Today's choral directors are faced with the dilemma of how to teach music literacy within the demands of a school system increasingly focused on testing outcomes and high-level performances. Many teachers feel they simply do not have the classroom time for adequate sight singing and ear training instruction, and those who do set aside the time for it face a dearth of engaging teaching materials. Solfege and Sonority is a guide for teaching music literacy in a choral rehearsal, with a focus on the needs of teachers who work with young singers. The book lays out teaching sequences for melodic and rhythmic concepts, lesson plans, and concise strategies for introducing key techniques. The graduated progression of topics starts from teaching basic concepts, such as "do-re-mi," and ends with more complex subjects, such as minor modes and the sight reading of more advanced music. The individual lessons themselves are short (no more than 4-6 minutes) and comprehensive, encouraging singers to develop a literacy of rhythm and melody together.
By developing 18 easy-to-use lessons for teachers and conductors and tying the lessons to the teacher's current repertoire, longtime choral director and teacher David Xiques has created a practical and viable solution to the challenges of many conductors. The book features a comprehensive companion website that includes videos of exercises, worksheets, and teaching materials.