Improving Sight Reading Through Beginning Band Instruction

Joshua Earl Kohl, Liberty University

Document Type Article


Aural skills training needs to be included in the beginning band curriculum. Educators strive to help students reach their potential. At the same time, they continue to use method books that emphasize a visual approach to music education. To fully engage with music, students should not just see the music written on a page but should be able to hear it as well. Through aural skills training, such as audiation, students will be able to internalize and hear the music they see without the need for an audial stimulant. This study defines the current amount of aural training included in current beginning band method books. This is done by analyzing and comparing the current method books and their inclusion of aural training materials. The study also uses historical research experiments and a Likert-type survey to explain why aural skills training needs to be included in beginning band method books. Included is a sample curriculum based on the works of various music education theorists. These theorists include Edwin Gordon, Carl Orff, Shinichi Suzuki, and others. The included sample curriculum is not meant to be a standard curriculum for beginning band classes. Instead, it provides a basic outline of a recommended curriculum that incorporates aural skills through a sound-before-sight approach to beginning instrumental music education.