Exactly two years ago this August, I purchased the Lifetime Membership of BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire. Now this purchase decision didn’t come lightly. I needed to be confident that I would use the materials with my students and that I would get great value from it.
So let me rewind for just a minute and tell you my story with rote teaching. When I was a younger teacher, the word “rote” was not a very positive word. It was a lazy word, it was a word that meant you didn’t teach your students to read. Fast forward, thanks to teachers and composers who taught that it is quite the opposite and actually very beneficial.
But sadly, old habits can die hard and after experimenting initially with rote (before BlitzBooks), I was right back to what I was doing before, which was little rote. (only me to blame) Then along came Samantha Coates who taught me that rote can go hand and hand with reading. I was intrigued and felt she was speaking my musical language. The first time I heard how Samantha taught rote, I could physically feel the excitement in my body. I loved everything about it. So allow me to share with you a little bit about BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire and what makes it so special.
Who is BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire for?
BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire is written with beginners in mind for their first couple years of lessons (see graph below). However, and this is a big however! I have used some pieces even with my intermediate students and they have loved them. It works well for all ages and levels, including adults! Have students that don’t practice? BlitzBooks to the rescue! Seriously, it’s perfect for those students.
In addition to learning the music, Samantha’s pieces also work great for sight-reading purposes, ear training (hear the difference) and even for more creative purposes like improvisation and composition skill building. (more on that later)
Samantha has divided each piece into what she calls “hats”. Below you can get an idea of the leveling, but keep in mind it is very adaptable. I have even used a 3 hat piece with students that would technically be a “1 hat”.
What makes BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire Different?
Aside from the “hats”, the thing that makes BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire so special is the level system. Each piece includes at least 3 leveled scores.
In level 1, you will first teach the piece by rote and then show the score. Don’t worry about the key it is in. Remember, you are teaching this by rote.
In level 2, you will show the level 2 score and compare it to level 1. Encourage students to spot the differences and then play level 2 while reading those new patterns. Remember, even when students haven’t learned about key signatures yet, the focus is on noticing and recognizing the patterns. As you can see in the example below, the differences in level 2 are subtle and very manageable.
In level 3, you will do the same thing as level 2. By this time, students are feeling more confident in scanning the music, spotting the differences, reading and playing. What differences do you spot when you compare level 2 to level 3?
Once they master all 3 levels, Samantha encourages students to make up a “level 4“! I love this because this encourages students to create. It also teaches them they can take a composition, be inspired by it and create something on their own.
I almost forgot to mention… Samantha also includes teaching videos of her going through each level! She truly has set us up for a successful rote experience!
BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire Options
I love how Samantha has taken the rote learning process and made it a mutual experience with different learning styles. I really struggled teaching rote until I saw the way she did it. I LOVE using her pieces because of the way she lays it all out. She has truly made it a musical experience that everyone can enjoy.
Hopefully by now you can understand a little why I jumped into the Lifetime membership. BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire really is terrific! But if you aren’t quite ready to jump in like I did with the lifetime option, there are other options. Check them out by clicking the graphic below. As an affiliate, Samantha is offering my readers a special discount for 6 different options! These are AWESOME deals, take advantage!