If you want your kids’ education to include music, you’ll have to start at the beginning with the right foundation. Although there is memory work involved in mastering the music notes, the process of learning doesn't have to be stale and boring. Instead, encourage excitement and interest in your children to inspire them to want to learn about music.
The musical staff consists of two clefs -- the treble clef and the bass clef. Each clef consists of five lines and four spaces; all lines and spaces represent a note or a pitch of music, designated by a letter. The two clefs can either stand alone or combine into a grand staff. Simplify learning the notes of the clefs by using mnemonic devices with the note letters. The space notes on the treble clef, from lowest to highest, are F, A, C and E -- spelling “face.” The line notes on the treble clef, from lowest to highest, are E, G, B, D and F. A common mnemonic for the line notes is “Every good boy does fine,” according to Robert A. Cutietta's book, "Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents." For the bass clef, the space notes from lowest to highest are A, C, E and G. A mnemonic is “All cars eat gas.” For the line notes of the bass clef, G, B, D, F and A, help your kids remember “Good burritos don’t fall apart.”
Often, it’s easier to commit details to memory after drawing or writing the information. Provide a large sketch of the grand staff on paper or on a whiteboard surface. Invite your kids to draw circles with corresponding note letters to each space and line of both the bass and treble clefs to help them conceptualize the different notes.
You can use both electronic and manual activities to help your kids remember music notes. A large, fabric grand staff, spread on the floor or mounted on the wall, can serve as an effective learning tool. Your kids can attach flannel notes labeled with each note letter to the correct space or line on both clefs. If electronic learning appeals to your children, you can find many apps and software programs that help make the learning process enjoyable. ClefTutor and NoteWorks are two electronic learning programs that your children might use.
When it’s time to memorize, flash cards are an effective and simple tool. You can purchase ready-made note flash cards with the spaces and lines of both clefs presented on each individual card and the note names on the flip side. For cost-effective learning, make your own note flash cards by drawing the staff lines and spaces on index cards and making notes for your children to identify.
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