ear training
Ear training students at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brasil

INTEGRATED SIGHT SINGING AND MELODIC DICTATION
Sight singing (sing successive correct pitches while reading music) and melodic dictation (notate correct melody while hearing successive pitches) are reverse skills.
Students improve these skills rapidly when they sing at sight and take dictation from exercises that contain the same variables: key, scale steps, skips and beat patterns.

Students use PitchID in three modes: (1) individual scale step identification, (2) interval identification, (3) sight singing individual pitches with the same variables in each mode.
MelodicID, 5 bar melodic dictation software, includes a 96 page sight singing book in .pdf format. The melodic dictation and sight singing exercises contain the same variables.

SUGGESTED LEARNING STRATEGIES
1. FOUNDATION. It is essential to develop and maintain high accuracy at each graduated difficulty level; see below for suggested requirements. The student must develop a firm sound/symbol, aural/visual foundation before advancing. If foundation skills are not well developed, the student faces increasing frustration at higher difficulty levels.
2. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE. Train immediate response in sight singing and dictation. Prepared sight singing is NOT singing at sight. Notate each pitch, beat pattern, and chord function immediately during dictation. When the student falls behind, suggest that he/she remember a few pitches or beat patterns and 'catch up'; then repeat as necessary, correct and continue until complete.
3. AURAL MEMORY and VISUALIZATION. The student must develop his/her scale step relationship memory so that, given the tonic triad, the student can immediately identify or sing any of the seven scale steps above or below the tonic. The student should practice singing while visualizing each scale step as it appears on a grand staff.
4. MODELING. The instructor leads sight singing, modeling the proper pitch when correcting. When practicing ChordID with class response, the instructor leads the class in identifying and singing the root of the chord immediately following its presentation, singing the correct numeral 1 or 5 or 6 etc..
5. SKILL TRANSFER. Include classroom paper and pencil response to PitchID, MelodicID, and ChordID dictation from time to time. Demonstrate the rapid writing skills required to (1) immediately notate the beat patterns and (2) the note heads for the pitches on a barred staff followed by (3) combining the beat patterns with the pitches in the completed notation.

PITCH, RHYTHM, HARMONIC AND MELODIC DICTATION WITH EACH STUDENT WORKING AT HIS/HER LEVEL
Computer assisted instruction provides an individualized classroom. Replace the 'lock step' approach of teacher dictation with student learning at his/her own level and speed.
Determine course grade by the proficiency level reached by each student. For example, in the course outline below, if the student completes the second column level with an overall average of 80% accuracy by the end of the semester, the student receives a term grade of 'C', next column level 'B', highest column level 'A'.
Test sight singing individually at mid-term and finals.

FIRST SEMESTER SIGHT SINGING AND DICTATION GOALS, BROOKHAVEN COLLEGE, DALLAS, TX
First Semester
Foundation Level
First Semester
'C' Level
First Semester
'B' Level
First Semester
'A' Level
Pitch ID: SCALE STEPS: 10% of overall grade. Complete before doing Melodic ID Scale Steps 1-5 Keys: C Maj. A min 25 pitches in each key 95% + accuracy
Score:
Scale Steps 7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: F Maj. D min. 25 pitches in each key 90% + accuracy
Score:
Steps 6,7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: G Maj. E harm. min. 25 pitches in each key 90% + accuracy
Score:
Steps 5,6,7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: C Maj. A harm. min. 25 pitches in each key 90% + accuracy
Score:
Pitch ID: INTERVALS: 20% of overall grade. Scale Steps 1-5 Keys: C Maj. A min. 25 intervals in each key 90% + accuracy
Score:
Scale Steps 7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: C Maj. A min. 25 intervals in each key 80% + accuracy
Score:
Scale Steps 6,7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: C Maj. A min. 25 intervals in each key 80% + accuracy
Score:
Scale Steps 5,6,7,1,2,3,4,5 Keys: C Maj; A min. 25 intervals in each key 80% + accuracy
Score:
Rhythm ID: Complete with 90% accuracy before doing Melodic ID Simple Meter 5 questions 4 patterns 2.5 hearings
Score:
Compound Meter 5 questions 4 patterns 2.5 hearings
Score:
Simple Meter 5 questions 5 patterns 2.5 hearings
Score:
Compound Meter 5 questions 5 patterns 2.5 hearings
Score:
Melodic ID: Rhythm: 10%, Melody: 20% of overall grade. Rhythm 90% + accuracy
Pitch 80% + accuracy
Scale Steps 1-5, 6 questions: 3 in C Maj.; 3 in A harm min intervals = thirds, 4 rhythm patterns in simple meter, 6 hearings
Rhythm score:
Melody score:
Scale Steps 7-1-5 6 questions: 3 in F Maj.; 3 in D harm min intervals= thirds 4 rhythm patterns, compound meter, 6 hearings
Rhythm score:
Melody score:
Scale Steps 6-1-5 6 questions: 3 in G Maj.; 3 in E harm min intervals= fourths 5 rhythm patterns, simple meter, 7 hearings Rhythm score:
Melody score:
Scale Steps 5-1-5 6 questions: 3 in C Maj.; 3 in A harm min intervals= fourths 5 rhythm patterns, compound meter, 7 hearings
Rhythm score:
Melody score:
Chord ID: 20% of overall grade. I, V 5 questions 95% + accuracy 3 hearings
Score:
I, V, vii° 5 questions 90% + accuracy 3 hearings
Score:
I, IV, V 5 questions 90% + accuracy 3 hearings
Score:
I, IV, V, vii° 5 questions 80% + accuracy 3 hearings
Score:
Sight Singing: 20% of overall grade.
Sing for instructor OR record with pitch ID in sight singing mode 25 pitches in each key and email to htrythal@yahoo.com
Requires WINDOWS PitchID software and microphone.
_ Individual sight singing
Midterm. Scale Steps 7,1,2,3,4,5
Keys: F Maj. D harmonic min.
Score:
_ Individual sight singing
Final. Scale Steps 5,6,7,1,2,3,4,5
Keys: C Maj. A harmonic min.
Score:

The above is for reference only. Instructors should set Column Level Goals appropriate for their school, student preparation and initiative.
Kba music learning programs are appropriate for 4 semesters of ear training. If considering adoption, please write on school stationary for free site license.

Instructional Objectives: The student will sing diatonic melodies at sight accurately AND make an immediate, accurate identification of pitches, intervals, rhythm patterns, and chords.
Assumptions: Graduated exercises with immediate feedback provide the best learning environment. Immediate response is more efficient than delayed response. Short, frequently repeated drill is more effective than single, long period drill. A small error rate assists learning (above 90% accuracy). A large error rate (below 80% accuracy) inhibits learning.
Materials: Pitch, Chord, Rhythm, and Melodic ID programs with included companion sight singing text in .pdf format for printing or screen display.
Equipment: PCs with Windows, headphones, associated MIDI keyboards are useful but not required. Instructor requires PC and speakers, video projector and MIDI keyboard.
Suggested class scheduling: Classes should meet (1) twice a week for 80 minutes, or (2) three times a week for 50 minutes. Circumstances may dictate other scheduling; but aural fatigue makes practice for longer than 80 minutes significantly less effective.

Gil Trythall, Novenber, 2013, Dallas, TX, USA

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