Ah, note reading. This is like learning an entirely new language for the beginning musician. While some books do have the note names written in the noteheads and gradually introduce the student to reading the music without the notes, not all do.
So, should your students write in the notes or not? I tend to allow my students to pencil in the notes. Pencil is important, because it's eraseable! Mistakes in pencil can be corrected more neatly and easily than mistakes in pen. Plus, pencil is less likely than pen to bleed through to the other side (which does not help in reading notes!).
If students are writing in the notes, they still must figure them out. By figuring them out, they're practicing the notes. When they don't have to stop to figure out notes, students can give more attention to other musical aspects, such as rhythm and expression.
However, like most things, balance is important. It's nice to have the student try to play something without writing in the notes. He/she will probably be better at it that he/she realized!
It seems like students are often most unsure of the bass clef notes. Some ideas for improving bass clef note reading:
Ultimately, you should make your own decision and do what you believe to be best for the student. We all have (at least slightly) different approaches. Where would be the fun if we all taught in exactly the same way?
What do you think about writing in the notes? Please tell me why on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below!
Barbara Fischer runs Fischarper, LLC and loves her job as a harpist and private music educator. She enjoys blogging about various aspects of the music field on fischarper.com/blog. For more music resources, check out the Fischarper Teachers Pay Teachers Store and Making Harp Lessons Exciting For Young Children, written by Bambi Fischer (Barbara’s mom!) and revised and edited by Barbara. You can connect with Barbara all over the interwebs on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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