Ward Method questions
  • Hello, I just ordered the Music First Year book and was reviewing Lesson 1 for teaching music to my children. I understand we start singing "Noos" at A flat rather than C and would like some reasoning behind if possible? However, I am confused about the instruction to sing 1& 2, which we state as Do & Re, starting at A flat. Wouldn't I start 1 & 2 on note C which is Do? Help please.

    On a separate topic, would it be advisable to purchase the book referenced on page 7, Teachers Manual of Primary Methods by Shields? I am trying to keep things as simple as possible and prefer not to be distracted by too many other training manuals. However, I am not musically trained so if this or another manual would be of great benefit I would please like a recommendation.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    DO doesn't necessarily have to be a C. DO can be anywhere to fit the range of your singers. The important thing is the relationship between the notes, not the names of the notes as we know them on the key board, or in modern notation.

    In other words, the important thing is that the relationship between DO and RE always be a whole step. The relationship between RE and MI always be a whole step, and that the relationship between MI and FA always be a half step, etc.

    For example, in the key of C major as we know it, the tonic, or the DO, is C. In G major, the tonic, or the DO, is G.

    The only reason they give you an A flat is that that seems to be a good starting pitch for children's voices, and gives you a clue as to what to blow on the pitch pipe you have in your hand.

    Does this help?
  • I did buy the teacher's manual, but it is different than the one referenced on p. 7. I believe the one I purchased is a newer edition prepared by Theodore Marier. It is "That All May Sing" Book One Teacher's Manual, It is published by the Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC. If my memory serves me correctly, I am thinking it required me contacting someone other than CUA for the actual order fulfillment, but CUA can give you that info. if you contact them. I did find it helpful to use along with the Music First Year book, although I am thinking ideally I should attend a class where I actually learn all the correct methods from an instructor :)

    I also bought the "That All May Sing" student workbook. I found it helped me in the lesson organization...

    Good luck!
  • Thank you both for your help and prompt response. I understand what you are saying about the Do, Re and will need to overcome my prior solfege encounter of learning all Do as C Major. Do you have any suggestions on how to explain to my 7 year old who learned solfege with Do as C Major? Thank you once again.

    I will look into purchasing "That All May Sing" as I hope it will help train me in teaching what is most essential. Thank you so much for your recommendation.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Don't give your child time to analyze the thing. Just keep up a good pace, have fun, and if asked, tell your 7 year old that this is the way the saints learned to sing, and that all the mysteries of the musical universe will eventually be revealed if you do it this way. Children are mesmerized by talk like this (with your own spin, of course), and will buy it.

    So, refer only to DO, RE, MI, etc., and be careful not to slip and call a DO a C yourself!
  • AOZ, Beautifully said and eloquent. I love the part about this is the way the saints learned to sing and mysteries of the musical universe.....Thank you so very much for your support and help. Blessings.