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writing notes that the teacher plays (Read 1821 times)

Offline littletune

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writing notes that the teacher plays
« on: May 10, 2010, 02:25:22 PM »
Well at music theory this is one of the most important things that we have. I mean it's one of the most important things on the exam too. And one of the most difficult ones :) I don't know what it's called in English. I've been looking at ABRSM Syllabuses but I haven't seen that anywhere, well I guess it's like singing or playing what the teacher plays except we also have to write the notes. Our teacher plays (usually two and two bars) on the piano and then we have to first sing that and then write the notes. It looks like this:



And I am always sooooo very afraid of these (and I better not think about how afraid I will be at the exam!) And the funny thing is I usually get almost everything right :) but I just always feel like I was just lucky and that the next time I will get everything wrong!  :( I don't even know how I know which notes I have to write  :-\ it's really weird. And I'm always sooo scared! I just don't trust my ears I guess... And I really wish I could somehow practice this at home so I would start trusting my ears more. Does maybe anyone have any idea how I could practice this by myself? Because I just don't know how I could do that...  :-\  Does anyone know?

Offline Bob

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 07:17:17 PM »
Dictation?   Melodic dictation.  Harmonic dictation.

There are books with CDs to help with ear training.  You start off with simple stuff and gets more and more complex.  Diatonic and then chromatic stuff. 

It's practicing, like anything.  You could find a tutor and take some lessons.  Being able to sing a little bit is useful too. 

If you guess and write something that makes sense -- progresses and follows the rules -- they might still give you some credit for that, even if you didn't know what you were hearing.

For writing, you just use a / pencil mark for a note head.  There's not enough time to make full noteheads while doing that.  A / and the stem is one octave long. 

The stuff you've written looks like beginner ear training exercises. 

It's not so bad.  It really helps to tune the ears up with that stuff, practicing it.  Your mind adjusts after awhile.  Tuning -- intonation -- being able to sing in tune and tell if a pitch is flat or sharp is very useful too.  And something pianists might not get much use out of listening.  I know of a professional pianist with perfect pitch who can't tell sharp or flat.  Kind of strange. 

Dictation would fal under "ear training" or "aural skills."  You'll find more info that way.  And dictation is the flipside of sight-singing -- learning solfege, being able to take those exercieses, what you see written down, and sing them back or just hear them in your head.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline oxy60

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 01:56:33 AM »
While a lot of people think perfect pitch is something to achieve, I never had it. What I was able to have was good relative pitch, which I think is much more useful. Often we would change the key of a chorus piece and the "perfect pitchers" would go nuts, because they had to transpose. The rest of us were easily fooled. Just blow the pitch pipes for the sections and quietly hum the first chord during the applause and away we would go in the new key.

As you all can imagine, I was terrible in music dictation. I did get some credit for having the correct intervals, but I wasn't in the right key.

Bob, you sound like you teach music..
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline Bob

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 05:20:01 AM »
Hmmm. :p

What's up there for learning is also learning relative pitch.

There are more threads on this.  I remember a few.


Another helpful thing is to establish the key in your ear before you start, if you can -- either for dictation or for sight-singing (esp for sight-singing). 

Another one that I found really helpful -- Practice setting up the key -- V I will do it -- and then just hit one note (in the scale or out of it) and learn to identify that one note.  Simple exercise, big payoff.   (Kind of boring too though).

I also remember that I was hearing where the notes wanted to go when I was studying that stuff -- Like the fourth step wants to go down to the third step.  If you play notes in little patterns of three notes that are nearby notes  (4 3 4) or notes in chords that note is likely to be found in (4 6 1 or 4 6 4) that can help to hear the character of that note.  (Although I think that's also training the mind to start hearing chords associated with notes, but for diatonic stuff, you can fit all the notes into I IV(or ii) V(or V7). 

Another thing I did in ear training classes -- Draw the contour of the melody.  I used to hate when the teacher would peer over my shoulder and tell me the lines were in the wrong place on the staff.

If you can keep a note in your mind to compare other notes too, that's a plus -- As in keeping do (first step) in mind.

Air whistling is another trick.  You can very quietly air whistle the melody back.  Of course you said you were already singing it back.  Same idea.  I think air whistling is somewhere between actually producing the sound and just mentally hearing the pitches.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline prometheus

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 05:34:55 AM »
You need to be able to ID basic intervals first. Then you can try this. Eartrainer Pro has melodic dictation.
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Offline littletune

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 12:12:03 PM »
Dictation yes of course :) Those are beginner exercises for 1st and 2nd grade. Because I'm supposed to do 1st and 2nd grade this year but I don't think I'll do second grade (im to scared   ::) :) ).
Thank you for the advice! :)
I think what scares me the most is remembering a lot of notes. Because when our teacher plays just two notes - and then we have to tell if it was the same note or half a tone up or down or a whole tone up or down - that doesn't scare me at all! I really like doing that and it's really fun and I always know what it was. But when theres more than three notes I just feel like I won't be able to remember all of them and I get all nervous. And then when I'm nervous it's even harder to listen  ::) .
Oh and we sing a lot all the time (like sight-singing) that doesn't scare me so much either. And I know it's helpful.
Well I'll try some things. I think if I just wouldn't be so scared everything would be great! :)
Thanks everybody for your answers!  :)

Offline keyofc

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 06:17:16 PM »
Try to echo it by humming in your head silently after they give you the notes.
Also another thing I think is helpful is using your fingers to outline the phrase.

Offline littletune

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Re: writing notes that the teacher plays
«Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 07:19:18 PM »
Thank you for the advise!! :) I need it now!! I have my first exams on saturday!
You mean like drawing the melody with your fingers? That sounds cool :)
Thanks!! :)