- Reviewed on Friday, June 2, 2006
- Grades Used: K-1
- Dates used: 2005-06/06-07
Because my field of expertise is music, I wanted to find a simple means to introduce this 'language' and some fundamental concepts to my children, at the stage where they began to learn to read the English languge- we have had them in Suzuki violin and piano, and this latter approach stresses developing their ears first, then reading capabilities.
Therefore, the first year music program of Rod and Staff was good, in that it begins to teach both shape note as well as solfege, to a limited degree.
We used this, and will continue to use this, while I merge them into a Kodaly classroom approach for the coming year. But the use of flashcards, colors to delineate 'do' from 're' and shapes as well, is a very good visual, tactile (they had to color the appropriate shapes) as well as aural (Practicing these pitches using a fixed 'do' on Middle C to get them to sing). As I have only used the first year worksheets, I cannot speak to the program at higher levels.
However, I must stress that ANYONE can do music- and SHOULD- to achieve both cognition between the hemispheres of the brain; (music- especially Piano! -is excellent for this!) to ennoble the spirit; and to praise God, of course. That this was one of the fundamental subjects taught by both the Greeks as well as the Medieval Trivium, and is implied in the OT (did you ever read about Chenaniah, and the 700 trained musicians for the Temple- now THAT’S a ‘church job’!). Even in this day and age, to avoid music as an activity as well as a pastime, is unconscionable.
I found R&S's beginning workbook on this subject more than adequate- but it would need to be followed up by more knowledge and practice from both parent and pupil to be effective in the long run.