How does Easy Notes work?
Learning the notes can be so difficult for beginners!
We all know that one of the hardest things to teach a beginner is to read the notes, and yet being a good note-reader is crucial to good musical progress. A beginner who learns the notes well will be able to progress quickly, play a lot of music, and enjoy learning to play. But if a student struggles to read music it can be detrimental to their progress, and to their enjoyment of learning to play the piano. Teaching the notes using mnemonics such as “Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit” often results in children who struggle to read music because they don’t know the notes.
But learning the notes can be so easy and fun!
They say that when learning is fun, learning is easy. Children love stories and pictures, and they also love playing games. When you teach in this way, their minds are wide open to learn. With the Wilbecks Easy Notes theory books you can teach the notes on the stave with stories:
Here is Bug B sitting on the middle line of the Treble stave, because here she is as ‘snug as a bug in a rug’.
You can also teach the notes on the keyboard with stories using the same characters, linking the notes on the stave to the notes on the keyboard:
Bug B sits on this lily pad with three stripes. Frog F hides under it, hoping to catch a tasty treat. Watch out, Bug B!
Instant recognition of the notes
This enables students to instantly recognise the notes based on note-position, without having to use cumbersome strategies such as counting up lines and spaces.
Four octaves of notes
The Easy Notes theory books teach four octaves of notes on the piano keyboard and on the stave to beginners in their first year of tuition. The notes are taught using characters and stories that link to each note’s position on the keyboard and on the stave. The stories are fun to teach and kids love them! They spark the imagination, turning ‘boring’ notes into lovable characters and personalities.
The books teach the notes by hand position and are designed to be used at a rate of two pages per week, starting from the very first lesson, in order to support the progression of learning stages covered by most piano tutor books in the first year. The result is that the teacher does not need to do as much explaining because the student gains the knowledge through the stories. This makes learning easier and more fun! The Easy Notes books are full of written exercises for students to practise the notes they are learning. They also come with a full set of note-flashcards for further note-practice.
It’s not always easy to provide hands-on activity in our teaching, and yet it greatly enhances the learning process for children. The Wilbecks Magnetic Stave and Characters enable hands-on activity, in the lesson or at home. The set includes character magnets, which relate to the stories in the theory books, and coloured blank magnets. They can be placed on the Magnetic Stave and also on the keys of the piano. Teachers report that their students love handling the magnets; to them it’s like a game. It gets them moving and engaging with content, which greatly enhances their learning.
A Teacher’s Handbook comes with the magnets and gives many examples of how the magnets can be used to confirm the student’s knowledge of the notes.
Plenty of repetition and practice
Once a note is introduced in the Easy Notes books, it is continually repeated and confirmed through stories, pictures, and exercises. Notes are also confirmed through the flashcards, and the magnetic stave and characters.
In this way, the pupil is exposed to a year of continual repetition, testing, and reminding. After enough repetition they don´t need the characters or stories anymore because in their minds the notes on the stave, the note names, and the notes on the keyboard are firmly linked. The characters and stories are the vehicle to get them to that knowledge.
Catering to diverse learning styles
The Easy Notes books and the Magnetic Stave and Characters cater to diverse learning styles (including the visual, auditory and kinetic learning-styles), which is why they are so effective. The rich visual component of the books and the hands-on nature of the Magnetic Stave and Characters also mean that children can begin learning at a younger age, and yet older children and teenagers like it too!
It really works!
It only takes a few minutes of lesson time to teach the notes with Easy Notes, an excellent time investment which results in students who can read music easily and have fun learning to do it!