Rhythm Syllable Systems
September 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm #29305
I was at an Orff workshop this past week-end and we were discussing rhythm syllable systems. There are several elementary teachers who want to use the Beat Function Syllable System (Du, Du, Du de, Du) in their classrooms but are concerned about the other music teachers in their district (e.g., high school director) are using a different system. If you are using the Beat Function Syllable System in your elementary music classroom, have you been able to convince the ensembles in middle/junior high school or high school to use the same system? If so, how did you do that?September 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm #29308
I use Du Du de and don’t have any problems. I switch the kids over to 1+2+ around 3rd grade when we start reading recorder music. I work real hard in 4th grade band with reading/writing in counts/clapping rhythms. My middle school/high school director is very hardset with theory and tradition that I’m sure she never utters any words besides 1+2+. I can’t imagine most high school directors do.
I’ve never had a problem switching from Du Du du to numbers. We use heartbeats while reading du/du-de and when I make the switch, we simply count how many heartbeats in a measure and write the numbers. The less explanation the better-in my experience. Just lead by example. Whatever you say, they will eventually start saying too. I think we teachers over think things sometimes!October 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm #30839
I would think most high school directors use standard counting (1+2+, etc).October 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm #30879
I use ta / titi with my Kindergarten and 1st graders only!! By 3d grade they can ID the notes. Some still say ta/titi now and then, but I stress “eighth note” etc. My district’s scope and sequence of general music skills has kids counting and performing syncopated rhythms by 5th grade. In class with the older kids I stress counting the beats (“what beat is the rest on?”). That’s score study and is very important — do just a little every other class. By time they get to middle school they should be fluently counting music.December 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm #33560
Ta/ti ti system allows you to analyze rhythmic patterns and find patterns in common within the piece and between different pieces. There are arguements for all the different systems, but I really like the pattern analysis aspect. I start fading in the counting in grade 3, but I think pattern analysis adds a great deal to one’s understanding of the song.December 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm #33736
When I first started teaching, I tried doing numbers with the little guys because “they are going to have to learn them eventually, why not start now?” But they got hung up on what number to say, and their accuracy and confidence was damaged. I have them use a tonugeing system “too” and “too ka” which they use through third grade on their recorders and into their middle school band career. At some point in band, we really do need to switch to numbers in order for them to really understand what is going on in the rhythms. The strong background in the other system only helps them with counting it on numbers. I don’t think it is necessary for the HS and MS/elementary schools to use the same systems. You do what is working for your kids now, and the HS teacher will just have to transition them. If you give them a strong foundation, the transition wont be hard.January 28, 2014 at 11:08 am #34687
At a recent inservice the elementary music teachers were discussing the systems we use. Out of 8 teachers, some of us use Kodaly, some Gordon (du, du-de) and some straight counting. A principal who was sitting in was concerned that this could be confusing to kids if they moved from school to school. My experience is that kids transition pretty quickly, and since the sound production is the same, then the kids can shift pretty easily. What are your thoughts on this? Should a district with several elementary schools use a standard rhythm counting system in elementary?
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