This helps children start reading music with confidence.
I Can Read Music was created because there was no existing piano method which began slowly enough for kids.
The methods we examined either started too fast or assumed some kind of knowledge, experience or affinity with manipulating music symbols.
For the vast majority of children, this conventional type of piano method is a major obstacle to a happy start at the piano.
Conventional piano lessons start children using the two elements described in the drawing below.
- Five horizontal lines of the musical staff (on the sheet music page)
- The piano keyboard below (the piano keys.)
The Old Way: No Reference Point
In this drawing, there is no visual reference point on the piano keys (below the five lines) nor is there any relationship shown betweeen the five lines and the keyboard.
To a child, the piano keyboard is an ocean of white and black buttons with no apparent organization.
Even more confusing is the series of five lines (on the page, above the keyboard) which have no apparent pattern and bear no apparent relation to the different pattern of the piano keys (below.)
The child is required to relate the two complex graphic systems, an almost impossible task given the state of most kid’s brain hemisphere coordination at earlier ages.
A Different Method
As an alternative to the confusion described above, look at the drawing below, where a keyboard is shown with the five lines of the staff referenced to the five blue stickers on the keys:
Middle C is clearly marked with the red sticker, and the five lines of the musical staff are clearly denoted by the five blue stickers.
Children readily respond to this logical system, and slowly but securely start to relate the note on the page to the key on the piano.Here is a sample page from I CAN READ MUSIC, where we acquaint the child with the “musical staff” (the five horizontal lines) before we start reading notes.
In I CAN READ MUSIC, the steps necessary to understand reading piano music are broken down into groups of fun activities that kids will enjoy exploring.
I CAN READ MUSIC is intended as an easy-to-understand introduction to reading music for children, and thus includes songs which make use of only the WHITE keys of the piano.
Numbers Become Notes
Here you’ll find the second page of the activity section of I CAN READ MUSIC! Here the child learns that notes, formerly “numbers,” are now circles placed on the five horizontal lines they have met on the last page.
No extra graphic detail is given at this time (such as clefs, time signatures, stems, rhythm, etc.) so that the central, easy-to-grasp fact is seen: notes are circles found on one of five horizontal lines.
Most children look up at this point and say, “Yeah, so?”
It’s easy to learn about sheet music if the tasks are broken down into minute steps, and are made into games. I CAN READ MUSIC contains all the ideas and games you need to help children make the transition from Piano by Number to sheet music.
I CAN READ MUSIC
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