Yesterday I had a student, a girl in 3rd grade, beginning Suzuki Volume 2. She had tremendous difficulty learning the notes to “Judas Maccabeus.”
I took her into See Saw Swings, playing an exercise on the A and D strings. I introduced her to Kodaly style solfege, with movable Do.
So do so do la la la la so So do so do re re re re do….
We sang most of the page. I jotted down just enough symbols so she could extrapolate, and I was quite amazed at how well she sang through the exercises. I explained the difference between traditional solfege and movable Do. And we sang.
When she played the See Saw Swings exercise on her violin, it was her best playing ever! Then we went back to the music by Handel. We sang the first phrase only.
So mi fa so do re mi fa so fa mi re…
I cannot express my amazement at how easily she then performed the entire piece. This, of course, is an endorsement for solfege and the importance of singing. But it is so easy for the student to solfege the simple progressions of See Saw Swings, and then the connection to music happened as if by magic.