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The Collaborative Learner Band Method Book is a learner-centred approach to music literacy. This method uses a sound before sight methodology, developing the inner ear through singing in movable solfege. As learners acquire proficiency as sight singers, they will also acquire the ability to hear what they read before they play it. This approach allows students to know what they are listening for and not just what they are listening to.
This method also provides abundant scope for teacher adaptation, individualization, creative input from teachers and students, and provides opportunity for students to work individually, in small groups, or in large ensembles in a traditional band set up. All skills and concepts are taught first by rote, and then students and teachers work and play through the exercises together.
All sung melodies are represented on partial staves, so students focus on becoming staff and interval literate before learning to read note names. Sung solfege pitches are designated as sounds, played pitches on the standard staff are given standard note names. Through this process, students are brought from what they already know (pitches repeat, go up or go down) to a thorough understanding of how a musical staff represents these pitch behaviours, and how to read these symbols musically and accurately.
Students are encouraged to write their own exercises as they progress through the sequence of skills, and these exercises can be shared with other musicians in their own sections. In this way, students help create the method by which they learn.