How I learned to read music
by Mary Ann Stewart
As a child,
my piano theory classes were action-packed, with sets of colored note disks (red for lines, blue for spaces) that we placed on large individual Grand Staff boards. When Mrs. Freeman said “Treble Clef, line 2” I still remember the thrill of racing to find the red G and get it to the right line first. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was also learning to listen attentively, sequentially process information, think ahead, move quickly, and form neural connections that eventually turned me into a first-rate sightreader.
After endless fun with line/space races, when later we began to form intervals, chords, and scales on those same old staff boards, spatial and color patterns began to emerge visually, along with the sounds of those patterns (which we played on the piano). I was able to grasp the sight and sound of notes in meaningful “clumps” rather than singly.
These activities with manipulatives, reinforced at the keyboard and in written exercises, allowed me to “grasp” and apply the concepts of theory that are essential to good musicianship. So Mrs. Freeman, thanks for teaching me to read, for helping me understand what I was reading, and for inspiring my lifelong love of music. I dedicate these reading kits to you!
We have designed two Music-Go-Rounds reading kits: one for the whole class with movement, manipulatives, and ear training, and the other for individuals or small groups. Another wonderful teacher always reminded us to “move from big to little.” So both kits work together, but the “big” one is the place to start with younger students. If music literacy is one of your primary teaching goals, I hope our Music-Go-Rounds reading kits will make it happen!
- Highly visible silicone, cut along guidelines into individual pieces.
- Cling to whiteboard, laminate, or any smooth surface.
- Super durable, non-fading. Soft, flexible, washable food-grade silicone.
- Clean back with all-purpose cleaner until shiny.
- Are fun, fast, and interactive in the true sense!
- Will be your new classroom favorites!