Unit 1 Learning Solfege:

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Each unit in this course will provide steps in creating your own year 1 beginning band curriculum. As you progress each unit there will be times to reflect and learn the rationale behind each concept presented. The goal of Unit 1 is to become accustom to Solfege and to pick a series of tunes for your curriculum.

(For those not familiarized with music learning, this course is based on Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory. You can see a brief overview here:MLT.

What is Solfege?

Solfege is a system used to symbolize pitches in music. Each pitch of the eight note scale gets it's own solfege syllable.

If a music scale was "C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C" The solfege would equate to "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do". Here is a short video providing great visuals and examples of how solfege is used. How to Solfege This system is essential to this mini-course for it is one of the main reason it makes learning an instrument much easier and more enjoyable that the most traditional methods. More on that later.

The best way to learn solfege is to use it. Follow along with this video to get accustomed to how the solfege pitches relate to the sound. Look, listen , and make note of any memorable patterns you notice when listening. Solfege practice

The next step is to pick a series of tunes that will be adapted to a merit based system. For the purpose of this course I will use my merit based badge system which is based on karate belts. As each tune is learned and a new skill is performed a new sash will be earned. For sashes I use colored pieces of yarn that wrap around the handle of their instrument case. This will help students stay engaged and always have a new goal to be striving for. There are nine belts, therefore my curriculum is based on nine tunes.


Using this sample you create your own cycle using the format below:

Merit Musical Skill Tune Solfege required
Merit 1 Skill 1 Song 1 Solfege Notes 1
Merit 2 Skill 2 Song 2 Solfege Notes 2
Merit 3 Skill 3 Song 3 Solfege Notes 3
Merit 4 Skill 4 Song 4 Solfege Notes 4
Merit 5 Skill 5 Song 5 Solfege Notes 5
Merit 6 Skill 6 Song 6 Solfege Notes 6
Merit 7 Skill 7 Song 7 Solfege Notes 7
Merit 8 Skill 8 Song 8 Solfege Notes 8
Merit 9 Skill 9 Song 9 Solfege Notes 9
Merit 10 Skill 10 Song 10 Solfege Notes 10

Here is an example of a complete table:

Merit Musical Skill Tune Solfege required
White Belt Instrument Assembly Tuning Note Do
Yellow Belt Breathe Hot Cross Buns Do Re Mi
Orange Belt Articulation Au Claire De La Lune Do Re Mi
Green Belt Tempo Lean On Me Do Re Mi Fa
Blue Belt Dynamics Louie Louie Do Re Mi Fa Sol
Purple Belt Following Conductor Hallelujah Do Re Mi Fa Sol La
Brown Belt Bass Line and Melody Despacito (Low) La (Low) Ti Do Re Mi Fa Sol
Red Belt Technique Frère Jacques Do Re Mi Fa Sol
Black Belt Beginning of music reading Concert Bb Scale Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do

Using this table spend some time to create your own cycle of tunes. They don't necessarily each need to add one new note, what is most important is that a new musical skill is learned with each song.

Continue to Unit 2 Standard to solfege Back to Closing the gap between sound and sight