Teaching harmony to Year 12 students: part one
The necessity for AS music students to work on harmony exercises is one of the things that makes the leap between GCSE and A level seem huge, and a daunting prospect for students and teachers alike. There is a steep learning curve, and in this resource I hope to provide some tools and strategies for getting students going in a short space of time.
Harmonic understanding – knowing how notes fit together – is at the heart of true musicianship. Acquiring this understanding can be an intensely satisfying experience – and also an extremely frustrating one. Helping your students unpick its mysteries, and see that it’s not some arcane art, needs a systematic approach, based not only on what to do, but also on why harmony works the way it does.
In part one, the focus is on getting started with harmony in Year 12 regardless of exam board. In part two, which follows, there will be some more specific guidance for the requirements of each specification.