Basic Music Reading Skills
Paul G. Hill, DMA

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The Basic Music Reading Skills (BMRS) Course is a complete curriculum for conductors, music directors, or ministers of music to use as a tool to improve the music literacy level of his or her choir members. Recent research has demonstrated the possibility that approximately half the choir members in our choirs may not be able to read the music they are singing. Instead of music reading skills, these choir members are relying on rote learning (leader demonstrates the music, the singer repeats it until learned), memorization (a natural result of rote learning), and a reliance on stronger singers.

The BMRS Course is a ten-week course taught in one-hour sessions. Within each lesson are suggestions for how to provide an additional mini-lesson in rehearsal which will serve as refresher information for those choir members also taking the BMRS Course, as well as providing a steady stream of music literacy reminders for your choir members.

Included in the book and CD are teaching suggestions for each of the ten lessons as well as background information on the research leading to this course. All handouts, homework assignments, worksheets, pop-tests, organizational materials, and video slides necessary for the course are included on a CD-ROM resource disc in .pdf form. There are three video slide files for each lesson: full color slides to use in class from your laptop and video projector, a notes version complete with a lesson script, and a slide sorter version giving an overview of all the slides used in each lesson. Additionally, there are 35 full-color 11x17 posters that you can use both in the class as well as to assist your choir with helpful reminders about various music literacy subjects.

All your choir needs is a conductor/director/minister of music willing to teach them how to read music...and BMRS is not just for adults. Youth and children can also learn the basics of music reading from this course.   

Download or view the American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) article by the author (with permission from Choral Journal):
"Music Literacy Among Adults in Church Choirs" ACDA Choral Journal, December 2009
  

 

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