About My Sight Singing Program!

S-Cubed!  Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students!  #scubed #sightsinging

First and foremost, I recommend that you listen to real teachers in real classrooms who are using the program.

Here is a link. 

Simply "google" Middle School Sight Singing to discover all of my free and paid resources for teaching middle school beginners to sight sing in an engaging way that works!

To see the latest reviews on my program, click here.
Link directly to my lessons on TES!
Link directly to my lessons on TPT where you will find very detailed product descriptions with links from one lesson to the next.
Link Directly to My YouTube Channel with lots of Teaching Tips and Teaching Examples

Click the picture to go to the Video

Link to a video description of S-Cubed!

The Philosophy:

Recognize what the children don't know.  Don't fault them for not knowing it.  Then, teach it to them in a way they will remember forever...  That is the philosophy of S-Cubed:  Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students!  ...How to teach Sight Singing to Middle School Beginners...

With S-Cubed!, I have aimed to create a way for teachers to improve how they 

teach sight singing to their upper elementary and middle school students using

21st Century Technology.   I believe that text books have served their purpose.

They certainly helped me in my development as a teacher, and I respect the 

work that went into the creation of each and every one of them.  But now, in the

21st century, I think it is time to help struggling teachers using all of the 

technologies that are available at our finger tips.  I wanted to create a learning 

tool that people could use from their phones as well as their work computers!  

filled this system with downloadable, ready-to-use reusable lesson plans,

sight singing examples and rhythm exercises that are complete with direct links   
to video teaching tips for each lesson and video teaching examples of me 

teaching the lesson.  I included the teaching examples because throughout my 

early career, I always wanted to go into the classrooms of teachers and watch 

them teach.  

I use S-Cubed myself in my own classroom and it works wonders 

with beginners.  It's a philosophy and a method wrapped together.  In the 

lessons, I have revealed every secret I've learned as I have taught mostly 

beginners over the last 20-plus years I've taught public school.  I needed 

something more than a textbook when I started teaching, and I wanted to 

supply teachers with something more as well.
When I started teaching middle school students how to sight sing music, all I 

remember is the moans and the failures.
I would say "Pull out the Sight Singing books".  They would moan.
They would begin singing a Sight Singing example and by measure two, they 

completely stopped singing and stared at me.
It was horrible.
I looked everywhere for a program that would solve this horrible daily 

experience.  Nothing that I found worked.  The elementary methods were 

mostly fun-filled activities and games, but were vastly inadequate.  Every single

method for middle school that I found moved too fast for this age group and 

none of them taught me how to teach them the enormous variety of skills they

needed to become as fluent as I wanted them to be.   It was as though they

assumed the children who walked in the door of your classroom either took 

private lessons or went to elementary school at a special music school.
I needed something that combined fun and rigor that would end up in fluency!
I wanted my students to be able to successfully read 3-part music with difficult

skips and rhythms by the time they left me in 8th grade.
When I moved the Georgia, I had to create something that worked out of 

necessity because the first time I took my students into the sight singing room,

I was absolutely shocked.  The standard of Sight Singing performance that was

expected at the annual state adjudicated festival in this state was much higher

than the states in which I had previously taught.  I couldn't believe the level of 

proficiency required by the students from 6th-8th grade.  The truth is that I

couldn't have read that level of material in my freshman year of college. I was

not comfortable having my children go into the Sight Singing room each year 

and fail because I hadn't prepared them.  Over time, I figured it out, but year 

after year, I watched so many of my colleagues and their students walk out of 

the sight singing room completely disillusioned that I decided I had to find a

way to share what I had learned.
With technology, I've figured out the delivery method!  I don't think there is 

anything else like it out there at the moment.  Using the world wide web, I can

share my daily sight singing activities and procedures, sight singing examples,

rhythm exercises and so much more with other teachers as well as provide

video teaching tips and actual video of me teaching the various lessons so that

other teachers can use the resources to improve their own approach to 

teaching sight singing to their beginners.

I began collecting reviews soon after I finished creating the program in the spring of 2014.  

Here are some of the early reviews:
On  June 27, 2014,  Buyer said:

This product is the definitive method for teaching sight singing to this age group, while also creating structure and fun in the classroom, which is so key for this age group. Highly recommend!
On  June 4, 2014,  Kimberly Geter (TpT Seller) said:
What I like about S-Cubed Sight Singing Course (Complete Bundle-How To Teach Sight Singing to Middle School Beginners) by Music in the Middle with Mr. D is that Mr. Dale Duncan takes a complex musical language and simplifies it for beginners. The program challenges students with games and the lessons aren’t too long for their attention spans. The educator (and students) can watch how he works with his own chorus students via videos as well which is a huge motivator. I also like how Mr. Duncan inspires his students to succeed. The activities only take a few minutes to accomplish with step-by-step activities in preparation for LGPE (large group performance evaluation). After personally taking his course via a GMEA webinar during the Spring 2014, watching Mr. Duncan work with choral educators in choral district workshops, including leading the students at the annual Georgia District IV Honor Chorus, I can say that The S-Cubed Sight Singing Course is a well-rounded sight-singing program that I’ve personally seen work in action with kids. He answers questions via social media and gives great feedback. I’m excited to implement the full course in my own middle school choir this year.
On  June 3, 2014,  Buyer said:
I am a first year teacher and this program has saved my life. I struggled in my classroom with teaching new students how to sight-sing because they hated it and I hated teaching it. I really love this bundle because it opened my eyes to new games and ideas that worked wonders with my chorus. My students have a new found confidence in themselves because they are learning and having fun. This program helped my new singers accomplish remarkable ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation. As a teacher, I love it because it is all inclusive and the lessons are cohesive. The key to building successful sight-singers is consistency and S-Cubed shows you just how to incorporate that into your music program.

On  August 6, 2014,  Cheryl L. said:
Looking forward to using the whole S-cubed course. I used some of it last year and my kids loved it. Thanks for putting this together.
On  August 4, 2014,  JeNene A. said:
I can't wait to use this! Your videos make it extra clear--thanks!
On  July 25, 2014,  Mary L. said:
I am coming back into the classroom after spending most of my years in church music and opera. The seller was extremely helpful during the purchase process. I am looking through all the files and I really like what I see. The videos of actual lessons are very helpful. Mr. Duncan makes learning solfege fun and I am really excited to use this with my middle school kids this fall!
On  July 22, 2014,  Amy D. said:
What a wonderful product! So thorough and engaging for the students. I am especially excited to see the "bell ringers" and the sight reading examples. While I can always customize based on student needs, it is refreshing to have quality examples ready to go on a daily basis! Thank you for creating and sharing S-Cubed!

On  August 9, 2014,  Buyer said:
This has been a lifesaver for me - as a new teacher to middle school, I was a little lost, and this really provided a solid framework for me. Thank you so much for putting together all the videos to accompany this method - VERY VERY helpful!

From Wendi L Bogard posted on Facebook Group "I'm a Choir Director" on August 15, 2014:   I played The Game with my middle school choirs today & they LOVED it! It went just like you said it would. I beat the 6th grade easily. Had to distract them but beat the 7th grade. Beat the 8th grade the first time. Played it again at the end of the hour. 2-2 tie. They did not sing the final forbidden pattern & the biggest cheer went up through the group! It was great!

On  August 17, 2014,  Buyer said:
This is the real deal. A thorough guide and materials for delivering successful sight singing lessons. What used to be a chore for my students and for me has turned into FUN. My kids love these lessons so far and I am excited to keep going with them. Thank you so much!!

On  August 17, 2014,  Bryan Munera (TpT Seller) said:
Hi Dale, 

I just want to personally thank you for putting out your S-Cube product. A little background about my situation. I've been teaching for 2 and a half years, with a background training in band. I never took any type of chorus class and never thought in this world I would be teaching chorus. I got a middle school job in central florida two years ago for band but with the "burden" of tagging along a chorus program as well. My first year i thought of it as a burden because I had no clue, no help (even when I asked around) and I had to learn a ton the hard way. Anyways, so I researched your program through FB I'm a Choir director, and looked at you teaching the program and how fundemental and easy it was to read and do. I decided to buy your program last month to incorporate it this new school year with my chorus. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to give this method a try. We start school tomorrow and for the first time I'm extremely excited because I get to come back with tons to the table for the kids. Not only is your program applicable for middle school chorus but I'm blending it into my band program too and creating some fundamental versions based off of s-cubed for them. Thank you again! I truly look up to you and see you as a hero. Keep up what you're doing, because it's working from what I'm seeing.

I highly recommend giving this a try!

On  September 7, 2014,  Emily O. said:
Thank you so much for a fun way to approach sight singing. It trains so much more than that skill in our young singers, posture, watching the conductor, pitch sense and SO MUCH MORE...all in a few minutes at the beginning of class...AWESOME
On  September 7, 2014,  Micah S. said:
I bought several lessons before taking the plunge and making the "big purchase". I just finished my Kodaly levels and was still unsure about how to approach this topic with the older students and keep it fun! You have developed a sequence that I believe is appropriate for middle school (and high school, if you just move a little faster). I have already used several lessons in my classroom this year, and the students LOVE it! They love the game, they love the routine, and they are excited about choir! I cannot thank you enough for sharing your years of experience with us!
On  September 4, 2014,  John R. said:
My 6th grade choir started lesson #4 this week with the actual sight-singing examples. "WE" are having a great time learning via this method. Today in their daily journal entry I asked them to give me some pros/cons about choir. I've been teaching for 15 years, but this is my first year teaching 6th grade choir. I let a handful share their thoughts...I was ready for their honesty!! Well, they had very few cons...mostly about their seat, or they wish choir class was longer!!! Several of them said that they liked sight-singing!!! Woooo-hoooo!! Others liked that they could learn and have fun at the same time! I was trying to play it cool, but I was jumping up and down inside. I've been seeing/hearing great things during rehearsals, but now I know that they "get-it" and see value in the method!!! Thanks Dale!!!

On  September 27, 2014,  Roxane L. said:
Teaching students sight singing skills has never been so much fun for me and my students! I have spent a lot of money reading and researching different methods, and none come close to S-Cubed. The written power point instructions with many supporting videos make it so easy to understand and apply in the classroom. My students LOVE this method. The ones who were not interested before in sight singing exercises, are totally invested. They want to win, so they can do Dr. LaCombe's victory dance. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and creating this successful method!!

October 3, 2014
S-Cubed takes all of the elements of musicianship you KNOW you need to teach your chorus, synthesizes them and then breaks them into manageable chunks of information, presented in a well thought out sequence.  Within this framework, you have the flexibility to stay on a lesson longer if needed, or move on if your group has grasped it.  Because I'm not stressing over figuring out how to teach these important elements, I can be "myself" with the students, which is cultivating a more motivating classroom dynamic, will result in great performances this year and will ultimately grow my program.  Lisa Marien  Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, Jackson, CT.

On  October 27, 2014,  Forestview Middle School B. said:
My district has been exploring options for lessons on sight reading, but we've had trouble finding materials specific to middle school. I love the videos that are paired with these presentations, as well as the explanations to how these materials work. It's a lot of "common sense," which is how students learn. What a perfect combination!

On  November 3, 2014,  Amanda Abdill (TpT Seller) said:
This product is the much needed class that you didn't have time for in your undergraduate music education. By offering instructions and examples of how to teach the material to REAL students, you can easily make minor adaptations for your environment. Thank you!
Imagine my surprise on November 15, 2014, when I posted the comment below on a Facebook group for Music Teachers, and Roger Emerson, one of the best middle school arrangers/composers in the world wrote this!

To see more reviews, click here and here.

S-Cubed is endorsed and used by the Durham School of the Arts in Durham, North Carolina and many programs around the world!

S-Cubed is designed to be effective, useable on a daily basis, fun, methodical, interactive and successful each and every day specifically for this age group.

Using my program, I make sure that ALL of my students can read music when they leave my classroom.   Most of them come to me with no background in reading music. By the end of their 6th grade year, they are highly proficient readers. Because I have such large groups of students in one classroom, my Sight Singing program is ideal for teaching in a group setting.

This is a sample of my students preparing to read a very difficult Sight Singing example at their adjudicated festival using all of the techniques I methodically taught to them: click here! 

This is 5 minutes later, click here!

You and your beginners can do it too!


  1. Hi Dale, it sounds like a very interesting course but I am coming from a learners perspective. Is this course suitable for teaching yourself sight-singing? Thanks

  2. Hello Millie! Thanks for visiting my blog! There are many things that singers who want to learn to sight sing can learn from S-Cubed, but it is specifically designed for teachers who are teaching young singers (Middle School) in the group setting. The purpose is help the teacher be successful as I help them learn to address issues that are specific to this age group, and for the students to be successful as a result! Thanks again for visiting my blog!

  3. A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views. I hope to see more informative and useful articles in future.
    Singing Lessons in Nashville

  4. Nice post this will give a great boost to every singing lover to make singing as their career.
    London singing lessons

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I hope I win this program! I have been using the forbidden pattern with my kindergarten class and they insist we do this everyday. Their singing voices are improving and their hand signs are becoming much more fluent. Would love to see what the additional levels have to offer!

    1. That's awesome to hear! I've heard from many high school teachers and from elementary teachers who teach students as young as fourth grade who are using S-Cubed, but you are the first person I've heard from who is using S-Cubed in Kindergarten! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Looking forward to checking this out since I'm being moved from K-5 to K-12 next year!

    1. That's a big move! I am in awe of teachers who can shift gears and relate to students from such different age groups!

  8. Your organizational ideas, teaching techniques, and motivational strategies are wonderful!

    1. Thank you! So happy it's helping folks. Teaching the kids in the middle isn't the easiest job we could have all chosen, but together, those of us in the trenches everyday can figure out how to make it easier for ourselves and everyone else!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. This is my first visit here and I’m fully satisfying to read the whole thing at one place. Sound Hunter

  11. Your blog and information is really good. Keep it up. Not only does slouching look like you couldn't care less, but it also prevents your lungs from filling up. Full lungs keep your voice from cracking, make you sound more powerful and keep you from running out of air.


  12. Very interested in finding out more!

  13. High school director now teaching middle and high school... Hoping your ideas will help me connect more with this age group!

  14. I have a 6-12 program and truly want to graduate music readers! I would love to have this program! Very impressed with what I've seen and heard!

  15. I am a band director turned choir director and still struggling with teaching fundamentals in my program and keeping the kids engaged. I need to fundraise before I can buy the full program, but I am excited to learn more for now from the videos and try some new things!

  16. Wish this had been around when I was teaching middle school. I hope the our new teacher can benefit from this system!

  17. Wish this had been around when I was teaching middle school. I hope the our new teacher can benefit from this system!

  18. Have used the sample lesson and it works wonders.

  19. Have used the sample lesson and it works wonders.

  20. Great presentation today! #ncmea2015

  21. This is something I would be extremely interested in using in my classroom. I teach at two middle schools on a semester rotation with over 220 members in each school's chorus. It is great to see that you truly understand middle school students. So many resources are completely over their heads and they quickly become disengaged. This will become an everyday tool in both of my classrooms. #NCMEA2015 --Kyle Cook -- kcook@currituck.k12.nc.us

  22. #ncmea15
    Thanks for coming! This is a wonderful resource!
    -Wendi Kittlaus

  23. So excited to try this! #ncmea2015

  24. What an INCREDIBLY enthusiastic and successful way to teach music!! I am so thrilled to begin this program with my music scholars! #ncmea15

  25. Thank you for a great presentation! #ncmea15

  26. Great learning about your curriculum, would love to try it! #ncmea15

  27. I love the Forbidden Pattern! The kids really respond to the activity and truly focus their listening!

  28. I will be student teaching soon, great resources !!

  29. I know you said that you keep track of each class as they beat you at Forbidden Pattern. How/where do you post it? Is it like a chart that you check when they win? I bought your program and am looking to set up this tracker for the kids

    1. I post it on the white board so all can see!

  30. I student taught in the second semester of school so I wasn't there for any of establishing a classroom or how to begin so I've been making it up as I go... This would be awesome to grab some more ideas and to be more successful! I've heard a lot of great things from teachers in my area (Michigan)

    1. Thank you so much! I think we ALL make it up as we go! :-) Establishing structure in the early days is key. I tried to share as many ideas as possible in Middle School New Chorus Teacher Starter Pack. Best of luck to you!

  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  34. Very nice post.really I apperciate your blog.Thanks for sharing.keep sharing more blogs.



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