Introducing: STEPS Strategies & Tools Encouraging Proficient Sightsinging

Introducing:  STEPS Strategies & Tools Encouraging Proficient Sightsinging

A New Book by Denise Eaton and Janice Bradshaw

To be published Winter 2017


Veteran choral teachers Denise Eaton and Janice Bradshaw have teamed up to produce STEPS Strategies & Tools Encouraging Proficient Sightsinging, an exciting new Sight Reading program to assist Middle and High School vocal students learn to negotiate scales, intervals and keys.  Because the system is built on a movable DO and visually connects students to pitch using the keyboard, the method also serves as an optimum teaching tool for piano classes.

STEPS immerses young musicians in the key center and trains them to look and hear ahead.  The method accomplishes this purpose by:

  • Introducing DO MI SOL within the scale and helps students to visualize the steps on the treble and bass cleff lines and spaces as wells as on the keyboard.
  • Solidifying the location of the major triad so that students learn to hear intervallic distances and sing them precisely.
  • Introducing rhythm after students are able to negotiate pitch and intervals.
  • Introducing music theory by presenting the formula for building the major scale in an active way.
  • Introducing part singing and encouraging vocal independence.

The STEPS tools consist of a sight-reading book and integrated flash cards that create an opportunity for students to explore the intervallic training through sequenced exercises and melodies based in five keys (C, G, F, D and B flat).  Ultimately, students learn to sing phrases that can be combined in practice.  Flashcards add extra visual and participatory reinforcement to the concepts.  The Read Ahead Fun exercises help train the eye to look ahead and the ear to “hear” ahead all while having fun!  Once students master the melodies and rhythms in unison, they are prepared to sing through the melodies in two-part harmony.

In reviewing STEPS for publication, Rollo Dilworth, Associate Professor of Choral Music Education at Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, commented that “STEPS is an extremely helpful and valuable resource that will enable those who use it to gain proficiency in both sight-singing and general musicianship.  Through a carefully designed sequential approach, STEPS introduces the concepts of sight-singing in its most basic form, beginning with scales, triads and fundamentals before moving into melodic patterns.  This guide allows the students to work through the materials at his/her own pace, taking into account the diversity of learning styles and abilities that will be present in the classroom.  Melodic patterns found in the exercises can be isolated, analyzed, reviewed and applied to actual choral literature.”

Piano teachers will appreciate the tools as a guide in group piano classes to assist their students to build an internal sense of pitch and rhythm.  Because the tools relate pitch to the keyboard and present exercises in both bass and treble clefs, students will learn to relate to the full keyboard experience.  The class can sing the exercises as duets, using the combined treble and bass nomenclatures to reinforce eye-ear coordination.  The cards and books are designed so that exercises can be combined together to create interchangeable and dynamic rhythm patterns based upon basic chordal and melodic structures.

After mastering the STEPS program, students will be prepared for more advanced sight-reading studies, such as InSIGHT Sight Singing also co-authored by Denise Eaton. (Carl Fischer Inventory #CMF6)  The InSIGHT Sight Singing method addresses all of the learning styles:  aural, visual and kinesthetic.  It reinforces the learning by making connections between the keyboard, key signatures and scales.  “Insights” for becoming a better sight reader accompany every melody.  InSIGHT is an excellent next STEP because it is rhythmically active and the intervals are more challenging.  InSIGHT is appropriate for very advanced middle school and advanced high school students and is currently the preferred text in many AP Music Theory classes.  It includes melodies in 6/8 meter and addresses scales. is proud to carry the whole Carl Fischer product line, including STEPS, which will be published this fall.  Please contact us at (888) 407-3693 or email us at  to pre-order your copy and receive a 10% discount with promo code “STEPS17”. is proud to carry the whole Carl Fischer product line, including STEPS, which will be published this fall.  Please contact us at (888) 407-3693 or email us at  to pre-order your copy and receive a 10% discount with promo code “STEPS17”.

Denise Eaton
Executive Choral Editor
BriLee/Carl Fischer


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