Because no single system is adequate to provide the best education possible to the music student, the KMI faculty have added supplemental materials to complete the student’s exposure to music.
Learning Music Series: The founder and director of the Kikuchi Music Institute, Mr. Lee Kikuchi is currently authoring an entire series of music teaching books. This series will help students read and talk about music, teaches them how to practice and reinforces the concepts learned in the lesson thus making lesson time more efficient. Mr. Kikuchi has compiled talks and lectures from thousands of lessons into a step-by-step graded series so that all students may benefit from his teaching experience.
Technique Cards: For each instrument, KMI has generated important graded technique cards to ensure that the students are on track in the areas of scales, chords, arpeggios, etc. These technique cards are coordinated to the standard curriculum for the instrument so that the student will be prepared for the annual juried evaluations.
Sightreading: Since the proof of any student’s level of musicianship is in her or his ability to play a new piece of music, the KMI faculty dedicate 5-10 minutes of each lesson to sightreading. The materials assembled are graded in a sequential order to ensure that the student is progressing in reading ability. Each sightreading example becomes a small quiz that tests what the student is recognizing and implementing during home practice. The faculty review and reinforce any concepts the student fails to apply on first sight, so that the student’s sensitivity to the printed music continually increases with each lesson.
Tests: The KMI faculty have developed benchmark tests, and in some cases weekly quizzes, to ensure that the student is progressing and retaining. Areas of weakness will be identified so that lesson time can be devoted to review in that area.
Weekly Recitation Drills: Just like the times tables in 3rd grade, there are many elements of music which must be drilled repeatedly and the student must be able to recite quickly. These include: order of sharps & flats, naming the key signatures, naming the musical periods, etc. Commensurate with the student’s level, one or more weekly recitation drills will be incorporated into the lesson time until the student has mastered the drill. The recitation drills are included as appendix exercises in the Learning Music Series.
Repertoire Books: Since many method books do not include actual musical literature in their performance selections, the KMI faculty will often require students to purchase additional repertoire in the form of collections or singles. Selections from the repertoire are composed by the famous composers of history, and will be treated the same way as the designated “performance book”. Often repertoire books are required for student participation in competition, or regional evaluation programs, because they explicitly do not allow students to perform songs from method books.