitches to the beat divisions, a technique used by many middle and high school music programs, and first introduced to our founder, while in high school (1973), by Robert Shaw during an All-State rehearsal.
“We owe it to the composer that pitches start and end in their allotted time.”
Spivey Hall – Master Lessons
Clayton State University
Morrow, Georgia, 1996.
The Rhythm Format uses the traditional ti’s and ta’s to illustrate and hear patterns within the beat divisions. Often rhythms are easier to read than the beat divisions. Starting with the Rhythm Format in such cases will bring success! For more complex patterns, the Beat Format is your best starting point. Always follow the Rhythm Format with the Music Only Format to demonstrate and practice reading without the answered text! True ownership of the process comes when the students ask for the Music Only Format FIRST!
Solfeggio Format builds on the information mastered while reading the beats and rhythm formats. Adding two syllable words to a known rhythm can be accomplished successfully by all reading levels. Chant the pitch names to the rhythm before singing the pitches. Quite often pitch patterns differ from rhythm patterns.
Kindergarten will find learning Pitch Numbers easier than the syllables, as numbers are mastered before two letter words. Whether using Solfeggio or Pitch Numbers first, ALWAYS follow with a quick reading of the alternate method. The extra practice will be rewarded, the added concept will bring confidence in the musician!
Reading the selection using the Letter Names continues to reinforce the many ways one can read music. After a tune or song is known students use Letter Names format to transfer vocal reading skills to an instrument. It is best suited for instrument centers.
After students learn to follow notes they are successful in following words and word syllables in the same rhythm and increase thier ontask reading behavior. Think of the Text Format as a reward for reading the previous formats.