If your children are learning music, perhaps you have heard their anger at musical dictations. But what is a musical dictation? And why is it important for them to perfect it without coming to hate them? This time we are going to talk to you about this type of music exercise that has so many benefits for your children but that sometimes is a bit complicated for them. We give you some tips to help them deal with them.
Musical dictation is a tool used to improve a student's musical ear once he has learned to write music. Generally, the teacher plays a melody on the piano in order for the student to transcribe it on the staff, although now with new technologies it is possible to perform musical dictations from home with a recording of the melody.
Mainly there are two types of musical dictations: rhythmic and melodic.
- In melodic dictations, the student identifies the height of the sounds (do, re, mi, fa, sol ...).
- While in rhythmic dictations you have to identify how long each note lasts (quarter note, eighth note ...).
If your children have been learning to play an instrument for some time (maybe even you are the father or mother who is also taking advantage and learning to play an instrument), you will see that one of the techniques that will generally appear in music class is musical dictation.
Interestingly, it is a practice abhorred or feared by many students. Listening to musical fragments and then transcribing them can cause your children anxiety and insecurity. Making mistakes when trying to write the melodies or rhythms may not be well seen in the music classroom, thus promoting stress before these activities.
Musical dictation undeniably helps in the development not only of musical hearing (the ability to identify sounds) and rhythmic sense but also concentration, attention and careful listening, skills that will certainly not only help the child in his musical learning, but in his global learning.
On the other hand, children often they have a melody in their head and they don't know how to write it. The musical dictations and other activities that develop the musical ear just help the student to make the connection between what they imagine and the notes on the staff.
Now, on the other hand, there are activities that as parents we can do to help them improve their musical hearing and memory and, therefore, improve in musical dictations. It doesn't matter if you know music or not. Here are some ideas and reflections that we should do to help our children.
1. Reflect on what we demand of children
In general, many times we focus on the perfection of the results that our children have in their different activities. Music is no exception. When we accompany them in their musical lessons or review their progress, many times we want them to make it perfect.
And here, as a mother, I am going to tell you something about which you may not agree with me. Music, rather than being perfect at the age of a primary school child, is subjective, it is a language, and it is a way of transmitting emotions. Children have to learn it not as a science but as a way of expression, a fun activity that will accompany them for the rest of their lives.
2. Sing, sing, sing
Repeat songs and melodies all the time. Repeat musical patterns at any time of the day. Maybe they can add different musical patterns to the bathroom routine, or when they go to sleep. Ask your child about the melodies taught in class and sing them at home, repeat them on an instrument. But always from the side of fun - and therefore of motivation - in order to take away that pressure to be good at musical dictation.
3. Train memory
Remember, musical memory is also trained, and in this way we can do it in an easy and fun way. Over time, you can increase the difficulty of rhythmic patterns and melodies as your kids improve their memory.
4. Play draw music
At home there are times when we draw music: I put a piece of music for them and ask them to draw or paint it. Sometimes I ask them not to lift the marker from the paper. It's fun to see what comes out of this musical activity: the lines, the curves, the dots, and the colors… it's all part of how children interpret what they hear.
This activity allows them to visualize what they hear and in a musical dictation it can help them to more easily remember a melody if they have visualized it while listening to it.
As human beings, we learn from our mistakes. There is no child who has not made mistakes in learning to write. It is the same in musical dictation! Let's help them have confidence that:
- If they can read music then they can write it.
- If they make a mistake when writing it then they can correct it and learn from it. Why be burdened by making a mistake when billions of musicians throughout the world throughout history have made musical mistakes? The important thing, as in any aspect of life, is learn from those mistakes: 'that note is not fa but mi', 'that's how sun sounds'.
The key to improving your musical dictation and, therefore, to improving your musical ear is to practice, practice, and practice.
You can read more articles similar to How to help children with musical dictations so they don't hate them, in the Music on site category.