This is a new material that is in current development. I have added a new tab in the materials section with bigger pictures and will add games and pictures there once I have the mats and chits printed.
Each scale will have two mats---one for the lower tetrachord and one for the upper tetrachord. There will be a guide card for each scale which will have theory and games on the back side. Accompanying the Tetrachord Mats will be the Martyrie chits.
Above you can see the lower and upper tetrachord mats for the Diatonic scale as well as the guide card. Each mat will be 2" by 10". The gray squares are 1.25" square. Students will place the Martyrie chits (shown below) on the gray boxes to build the martyries. I hope to include enough tetrachord mats and chits for 3 students to work on the same scale at once. The chits have a yellow back so that they can be used independent of the mats to play games.
The mats are pretty colorless. Where would you add color? Should I make the gray boxes yellow so that it matches the chits? I hope to get this material printed in the next month so please give me your suggestions!
This fall I have continued to teach my two homeschooling students and have started to teach their 6 year old sister as well. In addition to this I have started teaching two more groups.
The first new group that I am teaching are 3 members of St. Willibrod's Antiochian Church in Holland, Mi. One of them has lots of chanting experience and reads western notation fluently and the other two have some music/foreign language background but not much experience chanting. We have had four lessons so far over Google Hangouts. They are moving through the materials much faster than my young students so at some point I will probably have trouble keeping up! Teaching over Hangouts isn't optimal but we are making it work.
The other new group is a group of kids at my church. They range from age 6-13ish and at our first class there were 10 kids. The plan is to meet once a month. At our first class I taught them the scale degrees with the Ni Pa Vou cards (and we played Fine) and they learned the Greek letters by playing Fat Snake. They were in two groups for these two games and then we all came together and did the first 15 phrases of the Parallage Phrases. The younger/new students stopped at phrase 10 and watched the older/experienced students do the rest. They did really well on the phrases and having 10 kids all at once was not any harder than having two!
I have also started sending out materials to chanters that will be testing the materials with their students. That has been a lot more work than I thought it would be (but isn't everything).
One of my goals with my new students this fall is to have them start learning the Apichimas from the first lesson. It is really important that students start this early so that they gain a solid understanding of how each mode relates to the others. Most beginning chanters struggle in services when they have to switch modes. My goal is that my students can do this easily--first in sticheraric melodies and then heirmologic.
My adult students have learned apichimas for Modes 1,3, and Plagal 4. For mode 1 they know it as "Ni, Pa, Pa" and "Ah-na-nes" but for Modes 3 and Plagal 4 they only know them as "Ni, Ga, Ga" and "Ni, Pa, Vou, Ni, Ni". This week was their first week with Mode 3 and Plagal 4 so next week I will probably teach them the Greek that goes with it. We played a game called Play or Pass going through those 3 apichimas and they did really well.
I haven't explained to them that these are only some of the Sticheraric Apichimas yet:) But they can tell you what an ison, oligon, apostrophos, kentema, elaphron, petaste, and kentemata are! I think a person can only learn so much Greek at a time. I will probably teach them Mode 4 Legatos apichima and them we will start testing out my newest material---Apichima Bingo. This is the very first draft of this material so we'll see what needs to be changed.
The Nightly "Ni" that I had been using turned out to be too long and hard to remember (not just for my students but for me too!). My first revision attempt was to cut out everything except for the part above the arrows (Pa to Pa). I found that that was a little difficult too--too many hand signs and pitches right away.
Also, upon further reflection, I realized that whenever I get into the Diatonic scale I cannot start on Ni and go straight up to Ni'. If I do I end up with a western major scale. When I first started chanting by ear I found that the common Apichima for Mode 1 of "Ah-na-nes" (Ni, Pa, Pa) was not enough to let me chant Mode 1 correctly. I found that I had to chant that and then go up to Dhi and descend to Pa.
The Nightly "Ni"* will be a key component to ByzB and I want to explain its background, purpose, and my future goals for this material (as well as solicit help!). The idea for the Nightly "Ni" comes from Music Mind Game's Daily "Do" and so I would like to begin by explaining the Daily "Do".
The Daily "Do"
The Daily "Do" accomplishes two major things. First, it trains students' ears and helps them "internalize pitch relationships" within the equal tempered scale. Second, it teaches a lot of basic western music theory, including:
m3- minor third
P4- perfect fourth
Relative minor scale
The Daily "Do" allows students to experience music theory with their voice. They then explore the music theory using other Music Mind Games materials that work well in conjunction with the Daily "Do". The colors of the note heads of the Daily "Do" correspond to the colors of the Do Re Mi cards and the magic notes. This allows teachers to use the Daily "Do" with other materials to teach theory in a really practical and memorable way. I will do a follow up post to talk about how these materials work together in more detail. One integral part of the Daily "Do" that I will explain more now are the hand signs.
I received the Interval Playing Cards in the mail a few weeks ago and am very happy with the quality. I used the them in my last lesson and they worked very well. The only negative is that the colors are more muted than what they were in my original document. Because of this I started looking into other printers. Previously I had always been thinking in the paradigm of photo printing, but since I was looking for playing cards, I broke out of that paradigm into the gaming world.
To my amazement and delight I found a website with excellent prices and tons of printing options. You can print pretty much anything that you would want for a board game. So, now I am working on new drafts for all of my materials so that they fit into their templates. The positive side to this development is that the printed materials will be very high quality- color printing on two sided card stock. Because of this I am working on the Guide Cards for the Ni Pa Vou Cards, the Greek Letter Cards, and the Interval playing cards. My goal is to get these done in the next few weeks.
I ordered one deck of Interval Playing Cards to check out the quality and colors. The green is much different on their website than in my files. I'll have to see how they look once printed. They should arrive in a week or two. These are cards and their corresponding games are going to be so helpful!
I may start using this printer for some of my other materials if I like them. Especially since it may not be that much more expensive than what I currently do.
We started this lesson by playing Fine* with up 2 jumps again. It came back very quickly to them. Then we played Oligon/Apostrophos. They really liked this game and it was great practice for going up and down the scale quickly. Next, I got out the interval cards as I realized that we had been under utilizing them. I noticed the week before during Parallage practice that they were going pretty slow because they had to think about what the symbols meant.
I gave them a few new interval cards so that they had a card for all of the symbols that they have learned. We each put our set in order and then we combined them with an extra set so that there were four sets mixed up together. Then I showed them how to play war (I am searching for a new name for this game). Symbols whose intervals are farthest away from ison are high and intervals at the same level tie (up 2 and down 2). This game really aided their memories. We will probably play it again next week.
I started working on a new material recently: the guide cards for the Parallage Phrases. You can see some of the possibilities above (cut each option in half to get 2 cards). One guide card will go on each side of the phrases and will be there for students to look at as reference. The cards will be the same size as the Parallage Phrase cards so that they can be rubber banded together.
It seemed natural to make a similar material with parallage phases. The first five phrases are structured in such a way that the teacher should not have to give any explanations. I like to point out what they already know and point out ni (v) at the beginning of the phrase. Then I tell the students to watch, listen and copy me. After the first two phrases students often think the symbols have a one to one correspondence and that the ison symbol means ni and the oligon means pa.
I have had a puzzle type material floating around in my head for two years but haven't created anything yet due to the time involved.
I would like to create a similar material that students can manipulate to create all of the interval symbols. I think that it will really solidify the symbols for going up and going down since the symbols are all a combination of neumes (the placement of each neume is important). We will use the puzzles in two ways. We will use it to create all 7 going up symbols (and down as well) in order so that students will see the progression. We will probably also use them to copy Parallage Phrases or to do dictation/composition.
SAHM by day; ByzB curriculum developer by night. My career was in teaching: kindergarten, first grade, bilingual reading, Suzuki piano, and Music Mind Games. Now I paint icons and spend lots of time making materials on the computer. My greatest joy is directing my students in their learning. This blog documents the process and provides a space for my other ramblings as well.