Hello! My name is RaeAnna Goss and I am a homeschool mama that has been teaching music to elementary children since 2002. I started this project in 2017 after realizing the need for video solfa lessons! I am bringing these to you free on my YouTube channel! My goal is to keep the videos short and sweet so I’m going to be a little more “talky-talky” on this blog post than I will be in videos!
First, I want to acknowledge some work that is already being done for homeschoolers on the internet. Heather at Children of the Open Air has been doing some amazing videos! I actually haven’t seen any of her latest videos and I am excited to go check them out! Heather has a great background in Kodaly and you will learn a lot from her videos!
Sing Solfa is a collaboration between several teachers and I was able to be a part of planning some of the curriculum in the units. There are also videos to go along with some of the units!
Another resource that has both free and subscription services is Miss Mason’s Music! Heidi is a fellow Charlotte Mason mama who has done extensive research on the publications that were used during the early years of Parent Union Schools in England!
There is so much out there and you may find one online personality to fit your family better than another! I will openly admit that singing is NOT my primary instrument! I love listening to the beautiful voices of some of these talented ladies BUT I feel like my “soap box” is that if I can sing (I grew up as a piano player and that was my primary instrument through college!) anyone can sing and use their instrument that they were born with!
Now – let’s talk a little about the name “Solfa Sofa!” I wanted to come up with something catchy and two words that I always joked about with my students is that “Sol-Fa” sounds like “sofa!” And another melodic pattern we would often sing is “Sol-La-Mi” which sounds like “salami!” I thought finding a cute name to go with the theme of learning about solfege (or solfa notes) would be to stick with “sofa!” If I chose the word “salami” to be the name of my blog and channel I might make you hungry all the time!
Solfa comes from the program “Tonic Solfa” written by John Curwen. There is a lot of history behind it that you can look up on the computer. My background comes from an educator after John Curwen named Zolton Kodaly who took a lot of the same principals but adapted them for his students in Hungary. For some reason, in the 1920’s and later it was Kodaly’s influence that took root in America rather than Curwen. We still use the Curwen hand signals from the Tonic Solfa method, but in my videos I will use the Kodaly rhythm and sequencing to teach music notation and sight singing.
Another tradition that teaches solfa is Shape Notes and Singing Schools. I had the privilege to attend a singing school in the summer of 2017 and I am so glad that tradition is alive and well in our region. You may be able to look up Singing Schools that are taught in churches in your area! Much of the same information you’ll get from my blog and channel are also taught by Shape Note teachers! There may be variations but the goal is to spread musical literacy to all!
To get started on the lessons with your children you can find all the current available lessons at the top of the menu under “Unit 1”
Thanks so much!!!
RaeAnna Goss (Teacher Rae)