We are often asked if we teach children using “solfeggio" or Do Re Me. The short answer is no – (sorry, Judi Dench).
We don’t use this method, unlike many other early childhood music professionals, although there’s nothing wrong with teaching it to young children.
With young children, we start with the body, as children learn through their body. So pitch 1 (or Do) is down low, on the floor, where you can jump and sense it and give weight and finality to it.
We teach pitch moving up the body – from the floor to above heads, right from babies. This makes sense of pitch.
We’ve seen many adult teachers who don’t have that deep “feeling” of where pitches sits – is this lower or higher? Is this pattern high-low-high?
It can be a struggle for many, so we start from a young age. From here comes the ability to hear music and play it from ear.
We sing the scale using body parts – feet, knees, tummy, shoulders, head.
We then use numbers. Why? Because children know and understand this system. It isn’t new. They are surrounded by counting, this makes sense to them and goes on to provide a wonderful basis for a scale that moves, scales that change notes to become new scales, scales that are unusual. They can see WHY, when they see which numbers have changed.