Ellie's Blog

I am very passionate about bringing the joy of music into the lives of the children and adults that I work with. I have been teaching for 50+ years and I hope to continue for a long time.

The first week of song preparation the students begin learning to play their recital piece - first hands alone. The second week they were beginning to play at least the first page hands together - slowly but with a steady rhythm. Then during week three during their lab time we set the timer for 10 minutes and they study the first two lines of their music. 

When the timer rings they hand me their music. They reset the timer for 15 min to see how much of the music they had learned could be written in that amount of time. They begin writing out the music on staff paper. They were to draw the treble clef sign and the bass clef sign and put in the time signature and the key signature in the proper place on the staff. I was only interested in them writing the notes correctly with the correct rhythm. I did not care about the beauty of the notes. When the timer went again they were to stop writing and put their staff paper in the pocket folder. I then corrected their work. There was almost a 100% correctness to all of their papers. However I did mark in red things that would be more proper for writing music and then we discussed those at their next lesson. It was amazing how well they are did -- even the youngest students. 

The next step is memorizing what the rest of their piece looks like and also making it look more technically correct (proper stem direction, uniform notes, etc.)  The final step is to write the entire piece with all the musical markings such as dynamics, accents, staccato notes, ritardando marks, repeat signs etc. so that they hand written music should be a pretty close replica of the original.