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Tagged: conversational solfege, Feierabend
- This topic has 10 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 2 months ago by nafmeadmin.
September 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm #29607
I went to a John M. Feierabend workshop last year on First Steps in music and Conversational Solfege, and am completely sold on the teaching method. I’ve had no trouble adopting the First steps program, but am still struggling with the C.S. program. I have a few questions:
1. Should each lesson contain some instruction from each of the techniques steps? Or do I start the unit from the first technique (echo me, then echo the instrument, then learn this song or rhyme etc.) until each is mastered?
2. How many weeks do you spend on a unit? When you are done with the first unit (containing 6 songs and a listening selection) do you do another 6 songs from unit one or do you move on to unit two?
3. About how many classes do you spend on each unit?
4. Would any of you be willing to be my “go to” person/mentor for questions on using conversational Solfege?
5. Is there anyone in NH or the NH side of ME or MA who uses conversational solfege who would be willing to have me observe in their classroom?October 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm #30838
I am in Kansas, so I suspect an observation would be out of the question! But I have used it several years, so if I can be of any help I would be happy to discuss it.
As far a the lessons, I pick and choose techniques based on what I am confortable with and the students can do. While I do usually start with “echo me”, I don’t do each technique in sequence, I try to choose one or two for each step. The length depends on the unit. Unit one takes longer because so much is new, other units move faster, particularly once the students know the techniques. Again, number of classes depends, but I don’t spend an entire class (usually) on one unit – I commit some time each class period to music reading, but then have other things planned.December 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm #33480
Thank you so much Dtidwell! I’m getting much more used to the program. I am now doing concert songs with the kids, and am still incorporating some C.S. in my lessons each day. We are still on “unit 1” stuff. How will I know when the group is ready for unit two? I noticed that Conversational Solfege decode techniques doesn’t happen with tonal until unit 4, but they are still working on decoding unit 1 rhythms. Thoughts on that?December 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm #33481
I am getting ready to test kids individually on unit one rhythms, when the majority of the class or grade can sightread a pattern – either from the book or another source – I move on. The next unit goes more quickly since they are accustomed to the routine by then.January 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm #34127
I took Feierabend’s week-long course on First Steps and Conversational Solfege and my district implemented these as the basis for our music education curriculum.
First, Feierabend said that 2/3 of the time spent on each unit should be in the conversational part – steps 1-4. Once the students have the patterns in their “ear”, they will quickly learn to read and write them.
The majority of your students (90%) should have each step mastered before moving on the next. I always review from the steps before the current one we’re working on. We only have music once a week for 45 minutes and it takes me about one semester per unit to complete.
Feierabend said to work on CS about 10 minutes per class. He also advocated NOT teaching two different rhythm units simultaneously (2/4 and 6/8) but that it is fine to do a rhythm unit and a tonal unit together.
I would highly recommend you take a class with Feierabend. It is inspiring, refreshing and exciting! Good luck, and if you have any other questions, I’d be glad to help.January 6, 2014 at 6:41 pm #34178
John filmed a dvd of the training last fall, hopefully it will be out this spring.February 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm #34941
Jason, will the DVD be available through FAME?February 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm #34945
Here is the link thru GIA MusicMarch 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm #35839
dtidwell, where are you in Kansas? I am also a Kansas teacher and our district has just adopted CS as the elementary curriculum. Would you be willing to either Skype or meet with us in person concerning this topic?March 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm #36005
I have another conversational solfege question. I am done with level one and am starting level 2. Would it be appropriate to do continue to review level one stuff while I am working in level 2? I’m thinking I’d like to have kids figure out the rhythm of a simple song that is in 2/4. Or playing the straw that breaks the camels back using du, du de, and du da di. Are these bad ideas? I really do need to take the class…April 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm #36086
I’m in Garden City – southwest Kansas. My email is dtidwell (at) gckschools (dot) com if you want to email me.
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