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Will a Karaoke Machine Help a Singer Learn To Read (or Spell)?

Karaoke Machine Note #3: Will a Karaoke Machine Help a Singer Learn To Read (or Spell)?

Copyright 10/2011 by GoKaraokeMachine.com

A recent case study investigated whether the new practice of texting with cell phones was undermining our ability to spell. Those of us who feared that saying "How R U" would make poor spellers of us all are now advised that the reverse is true. It turns out that just the act of paying attention and figuring out how to reduce spelling to phonetic symbols seems to hone the skill of spelling.

In the same way, music students who read karaoke lyrics, or read lyrics while observing musical notation on sheet music with CD, may by sheer practice and exposure become good music notation readers. Is there interest in learning a second language? Children are often taught songs in that second language. One can't help wondering: How about trying karaoke in that language? Would reading lyrics similarly help with reading, diction, and understanding of that language?

Certainly, to advance in the study of music, exposure to not only lyrics, but also to musical notation is very desirable. Sheet music with CD for play-along, and use of a TASCAM Trainer, will provide a karaoke system for an instrumentalist, as well as for a singer who wants to read notation. Sheet music with CD is typically referred to as play-along or sing-along, or music-minus-one. It's actually a form of "empty-orchestra" (as the Japanese term, "karaoke," is sometimes defined); but in English the term "karaoke" has come to refer to singing only.

Moving towards reading musical notation can lead to deeper interest in an instrument or in study of the voice, and to greater musical ability. Teaching resources abound to help the musician read musical notation. Teaching resources for keyboard or guitar are available on the web. Public schools provide notation exposure in teaching students to play wind instruments, typically starting in 4th grade, to meet the need for marching band musicians, or strings if that is part of the school music program.

The main principal in selecting music for gradual learning of musical notation is selection of graded material. Graded instruction is available through sheet music with CD educational series, such as the Shinichi Suzuki series or many Hal Leonard series focusing on learning of a particular playing or singing style.

Certain other music publishers focus on graded music, so that musicians at all levels may have challenging material in many genres at their individual levels, focusing on classical and contemporary classical music. Publishers specializing in graded materials for all instruments include Curnow, De Haske, Dowani, and Fentone. Vocal collections of other publishers are often designated as beginning, intermediate, and advanced, for each vocal range.

TASCAM trainers are also available, which will slow down music to a student's preferred tempo, while keeping a desired pitch for play-along with the music.

For karaoke singers, CDs, CDGMS, and DVDs graded for children from pre-school through the teenage years are available at www.GoKaraokeMachine.com. Teenage or adult singers may appreciate vocal coaching videos available on YouTube, or from publishers such as American Idol.

The graded materials mentioned are available at www.GoKaraokeMachine.com (karaoke music and karaoke machines) and MusicStudioStore.com (sheet music with CDs and TASCAM trainers).