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#960782 - 03/19/08 11:45 AM "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Ashdyre Offline
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Anyone use this method of teaching? The Rhyme "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" (or sometimes i've heard Every Good Bear Deserves Fish) demonstrates the line notes on the staff in the treble clef.

This works great for my students, but then when we come to learning the space notes they get confused. I was always taught it spelled the word "FACE", though a lot of my students are really to young to know how to spell, and get really confused about the D at the bottom and the G at the top.

How do you teach the space notes in the treble clef to your students?


Love is a friendship set to music.
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#960783 - 03/19/08 11:58 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Akira Offline
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Finding Acronyms Challenges Everyone

I guess if they can't spell FACE, they'll have trouble with 'acronyms'. Seems odd there is no commonly used one for the spaces.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/English_music_mnemonics

#960784 - 03/19/08 11:58 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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miaeih Offline
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I had no problems teaching FACE to 4year olds... How old are your students?

Other way is... I do not always teach both the lines and the spaces as it is overwhelming for some students. Usually I teach just the spaces and teach them to figure out the lines from the spaces. This way you are not only teaching them to read without rhymes but also understanding "higher" and "lower" notes and mapping moves on the staff with the keyboard.

#960785 - 03/19/08 12:08 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Diane... Offline
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Changed treble clef line notes to these;

Boys get:
Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday

and for the

Girls get:
Every Girl Buys Diamonds Friday thumb

Do give the girls a choice though, and most times they chose Elvis' over the diamonds! laugh


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
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#960786 - 03/19/08 12:21 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I reserve acronyms until after my kids have learned landmarks. I want them to understand why the musical notation system we have works the way it does, and how it works before giving little shortcuts to where the notes are. So I leave out Every Good Boy Does Fine or whatever mnemonic device we use (and All Cows Eat Grass, Good Boys Do Fine Always, FACE) until after the kids have learned treble G, both middle Cs, bass F, understand how to count up and down from them, and how to find them on the piano.


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
#960787 - 03/19/08 12:25 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Ashdyre,

Opps, sorry I don't think I answered your question quite right, so let me try again.

I use colored markers for each note;

a is mauve
b is red
c is pink
d is blue
e is orange
f is yellow
g is green

So I will highlite the note/s they don't get until eventually, there are only black and white notes and none highlited.

It's surprising that by highlighting notes, they can see that actually there are very few notes they "don't" know.

Hope this helps!


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
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#960788 - 03/19/08 01:02 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Treble lines:
Elephants Get Big Dirty Feet


Bass lines:
Good Burritos Don't Fall Apart


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
#960789 - 03/19/08 01:06 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I have kids stretch their fingers out, thumbs up, and "wiggle" each finger (starting with the L.H. pinky) saying: "Good Boys Do Fine Always". Then we "wiggle" the R.H. fingers (pinky first), saying, "Every Good Bird Does Fly". Then we wiggle just the pinkies, saying "Good", "Every" (on the L.H. and R.H. respectively).

Then I ask them to imagine that the 5 lines of the staff are actually long, skinny fingers, and ask the name of each "finger/line", bottom to top. Almost all students can instantly understand how to identify the names of the notes. Then we talk about the spaces between the fingers/lines (I use the sayings, "All Cows Eat Grass" and "F-A-C-E").

I like this method because unlike with flashcards or charts, students have their fingers available at all times to quiz themselves or jog their memories if they've forgotten a line or space name. And my kinesthetic learners like using finger movements to add to the visual effect of reading notes.


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#960790 - 03/19/08 01:20 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I thought I'd chime in from the prospective of an adult learner.

I've always found the acronyms slowed my progress. Every time I used them I became more frustrated that I couldn't recognize the note by sight.

But of course I could remember that Grizzly Bears Don't Fly Airplanes laugh .

I was able to find some programs to help notably this free one called Notecard:

http://familygames.com/freelane.html

It displays a random note (you can select to be tested from either the treble or bass clef or both) you also select a Level of difficulty and it has two modes to answer with by letter recognition or key recognition.

Another one that isn't free but is a more basic program is Sight Reading Challenge:

http://www.wieser-software.com/

It randomly selects a note from either the treble or bass clef plays it and asks you to select the correct letter. This is strictly a letter recognition program.

Neither of these programs deal with accidentals.

But they still are great sight reading reinforcement programs that I wanted to pass on.

#960791 - 03/19/08 01:32 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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The assigning of letter names on the music staff works best in converting to the keyboard when you approach it as "Middle Line-ness".

There is a middle line at Middle C - added when needed. There are also Middle Lines in the Bass Clef and in the Treble Clefs.

Teaching Middle C (thumbs share) produces 9 note
FACEG

Counting 7 notes lower is the Bass D
GBDFA ((using the thumbs sharing on the middle line)

Counting 7 notes higher from Middle C is the Treble B
EGBDF (using the thumbs sharing on the middle line)

THIS IS THE GOOD PART!
When you play all of the 1-3-5 fingers you play all of the lines.

When you play all of the 2-4 fingers you play all of the spaces.

Put them on the music staff as "bubble whole notes" vertically above each other. Then draw a 2nd diagram of notes entered diagonally upwards.

A little work to get this will help. This works best with 9 year olds and up - because this is when "logic" enters as a tool for thinking. Also, before that their fingers may be uncomfortable in maintaining their position on the keys while you try to show the relationships.

All students must be acrobats with naming letter names in stepping, skipping, repeating, leaping.

I believe in color coding, but I would not do it for learning note names. I would use orange to mark the C's as landmarks - using 3 only at Elementary Level, and 5 at Intermediate and then 8 with the use of 8va, 15, va.

I would use blue to mark notes which "repeat" (immediately) or "return" (within a few beats).

Even though I've said a lot here, there is still a lot more to say about teaching staff to keyboard. I think keyboard orientation needs to come first. Then impose it onto the music staff.

Mnenomics are just another thing to remember and convert to application. Too many steps to the process, i think.

Betty

#960792 - 03/19/08 02:13 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Acronyms get in the way of understanding how the staff is designed. I avoid them like the plague. Students who learn them usually get stuck and have to go through the entire memory device before realizing the next note is merely one step down, for example. Also, like Betty mentioned, it requires an unnecessary step in playing music, which is very hard to unlearn.

It's far more profitable to teach intervals and the basic idea of up and down. I've been amazed at how few students, unless taught, can articulate which direction the notes are moving. Beginners need to spend a fair bit of time pointing to the notes with their fingers and saying up or down. This helps the brain and the body engage together. Once this foundation is in place, they move on to learning distance...how far?

I introduce note name recognition along the way, but the focus is on distance and interval. If more practice is needed, flashcards can help, especially if you have them practice saying the note name AND playing it on the keyboard. That's helpful.

Acronyms are great for other theory concepts, like the order of sharps or flats.

#960793 - 03/19/08 02:50 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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My journey involving acronyms:

At some point in childhood I think I briefly saw the Every Boy acronym. I sort of tried to remember it, wasn't studying music, and saw it as pointless without thinking about it much.

Then in grade 13 there was an old school French teacher about to retire who used the dead language approach and horrible pronunciation. This teacher taught us irregular verbs by having us memorize "Mount Everest" ending with "brrrr" for coldness, and each letter of Everest stood for an irregular verb that had one "r", I think. I found it hard to memorize the words of the mountain, hard to remember which mountain, but easy to remember the verbs if I forgot all that nonsense.
Little French kinds learn the verbs naturally by being exposed to them, and I decided to be like a little French kid - problem solved.

When I decided to learn theory and reading many years later I rejected the "good boy" method. If the notes go alphabetically why not just learn them in order and know where a few key notes are? That sort of worked, but I had to do a lot of counting up and down. I abandoned my studies.

Next off I went on one of those note training sites and just started memorizing the notes as they flashed on the screen, making the range wider as I got more proficient. That sort of worked but I was warned that wasn't good enough.

Then I did theory with pencil and paper making sure I knew the notes along the way. Simply writing them down, keeping the notes signalled by the clefs in mind, helped. the note recognition software reinforced it.

Then I got to chords, inversions, and found myself face to face with:
FACE
EGBDF
subject of the acronyms.

I stopped what I was doing and memorized those two sets. Then I continued working on the theory while remembering those two: but simply pronounced as EeGeeBeeDeeEff. No boys with fudge. They stayed in memory for having manipulated them and also strenghtened my note reading, or rather not recognition since I tend to go intervalic. (Now I know that's ok).

Up to then I was bringing theory toward playing: I memorized the note names or intervals and then used them when I played.

The last thing I learned is that you can also absorb the theory through the experience of playing, and absorb it backward into theory. For example, the circle of fifths exercises do that. I know theoretically that the next note in the key signature is G, and when I am playing a C chord, my last finger falls on that G. I can see and hear the theory. There are many other instances that I have seen since then where the theoretical is learned first or at the same time through the practical.

So for me it's a combination of writing things out, studying them, memorizing a few key things, understanding the structure of both keyboard and staff, and experiencing the music in an intelligent or guided way.

I find the acronyms distracting. My Everest was forever becoming Kilimanjaro. And when Every Silly Boy Loves Ice Cream it doesn't work at all.

#960794 - 03/19/08 03:26 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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currawong Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by keystring:
Then I continued working on the theory while remembering those two: but simply pronounced as EeGeeBeeDeeEff. No boys with fudge.
Some may have come across the (fairly old now) beginner book called "Jibbidy-F and Ace" which encourages a similar thing - just reciting the letters without acronyms.

I tend not to use acronyms much, for the reason Betty states - it adds an extra step into the process. Like Minaku, I use landmarks, basically.

Having said that, one of my students some years ago came up with his own (which may be a better idea anyway!) - "empty garbage before Dad flips".

Diane, as I am a person who just can't help associating letters with specific colours, your system would totally drive me crazy, because your colours are wrong:
a is mauve ... no, it's yellow
b is red ... no, it's dark blue
c is pink ... ah, you got that one right! smile
d is blue ... d is green
e is orange ... I think I could accept this one
f is yellow ... no, no, it's light blue!
g is green ... OK, I'll buy that
Hopefully your students aren't like me laugh


Du holde Kunst...
#960795 - 03/19/08 04:26 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I forgot to add, that I ask (fourth grade & older) students when we're learning the names of lines & spaces: "how much is eight times five?" When the student says, "forty", I ask them how they knew that. The student usually replies, "I MEMORIZED my times tables"--I then ask them, "do you remember how long it took you to figure out multiplication before you memorized the times tables? You had to count by fives: five, ten, fifteen, twenty...and now you can look at the problem and instantly know the answer. It's the same with the notes on the staff."

My point is this: the acronyms are merely one tool for helping a student read music, and are no substitute for securely memorizing the note names. We also discuss relationships between notes (distance and direction), so the student can have another possible way to identify a note if he/she has forgotten its name.


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#960796 - 03/19/08 09:21 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Ashdyre, I personally don't recommend the use of acronyms to teach line and space notes to beginners. I believe they are a crutch. What happens when they can't remember the acronym?

I think it is more constructive to take teaching time during the lesson to 1) Teach guide/landmark notes: F, G clef notes, the three C's and then drill the other notes in addition to 2) teaching the concepts of intervals.

I introduce the guide notes and use various ways to reinforce them. In addition to theory work, I make my own worksheets on a staff and have them fill in the blank circles with the correct notes, for example. I see this as ongoing learning. The first year is for building a solid foundation and I try to direct my teaching plans by this fact.

It's obvious you are a caring teacher and your students are fortunate to have someone like yourself in their corner!

#960797 - 03/19/08 10:23 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Diane,

Uh, do you have young students who actually know who ELVIS really is???????
laugh

#960798 - 03/20/08 09:06 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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For those of you who want to avoid using acronyms altogether, good luck! In my experience, most school music classes use them to teach kids to read notes, as part of their "music literacy" emphasis. Piano students will often tell me, "here's the saying our music teacher uses"--if it's different than the one I use, I use the one the student is more familiar with.

But an "all-or-nothing" approach to acronyms or guide notes wouldn't work for my students. I like to give my students several tools to use to decipher music notation, because each student processes (and remembers) information differently.


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#960799 - 03/20/08 10:27 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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lalakeys, do you think the use acronyms have to do with what type of students you're teaching? If you had all adult students for example, do you think you'd still be using the same method?

#960800 - 03/20/08 10:45 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Quote
Originally posted by Akira:
lalakeys, do you think the use acronyms have to do with what type of students you're teaching? If you had all adult students for example, do you think you'd still be using the same method?
I'm sure there are different ways for different people. My first teacher (I am an adult student) gave me one form of the acronyms, but I found it was much easier to recognize the notes directly. My kid's teacher told me to buy flash cards for my kid, but as it turned out my kid didn't need flash cards or acronyms. Another idea is why not wait till the kids get a bit older to start lessons?

#960801 - 03/20/08 11:10 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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thanks for all your help guys. It's silly, i've been playing piano for 22 years and teaching for 6, the thought of NOT using anacronyms just never occured to me! That's how i was always taught, as was my older brother and my mother... even students i get from other teachers that's all the know! I'll have to give it a try though.

Yes, i do agree it can become a crutch because instead of saying "That's an F!" you see them sit there mouthing the words "Every Good Boy..." BUT the one or two students i got who didn't know it, stared right from the bottom going E,F,G,A... until they got it :S

The anacronyms seem quicker but i'm definatly open to trying new things.

Thanks again!


Love is a friendship set to music.
#960802 - 03/20/08 12:16 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I avoid the acronyms, but at some point most of my students learn them at school. It can be just as difficult to remember four acronyms that don't make sense, as it is to remember the lines and spaces, which do make sense.

Many of my students learn these funny ones at school:

Elvis Goes Boppin' Down the Freeway

Friendly Aliens Come Earth
wink

#960803 - 03/20/08 12:38 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Ashdyre - until I read this topic, I hadn't realized that I had stopped teaching acronyms, and a just started teaching the basic names and drilling students for a couple of minutes at lessons. The acronyms are helpful for a while during the learning process, but in the long run, as lalakeys pointed out, just plain memorization until it's part of your knowledge base, is the way to go. Thanks for the topic.

John


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#960804 - 03/20/08 11:56 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I don't use acronyms at all, if I can help it. Sometimes my students will bring it up, or parents. But I've felt it confusing. I agree with the other posters that think landmark notes are the best way to learn.

I save acronyms for learning the order of sharps and flats.


But for the heck of it:

E ven G eorge B ush D rives F ast!!!!!


Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation
#960805 - 03/21/08 12:04 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Diane... Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Diane,
Uh, do you have young students who actually know who ELVIS really is???????
laugh
Geesh! Good point! Maybe I'll just change it from:

Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday, to;
Elmo's Guitar Broke Down Friday!

Pretty sure I saw Elmo with a guitar once! laugh


http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/goldsparkledress.jpg
Diane
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#960806 - 03/21/08 12:50 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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I think my favorite is "Eee Gee Bee Dee eFf"

#960807 - 03/23/08 10:09 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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FACE
good boys desverve fudge
all cows eat grass

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that

i use father chalres goes down and ends battle
battle ends and down goes charles father.


"Derrrr dat wuz gud"
#960808 - 03/24/08 12:29 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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Quote
Originally posted by KeysOnTheCeiling:
FACE
good boys desverve fudge
all cows eat grass

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that

i use father chalres goes down and ends battle
battle ends and down goes charles father.
OK i feel really silly...

What do you mean:

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

I have no idea what those stand for...???

GDAEBFC?
FBEAGC?


Love is a friendship set to music.
#960809 - 03/24/08 01:01 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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keystring Offline
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Quote
What do you mean:
get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)
Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class
I have no idea what those stand for...???

GDAEBFC?
FBEAGC?
Order of keys. smile

#960810 - 03/24/08 05:05 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
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currawong Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by KeysOnTheCeiling:

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that
"something like that" is the trouble with mnemonics. They can be remembered wrongly - or applied wrongly.

As for FBEAGC for "order of keys", where's the D? Maybe it should be "during" gym class. Which illustrates my point. smile You've got to know the right answer first in order to know whether your little rhyme is right . . .


Du holde Kunst...
#960811 - 03/24/08 08:02 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Cindy O-H Offline
Full Member
Cindy O-H  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 33
Northeast Tennessee
I too use the FACE methods


Space rhymes with FACE therefore the space notes spell FACE

The Bass clef is lower so the FACE starts beLOW the staff also spelling FACE but with a twist it now spells FACEG and they love the nonsense word of the bass blef and they tend to remember it as well as the treble clef notes.

Too many things to remember is bad, but the FACE for all the face notes is what I have found the easiest.

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