Instructor's Guide for Musicianship:  Identification & Transcription

Instructor's Guide for Musicianship: Identification & Transcription


The purpose of this guide is to provide musicianship instructors 60 weeks (four semesters or six quarters) of curriculum focused on scalar exercises; chord and interval identification; and transcription (dictation) exercises in rhythm, melody, and chord progression. This curriculum is intended to be paired with popular sight singing texts, as it does not have a curricular sight singing component. However, the exercises in this guide follow the trajectory of popular sight singing texts, such as Music for Sight Singing by Ottman and Rogers, as well as prominent theory textbooks, such as Tonal Harmony by Kostka and Payne and Music in Theory and Practice by Benward and Saker.

While there are several resources focused on identification and dictation, both copious in their number of examples as well as voluminous in variation, I found flipping through them during weekly preparation a time-consuming and angst-ridden exercise, especially for one who has never been ‘pianistically inclined’. Historically, I have taught three, if not all four, semester-levels of musicianship every single term. Thus, it has been out of necessity that I’ve had to reduce my preparation time and anxiety before walking into many classrooms over the course of a week. So, about five years ago, I decided to design for myself a practical and thoughtful curriculum that paired with my main theory and sight singing texts. My goal was this: walk into class, open a document (hard copy or a digital pdf), know exactly what to teach with respect to identification and transcription every week (without flipping back and forth through anthologies stuck with 3M sticky-tabs), and have the luxury of clicking the ‘play’ button to audition the dictation/ transcription examples.


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