What does my student need?
A private teacher contacted me recently asking questions about the best way to use NoteSense® because he didn't think he had the time to use the program within the context of a weekly lesson. I acknowledged that optimal NoteSense® instruction would be twice per week 30 minutes per session. He then asked, is it possible to incorporate NoteSense® into a normal weekly lesson and move at a slower pace with shorter sessions ? My response: absolutely!
First and foremost, we must ask the question: does the student NEED a structured, explicit and sequential program to learn to read music? If the answer is yes, then it is worthwhile to temporarily adjust the lesson proportions accordingly. If it is not possible to devote the entire lesson to NoteSense®, then consider this option: for a 45 minute lesson, divide the lesson into 20 minutes of NoteSense® reading instruction and 25 minutes of instrumental instruction. For a 30 minute lesson, divide into 15 minutes of NoteSense® and 15 minutes of instrumental instruction. It is important for the parents to be on board: to be schooled in the value of music reading literacy for their child, and to understand that note literacy needs to be a temporary priority. Once the reading foundation is established, the child will have reading skills for a lifetime.
Like any learning activity, the student will progress more rapidly with more frequent learning and review sessions. However, even in small doses, students with special needs will begin to have greater understanding if they are taught in a structured, explicit, sequential system. The sooner you begin, the sooner they will stop "guessing" and begin to connect the print on the page with their instrument.