Musical dictation involves the ability to hear a piece of music and quickly play it back (on an instrument) or write down the notes of a melody. One of the main goals of ear training is to harness one’s power of visualization – being able to hear a phrase and immediately anticipate how it will look and feel on your instrument.
To begin building this musical skill, we started with very short fragments. Because we use a color system to play the notes on our pianos, we began with these tones and their associated colors. The notes included were C (red), D (orange), and E (yellow).
Each student was given red, orange, and yellow pom poms. They were then asked to hear a short phrase played by Miss Carrie, and then visualize what that phrase looked like in their head.
Using their pom poms, they placed their selections onto a musical staff. We then reviewed our answers as a class. Soon we were able to move on to longer, more complex phrases! As your little ones’ ability increases, they will be able to mentally practice and compose music on their own!