Piano Forum logo
September 24, 2017, 08:34:22 AM *
   Forum Home   Help Search  


The One and Only Alfred Brendel

Now retired from the stage and the piano and recently turned 85, Alfred Brendel remains regarded as a serious intellectual with a mischievous sense of humour. In a wonderful 70-minute documentary that reflects his childhood and early influences, Brendel reveals his stature as a performer, expresses his admiration for the work of other artists and shares his views on life and music. Read more >>

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Best methods for teaching note identification on the staves?  (Read 4317 times)
lily2
PS Silver Member
Newbie
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 1


« on: February 11, 2013, 03:22:42 AM »

Hello all,
I am new to this forum.  I have been teaching individual piano lessons full-time now for about 5 years.  I see about 25 students per week, many of them children ages 5-18 and some adults in their 20s and beyond to older adult.  I have taught in small music schools and music shops in addition to my private students. 

I have a degree in music and music education, and even hold my state's licensure to teach in public schools (which I am not doing currently).  Throughout all this education, and in my practicum, I never learned the best methods to teach staff notation.  What I do is use what my very first piano teacher did -- showing the two staves and explaining how lines and spaces work, and FACE and EGBDF, etc.  Fortunately for me, learning the staff came fairly easy and naturally to me, and I was able to use key identifier notes like middle C and treble G, as well as bass C and G below middle C.  Not to say I didn't struggle at all, but it was pretty straightforward to me. 

So when I started teaching, perhaps it was very ignorant of me (but how could I have known if I'd never done it??), but I assumed all new students would be able to easily learn this way.  But as I have been teaching, I have found a consistent problem in students not retaining this information, sometimes from minute to minute, even as they may appear to know how it works  (where the notes sit on what lines/spaces, and how movement goes), they will get it wrong and appear to have forgotten it even in the next minute.  I feel like I am constantly teaching and reteaching this.  It's baffling and frustrating to me, and I need some input and new ideas for teaching this most basic skill.

A lot of students are just not grasping the concept that each note on the piano has its own place on the staff.

One thing i have shied away from is over reliance on C position etc., as a teaching method.  Many kids come to me thinking that when they see the finger number 1 above a note in the treble clef, that it is always C. 

Ideas?  Suggestions?  Links?? 

Thanks in advance!!

Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
loletha
PS Silver Member
Newbie
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2


« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 06:07:09 PM »

I'm in the exact same dilemma!

Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
timothy42b
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 2957


« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 07:30:42 PM »

I have a suggestion, which I have not tried; it is merely a thought experiment.

My children learned to read long before school, by being given a word that was theirs in a story.  When we'd read stories to them, which they loved, every time we came to their word they would say it.  It might be something simple like the or cat at first.

It was my thought that there were several reasons this worked.  One is the limited nature of the task.  They didn't have to remember several hundred words (or 12 notes), just one at a time, and built on it.  Secondly, it was real-time-forced-choice learning, which I think has significant advantages here.  Thirdly, it was group process.  Fourthly, it required active participation.

It didn't work for long.  Something about it made the kids connect words to print very quickly - once that connection was made, their reading took off and they were quickly past the need. 

What if you had children sing simple nursery rhymes, if these exist, and use the note name instead of the word?  What if you could have several children do it together?  You'd start with one note at a time and add.  Ma-ry C a lit-tle lamb, lit-tle lamb, lit-tle lamb? Ma-ry C a lit-tle lamb etc.  I bet one time through and they'd never forget middle C again.  Very important, they have to sing in rhythm, no stopping to think. 

I'd love to do this with our church choir, making them sing hymns on letter names instead of words.  That would force their eyes in the right spot.  Alas, time prevents doing much more than just getting the anthems ready. 

Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

Tim
nyiregyhazi
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 4267


« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 08:31:07 PM »

http://pianoscience.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/solid-foundation-reading-skills-lifting.html?showComment=1386447731584#c2168594913043780894

Also, students can be prevented from getting lost in finger associations simply by being asked to play pieces very slow with one finger and say every letter. In the early stages, it's very easy to get by off a very limited viewpoint that neglects key information. There's nothing better than playing things with one finger to begin training the mental visualisation of notes and patterns- so it's about picturing the note rather than remembering which finger to move. It's also a very fine test for advanced pianists (still to be done slow- it's not an exercise in technique but in visualisation).
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

filovirus
PS Silver Member
Newbie
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 12:22:52 AM »

Try this method: http://www.jonschmidt.com/catalog/ed_pianoteachers.php
Students should have no problems finding notes after this. You can purchase the book here:
https://shop.thepianoguys.com/sheet-music/67-fun-songs-physical#.VMBB953TnIU.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  


Need more info or help?


Search pianostreet.com - the web's largest resource of information about piano playing:



 
Jump to:  


Most popular classical piano composers:
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

o