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Ear Training Coach in the Teaching Studio

3 August 2011 No Comment

ETCAdventus Incorporated’s Ear Training Coach is designed to help the private music teacher prepare students for RCM Examinations without eating up valuable lesson time drilling intervals, playbacks, and sight reading. Students respond quickly to the activities tailored to the specific requirements of each RCM Grade. Once the student has been introduced to each activity they can be left to work with the software independently. The software will keep detailed reports of each user’s results which the teacher can use to monitor progress on a weekly basis.

Tips for Effective Studio Use

The most common use of Ear Training Coach, once the student has been introduced to the software by the teacher, is for students to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled lesson time for their weekly interactive skill-building session. The teacher can leave an assignment for the student to complete, specifying the number of exercises to be completed within each activity.

Sample Assignment:

A student preparing for a Grade 3 Exam is struggling with rhythm playbacks
In ETC 3:

  1. Intervalo – complete 5 intervals
  2. Melody Playback – complete 3 playbacks
  3. Rhythms – complete 5 playbacks. (fi rst time listen, second time tap along on the space bar) After each exercise, click the “review” button to show the notes on the screen. Click “play” and clap the rhythm while following the notes on the screen.)
  4. Sight Reading – complete 2 rhythms and 3 melodies
  5. Game: Tune Twister – one tune

Once a student completes 10 repetitions in an activity, their progress is charted in the “profiles” section. The data can be used to tailor the assignments to allow for more repetitions on the areas where extra practice is needed.

  • any students respond well to a little bit of competition. Consider posting a chart on the wall beside your MIDI practice lab, where students earn a sticker for each of the 5 areas
    once they achieve 85%.
  • Unlike ear training CDs and sight reading books, Ear Training Coach is interactive and fully customizable. See your user manual for the many ways in which the software exercises can be customized to target the areas where your individual students need the most help.

Benefits to the Studio Teacher

Neither the student nor the teacher enjoys using lesson time to drill ear training and sight reading exercises. Ear Training Coach takes this tedious yet necessary practice and turns it
into an interactive game. The student benefits from more enjoyable – and more effective – practice in these valuable areas of musicianship. The teacher benefits as well:

  • Less stress during exam preparation, less “cramming” as exams approach
  • Higher exam marks in your studio
  • More efficient use of your time and expertise
  • Free yourself up for more billable lesson time
  • Higher job satisfaction, as you are able to focus on the parts of teaching that you enjoy

Maximizing the Rate of Progress

While the use of Ear Training Coach in the studio is very helpful, it is limited. Clearly more time spent listening and assessing, or reading and correcting, will lead to a higher level of skill. For the best results students should be encouraged to spend 15 minutes on a daily basis improving their ear and sight reading. Fortunately, the Ear Training Coach software does not seem like a drill, and unlike most ear training and sight reading practice tools, Ear Training Coach will likely be used daily if prescribed. In summary, Ear Training Coach is more than another piece of equipment in your studio, but also a tool that if used properly in the studio, will lead to excellent progress daily at home.

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by Jennifer van Gennip, an Adventus MusIQ Club teacher in Ontario
Reprinted by permission

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