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Every musician knows that the ability to take melodic dictation takes practice! Comprehending the combination of pitch, rhythm, and meter that occur in any melody requires a basic understanding and practical application of music theory. After years of teaching aural skills, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to teach beginning melodic dictation is by implementing melodies that are already familiar to the student. This method eliminates adding yet one more barrier to success -- memory of the melody! After students become comfortable with dictation of familiar tunes, the teacher can then begin to introduce melodies that are unfamiliar -- adding the fourth variable of "memory" to the task.

The Melody a Day web site is designed to give music students the practice they need to become proficient in melodic dictation. Implementing the FREE Finale Notepad software for Windows or Macintosh, this web site allows you to choose a melody, print the setup page for the melody from your computer, and then listen to the hidden version as you take melodic dictation with your pencil on the printed sheet. You can also choose to download a Notepad version, that will allow you to write out your dictation using the Finale Notepad tools, save it to your computer desktop, and then print it out to hand into your instructor. When you are finished taking the dictation, click on the Answer version of the melody and you will be able to see and hear the answer as it scrolls and plays within the Finale Notepad software.

Run out of melodies or need a little more challenge? After you have selected your melody, click on the Key Signature Tool button in Finale Notepad and try the dictation in a more difficult key of your choice! For suggestions on a lesson plan that gives you guidance in terms of the order of melody usage (from easiest to hardest) or according to rhythmic concepts, chromaticism, synocpation, etc. and other concepts your instructor is currently teaching in music theory class, please click on the lesson plan link in the navigation bar.

To use this site, you must download and install the Finale Notepad software from the MakeMusic web site. To get started, cilck on the Instructions button in the navigation bar to the left and follow the instructions provided there.

Copyright © 2006, Luanne Eris Fose