Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Read Music For Kids

How To Read Music Notes For Beginners And Children

Music Lessons For Kids – Reading Music & Reading Notes
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Attention: Parents and Music Teachers

If you are a parent or music teacher with children taking piano lessons, then this might be the most important suggestion you will ever receive.Heres the reason why:Most students are excited when they start learning to play the piano or keyboard, but many then quit because they find reading music notes too difficult.

They get upset and frustrated. Why?:

Children get confused, bored, and want to drop out of their piano lessons.As parents and teachers we want to help but what can we do?

I have been a piano teacher for over 30 years. I have seen this problem so many times. I have surveyed all the piano teaching books, courses and ebooks on the market, and frankly, not one of them really helped children learn to read music notes in a quick, systematic way that was also fun.

After 12 long months of writing and testing it out with my own piano students, here it is:

The Grand View Of All Notes On The Lines And Spaces In Treble And Bass Clef

Here you have all of the notes on both the lines and spaces in each clef, for easy review. Take some time to read each note in each clef, and then try to look away and name all of your Space notes in each clef or all of your line notes in each clef.

Keep doing this each day until you can name the notes without looking at any hints.

**Remember to say in the beginning whether the note is on a line or on a space, as this will help reinforce that information in your brain and your fingers when you play it on the piano.

** Remember also, to always learn your notes from the bottom line or space to the top line or space in the clef that you are working in.

Reading Sharps Flats Naturals And Keys

  • 1Take the next step. So far we’ve covered the very basics of rhythm and melody, and you should possess the basic skills necessary that you now understand what all those dots and squiggles represent. While this might get you through basic Flutophone class, there are still a few more things you’ll want to know. Chief among these are key signatures.
  • You may have seen sharps and flats in music: sharp looks like a hashtag and a flat looks like a lowercase B . They are placed to the left of a note head and indicate that the note to follow is played a half-step higher for a sharp, or a half-step lower for a flat. The C scale, as we learned, comprises the white keys on the piano. When you’re beginning to read music, it’s easiest to think of the sharps and flats as the black keys. However, one should also note that sharps and flats are on white keys in some situations . For instance, B sharp is played on the same note as C.
  • 2Know the whole tones and semitones. In Western music, notes are either a whole tone or a semitone apart. If you look at the C note on the piano keyboard, you’ll see there’s a black key between it and the next note up, the D. The musical distance between the C and the D is called a whole tone. The distance between the C and the black key is called a semitone. Now, you may be wondering what that black key is called. The answer is, âit depends.â
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    Misdiagnosing Challenges Sabotages Reading

    Misconception #1: If they are not reading words yet, they wont be able to read music.

    One of the advantages in the beginning stages of reading music is that you only need to be able to recognize letters A-G. Most young kids can do this long before they are able to put words together or string words into sentences. As piano music gets more difficult, recognizing patterns will be necessary but in the very beginning it is mainly straight note-recognition.

    Misconception #2: The music print is too small for their eyes to read.

    Unless they have a vision impairment, the ability to clearly see small things shouldnt be an issue by toddler age. The difficulty that often trips young ones up is actually not seeing lines and spaces as individual things or as different from one another. Using jumbo staff paper to WRITE on is a good idea because they are still developing dexterity which can make drawing small or detailed things challenging. I dont usually recommend starting before age four for other reasons such as focusing ability, dexterity and ability to understand concepts.

    These are really misdiagnosis of the challenges small children have reading music.

    The First Ledger Line Note

    How to Read Music

    Middle C, is found exactly where it says it is – in the middle of the Treble and Bass Clef.

    Above Middle C, heading up towards the Treble Clef, the next note above it is D, and then you land on your first line note in Treble Clef, which is E. Remember your Treble Clef notes?

    Below Middle C, heading down towards the Bass Clef, the next note is B, and then you land on your top line note for the Bass Clef, which is A.

    You will encounter a lot more notes on ledger lines as you advance in your musical studies. All you have to remember to figure out what note you’re looking at is find an “anchor” note – or the nearest note that you know what the name of it is, and then count up or down to figure out the ledger line note.

    See how easy it is to learn your notes?

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    Learn How To Read Music Printables For Kids

    If you are looking for some handy, free music printables for teaching children how to read music, you will love these music worksheets and music activities for kids. These pages will help kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders learn to read music. Simply print pdf file with reading music notes projects and you are ready to play and learn!

    The Itsy Bitsy Spider

    Children love singing this song and its pretty simple to play, too. One fun idea is for you to play the song while your child does the motions, then switch roles.

    The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout G C C C D E E E D C D E C Down came the rain and washed the spider out E E F G G F E F G E Out came the sun and dried up all the rain C C D E E D C D E C And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again G G C C C D E E E D C D E C

    Heres a super slow tutorial that is easy to follow along with:

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    Play These Free Games In Your Browser To Improve Your Sight

    Grand Staff Defender
    Learn to Read Sheet Music For Piano, Keyboard, and Harp
    This is a little game I wrote to teach my children how to read music. It’s a great way to learn the note values on the grand staff. If you are learning to play piano, then this is the correct game to play. I couldn’t think of a name, and since the layout reminded me of Defender, I just decided to call it Grand Staff Defender. Maybe you can think of a better name. If so, send me a note! The gameplay itself is clearly Kaboom, but instead of a paddle, you type the value of the note coming towards you to stop it. Wow, Defender and Kaboom!?! I’m clearly showing my age here.
    Notably Quick Guitar
    Learn to Read Sheet Music For 6 String Guitar
    This version of the game will quiz users on an extended range of treble clef notes that is for 6 string guitar. It starts way down at the low E, and goes all the way up to the high E on the 12th fret of the 1st string. I know, the name “Notably Quick Guitar” is lame! I need serious help naming these games. Help me if you can. Anyhow, enjoy.
    Treble Clef Defender
    Beginners Game to Read Notes on the Treble Clef

    Music Theory Apps For Kids

    Reading Pitch: How to Read Music! (Kids Music Lessons)

    The best apps for learning to read music, including free music apps for toddlers! These music theory apps for kids are a wonderful addition to a music classroom or for reinforcing music theory at home.music theory apps for kidssome of the best apps for learning to read musicThis post contains affiliate links.

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    Learn To Read Music Websites And Online Games

    There are lots of great websites with games, worksheets, lessons, tips, and activities that can help parents begin to teach their kids about music theory. Here are a few fun sites to have a look at:

    • Music Learning Community is a website that has hundreds of learning games of varying levels, all carefully planned to gain mastery of the elements of music theory, ear training, and rhythmic skills. You can get a free 3-week trial or just try some of the games for free.
    • Fun and Learn Music is a great website that provides teachers and parents with the materials they need to help their little ones learn basic music theory.
    • Music Teachers out of the U.K have a good list of fun online music games for kids.
    • The Mighty Maestro has kids music theory online lessons. This site has some free activities as well as a paid option.
    • Happy Note is another website with lots of games to help kids learn music notes and symbols in a fun way.
    • Data Dragon has a good overview of what to learn. Probably best for an older child.

    Don’t Give Out The Notes

    When a student doesn’t know a note encourage them to figure it out on their own by finding a note they already do know and counting the lines from that note. This also makes much more sense visually and musically. You can remind them that the line in between the dots in bass clef is an F, and the treble clef symbol wraps around a G.

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    Reading Dynamics And Expression

  • 1Get loudâor get soft! When you listen to music, you have probably noticed that it’s not all at the same volume, all the time. Some parts get really loud, and some parts get really soft. These variations are known as “dynamics.”
  • If the rhythm and meter are the heart of the music, and notes and keys are the brains, then dynamics are surely the voice of the music. Consider the first version above.
  • On your table, tap out: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8, etc. . Make sure every beat is tapped at the same loudness, so that it sounds a bit like a helicopter. Now take a look at the second version.
  • Notice the accent mark above every F note. Tap that out, only this time, accent every beat that you see the accent mark. Now, instead of a helicopter, it should sound more like a train. With just a subtle shift in accent, we completely change the character of the music!
  • 2Play it piano, or fortissimo, or somewhere in between. Just like you don’t always talk at the same levelâyou modulate your voice louder or softer, depending on the situationâmusic modulates in level too. The way the composer tells the musician what is intended is by using dynamic markings.
  • There are dozens of dynamic markings you may see on a piece of music, but some of the most common ones you’ll find will be the letters f, m, and p.
  • p means “piano,” or “softly.”
  • f means “forte,” or “loud.”
  • Sometimes a crescendo or diminuendo will be represented as the shortened words cresc.” or dim. .
  • Proof That Reading Music Is Not That Hard

    ð¼ FREE Printable Music Notes Chart

    Even if youre a complete beginner to reading music, you probably know that musical notation involves a set of lines, dots and other symbols. Taken together, the written lines, dots and symbols represent the music we can hear. Musicians who read music, can interpret them on an instrument or in their head.

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    How To Read Music: Getting Started

    When you start to learn music theory its usually because you are learning an instrument. This is the best way to begin, as you learn to read the notes as you play. In the early lessons youll learn the note values and note names. You do this by practicing simple repetitive exercises that allow you to absorb the new information as you go.

    Even if you are learning to play a different instrument, it is never a waste to learn the notes on a keyboard. The keyboard provides a visual way to link the theory to a real sound, and to see the intervals as you play them.

    When you first try to read a piece of music, you should approach it in a systematic way. Look out for the visual clues before attempting to play. With young children, I always say they are being detectives, trying to solve a mystery.

    Like learning any new skill, practice is key. Practice is always best little and often. Learning to read music should be approached in the same way as learning to read words, with a clear strategy and gradual progression of level.

    The Bass Clef And Notes In The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef also contains 5 lines and 4 spaces in it, and each of these lines and spaces has a specific note that is located there.

    The notes on the 4 spaces are A, C, E, & G.

    The notes on the 5 lines are G, B, D, F, & A.

    Say the note names on the Spaces going from the bottom to the top several times. Then do the same thing with the notes on the Lines, again going from the bottom to the top.

    Now let’s see what they look like together on the Grand Staff.

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    How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Read Music

    It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years to learn how to read music. It depends on many factors:

    • Where you are starting from
    • Where you want to go
    • The quality of practice
    • The amount of practice
    • The method you use and the feedback mechanism

    All these play a role in how long it will take you to learn to read music.

    Are There Strategies That Can Help Kids With Dyslexia Learn To Read Music

    How To Teach Children To Read Music – Basic Music Lessons For Kids

    Just like they help kids learn to read words, multisensory techniques can help them learn to read music. In fact, music teachers often use these techniques for all beginning students.

    Here are a few common strategies.

    • Tracing the melody with a finger on the score, then drawing it in the air and on paper.

    • Raising and lowering hands or jumping up and down in response to changes in pitch.

    • Walking, marching, or clapping to different rhythms to raise awareness of the beat.

    • Writing notes in different colors on sheet music to make them stand out.

    • Reducing clutter on sheet music by only showing the line of music the child is working on.

    There are many more multisensory techniques that can help kids learn music. Ask potential music teachers if they use these types of strategies.

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    Can Anyone Learn To Read Music

    If you want to read music but doubt whether youd be able to or not, youre not alone. Making sense out of those lines, dots and strange symbols can be daunting. Most people who can read music learned as kids and continued to practice, so what about everyone else?

    Can anyone learn to read music? Absolutely anyone can learn to read music with the right approach and some practice. Learning to read music is not hard anyone who can read the alphabet of everyday language or read numbers already has the tools to learn how to read music.

    If you read other articles here at School of Composition, you might have come across the idea of brain plasticity as we mentioned it a few times. Brain plasticity is the ability of the brain to form and strengthen neural connections. And it does so to learn new things and to become more effective at a task. This shouldnt be news. It is thanks to brain plasticity that with practice we get better thats all there is to it.

    What’s in this Lesson

    Waiting To Introduce Reading Makes It Harder

    Waiting to introduce reading widens the gap between reading level and playing level and often results in students resisting it. It also introduces a new habit that they havent been expected to do before. Kids like routine and wont see the point in doing something in a completely different way than they did before especially if it feels harder. It IS easier to learn by rote and memorize but not having good reading skills limits the amount of music players can play to what they can hold in their memory. It also limits their ability to play new music right away and jog the memory of old pieces. Memorizing the system of reading allows access to an unlimited number of pieces. Building reading skills gradually from the beginning is much easier and more effective than waiting.

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