Basic Training in Music Skills
Training in Music Skills is an introductory aural skills
and musicianship curriculum and interactive computer application currently in use at North Carolina Central University. The program and curriculum were developed for the Vocal
Skills Lab at the University
of Oklahoma School of Music and were beta-tested at Sweet Briar College.
This introductory curriculum has been successful in quickly and
securely instilling basic musicianship skills in beginning students regardless of previous musical education or experience.
Basic Training in Music Skills
can be used a classroom curriculum for first year theory and aural
skills as well as for independent study and remedial instruction on an
individual basis. The program and curriculum can be used by a
trained instructor or teaching assistants to lead classroom seminars
and can also be used by students for practice and preparation.
As the name implies, Basic Training in Music Skills
is a regimented programmed designed to quickly instill the basics of
music in beginning students. The curriculum stresses aural perception
and analysis techniques for practical application to sight-singing,
dictation and the understanding of function in tonal music. This “boot
camp” for musicians instills a strong intuitive understanding of the
fundamentals of tonal music and an active appreciation of the
discipline necessary for advanced study of music at the collegiate
The Basic Training aural skills curriculum introduces musical ideas in
five stages. Preparation
introduces the new concept, Focus creates active listening and
introduces theoretical ideas, Perceive
assists in hearing affective qualities, Project practices
audiation, that is the active production of music in the imagination, Drill employs the
concept through active participation and Scramble drills the
idea in context of other musical ideas. Graduated sight-singing and
dictation exercises put the concept learned to practical use. Melodic
analysis examples reinforce theoretical comprehension to assist the
intuitive ability to recognize harmonic structures in tonal music.
introduces the essential elements of musical theory and notation.
Pitch recognition, key signature, solfege syllables, intervals
and inversions are presented with concise explanations applicable to
quick assimulation of the basic concepts of musical study. These
materials are then drilled to instill their usefullness in the further
study of music as well as performance.
To assist instruction, the Virtual
Trainer, an interactive computer application, leads the
regimented exercises and real-time drills by improvising chord
progressions and providing solutions to sight-singing and dictation
examples. The texts displayed by the Virtual Trainer
serve as an electronic textbook with practical examples and advice to
aid active perception and audiation of music. An instructor using the
software is freed to monitor the progress of each student and lead
through example. Self-monitoring is also provided for students working
This software curriculum is targeted at the beginning collegiate music
student and can be employed for remedial music fundamentals
courses or introductory music theory at the
pre-college level. Its pedagogical method is based on the author’s own
experiences as a performing musician and his exploration of traditional
methods of mentoring young music students in cultures throughout the
Training method stresses two concepts, enculturation and affective quality. Enculturation is
learning by drilling and repetition with the goal to produce an
awareness of music on an intuitive as well as intellectual level. By
recognizing the particular evocative response induced by musical
structures, that is the affective
quality, the young musician employs the very cultural and
acoustic characteristics and associations of tonal harmony which were
the motivation for creating those structures.
Training in Music Skills curriculum is created in Max/MSP. Max/MSP is open
source software which can function on either Microsoft or Apple computers.
There is no licensing fee for this software environment.
For further information, please contact Dr. Hulme at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further informatoin
and pricing for Basic
Training in Music Skills contact: