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|This book was designed to develop sight reading and rhythmical skills for instrumentalists and vocalists by presenting a course of progressive lessons and studies specifically aimed at these areas. The most important element in becoming a proficient reader is to develop an ability to count precisely while maintaining a steady tempo. Through the development of the counting method employed in this book and the analysis of rhythmic structure — identification of the various notes, rests, groups and signs used — the student will attain greater ease and facility when approaching sight reading material.
I personally developed this graded method over a number of years while teaching a class at college on the subject. As there was no suitable method available, I found myself spending much of my time writing lessons and studies for my many students. What I also discovered was that most students found it extremely difficult to play ‘in time' — with a strong sense of rhythm — and that they did not have a solid background in the areas of counting, note break up and groupings. Due to the insufficient literature available on this subject, it was imperative that a book of this nature was made available for the music student and classroom teacher. The material in this book is divided into three sections as follows:
SECTION I Lessons: This section contains twenty-two lessons. Each lesson gradually introduces notes and rests in quarter, eighth, eighth triplets and sixteenths. The lessons contain exercises and a sixteen bar summary.
Lesson Thirteen: Combination of a sixteenth rest and three sixteenth notes
SECTION II Studies: This section contains eleven studies. Each study is thirty-two bars long and develops gradually, incorporating material from two lessons at a time. With each study, new material covered is added, culminating with study eleven which contains all the material covered in lesson one through to lesson twenty-two.
SECTION III Syncopation: This section contains eleven studies. These eleven syncopation studies incorporate the material covered in Section I and new forms of writing groups, as explained in ‘Writing Styles' (pages 64 - 67). Each study is thirty-two bars long and develops gradually in the style of the studies found in Section II. With each study, new material covered is added, culminating with study eleven which combines syncopation with most of the material found throughout the book.
As a performer, composer and educator with twenty years' experience, I believe that sight reading and rhythm are two essential elements which have to be developed in order to become well versed in your chosen instrument or voice. This book can easily meet the needs of the beginner or the advanced student looking for rhythmical sight reading material. As this course is laid out in a progressive form, it will be easy to keep pace with each lesson and study. To the student without any prior knowledge of music, this book can represent a self teaching method; however there is no substitute for a competent teacher. graded workbook for instrumentalists and vocalists designed to develop sight reading and rhythmic skills by presenting a course of progressive lessons and studies specifically aimed at these areas. Many different rhythmic groupings and writing styles are clearly presented and analysed. This book will provide invaluable assistance to all musicians and lead to a greater understanding of the fundamentals of rhythm.
Through the development of the counting method employed in this book and the analysis of rhythmic structure identification of the various notes, rests, groups and signs used-the student will attain greater ease and facility when approaching sight reading material.
The book was first published in Australia in 1996. It was released internationally by Mel Bay Publications in 2001.
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