Link directly to the lessons!
Link Directly to My YouTube Channel with lots of Teaching Tips and Teaching Examples
Link to a video description of S-Cubed!
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! I 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 use it 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 22-plus years. 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.
What are people saying about S-Cubed?
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:
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!!
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.
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoUwWbPrdnI
This is 5 minutes later:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBBO93Nh0LM
Check it out! Start with Lesson 1 and work your way through each one. Within months, you will have fluent readers!
See my NAFME Webinar on the Subject: Link to NAFME Webinar
See my article in ChorTeach from Winter 2014:
link to article in Choral Director Magazine 2014
Let me know how it works!