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Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: AZNpiano] #1874771
04/06/12 04:51 PM
04/06/12 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,033
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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AZNpiano  Offline OP
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Orange County, CA
I use the black keys to start. I guess "middle C" is the only reference point. I do use the keyboard topography method to teach notes. Some method books start with black keys, and then go to C-D-E. But at these early stages there's usually a picture of the keys on the page so the student will know where to put her hands.


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Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: Ben Crosland] #1874777
04/06/12 04:59 PM
04/06/12 04:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,521
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
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South Florida
I've totally ditched mnemonics too. None of them have ever worked for my students, and they did not work for me...
Originally Posted by Ben Crosland
Over the last 18 months or so, I have focused far more on intervallic reading than recognition with my beginners.

Results, so far, are very encouraging.

I have also ditched pnemonics altogether, opting instead for the following mantra:

"Spaces are FACE in the treble, and ACE in the bass. With a G on top."

This is proving to be very effective in teaching grand staff note-reading. The seemingly awkward "With a G on top" appears to really help it stick in the mind, and immediately provides an important note that they can recognise instantly.

The only objection I have to what you are doing, which is not really an "objection" but a point of logic, is that FACE and ACE are directional. If you are trying to figure out the top space E in the treble, you have to "count" up F, then A, then C, then E. It is slow. To get to top space G in the bass clef, which is a rather important notes for beginners, you have to "climb" to get there.

One of the earliest pieces I teach is Happy Birthday, in C, so when the melody leaps up from second line G to G over the top line, there would be no way to get there.

I reserve ACE for the leger lines, but I mostly point from my chart, which every student has, to the keys those higher and lower notes go to.

Last edited by Gary D.; 04/06/12 05:01 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: Gary D.] #1874878
04/06/12 08:31 PM
04/06/12 08:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
Worcester, UK
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Ben Crosland Offline
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Originally Posted by Gary D.

The only objection I have to what you are doing, which is not really an "objection" but a point of logic, is that FACE and ACE are directional. If you are trying to figure out the top space E in the treble, you have to "count" up F, then A, then C, then E. It is slow.


Not really. Maybe for the first minute or two, but it doesn't take too much effort to point out that the last letter of "face" is "E", and that they needn't keep counting up to the top every time, and the top G in the bass clef is learned straight away.

Anyway, this isn't the only way I teach note recognition - rather, it's more of a last resort that they can refer to if they encounter brain-freeze.


Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: Ben Crosland] #1874921
04/06/12 10:09 PM
04/06/12 10:09 PM
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by Ben Crosland

Anyway, this isn't the only way I teach note recognition - rather, it's more of a last resort that they can refer to if they encounter brain-freeze.

Brain freeze - got it! So long as the crutch, whatever it is, eventually gets thrown away, I think it's good. smile


Piano Teacher
Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: AZNpiano] #2374323
01/16/15 01:53 PM
01/16/15 01:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 274
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DeadPoets Offline
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Can someone explain to me the concept of using landmark notes?
I'm an adult beginner and am already using intervallic reading on my own... but other than middle C I get a bit lost.

So when I'm looking at the piece I'm playing... I could write out some of the common landmarks and do so in the first Bar? (this is where I'm confused)

I thought some people who use intervallic reading just wrote the letter of the 1st note at the beginning of the song and then started from there?

Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: DeadPoets] #2374413
01/16/15 04:51 PM
01/16/15 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,033
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline OP
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AZNpiano  Offline OP
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,033
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by DeadPoets
Can someone explain to me the concept of using landmark notes?
I'm an adult beginner and am already using intervallic reading on my own... but other than middle C I get a bit lost.

So when I'm looking at the piece I'm playing... I could write out some of the common landmarks and do so in the first Bar? (this is where I'm confused)

I thought some people who use intervallic reading just wrote the letter of the 1st note at the beginning of the song and then started from there?

It sounds like you are trying to progress too quickly without knowing the letter names. You might want to slow down.

The idea of using landmark notes is to get the kids to play many notes, fluently counting, without having to count up and down lines/spaces to find every single letter name. Then, as a byproduct of fluent playing, kids gradually soak up letter names. The idea is to learn letter names naturally and gradually.


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Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: AZNpiano] #2374513
01/16/15 10:25 PM
01/16/15 10:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,255
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,255
Virginia, USA
I play trombone, actually much more than I dabble in piano.

While most of my music is in bass clef, I often have to read C treble, Bb treble, tenor, alto, or mezzosoprano clef, usually on short notice.

When this happens I quickly note landmark notes: middle C, E, G, and anchor myself around them. Those notes are in a different spot on every clef but the relationships between them and the nearby notes is always the same.

And then a curious thing happens. After a very short time of playing at tempo, my vision shifts, and the notes start to look like their concert pitch equivalents. Second line G actually looks like middle C to my brain if I'm reading a French horn part, for example. I guess that's a combination of intervallic and note recognition.

I attribute this to a combination of my engineering background and a good bit of work spent practicing different clefs. It's nowhere near as easy on keyboard as on a monophonic instrument like trombone, for me. My mother apparently had 7 clefs on any instrument and could transpose on the fly using that method. She's long departed of course, I wish I could ask her how she did some of that.



gotta go practice
Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: TimR] #2374519
01/16/15 10:56 PM
01/16/15 10:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 360
Alabama
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anamnesis Offline
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Alabama
Originally Posted by TimR
I play trombone, actually much more than I dabble in piano.

While most of my music is in bass clef, I often have to read C treble, Bb treble, tenor, alto, or mezzosoprano clef, usually on short notice.

When this happens I quickly note landmark notes: middle C, E, G, and anchor myself around them. Those notes are in a different spot on every clef but the relationships between them and the nearby notes is always the same.

And then a curious thing happens. After a very short time of playing at tempo, my vision shifts, and the notes start to look like their concert pitch equivalents. Second line G actually looks like middle C to my brain if I'm reading a French horn part, for example. I guess that's a combination of intervallic and note recognition.

I attribute this to a combination of my engineering background and a good bit of work spent practicing different clefs. It's nowhere near as easy on keyboard as on a monophonic instrument like trombone, for me. My mother apparently had 7 clefs on any instrument and could transpose on the fly using that method. She's long departed of course, I wish I could ask her how she did some of that.



Have you tried the Dandelot method to reinforce learning all the clefs?

Clef transposition is elaborated on here extensively:

http://derekremes.com/wp-content/uploads/Transposition%20by%20Changing%20Clef_by%20Derek%20Remes.pdf

Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: anamnesis] #2374659
01/17/15 11:56 AM
01/17/15 11:56 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,255
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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TimR  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,255
Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by anamnesis


Have you tried the Dandelot method to reinforce learning all the clefs?

Clef transposition is elaborated on here extensively:

http://derekremes.com/wp-content/uploads/Transposition%20by%20Changing%20Clef_by%20Derek%20Remes.pdf


That's a very clear description of exactly what I do, up to the last part where they use clefs to transpose key changes in concert pitch. I have very little experience doing that (one time I was playing piano for a Catholic service, reading off a lead sheet in D, and the guitar player leaned over during verse 2 and said "we go up to E on the next verse." Oh, really? Chords were no problem, I was just reading symbols off a lead sheet, but the melody had to be moved too. Hurt my brain a little but I got through it.)


gotta go practice
Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: AZNpiano] #2375910
01/20/15 02:28 PM
01/20/15 02:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Hi AZN,

I make students do both, and from the very beginning. Note reading is essential, but interval recognition is equally useful.

I also use landmarks, all the Cs. By the end of 3 months, if I and they have done a good job, the entire grand staff is their "landmark".

I wouldn't do the clef transposition with rank beginners, but I would do it with any student after the 1st year say. By then, their reading should be strong enough that they won't get thrown by a foreign clef (which sounds very exotic doesn't it).


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Intervallic Reading vs. Note Recognition [Re: AZNpiano] #2377547
01/24/15 02:03 PM
01/24/15 02:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
missbelle Offline
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missbelle  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 252
USA
My landmarks are the G line that for the first intro of clefs for beginners, I actually color pencil in green, and the F line, that I mark in purple (since cannot find a fuschia colored pencil.)
Of course, there is always middle C, and I add a few lessons later, "The Sea of C's" and I color them in blue, and sometimes draw a little fishy nearby if the child is young/fun enough.

I also do a lot of intervals- I turn the page upside down and have the student tell me if it is a repeat, a step (2nd), or a skip (third).

I tell them that there are many ways to learn the notes,and I am showing them several so they can find what works best.

Like, at first with playing, it is finger numbers. Then, note values and note names. Counting progresses from "half-note half-note" to 1-2 3-4, and the same with reading notes.

I shy away from the "All Cars Eat Gas" and such, because-
quick-
ask an adult-
which mnemonic phrase is for treble clef? Lines or spaces?

By using LANDMARKS (treble clef marks the G line, bass clef marks the F line, middle C, then the Sea of C's, and later, the G's,) plus intervals, and LOTS of reinforcement with sight reading in a lesson so I can see what they are doing, plus practicing, and it all comes together pretty well.

Oh, another fun one-
at the very first ever lesson, going over keyboard topography, I have them play two black keys and say,
"Hey Diddle Diddle D is in the Middle"
(of two black keys.)

When they learn bass C, I also point out a "new" version of "D is in the Middle" because D is on the middle line.

(yes, the Diddle line D is in Piano Adventures. But, the two black note song I learned from my pedagogy professor.) So there. smile

That is when I tell the students that what they learn as a rank beginner changes over time.

Like a child sounding out words as they learn to read, you would not tell a child reading a chapter book to continue singing the "Ah apple, A ape" song anymore. It is in there.
But, you do keep reading, and writing, and speaking.

Same for piano- you keep sight reading, practicing, doing the theory pages, and sharing.









Learning as I teach.
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