First we will do an "open exercise" (in which everyone
knows the durations in advance) on the board - together, now we will play (the teacher
will play using the relevant instrument) very simple lines, for example:
We will ask the students to write down the notes (we
have, in fact, done an easy rhythm dictation). We will give many clues so that the
students succeed, and we may also give high marks.
This exercise may and should also be done while we are building the instrument, because it
prepares the students for playing. At this stage the teacher can allow the students to
write the exercise on the wood itself (the internal, less aesthetic side). This can be a
We have special evaluation sheets for students who excel during the
lessons (not the entire program). While playing, it is advisable to encourage the students
who are good or who make an effort, or to advance students who have improved. Suggest that
the student who has excelled color in the evaluation sheet a few minutes before the lesson
ends, and then write down his name. This is extremely motivating.
2. Intensity (Dynamic):
As we have taught rhythm using a quiz, we can use a similar quiz to teach the intensity of
sound (dynamics). Here too we present three degrees of intensity:
a) A soft sound - which we mark by the letter: p (piano),
or "s" (soft).
b) An intermediate sound - which we mark by the letters: mf (mezzo-forte),
or "i" (intermediate).
c) A strong and loud sound - which we mark by the letter: f (forte), or "l" (loud).
Now we will play a number of sounds, switching between the three intensities. We will
emphasize and even exaggerate the intensity differences so that each intensity is clear.
Another possibility is to Xerox a sheet with the opening musical phrase of a popular song
(preferably a very slow song) and play it with extreme changes in degrees of intensity
(dynamics). The students will write down the intensities above the notes.
It is possible to score the students' achievements. For example, if a student has
identified 10 sound intensities out of 10 tries he receives a score of 100, if he
identifies 8 he receives a score of 80, etc.
We will practice three tones pitches, accordingly to the three strings o the Ancient Harp.
We establish rules and a permanent key for the quiz:
a) A low sound - will be marked on string No. , as it is the lowest string in the instrument.
b) An intermediate sound - will be marked on string No. , as it is higher than the previous sound and
lower than the next one.
c) A high sound - will be marked will be marked on string No. .
Then we will play very slowly a very simple music line [starting from three or four notes]
using our three strings. (We will play with our backs to the students so they do not see
Now we ask the students to write the sound pitch from left to right over our sheet music
with three-notes' lines. Example:
After a few exercises we can start involve the notes' duration, then
it should look like that:
We can also marking scores for the students results
The timbre is characterized by changes in the colors of the sound.
With a Ancient Harp we can produce 3 types of sounds:
a) An ordinary sound - which we may by the letter "n" (normal).
b) A sound near the bridge - which, in the guitar, is called: sul ponticello.
This may be marked as: "b" (bridge sound).
c) A blocked sound, the pizzicato - will be marked by "p" (pizzicato).
Note: The pizzicato technique will may need some practice: Block the string - above
its small bridge - using your free hand. now strum the blocked string, using the
plectrum of fingers.
Now we will demonstrate a number of combinations of the
three kinds of timbre so that the students will be able to differentiate easily, between:
a regular sound, a pizzicato and a sound produced near the bridge.