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A Practical Method of Rhythmic Reading to Improve Comprehension and Performance Jensina Victoria Oliver A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts (Piano) University of Washington 2014 Reading Committee: Craig Sheppard, Chair Robin L. McCabe Donna Young Shin Program Authorized to Offer Degree: Music
University of Washington Abstract A Practical Method of Rhythmic Reading to Improve Comprehension and Performance. Jensina Victoria Oliver Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Professor Craig Sheppard School of Music The inspiration to create this method of rhythmic reading came from working with students in class and private instruction settings for nearly two decades and noticing a common trend: students of varying levels of advancement routinely lack a fundamental sense of steady beat and the ability to accurately interpret and perform rhythmic notation. These problems become more profound in sight-reading portions of classes and lessons. This method is an attempt to provide instructors in either a private instruction or class setting a method by which they can help students develop rhythmic accuracy (separate from pitch), as well as cultivate a better sense of underlying pulse and a more complete understanding of meter. Rhythmic relationships and ratios are studied, as well as pulse/beat, meter (simple and compound with various beat notes), tempo, division, subdivision, dots, ties, and other related topics. Folk tunes and traditional rhymes are used to practice new concepts and help developing musicians master topics using familiar material.
This method has twelve units of advancing complexity, each featuring topics for discussion, rhythmic drills for individual practice, two-handed practice exercises, counting tips, worksheets, and ensembles for group practice. A variety of performance suggestions inspire teachers to create fun and innovative learning experiences in diverse pedagogical settings. The method is well-suited for students as they progress past elementary levels of musicianship; completion of all twelve units will provide a thorough foundation for the more complex rhythms and metric nuances found in intermediate and advanced literature.
i TABLE OF CONTENTS Featured Ensembles iii Introduction iv Acknowledgements vi CHAPTER ONE 1.1 Rhythm: An Introduction 1 1.2 Pedagogical contributions of Carl Orff, 4 Zoltán Kodály, and Émile Jaques-Dalcroze 1.3 Teaching in individual and group settings 10 1.4 Presentation of concepts –simple and compound concurrently; 13 definitions of dotted values 1.5 Teaching meter –simple vs. compound –steady beat 15 1.6 Poetic meter; diagramming common rhymes 22 1.7 The necessity of this method 27 1.8 A survey of available resources 30 1.9 Copyright considerations and formatting information 36 CHAPTER TWO 2.1 Introduction: teaching beat, tempo, durational symbols, 37 dots and ties 2.2 Simple time signatures with beat notes and their multiples 41