Harris/Lenehan – Improve Your Aural! A Workbook for Examinations – Grade 2 – Book/CD set – Faber Music Edition

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From the foreword: “Aural is not an occasional optional extra – just to be taken off a dusty shelf a few days (or even hours) before a music exam. It’s something you can be developing and thinking about all the time.”

Aural, or ear training, is a crucial component to whole musicianship. In this series by Paul Harris and John Lenehan, aural skills are taught and reinforced by breaking them down into “bite-sized” sections. Geared toward students in some sort of music instruction (group or private), the books follow a similar format at each level: Pulse (rhythmic exercises, involving listening, clapping, and dictation)
Pitch (intonation exercises, involving pitch-matching and singing)
Hearing changes (builds awareness of pitch relationships)
Learning to listen to music (listening critical to works by famous composers)
Making connections (tying it all together)

In the Grade 2 book, the student is introduced to waltz-time and march-time (3/4 and 2/4, respectively), compound duple (6/8) time, upbeats, and style-matching (in addition to pitch-matching). As before, there are many clapping and singing exercises, and a few simple dictation studies as well. The “Hearing changes” section is a bit more involved than in Grade 1, requiring faster recognition of the pitch changes. Also discussed are dynamics, style markings, and characteristics of different musical eras.

Recommended for late elementary school through high school ages, but could certainly be used very comfortably by adult beginners. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your ear, give this series a try!

Useful for players of any instrument. Published by Faber Music.
This book includes a CD.
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