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.
Today, I started wondering if this would be the case for other western trained musicians making the jump into the Diatonic scale and I realized that it probably would be! The distance from Ni to Pa is the same distance as that from Do to Re in a western scale. So it makes sense that this isn't enough to jump into the diatonic scale because it fits in the paradigm of a western major scale. If I continued up to vou I would always go into a western major scale. In order to make the change I would jump up to Dhi and then descend to Pa again. It's interesting that the distance from Pa to Dhi is also a known interval from the western scale (Re to So). So basically, my brain started with intervals that I knew and then would do a "reset" during the descent to Pa and get the correct intervals for Ga and Vou.
Due to this realization, I will probably switch the way that I teach the scale using the Ni Pa Vou cards. The way I have been teaching the scale has been heavily influenced by my western music training. Really, it was completely influenced by it and I didn't even realize it.
I expect that in the future when I teach the scale we will focus on the lower tetrachords at first (possibly doing the other scales too!). This works well with the Parallage phrases since the first 75 phrases are almost all in the lower tetrachord.
In other news, I started teaching a group of children at my church last week. There were about 10 kids there ranging from ages 6 to about 12. We did the beginning Greek Letter Card games, Ni Pa Vou Card games, and the first 15 Parallage Phrases. It went really well! We are going to meet once a month for an hour on Saturday afternoon and the have a potluck before vespers.
I am still teaching my home school family but probably won't have time to post a recap of our weekly lessons. I will try to do a highlight once and a while when we play new games or use new materials.
Also, I have lots of ideas swimming around in my head pertaining to teaching Apichimas. So I have started working on materials to teach the Apichimas. This is probably because the Apichimas will be good "crutches" for learning the scales.
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.