MIAMI, Fla. Turning middle school and junior high school students into confident rhythm readers is a critical challenge for every educator. Dr. Anne C. Witt helps teachers achieve this important goal with her new supplemental method for stringed instruments, A Rhythm a Week.
Published by Warner Bros. Publications, Dr. Witt’s new book is based on the well-known A Rhythm a Day method by Dr. Igor Hudadoff, which appeared in 1965. A significant difference between the two works is that Dr. Witt’s method introduces students to a new rhythm on a weekly, rather than daily, basis.
"I used A Rhythm a Day in my middle school classes for over 10 years and found it invaluable," said Dr. Witt. "Each day following scales, my classes spent about five minutes on one of the rhythms. However, in order for every student to master the rhythms, I found that a week of practice was required, rather than a day."
A Rhythm a Week puts Dr. Witt’s teaching philosophy into practice. The method includes 52 rhythmic units in unison using major and minor scales. Written for use in either classes or private lessons, A Rhythm a Week isolates rhythmic study in rehearsals and reinforces its importance. This encourages students to concentrate specifically on rhythmic accuracy.
In addition to improving sight-reading skills, the book gives string students a better understanding of topics like the relationships between rhythms, bow speed and length, and slurs. The book also reinforces the importance of scales as the basis of left hand technique. Since each measure in the book changes pitch, students cannot "coast" or hide their uncertainties in the left hand the way they can when there is just one pitch. This challenge makes it easier for teachers to identify which students need help.
"By teaching rhythms in a musical format, A Rhythm a Week makes learning more enjoyable," said Bob Dingley, Warner Bros. Publications Vice President of Education. "Using the book, students become more confident rhythm readers. This allows teachers to spend more time rehearsing music with students, rather than teaching them to count rhythms. We believe that this book will have a positive impact on retention rates, since students who are good readers are more likely to stay involved in music."
A supplement to any method book 1 or book 2, A Rhythm a Week features "practice rhythm," metronome markings, an index of seven time signatures and 12 keys and logical bowings that do not need to be revised. The book is ideal for use in schools, private lessons or an adult beginner class.
Dr. Witt has served as President of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and President of the American String Teachers Association. "We’re very proud to include Dr. Witt among our authors," says Fred S. Anton, President/COO of Warner Bros. Publications. "Dr. Witt is an internationally respected educator, and this method makes a significant contribution to the world of music education."
For more information visit the company’s website at: www.warnerbrospublications.com.
Warner Bros. Publications is a Warner Music Group Company, a division of Time Warner.