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Books and materials: Sight-singing Books


I teach sight singing using the Damschroder text: LISTEN AND SING.
I am considering using, instead, Bach Chorales and MELODIA (full).
I wonder if any of you have thoughts on this approach and/or
preferences for other materials.


From: William Christopher Fields I would strongle suggest using BACH Choral sightreading material. It is
generally morwe complex and therefore has the tendncy to strengthen your
singers and overall it is a great thing to have!

Reply-to: smulder(a)
I inherited the Damschroeder text in my Aural Skills course and am
now in the process of changing to "Music for Sight Singing" by
Robert W. Ottman. The exercises are similar to Melodia, although I
like these better. It includes duets and canons, all organized in a
logical manner into chapters. I suggest reviewing a copy to see if
this tool will be appropriate for you. Published by Prentice Hall.

Bach Chorales are always good supplements!
Dr. Stephen J. Mulder
Director of Choral Activities
Gordon College
419 College Dr.
Barnesville, GA 30204
770 358-5293

From: "Terry Barham"
For my university solfege course, I've gone back to Ottman, Music for
Sight Singing--now in its 7th edition. Really good. And I've tried
several different books.

From: SAMOChoir(a)
I love Melodia because it is a book of notes. I can mix and match and adjust
them to my personal a style. I feel that it isolates elements well and uses a
good progression. It includes minor and bass clef and chromatic syllables
with traditional notation.

From: SBrailove(a)
Have read your posting to Choralist, and take the liberty of writing you. You
don't say at what level your students are - but may we send you a brochure
about the McElheran "Music Reading by Intervals", a book based on his 50
years of conducting and teaching at SUNY-Potsdam? If you'd like us to do
that, just send your postal address.

Brichtmark Music, Inc./SBrailove

From: Philip and Susan Kern
I used the Damschroder text for a year but found it to be difficult to
use in an academic setting. It seemed to move too quickly without
filling in gaps along the way. Just my reflections, though.

I think Melodia would be a much better choice. I assume you are using
solfege syllables, but Melodia would work well under any circumstances.
It also makes a great book to work with after one graduates. Bach
Chorales are always a great choice.

Philip Kern pskern(a)

From: Bruce Phelps
I am a choral director at Anoka High School in Anoka, MN and have been
here since 1976. I fought the battle of trying to find a sight singing
method to use for my students and discovered that the thing they needed
most was exercises that would guide them through the process. Many methods
are very good and very expensive so I went about writing my own. I have
marketed my own Sight Singing Manual in over 35 states to over 500 schools.
For a more complete description, please go to my website at and you will get a broader picture of what the manual
does. My book comes with permission to duplicate all pages for use in your
school, hence a one time purchase. Take a look at it and if it is
something you might be interested in, let me know.

Bruce Phelps
Vocal Music director
Anoka High School
Anoka, MN

From: "Candy Jimenez" why not try Berkowitz, Dannhauser and Modus Novus for challenge.

yet another suggestion that you might just
consider, try Madrigal pieces in 2 to 3 part harmony.
My teacher uses in the conservatory moreover knows that sight singing is and
should not be memorized pieces from any books recommended in the exam. So
what he would do is to invert the book and we really of course sing it in
another way. If you want to test your students their sight singing skills,
having a
definite book would not really be good enough. The tendency is for them to
memorize and be so familiar with each piece given by the book. But if you
want to know how you are with your students, be innovative with the pieces.
Harmony wise, they can of course use the 2 3 part Bach chorales for voice.

From: Jon Hurty
I use Melodia and the Bach Chorales here at Augustana. I think Melodia is
great. The Bach Chorales are good also, but it is tricky to use them if you
have some weak singers and others that are better.

Thanks for all the responses.

Tom Sherwood in Cincinnati, Ohio
Xavier University

on July 3, 2004 10:00pm
I have just graduated and am starting in August teaching at a middle school. I have some sight-singing books, but they are all from college. I tried to look up Bruce Phelps book, but I cannot find the information on-line and don't have an e-mail address for him. Is there something else that someone can recomend to me. I know I probably will not receive anything until school starts, but I would like to find something.