Aural Skills Pedagogy: Harmonic Dictation for Students with Absolute Pitch

April 21, 2020    0 comment


Proceedings of ‏The 2nd International Conference on Research in Teaching and Education

Year: 2020

DOI:

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Aural Skills Pedagogy: Harmonic Dictation for Students with Absolute Pitch

Rika Uchida

 

ABSTRACT: 

In teaching sophomore level aural skills, I have dealt with students with absolute pitch do poorly in my courses, particularly in harmonic dictation. They can identify triads; however, identifying quality of seventh chords or chromatic chords poses serious challenges. Most often, they need to spell all the pitches before identifying the chord qualities and Roman Numerals.Growing up in acountry where acquiring absolute pitch is considered essential, I started my early music training with fixed dosystem at age three and learned all my music with solfege. When I was assigned as a TA in aural skills courses at graduate school in US, I hadto learn relative pitch quickly. My survival method was listening to music with absolute pitch first, then quickly “translate” to relative pitch. In teaching my courses, I have been using chord progressions (5-8 chords total), in which studentsare asked to sing chord arpeggiation with movable dosolfege. I use same progressions for harmonic dictation; I hoped that students learn to incorporate singing and listening skills by overlapping same materials.This method has proven to be successful for moststudents; in particular, it has helped students with absolute pitch to hear chord quality and function. Although original progressions are written in C as a tonic, they can identify chords in harmonic dictation in other keys as well.In short, I believesinging chord progression with movable doarpeggiation helps students with absolute pitch to improve hearing function and quality of chords in harmonic dictation.

Keywords: Aural Skills Pedagogy in Music

 

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Rika Uchida

Drake University

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