Saturday, March 19, 2016

How to Teach Same & Different Phrases in Music

Step 1: Prepare a song ahead of time. Break the song into several different tracks that each play a different phrase from a recording. You can use a free audio editor called Audacity to break your song into different files, or you can simply sing or play phrases to the class.

Step 2: Listen to a song with the student. Have the student raise his hand briefly at the beginning of each phrase. If you have an entire classroom, this can be done with everyone participating. Students who are having trouble identifying the beginning and end of a phrase will start to learn based on their peers' responses. Listen to the song several times until the majority of the class is able to identify the start of each phrase.

Step 3: Ask the students to listen carefully as you play the first phrase of the song. Ask them to try to memorize the phrase. Inform them that you will be asking them to compare this phrase to other phrases in the song. Play the recording of the song but stop the recording after the first phrase.

Step 4: Play another phrase from the song and ask the students to compare it to the first phrase. If they believe that the phrase is the same, ask them to give a thumbs up. If they believe the phrase is different, ask them to gives a thumbs down.

Step 5: Determine how well students are able to distinguish phrases and proceed accordingly. If they were able to correctly identify all of the phrases in the song, stop teaching this subject for the day and move on to a new subject. For the next meeting, give them a more complicated song to identify. If they are not understanding the differences, play each phrase slowly on the piano and discuss the differences between the two phrases. Most often, the student just doesn't know what to listen for and once they are shown, will be able to identify phrases.