I remember when my son was learning to read. It was a pretty painful process of going over the two- and three-letter words on his reading list very, very slowly. If you’ve ever witnessed a child learning to read, then you know what I’m saying here. For a countless number of times, you listen to them sound out each letter in c-a-t, and suddenly, one day, they read, “cat.”
The same is true for reading music. It feels like your student may never reach the point of music-reading fluency, until one day it starts to click. This month, I’ve created the first in a new series of activities we’re calling Music Challenge Monthly. The January challenge addresses this very thing: the skills involved in music literacy. ￼
The challenge is called Jumping Up and Down: practicing intervals. Intervals refer to the distance between notes within an octave. Just like a child needs to practice writing different arrangements of letters in order to improve their reading literacy, music students need to practice note-writing and how notes move up and down the staff to improve their note-reading fluency.
This month’s lesson addresses these skills in a worksheet that your student should be able to complete in about 15 minutes.
Included in the download are two worksheets – one for moving up the staff, and one where the notes move down the staff – and two answer keys so you can quickly and easily check their work. All you have to do is print the pages and hand your student a pencil.
Just as in teaching a child to read, patience is a key ingredient. Your student will have to cover these concepts several times over. Then, one day, the skills will become second nature, just like the way you’ll never have to sound out the word “cat” again. You know how to read it without question every time you come across the word.
The language of music is complicated, but something that pays great rewards once it is mastered. Encouraging your student to persevere and keeping things interesting, such as with our Music Challenge Monthly activities, will keep fresh wind in the sails of your budding musician.