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Pedagogical Approach

The system here at SonicFit trains students to develop frameworks.  For pitch, students recognize where each pitch fits in a framework- be it diatonic, highly chromatic, or even atonal. It is more useful, for example, to know that the two pitches are RE and SOL, and less useful to know that the interval between them is a fourth. (The later is great theoretical reinforcement and certainly builds knowledge, but is not the primary tool.) When sight reading, one will become exhausted if chasing note to note, mentally identifying each interval as it approaches. We really just don’t think that way. 

Even when a passage is atonal, we ground ourselves in a framework whereby we know what A to C is because we also know A to C# and A to B – we know the framework. In the exercise “melodic fragments,” students begin to train on fully chromatic frameworks within a small range, and later expand to larger ranges by utilizing octave displacements.

For chromatic tonal melodies, SonicFit trains students to recognize the chromatic pitches according to where they fit in the diatonic scale- which is largely informed by their tendency resolution. FI is easy to find when one learns it according to its resolution to SOL. Like basic scale degree recognition skills, this skill can be developed using the "scale degree exercise."

The framework for rhythm is meter and beat divisions.  It is of primary importance to know that the second note begins on beat four; this is what we hear. From it we may derive that the first note, which begins on beat one, is a dotted half note. The framework leads us to determine durations, we do not chase durations from one note to the next, in the same way that we do not chase pitches by intervals one note to the next. All of the rhythmic exercises, thereby, train students to recognize metric or beat division placements. At advanced levels, students must navigate exercises in which the meter and beat divisions change.

Framework understand, thereby, is the foundation of SonicFit. This however, does not exclude the study of several helpful training tools that can be found here. A well rounded musician knows the same material from many different perspectives, so you will find many different types of exercises.

More about our pedagogy, especially how our curriculum is structured and how we approach foundational skills, can be found on our Choral Curriculum page (linked below). This section contains an extensive explanation of our use of Movable Do Solfege using LA based minor.