Elements of Music Pedagogy
This material is based on a sort of odd book by Victor Wooten (See References). In this book, Wooten's eccentric teacher talks about the elements (see his list, below). I've been giving my students a sort of "laundry list" of elements that one works with, in studying music, for quite some time, so this caught my attention.
I'm fairly certain more able people than myself have already done this, and I would appreciate feedback from readers. Please email me if you would like to share your ideas, make corrections or comments. Currently, I have as the elements of music (alphabetized but in no particular order of importance):
Articulation: Shape of a note or phrase. Basically three marks (and combinations thereof). The dot ( . ) which is staccato (short); the line ( - ) which is tenuto (stretched); and the accent ( > ) which is like a little punch at the beginning of a note. (Accent marks are the chevron pointing to the right.) Sometimes in an otherwise more or less staccato passage, the articulation line ( - ) is meant to give the note full length, where it is equivalent to tenuto. Sometimes, in combination with a slur, it means the notes are detached although played without a change in bow direction. Sometimes the line implies that some sort of weight should be given to the note. Sometimes it's composer-defined.
- See: Common String Terminology
Conventions of notation: The way that music is written on the page is important, but according to Wooten, is often the main focus of teachers, and it should not be. It is only one element, and not the most important one.
• Clef Signs
• Non-Traditional String Sound Resources
• Glossary of Musical Terminology
• 160 Flashcards for Strings & Piano Students
• Notation Texts
Dynamics: Gradations of loud and soft.
- See: Dynamics
Form: Overall shape of a piece, including repeated sections and development techniques.
• Baroque Dance Forms
Harmony: Vertical organization of notes. See Harmony, Wikipedia.
• Chord Structures & Cadential Formulas
• Evaluating Intervals
• Circle of Fifths, pdf
• Non-Harmonic Tones, pdf
• Theory & Ear Training Texts
Intonation: In string pedagogy, the issues of playing "in tune."
- See: What is the best way to achieve good intonation in string playing? - Violin/Viola FAQ
Melody: The horizontal element or "tune" - more prominent in Romantic era music than Baroque (for example). See Melody, Wikipedia
Phrasing: Like sentences and paragraphs, musical statements have shapes. Most frequently, four bar phrases, but also the organization of 8, 16, etc. The shape of these phrases. See Phrasing, Wikipedia
Rhythm: The beat, with all its subdivisions and organizations. See Rhythm, Wikipedia
- See: Time Signatures & Conducting Patterns
Style: Performance practice as it relates to the commonalities in style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, Post-Modern. [Note that "musicology" is a very broad term, and includes just about everything, including subject areas such as acoustics; it's not just music history, in other words. See: Musicology, Wikipedia]
• Discussion: Contemporary Musicology
• Musicology (includes date chart)
• Early History of the Violin (1520-1650)
• J.S. Bach
• Grout History of Western Music: Outlines and Time Lines
• Research Tools - Standard texts in Musicology
Technique: Physical gymnastic and muscular discipline associated with playing well, facilitated by the study of scales, arpeggios, études, etc.
• Analysis of Carl Flesch Scale System
• Violin/Viola, Piano: 3 octave fingerings
• Public Domain Materials for Intermediate Violin/Viola Students: Trott, Ševcík, Sitt, Schradieck & Whistler
• Piano Pedals
• Violin/Viola FAQ - Learning & Techniques
• Violin/Viola Fingerboard Chart
• Sight Reading for Rehearsal & Auditions
Tone quality: The issue of producing beautiful sound on one's instrument/voice.
- See: How do I develop good sound production on the violin? - Violin/Viola FAQ
My list contrasts with Wooten's teacher's list, which includes:
- Feel [Ed. note: He probably says "feel" because the teaching in this case is bass guitar, which is specific time era related, versus the many style periods classically trained musicians study; so this might be equivalent to "Style" in my list.]
The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, Victor L. Wooten
Psychology for Musicians: Understanding and Acquiring the Skills, Andreas C. Lehmann, John A. Sloboda, Robert H. Woody
Samples of both of these are available via Kindle for free.