Fletcher Music Method
Fletcher Music Method. A 'musical kindergarten' for young children. It was devised by Evelyn Ashton Fletcher (b Woodstock, Ont, 1872, d New York City 31 Dec 1944), who studied music in Canada and for five years in France, Germany, and England, taught in Canada ca 1894-7, and joined the staff of the New England Cons in 1897. Her system grew out of her own needs as a teacher of a class in Bishop Strachan School, Toronto. Designed to teach young children the basics of music in a way they could enjoy, the method covered ear training, knowledge of rhythm and time, sight reading, the piano keyboard, major and minor scales, chords and intervals, finger and wrist control, and a knowledge of famous performers and composers. It employed toys (ie, wooden objects introduced as 'Miss Treble Clef' and 'Mrs Whole Note,' etc, and a wooden 'staff-house' where these objects 'lived'), puzzles (a portable wooden keyboard with detachable keys), games (including rhythmic hand-clapping and wrist and finger exercises), songs, and stories taken from music history. Once assimilated, Fletcher techniques enabled children to read and play simple piano pieces.
By 1901 approximately 250 music teachers were using the method and it had been adopted at several schools and conservatories in the USA and Canada. During the early 1900s a Fletcher Music Method and Piano School was established in Montreal, offering both classes for beginners and instruction in the method for teachers. It remained open for more than 30 years. The method's inventor described her system in a book entitled What is the Fletcher Method? (Brookline, Mass 1915). The system flourished widely early in the twentieth century and was still in use by some teachers for many years thereafter