Friday, June 23, 2017

What are the best ways to teach note reading to beginner students?

The Violin Channel Forum General Discussion What are the best ways to teach note reading to beginner students?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Jaime Herrera 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #47719 Reply

    What are the best ways to teach note reading to beginner students?

    #47885 Reply


    It’s best to simplify it as much as possible, by separating pitch and rhythm – pitch can be taught through simple melodies that employ only crotchets/quarter notes, but build up complexity with both stepwise motion and larger jumps and eventually include legerlines; while rhythm can be taught alone, without pitch, using percussion-style music that is just on one line.
    Reading rhythm can also be started with clapping or even tapping on a table. Once that skill is acquired, it can progress to the next step of reading rhythms and playing them on the instrument. After pitch and rhythm become comfortable to read individually, then they can be combined together and the student can start to read simple music.

    #47906 Reply

    eduard laurel

    The mnemonics Every Good Boy Does Fine, and F A C E, seem effective.

    Learn both treble and bass clefs at the same time.

    Flashcards: single notes, dyads, triads…

    Keyboards can be inexpensive. The layout of the blacks and whites seems less daunting than correlating the mystery of the fingerboard.

    Copy music, before and after pieces are memorized.


    #53120 Reply

    Jaime Herrera

    I recently invented a system which is easy to use and teaches (fluent) reading in 10 half-hour lessons – one lesson per week. That’s a total of five hours. It is highly concentrated so spending more than half an hour studying it is not advisable. I teach it during regular violin lessons. I had to come up with something because I discovered that not too many kids in school orchestras can read, even if their teachers think they can. For the most part, they play by ear and that’s easy enough for them to do because they practice the same tunes every day. With my method, the student can use homework if he chooses but homework is not required – just one visit a week to your violin teacher is all it takes (although it also works for piano or other instruments, of course.) I intend to soon publish it so I am not free to disclose how it works. I can say this much: One of my tools is flash cards.

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