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Experiencing Music Through Music Theory

Teaching music formally begins with learning music rudiments and music theory. Everyone child or adult taking music lessons would begin this way. Usually, it takes a few lessons before one becomes familiar with some basic musical notation, symbols, etc.

If music lessons are privately and individually conducted, learning to play a musical instrument is part of the program. However, if music lessons are conducted in a classroom for a large group of students in a school, instrumental studies are usually not part of the program.

Therefore, it is crucial that the students experience music through musical activities to keep them interested and to enhance their musical awareness and appreciation. This is what I need to constantly do as I conduct Rhythm MP's music outreach program for primary students at vernacular and national schools.

After three lessons learning some basic rudiments (note types and their values, time signature, etc) the students did this quick rhythmic activity to put music theory into practice.

Learning to read and write music notes on the treble stave, the students were introduced to the pitches of five notes beginning from Middle C to G. Once they can recognize the notes, it is best to let them experience the sounds of those five notes.

The next activity was to have the students sing the arpeggio of C triad/chord as demonstrated in the clip below.

Just to make things interesting, I decided to use only three notes (Middle C to E note) to play a simple short phrase for any student to volunteer singing it in solfege. One can be quite surprised when one discovers that there are beginner students who seem to possess some natural musical ability like the student in the next clip who can remember the pitches and sing them using solfege correctly.