"Sight Reading & Rhythm"

Posted by: jen7

"Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/17/05 09:04 AM

I just received the info on the new "Sight Reading & Rhythm Every Day" books.

Just curious as to what others think about them? Does anyone know how long the books are, and, how do they fit in with the PA books? (level-wise)

They sound great to me... the only drawback is that it would be another *extra* book. Maybe it could be done on a biweekly basis.

Posted by: Carole

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/17/05 09:12 AM

I am trying to decide too, Jen7. I may have a "guinea pig" or two to try out these books. They look real good, but I am still totally sold on the Sightplay books. It is my goal though to have each student buy a sight reading book for home use. Haven't quite decided how to do it or what book.
Posted by: GeeTee

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/17/05 09:34 AM

I too like what this series is intending to do and I did order bk 2a for one of my students. I really like the importance it places on reading rhythm both apart from and as a part of music reading.

I ordered it for a girl who is entering 8th grade. She's been studying for 3 yrs., but has absolutely no sense of rhythmic fluency. Her reading of notes is ok, but she can't seem to perceive groupings or patterns and respond accordingly to them when she sightreads. But I mainly want to give her a sightreading "daily vitamin" which these books offer. I have used the 4 star sightreading books from Frederick Harris before which take the same kind of approach. But I LOVE Kevin Olson and thought I'd give this new series a go. I don't have any elementary students right now (just 2 beginners and the rest early interm.-advanced) so I didn't have a place to use the other books. I am very curious to see the remaining books in the series when they come out.
Posted by: jaydub2

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/17/05 12:10 PM

What makes my shy away from these books is that the sightreading is only for treble or bass clef. If you follow this series, how long will it take to get to sightreading hands together?

what's your opinions?
Posted by: GeeTee

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/18/05 04:07 AM

I'm hoping (and assuming) that's what we'll see in the next book cause I had the same reaction. However, for my student in question, she cannot handle too many layers at once. That's why I'm going to use the 2a book with her. This book has more varied rhythm patterns, key signatures, and expression. By keeping things in one hand or the other, I think she can get the big picture better.

If the next book doesn't get HT going, I'll be disappointed and my just go back to the 4 Star series.
Posted by: jaydub2

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/18/05 04:35 AM

i agree - I liked the rhythm aspect and the use of varied keys.
Posted by: Whitney

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/18/05 11:56 AM

Most of my students have a sightreading book. Some who have a lot of trouble reading have Step, Skip and Repeat. The majority of my students use Sightplay. I have 4 students using these "Sight Reading & Rhythm Every Day" books now--these are all students who have a history of poor rhythm. We've only been in these books a couple of weeks and I'm already hearing improvements in the rhythm of their other pieces. I like that it changes keys often too!
Posted by: Christine/Pelirroja

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/23/05 11:37 AM

Hey, I'm back for a few minutes. I've been terribly sick with this baby, so the computer was definitely the first thing to go. Anyway, I'm easing back into things now. I just went to Kevin Olson's workshop yesterday. (Promotional gathering should I call it? :-)) Anyway, he explained that the next books will be coming out very shortly one after the other. The levels correlate loosely as follows:
For PA 2A (elementary): 1A and 1B
For PA 2B (late elementary): 2A and 2B (which begins hands together playing)
For PA 3A/3B (early intermediate): books 3A and 3B
For PA 4 & 5 (intermediate): books 4A and 4B, Book 5 is late intermediate.

I think he sticks with single line/bass or treble clef for the first 3 books because rhythm is his number one priority. He wants students to get to where they will not pause as they read and has no mercy when they are to play with him as far as rhythm is concerned. He said that he wants the students to begin seeing the arc of the music, the shapes, intervals, etc. So, perhaps he chose to go slow on the hands together stuff to really get that foundation down.

Oh, and he doesn't do unit counting as in the books, but the Publisher andHelen Marlais won out on that. :-)

Anyway, I ordered one of each level that's out. We'll see. Incidentally, I really liked his other book Music by Me.(I think that's the name, I don't have my sheet here.) I'm going to try that with some of my students who are wanting to do more composing--to help give me some structure to how I approach it.
Posted by: Carole

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/23/05 01:45 PM

I am liking these books more and more as I study them. I am interested in seeing the upper levels as they come out. A flyer about them came in the mail and there are deep discounts for ordering quantities. I am going to have a few guinea pigs, as I mentioned, and then may decide my students need to add another book to the method.
Christine, I am glad you are back. I hope you get over that "morning" sickness soon. \:\)
Posted by: Christine/Pelirroja

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/23/05 08:10 PM

Ok, I have no idea where I came up with that other name, but the composition/improv book i was referring to earlier is actually called Music by Me. (I'll edit the first post I wrote)
Posted by: ChristyA

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/24/05 02:20 AM

I have used the Music be Me books with one of my students, a very shy student who I thought would not like composing. But I thought that it would help with note-reading, which she is struggling with. It turns out she really came up with some good ideas in her compositions, much more creative than I expected. I had almost forgotten about the book until you mentioned it (this student took a break over the summer). I plan on getting more copies for some of my students.
Posted by: Jennifer

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/24/05 04:29 AM

I used the Music by Me this summer for a composing workshop that students signed up for. Each student had their own copy. I was very happy with it. I have a copy of the Sightreading and rhythm book and will have to try it out. Glad to hear more about the other levels.
Posted by: Christine/Pelirroja

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/24/05 06:12 AM

Jennifer and ChristyA, how did you feel the Books were for each students' level. Does a typical 2B student do the Book 2? Did it seem "young" to any of your older students? Were students of different levels able to use the same book since they were composing themselves? How early can one start using Book1? Thanks, Christine
Posted by: Jennifer

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/24/05 10:13 AM

In my class I had students ranging in age from 7-14 years. If the student has had no or little composing experience, this book (book 1) was a perfect start. It really had nothing to do with age appropriateness. Then if they wanted to continue with it they go to book 2 and so on. I personally would start with book 1 and then progress to the next book. I think you would be missing some of the steps if you went directly to book 2.
Posted by: Carole

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/25/05 03:10 PM

Christine, a question about the new Sightreading books. You mentioned SR 1A and 1B roughly correlate to PA 2A. Does that mean those SR books are easier than PA 2A or close to the same level? I have always understood sightreading should be at an easier level than their method.
Posted by: Christine/Pelirroja

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/25/05 07:00 PM

Carole, The books I looked at were definitely a full level lower. For example 1A in many cases simply uses steps, repeats, and single line melodies and some rhythm only activities. The actual hands together playing doesn't occur until SR level 2B, so that should give you an idea of the delay.

I know that Kevin Olson also has the same philosophy of sightreading at a level below actual level, so I imagine (but am guessing because I only talked to him for 5 minutes) that when he and H.Marlais wrote/write this series and attach them to a level they will have that in mind.
Posted by: Susan

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 02:23 AM

Christine, I hope you are feeling better!
I have a question about the sight reading books, which I am using right now. Does he assume you will start the first book with a student in 2A? That who I am using it with, a little boy (I've written about him before) who can't play anything with a steady beat. {this boy is in 5th grade and he still can't clap back a pattern-very uncoordinated.)
Also, he does not like it, and I can't get him to do it at home. So we're doing it at the lesson. It's a great book, but maybe if had more color, or less notes on the page it would work better with this boy. He's rather young for his age. But it is really helping his rhythm.
Posted by: Christine/Pelirroja

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 05:38 AM

Thanks Susan, I am feeling a little better! Well, he wasn't exact on the levelling--he leaves a lot to the teacher's discretion. Those numbers were kind of a "guide." (They were actually compared to the In Recital Books Level 2 toward the back of the recent mailing which is supposed to be at "Elementary" level). I think I may be inclined to try the 1A toward the second half of Level 1. Especialy since Book 1A seems to heavily be into establishing a pulse and rhythm in a student and works on the guidepost notes F/G with mostly steps and skips. I know what you mean about the color. It's funny you mention that, because K.Olson said that is why they chose such a bright cover color, to bring any more attention they could to a bright/fun sightreading book. :-) It would be nice to add a little more pizazz to the page. But, I guess that would probably add a little more pinch to the pocketbook. :-)
Posted by: songbird

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 06:25 AM

It would be nice to add a little more pizazz to the page. But, I guess that would probably add a little more pinch to the pocketbook. :-)
Nnnnah, they can afford it, and we probably can too!
Posted by: songbird

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 06:27 AM

Who has noticed that PA seems to go slower level by level than other popular methods (Bastien, Alfred, etc.)? I have tried to switch some of my 3A students into Alfred and they can BARELY play the Alfred Level 2 books! It's not just with them that I notice it either. The books DO look harder in other methods. Thoughts? Disagree?
Posted by: TeachinMama

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 09:05 AM

Yes, I think you're right on that. I've switched some students from Alfred into PA, and they do seem quite a bit easier. I think, though, that musically PA is far above any other method I've looked at. I mean students may know how to play more notes faster in others, but they don't really get to experience pedal color, for example. Also, I love the fact that PA begins right away working on technical things, like relaxation and arm weight that other methods don't seem to address. By the time a student gets to eighth notes, for example (much later than any other method) they are much better equipped to handle them effortlessly.
Posted by: mirlou

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 11:52 AM

I have been using PA for a year now. Maybe you're right about moving slower level by level, but my students are actually progressing a lot faster after I moved them to PA.
Posted by: mirlou

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 11:57 AM

Don't know if 'slow' is the right word for it. Maybe 'progressing smoothly' is better.
Posted by: Susan

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 12:29 PM

It might seem that PA moves slower than Alfred, but I think they make up for it later because they learn so much more.
On the other hand, I have put level one Alfred students in PA level one, and they have difficulty with that because they can only play in 2 positions and get very frustrated witb PA.
Maybe different methods stress different things so students have trouble moving from one to another until they have progressed out of lesson books.
Posted by: Whitney

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 02:20 PM

I've had the same situation, Susan. I've had several transfer students who started in Bastien or Alfred and they absolutely cannot read music in PA especially because they're not used to putting their fingers in all different places---they can usually only play in set positions and can only play primary chords in the LH. My students who have been in PA CAN read music from Alfred or Bastien but sometimes just have a hard time with the LH chords in Alfred and Bastien. Little hands aren't ready for those and I think Alfred and Bastien introduce way too many chords way too soon.
Posted by: jaydub2

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 08/26/05 02:39 PM

Originally posted by Whitney:
My students who have been in PA CAN read music from Alfred or Bastien but sometimes just have a hard time with the LH chords in Alfred and Bastien. Little hands aren't ready for those and I think Alfred and Bastien introduce way too many chords way too soon.
Posted by: GeeTee

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 09/16/05 05:18 AM

I just had a lesson w/ a student to whom I am trying the S & R book 2a. She's an 8th grader and is early intermediate level. Well, at the lesson, we did the unit 1 activities for the lesson and it didn't go too well. The ensemble piece totally fell apart. We worked it several times til it was close to ok.

She said (and marked) that she had done all 5 days activities as instructed. But I didn't know if I should continue with unit 2 or have her repeat unit 1. Sightreading afterall is supposed to be just that, and not necessarily "practiced", right??

If next week's lesson goes the same way, I may have to work thru each day's activities first before sending her home. This would then pretty much take up the whole lesson time.

I'm also encouraging her to work with a metronome on the rhythm activities (suggesting 3 dift. tempi from slow to moderate).

Posted by: Carole

Re: "Sight Reading & Rhythm" - 09/16/05 05:39 AM

Maybe she didn't "really" do the activities or understand them? I have just handed out a bunch of these books(this week)-mostly 1A and 1B, but have not been through a week of the SR yet. They might look confusing to kids. Of course, they could READ the directions to each activity. It has been my experience that kids don't often do that. Even when music says LH over RH finger 2, they go what do I do? I hope these books will work, since I ordered and handed out about 10! It does defeat the purpose to have to go through each activity at lesson. Maybe a lower level for your student, GeeTee?