Please note:




Nifty Notes – The Dawson Method of Reading Music is an invaluable technological aid for Stage 6 students as it builds on previous learning experiences with more in-depth theory throughout the fourth Module.  As Music 1 assumes no prior knowledge of musical notation beyond the basic introduction in Years’ 7-10 mandatory courses, Nifty Notes will assist students in revisiting elementary musical skills and understanding on any level of knowledge.  Nifty Notes is not specific to one particular instrument, but rather all instruments including vocal groups, choirs, ensembles, orchestras, and bands.

Objectives & Outcomes Stage 6:  Nifty Notes – The Dawson Method of Reading Music provides a comprehensive theory package which enhances development and skills in composition, musicology and aural activities.  Used independently or in conjunction with other teaching methods, Nifty Notes will sharpen notation reading skills and improve retention of notation and values, not only within each game, but even more specifically throughout the Revision games.   More complex subjects such as key signatures and relative structure are covered, and further games within these subjects are currently being developed.  Students may work as individuals or in ensembles. 

Nifty Notes uses mathematical ideas and techniques to teach the subject of music, and incorporates technological perspectives addressing the key competency of using technology.

Concepts Stage 6:  Nifty Notes – The Dawson Method of Reading Music provides a clear overview of musical understanding by gently and gradually building upon each Module within the program.  Comparative studies generated by the program will demonstrate a student’s level of understanding within each topic covered.  At any stage teachers and students can re-visit a particular area of learning.  The four Modules within Nifty Notes are set out as follows:

  • Module 1:  6 notes studied across 3 note values
  • Module 2:  12 notes studied across 4 note values
  • Module 3:  16 notes studied across 5 note values
  • Module 4:  26 notes studied across 6 note values

All modules have a default lesson plan, but lesson plans can easily be designed by the teacher to meet an individual student’s needs.

Students will learn a range of musical concepts in depth, such as duration, pitch, beat, metre, tempo, and dynamics.  Explanatory theory is introduced before each game in each default module, as well as in a drop down menu for further revision or clarification.  Teachers can however, tailor a lesson plan to a specific subject.  Improvisation continues to play an integral part of the Nifty Notes program in Stage 6, particularly in games 3 and 4.  Students learn to compose bars of “beats” in the “Clapping Clowns” game, and compose music in the “Writing Wriggles” game, either individually or in groups.  They will continue to learn how the concepts of music are used and manipulated in compositions and arrangement.

Assessment and Reporting – All Stages:  Nifty Notes – The Dawson Method of Reading Music enables the teacher to easily set learning goals for students, both individually or as a group and clear formative, summative and ipsative assessments are reported.  The program emphasizes the interaction between learning and manageable assessment strategies.  Teachers can set “Class Tests” for individual students, or an entire classroom environment.  Full reporting per class and per student is generated.