All posts tagged: teachers

Why I Discourage Perfect Pitch

I’ll never forget the look that I shared with a friend of mine after one of our first University music tests. It wasn’t even a high stakes situation. It was simply a pre-assessment to determine what class we should join for our aural studies. As you learn really quickly in a music degree, it’s not about where you start, it’s about how hard you work to get where you want to go. So even though the test wasn’t easy, we all left free in the knowledge that it didn’t determine any of our final grades. We all went to get the obligatory midday coffee, and one student just couldn’t resist it. He had to have his moment of glory. “I know he didn’t ask for it, but on that final transcription, I included that it was in A Major, just to show that I knew it.” Now, to give context, many of the rest of us had struggled on the final task. It was 5 bars of piano music, with no key signature, time signature …

C or Do?

The title of this certainly is challenging to read. I can assure you that I do not mean ‘see or do’. The question I am asking is whether or not we call a note ‘C’ or ‘Do’, or anything else for that matter. This raises so many questions for people. We live in a world where we belong to schools of thought. Are you Kodaly trained, Orff trained, Suzuki trained? Or do those names make your eyes hurt? I have received extensive training in aural studies, sight singing and piano/music teaching. And what I have arrived at is that it is important to know what other people think, and why they think it. The programs I have listed have lasted for a reason; they are effective. So then why doesn’t everyone do it exactly the same way? The short answer to that is that music is a cultural product; it is intrinsically connected to language, communication and, in many cases, national identity. I learned the music notes as C,D,E all the way up to my …