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Wasn't sure where to post this. Piano/music teachers could you help me out please?

(7 Posts)
MehgaLegs Thu 29-May-08 19:26:34

DS1 and DS2 both taking piano exams on 19th June (Jazz Piano Grade 1 and Grade 2). They have both taken and passed Grade 1 Piano already so have experience of exams.

They know their pieces really well, are confident with scales, arpeggios and those dorian things but both seem to have skipped a huge basic. They don't appear to know the names of the notes. shock

If i point to a note on the scale they can find it on the piano and then work out what it is and name it but they are unable to simply look at the scale and name the note. Is this common?

To help I wanted to find a website with a stave of notes and print it out to stick by their beds to help them practice.

What do you think? Any links to useful sites much appreciated.

flowerybeanbag Thu 29-May-08 19:36:38

Something like this? I just googled.

I am not a piano teacher but my mum and DH both used to be. I'd say not knowing the notes is unusual - I'd expect it to have been one of the first things in whatever book they started learning from. Mind you, it's been a long time since any of us learned or taught.

cornflakegirl Fri 30-May-08 00:37:30

There are useful mnemonics for learning the note names.

Treble clef lines: Every Good Boy Deserves Favours.
Treble clef spaces: FACE
Bass clef lines: Good Boys Deserve Favours Always
Bass clef spaces: All Cows Eat Grass

I learnt these really early on too.

cornflakegirl Fri 30-May-08 00:38:15

D'oh - just followed flowery's link!

MehgaLegs Fri 30-May-08 11:44:33

flowerybeanbag - that is perfect. I googled but only got some very complicated stuff. Didn't think of bitesize.

Many thanks grin

BakuMum Sat 07-Jun-08 19:38:07

I wouldn't worry about it too much, although it does seem a bit unusual that their teacher hasn't worked through this. But kids (and adults) make sense of the theory of music in different ways and at different times. If they are able to play by ear, play pieces and scales with ease and are enjoying what they are doing, then being able to actually 'read' the music (which is what you say they can't yet do) will come in time. I teach music and I remember not understanding enourmous chunks of music theory as a kid. In fact some really basic stuff didn't really become clear to me until I started teaching it to kids! Good luck.

twentypence Wed 30-Jul-08 05:19:25

Draw 5 lines on a A4 piece of paper about an inch apart, draw a treble clef on it. Repeat with a bass clef.

Buy a gigantic pack of chocolate buttons. Put one on a stave. Ask for the name of the note - if correct give the chocolate to the child. If incorrect or they have multiple guesses or generally dither eat the choc yourself. They will learn to read music very quickly. Usually in the week IME.

Every Green Bus Drives Fast
Great Big Daft Fat Aliens
All Cows eat Grass

Boys and Favours are so 1980s! (according to my pupils)

Also show them that the curl of the Treble clef is a G (it's called the G clef) and the dots of the Bass clef go around the F (which you guessed it is also called the F clef) that is a known point to count up or down from. Middle C is another good known point.

Check they can say the musical alphabet backwards - if you can't you can't work out the notes very quickly. has good clear tests.

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