So I’ve decided that I’m going to include ear training in my lesson plans. I’m about 2-3 weeks in with all of my students (I only have 7 students right now, but I’m bracing myself for September, which is when I expect to be overbooked with lessons).
I’m not necessarily going to make my students sing solfege (or use Curwen Hand Signs), but I am going to make them identify intervals and chords. I may even incorporate dictation exercises later on.
My logic is this: I did not have this training incorporated in my early years and if I had, it would’ve made my life a lot easier when I got into college-level music classes. Also, I believe that was one of the biggest things missing in my training that inhibited me from making music on my own for so long. A huge part of my distress came from my inability to sit down at a piano and “just play.” I couldn’t understand how I could spend so many years with my instrument and not be “fluent” with it. Learning music is like learning a language. I could read and recite, very very well, but I couldn’t write or speak impromptu or in conversation. My teachers never put any emphasis on these skills and it turned out later on that those are the skills I prized most (probably because they were hardest for me to achieve).
I want to be the teacher who gives her students foundations for musical expression in all directions. I am not going to be in their lives forever, but I have this opportunity to prepare them with a skill set and experience of my choosing – I want it to be a broad and thorough and interconnected time of preparation.
Along these lines, check out this site. It’s not the most beautiful site, but I’ve been quizzing myself all morning and I think I’m going to incorporate it into my daily warm-ups.