The Musicianship Intensives are designed to instill the maximum degree of musical fluency at three different skill levels. In contrast to a linear model of teaching and learning, where knowledge, once obtained, is not often re-addressed or put into practice, The Ploger Method® is modeled on the spiral-shape: previously introduced material is consistently put into use and re-incorporated into new topics so that learners are continually applying their knowledge and coming closer to skill fluency on each application. Though each successive level covers new and progressively challenging topics that expand breadth of knowledge, the intensives also continually aim to increase depth of understanding of the basic musical elements of meter, rhythm, melody, and harmony, creating a unique, multidimensional approach to musicianship training.


(As a reflection on Marianne's "spiral" model of learning, here are some naturally occurring spirals for contemplation!)

Nautilus shell; Wikpedia

Nautilus shell; Wikpedia

Messier 81 galaxy; NASA

Messier 81 galaxy; NASA

Low-pressure system over Iceland; NASA

Low-pressure system over Iceland; NASA

Sunflower

Sunflower

All three levels use the vocabulary of the fixed-doh solfège system, numerical scale-degree system, and di-chord interval naming system. Marianne's instruction is unique in that it uses concrete sound properties and acoustical markers to provide students with the means to identify musical elements in real-time, as they are heard. Several topics and strategies for application are addressed throughout all three levels, including:

 
  • the cultivation of a firm sense of orientation in pitch-space
  • emphasis on real-time recognition and identification
  • analysis and understanding of how the mind works to process music
  • causes of error in performance and how to avoid them
  • strategies for taking dictation
  • improvisation as a critical tool for learning
 

Level I

  • foundations for literacy and fluency in the fixed-doh solfège system, numerical scale-degree system, and di-chord interval naming system
  • strategies for developing a sense of orientation in pitch space
  • hearing and identifying intervals and chords in real-time using concrete sound properties
  • basics of rhythmic subdivision of the beat
  • reading in all seven clefs; using clef-reading for transposition
  • melodic gesture and affect
  • diatonic modes and Western scales
  • hearing and identifying modulations in real-time

Level II

  • tracking of simultaneous, independent musical lines
  • intervals in atonal contexts and compound intervals
  • seventh chords
  • chords in functional, harmonic context
  • harmonic rhythm; harmonization of melody
  • in-depth study and real-time hearing of Bach chorales
  • score-reading in open and closed score
  • higher level rhythm, including polyrhythms
  • tuning and temperaments

Level III

  • comprehensive aural identification of intervals and chords in all inversions in tonal and atonal contexts
  • focus on application, including keyboard skills and improvisation
  • focus on atonal melodies and harmonies
  • further depth of study and real-time hearing of Bach
  • method for the development of absolute identification of pitches
  • pedagogical strategies and guidance for the instruction of Level I concepts including interval identification, rhythmic proficiency, and pitch-space orientation