Updated: Dec 21, 2022
In this "Solfege 101" and “BRIM Video Worksheet” series, we are using a "sound with sight" approach, which presents both the visual signs (or “notation”) of music as well as aural (or “sounding”) tones or pitches in music simultaneously. It is our hope that both new learners as well as those reviewing concepts missed along the way will find this approach helpful. Our desire is that folks will not get bogged down in the complexities of musical notation and theory while learning the fundamentals of singing and playing.
My own experience began in church children's choirs and elementary music classes where I was either bored stiff and/or paralyzed by the prevailing Southern U.S. male stereotype that to learn
music was to be a “sissy.” I was constantly transfixed by TV variety shows in the 1960's, had family members who sang in choirs and played piano, etc. Though I certainly did not appreciate all of the Lawrence Welk Show, acts from tap-dance to honky-tonk piano caught my ear and motivated
me to have a silent interest in music. I finally begged to take piano while in 3rd grade; my mom relented, threatening that if I started, I wouldn't be allowed to do what she did, and quit. I did not have the “play by ear “ talent some of my great aunts possessed, but managed to struggle through the 1st year and played my little ‘Surprise Symphony’ piece successfully at Spring Recital. To finish the year, Mr Reed assigned me “Broken Record Boogie,” with which I fell in love. However, the following year, when back to the John Thompson method, I ended up just sitting for 30 minutes at the new Everett piano my parents had purchased, staring at the keys and not wanting to figure out fingerings or deciphering the notes on the page. I was assigned a piece to memorize for the peer recital at our teacher's studio and ended up sitting there in front of 40 or so of our small town kids, not playing a note. The next week, Mr. Reed said, “I believe you are wasting your parents' money” and pointed me to the door. And for the next 2 years I hated church choir, was jealous of others who could accompany hymns in Sunday School, and wouldn't even try to learn tunes my cousins and others played by rote . My oldest cousin had taught me the “Beverly Hillbillies” melody on guitar using 2 strings.
Here is a link to a music literacy video and the links to my current music reading videos
but first, lets embark on a Musical Journey video that might have really helped me early on:
to be continued