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Practical Musicianship

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code MU080-106) • (0 classes) Course location to be confirmed •
Sorry, this course is cancelled

Course Summary

This course aims to demystify reading music. Pitch, rhythm and metre will feature, and participants will be taught to read and write the building blocks of Western notation, through practical exercises and using Kodály methodology. A typical class will include singing, reading and writing exercises, rhythmic clapping and improvisation.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous experience required; suitable for beginners.

Content of Course

Week 1

  • Basic concepts: beat/rhythm/pitch
  • Introduction to so and mi
  • Simple rhythmic combinations of crotchets and quavers
  • Introducing basic staff notation

Week 2

  • Reviewing so and mi and introducing la
  • Reviewing crotchets and quavers and introducing the crotchet rest
  • Introducing bar lines and simple time signatures

Week 3

  • New pitches: do and re
  • Introducing minims and semibreves
  • Starting to compose simple melodies, using all elements covered to this point

Week 4

  • Reading and singing the full do pentatonic scale
  • Reviewing minims and semibreves and introducing the dotted minim
  • The anacrusis
  • Introducing ledger lines

Week 5

  • Introducing the treble clef and absolute note names
  • Introducing the la pentatonic scale
  • Introducing semiquavers

Week 6

  • The do pentachord: introducing fa
  • Practising singing to absolute note names
  • Combining quaver and semiquaver rhythms

Week 7

  • Working with the do pentachord and do hexachord
  • Introducing key signatures
  • Introducing dotted semiquaver/quaver combinations

Week 8

  • Introducing ti
  • The full major diatonic scale
  • Introducing the bass clef

Week 9

  • Reading and singing melodies using the full major diatonic scale
  • Introducing the dotted crotchet
  • Understanding accidentals

Week 10

  • Understanding intervals
  • Introducing the minor diatonic scale
  • Full course review

Teaching method(s)

Tutor led discussion. Group work (class singing, clapping exercises etc). Individual written and reading work during class. Independent set homework tasks

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand basic musical concepts of pitch, rhythm, beat;
  • Read, write and sing simple pentatonic and diatonic melodies from staff notation;
  • Perform well-known folksongs with confidence;
  • Compose simple rhythms and melodies through guided improvisation exercises.



Core Readings

Participants should bring manuscript paper and pencils.

Class Handouts

Course handouts to be provided by tutor.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.