String Pedagogy Article Reflections
Methods Article #6: Audition The Gordon process of teaching a melody by rote helps students understand a song, singing or playing on an instrument, before they understand notation. This process builds from a simple song that the students should know, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and creates a result where half of the students are singing a bass line accompaniment along with the melody. After choosing the song, the teacher will give the students context, or tonality, by singing or playing an outline of the tonic and dominant of the song.
Together, the class will sing in the connected or separated style of the piece, “do” or “too. ” Then, the class will memorize the piece by echoing back phrases of the song to the teacher. At the end, the teacher will sing the root of each chord and have the students learn it as well. Quickly the students will have learned a full song, and understand its function, without the use of notation. 2. Similar to that of teaching a melody in rote, the Gordon process of teaching a rhythmic pattern occurs without the use of notation. First, a simple four-beat rhythmic pattern is chosen with a given tempo and meter, for context.
The students ill learn the pattern by tapping their hand on their thigh and by using their foot to keep a steady beat. Keeping in tempo, the tapping will be replaced with chanting the pattern. Just as the rote melody, the students will echo the beat by choosing one student while the rest of the class continues to keep the beat steady. This will assess if a student has learned to keep a rhythm while others are keeping a consistent tempo. This method is similar to rote, in that, it does not use any notation and teaches a whole pattern aurally. Both methods of teaching are natural to children.