Yes, those are the lyrics from Deck the Hall. But, if you attended group class this week, you would know that it can also be read as solfege – a quick way of designating pitches based on a scale system. Remember, “When you read you begin with A-B-C; when you sing you begin with do-re-mi.”? (By the way, fa is the fourth note and la is the sixth note.)

In my studio we use solfege for training aural skills, reinforcing memory, auditation of printed melodies, and quickly transcribing melodies. At group class we used solfege for picking out the melody by ear for Deck the Hall. Then we built triads on every degree of the scale, and used them to harmonize our melody. I had Sibelius music notation software up on the screen, and students could watch as we quickly wrote out our own arrangement of a familiar Christmas carol.

“When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.”