I have been a firm believer in using solfegio for choirs since I was taught to use it and it improved my ability immensely. But at the beginning of this year I had the idea to start using it with my 5th grade band and see if they could pick it up at that age and also because in my school the only music they get at that age is band if they choose. This meant I wanted to get them singing early on as well so when they get to the upper graves maybe they won’t be afraid of choir.
Well something that I probably should have predicted happened. Their playing improved as well. And as far as I can tell this class is progressing faster than my other classes did at the same age.
This could be because I am a little more experienced now and so surely my classroom management has improved but other than that I have not changed my teaching style or resources, besides adding solfege.
Before every song we play now we sing it on the sofege. This especially helps for brand new songs but it is also great for songs they have been playing for a while because it gets the tune back in their heads. I have had many teachers tell me if you can’t sing it you can’t play it. I don’t know how true that is but the more I do this the more I am convinced they were on to something. We just never used solfege.
I don’t know exactly this could be implemented into the upper levels of music I’m not ready to try that just yet but it is perfect for beginning band where everyone plays the same thing.
So this last week I also decided to go ahead and add the hand signs and the kids are loving it. When I try and get my older kids to learn these things they just whine and complain about how hard it is and that they arent used to it. But the younger kids are eating it up. I love it I feel like I am becoming a better teacher.