| When you begin to learn a language you first need to
hear it spoken.
Next you try to speak it. As educators, we seek to take our
students to the next stage of learning a language...to be literate in that
language. But why?
Literacy is not essential to learning a language. In fact, many, many
people speak language without ever reading or writing it!
Literacy is, however pretty essential if you want to read the ideas of
others, and if you want to share your ideas with others.
This is also true of music. Many, many musicians play excellent music
without ever reading or writing a note! However, many musicians have left
their music to us, by writing it down for us. We can interpret that music
for ourselves if we can read what has been written.
We can also record our compositions for others if we can write it down.
Throughout the ages, music has been written down in many different ways.
All kinds of symbols have been used to represent sounds visually. In our
Western culture, staff notation is widely understood by
many musicians. Tonic
solfa is also widely used.
While these are by no means the only methods of reading and writing
music, they can be very useful to know.
I am going to look at ways of learning and understanding these two
forms of literacy.