Crash Course in Solfege is the course for any singer or instrumentalist who has been desperate to improve your pitch, build your ear for harmony and just sing and play better. Solfege (the singing of Do, Re, Mi) is a secret weapon that has been used for hundreds of years to develop ear training and is getting a modern update for everyone to access.
Brenda Earle Stokes is an expert singer, pianist and educator who has been using Solfege as a training method for her students. It is a skill-building tool that works as well for classical singers as it does for pop, rock, jazz, R&B, singer-songwriters and instrumentalists of all backgrounds and genres. Absolutely everyone will benefit from digging deep into the notes of the major scale, internalizing the structure of the intervals.
The course consists of 8 lessons that will take you through a series of exercises that are designed to get you internalizing the course material in the clearest and most efficient way possible. Brenda sings every exercise clearly and explains each step. She has all included additional videos of a baritone male singer singing the exercises, which may be easier for some people to sing with. And in case you don't have access to a piano or guitar, she has included a set of downloadable MP3s of piano tracks that you can practice along with.
You don't need to have a theory background to do this course and you definitely don't have to be able to read music. This course also serves as an excellent preparatory step to get ready to learn how to sight sing. This is the perfect course for you to use alone or with a teacher, and is a phenomenal resource for choir directors, private music teachers and more.
I am a pianist and vocalist skilled in the fields of classical, jazz, pop, rock, r&b and musical theater. Not only have I trained, I have performed at the professional level in each of these styles, and each holds a special place in my heart!
As a performer, I have worked as both pianist and vocalist as a leader and sideperson across the US and Internationally. I have performed at the Kennedy Center, Avery Fischer Hall, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Christchurch Arts Festival in New Zealand and at Carnegie Hall, with artists such as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, stage legend Maurice Hines, the Desoff Symphonic Chorus and many others. I even opened for Duran Duran once! As a conductor, I spent 8 years directing the New York Summer Music Festival’s Jazz Choir and was the Artistic Director of the Rutger’s University Queen’s Chorale. I was an Episcopal Music Director and organist for several years as well! In any given week, you might find me singing with a classical choir, playing piano in a jazz club, playing keyboard and singing backup in a top 40 band or accompanying a Broadway singer. I love the challenge of wearing many hats and getting to express myself in different musical ways!
Because of my diverse musical skills and interests, I attract students with a wide range of interests and goals, from professional and pre-professional to children and teens to adults wanting to learn for fun and personal development. My students have sung on Broadway, in national commercials, have recorded solo albums and have been accepted to performing arts high schools and top conservatories in the US and Canada. I am skilled at creating a course of study that serves each of my students unique needs and interests.
I have served on the faculties of City College, the New York Summer Music Festival, the Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Diller-Quaile School of Music. I currently serve on the faculty at Fordham University, where I teach piano, voice and direct a jazz ensemble.
I have been active in music outreach and am proud to have served at NYC inner city schools through the Midori and Friends Foundation and the New York Pops Educational outreach. I am entering my 9th year in a music residency at the Ronald McDonald House, where I make music with seriously ill children and their wonderful families!
StartIntroduction - Welcome to this course (6:47)
StartLesson 1: Singing up and down the major scale (7:45)
StartLesson 2: The Kodaly hand signs (11:51)
StartLesson 3: The tonic triad (7:50)
StartLesson 4: Moving notes to resting notes (6:46)
StartLesson 5: "The Pattern" ascending (9:23)
StartLesson 6: "The Pattern" descending (5:22)
StartLesson 7: The Pattern (5:26)
StartLesson 8: The Whole Wazoo (3:45)