A DoSo® Elementary program (for ages 7 – 11) provides an opportunity to play and sing popular music from diverse cultures. David Mills has borrowed concepts from Suzuki, Orff, Dalcroze and Kodaly, and he has incorporated improvisation techniques found in American jazz and Hindustani classical music.
Below is an excerpt from a concert at the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville where we added recorder, piano and percussion to songs from the DoSo® Song Library including The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The students played these instruments for the first time in classes over a 4-day period, and then gave this performance to friends and family on the morning of the 5th day.
The 3-string guitar is analogous to the Orff diatonic xylophone, that is, it is a vehicle for teaching music fundamentals. The objective is that students entering middle school will be musically literate and capable of improvisation. They will be well versed in:
- playing and reading rhythms including complex syncopation
- singing solfège – moveable “do” including variations, such as, “me” for a minor 3rd
- the ability to improvise
- understanding the Cycle of 5ths
- understanding diatonic harmony
- the knowledge of natural modes with the ability to sing them against a do-so drone
- the ability to scan poetry and write lyrics
- understanding song structures with the ability to create original songs
- understanding Dimensions in Music as related to visual arts and the physical world
Students who study a traditional orchestral instrument discover that the DoSo Elementary experience enhances their ability to analyze, memorize and personalize a classical composition.
With all the recent emphasis on improving math and science education, the arts are often short-changed. Yet, all agree that innovation is essential for economic growth. A child in a DoSo Elementary program learns musicianship, collaborative social skills, and creative thinking. All these skills can be applied to a higher level of music study or to any other discipline in arts and science.
Here are additional venues that benefit from the DoSo approach to teaching:
We intend to provide DoSo Elementary materials on Dedicated Music Tablets. Families, schools and after school programs can license the materials on an annual basis. (see below)
When you reduce music to its natural fundamentals, anyone and everyone can play.