Having a visual reference point on the piano keys helps children start reading music with confidence.
There was no existing piano method which began slowly and carefully enough for both kids and adult beginners. All 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.
Conventional piano lessons start children using the elements described in the drawing below:
Above, there is no visual reference point on the piano. To a child, the piano keyboard is an ocean of white and black buttons with no apparent organization, not to mention the series of five lines (on the page) which have no apparent pattern and bear no apparent relation to the confusing, different pattern of the piano keys.
As an alternative to this confusion, look at the drawing below, where a keyboard is shown with the five lines of the staff referenced to the blue stickers on the keys:
I CAN READ MUSIC is the most understandable and fun introduction to reading piano music available for kids today. Click here for a detailed discussion of kids and starting to read music.
Includes 50 page illustrated song book with removable stickers.
Every book package order includes a copy of I CAN READ MUSIC.
Below is a sample page from I CAN READ MUSIC, where we acquaint the child with the "musical staff" (the five horizontal lines in the drawing below) before we start reading notes.
Click here for more Sample Pages from I CAN READ MUSIC
Leading children's music educator and Emmy Award winning composer John Aschenbrenner looked at the experience children had with reading music and created a system based on what children could actually do comfortably, having fun while they learn to read music.
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.
We make up games, like ringing a library bell every time the child successfully finds the red key, and answers questions like, "Which white key is to the left of the two black keys?" Then ask them to play all the lines (the blue stickers) and then ask for the spaces (the white keys with no stickers at all.)
This is the easy "Fun Method" that we recommend using with all beginning students.
Usually introduced slowly while the child is still playing "by number," the concepts introduced in this book are easy to follow for anyone, and help build the simple, abstract spatial skills necessary to read music, one skill at a time.
With such a visual reference point, kids relax and treat reading music as a game. Middle C (the red sticker) becomes their "home base" around which they can organize their efforts to find the relationship between the page and the keyboard.
Without such a reference point, most children are extremely confused with music reading,
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.
I CAN READ MUSIC (Individual Printed Book)
Individual 50 page illustrated book and removable stickers
See also: PRESCHOOL PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for the youngest kids
See also: CHILDREN'S MULTI BOOK PACKAGE: Includes books for older AND younger children
See also: ADULT PIANO PACKAGE: A selection of books for adult beginners
See also WHY KIDS NEED FREEDOM TO LEARN PIANO
See also THE PIANO WHISPERER
See also HOW A CHILD'S AGE AFFECTS PIANO LESSON MOTOR SKILLS
See also PIANO FINGER ORGANIZATION GAMES FOR THE VERY YOUNG
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