In the previous blog, I wrote about how “Directional Reading” revolutionized the way I read music and the importance of the landmark (guideposts) notes. Today I would like to explore the building blocks of the music- the “Sound Shape.”
After learning the guideposts, the next step is to identify patterns (for example: steps and skips) and how the patterns relate to the guideposts. Good sight-readers possess the ability to quickly recognize shape and pattern, and simultaneously translate those shapes into hand movements on the piano. To help my students read music fluently, they need to be able to “see” the shape of the sound.
Step 1: Sound Shape Flashcard
Download the pre-reading step and skip card from Susan Paradis’ website http://www.susanparadis.com/catalog/SP702/preview.pdf
Step 2: “Hear” the Sound Shape
Teacher picks two cards and plays the sound shape for the student. Ask student to identify the right card.
Step 3: “See” the Sound Shape
Look at the sound shape and see if it’s going up, down or stay the same, also see if there are steps or skips. Can you think of interesting names for the shape? For example, this shape is an eye-brow