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#960812 - 03/25/08 02:28 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5510
Loc: Orange County, CA
Mnemonics work better when they conjure up some absure picture or contain some well-placed expletives.

Fat Cat Goes Down Alley Eating Boogers
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#960813 - 03/25/08 10:59 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Ashdyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 83
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
 Quote:
What do you mean:
get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)[/b]
Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class
I have no idea what those stand for...???

GDAEBFC?
FBEAGC?
Order of keys. \:\) [/b]
HAHAHAH omg i seriously had to think about that one for a long time. i thought you meant litterally the order of the keys on the piano... and i'm like, that's ABCDEFG... LOL wow, i definitely feel silly now \:D
_________________________
Love is a friendship set to music.

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#960814 - 03/25/08 11:17 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
HAHAHAH omg i seriously had to think about that one for a long time. i thought you meant litterally the order of the keys on the piano... and i'm like, that's ABCDEFG... LOL wow, i definitely feel silly now
Me? NO, that was KeysontheCeiling (did I get the name right?) But I've been accused of not listening carefully to every word so I went back to see what the OP had written and so the explanation in brackets. I still didn't catch everything, though, since I missed the missing D. I just did two theory exams less than half a year ago so these things are fresh in my memory.

I don't use memnonics, though. My imagery is subject to mutation. My "every good boy deserves fudge" could easily become "all kind children get popsicles" and then I'd wonder what note starts with k and p.

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#960815 - 03/25/08 11:54 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
rintincop Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1529
 Quote:
Originally posted by ClaraSchumann:
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. [/b]
+1
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#960816 - 03/25/08 01:04 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Has anyone actually read my posting on page 1 about middle line-ness? You would be surprized what doing this on your piano does for you!

It eliminates having to name any note - much less give it a mnenomic name - finding it through the 5 line - 4 space (9 note group) using the middle line is almost instantaneous.

Use both hands within the proper position, do the lines with fingers 1-3-5 and spaces with fingers 2-4.

This finds which note on the keyboard you are looking for - you'll need to put it into content with the correct fingering for moving ahead.

But, this removes the battle - how about that!

What results are you getting?

Betty

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#960817 - 03/25/08 01:10 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Do give the girls a choice though, and most times they chose Elvis' over the diamonds!
And might some of the boys choose diamonds over Elvis? ;\)

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#960818 - 03/25/08 06:26 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
DoReMi Katie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Illinois
With my pre-staff students, I do activities using the staff and the piano where the notes are placed going up or down only a step or a skip away from each other. They tell me verbally what's going on ("it skips up, then steps down" etc.) and then they play it on the piano for me after I give them a starting note. Once they are fairly comfortable reading steps and skips and the direction of notation, then we start talking about the note names.

I usually encourage each student to come up with his own mnumonic device so he can take ownership of the staff. One 3rd grade boy named Caleb who is already a computer geek, came up with accronym for the bass cleff spaces: Allow Caleb Electronic Games.

The tough part for me is remembering each student's personal sentence!

I am very surprised and motivated to read how many teachers avoid teaching acronyms. I think I'll stop drilling sentences as much and work more on intervals and directions.
_________________________
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MTNA, ISMTA, working towards NCTM!

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#960819 - 03/27/08 05:47 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
dan.mc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by ClaraSchumann:
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. [/b]
The best reply yet! Acronyms place too much emphasis on the "vertical" aspect of the staff rather than developing "horizontal" reading skills. Learn your signpost notes and steps and skips first.
_________________________
www.danielmcfarlane.com

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#960820 - 03/28/08 06:58 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
My personal experience:

We people from southern europe do not have your strange letter system, but the do-re-mi system.

So a child seats in front of the sheet music and learns where the middle C sits, and calls it "do", and the rest follows.

I'd say that *no one* has *ever* felt the need for complicated acronyms to know what sits where, the blue cats smoking dope over the roof, yellow boys eating electric cake and the like.. ;\) .

It sounds to me like wanting to invent complicated, difficult to remember acronyms to deal with the names of the seven dwarfs, or of the days of the weeks, or of the number 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,and 6.

Methiks, by the time a child has memorised the strange guys being good and eating fattening things which have nothing to do with a keyboard or similar very abstract concepts, he has learned how the notes are named and where they sit once and for all just seeing where they sit and calling them by their proper name.

Moreover,other than the southern European system the US one follows an alphabetical order, so whoever knows the alphabet must forcibly know the notes.
A (very young) child might not instantly remember than after "do" is "re", but if he can read he will know that after C comes D.

But that's another fake problem: if you ask me, every child can learn do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si-do, every child does that in Europe and no one has ever thought it needs further complications.

In fact, I have known 6 weeks ago for the first time that this acronyms or abbreviations exist in the first place, the need for them had never struck me in my almost 42 years of existence.

But I remember as a child being able to remember in very few days names and surnames of all my class comrades, without any alphabetical order tohelp me. If someone had told me it's "difficult" and had devised strange acronyms " the mad cow eats electric grass after the post office had continental breakfast" I think I would be still occupied with the task.. ;\)

Just my two cents, but really: it amazes me...
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#960821 - 03/28/08 08:18 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
The "do re mi" that Innominato mentions is called the "fixed do" system, and it works fine unless the student also learns to sing, in which case it can be confusing. Most colleges, voice teachers, and choir directors use a "movable do", meaning that "do" will always be the keynote of the piece being sung. A singer will relate each note in his/her part to that keynote, or "do".

It also seems to me that using "fixed do" would limit a piano student to using only the white keys for a while, because 'do re mi fa sol la si do" refers to CDEFGABC. Most modern piano methods include sharps and flats within the first few weeks of study, at least for school-aged beginners.

Of course, I'm a bit biased because I teach voice as well as piano!
_________________________
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

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#960822 - 03/28/08 08:27 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
"Most colleges, voice teachers, and choir directors use a "movable do", meaning that "do" will always be the keynote of the piece being sung. A singer will relate each note in his/her part to that keynote, or "do". "

Hi lalakeys, I am curious now: do you know how the problems is tackled in "fixed do" countries when they deal with different keys of the piece sung? I'd say they call the note with its name perhaps? (say, they call "mi" the first note of the E scale, "fa" the second etc?), but again I only sing under the shower and no movable dos required.. ;\)

On the limits of the "fixed do", I'd say that sharps and flats can be used exactly as well in the fixed do system; at the end of the day it's just a different name, whatever one wants to teach he can do it exactly the same way, it's just different names for the same notes.

You are right that in my time one began with the "white keys". That was fine with me as I had little hands (also for my age) and I always had the impression of "climbing" the flats instead of playing them, so the possibility to get accustomed to the keyboard using only the white keys was very welcome...
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#960823 - 03/28/08 08:49 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Lalakeys, I was limited to only movable do for most of my life because that is the only instruction I received during one semester in public scholl in an early grade. I oriented myself very much within that system, and even for playing the piano, which was self-taught, I would think of the music in terms of a scale which went along the movable do system. Thus if something was in the key of G, if it sounded "off" around F, I moved it up a semitone until it "sounded right" which of cours meant I was playing F#. When I joined my first choirs at middle age I found myself orienting a lot faster in the music because I was instantly inside a new modulation, hearing it "in the new key" back inside movable do. However, once it came to Mozart, Brahms, Bach, fugal pieces that did funny turns I could no longer orient solely within m.d.solfege and had to supplement by working with pure intervals. Since then I have worked on knowing note names, pitch, with the ABC's.

However, I was shocked a few months ago to discover that fxed do solfege is used in some parts for singing, and tried to find out more. Apparently the movable do system came about in England expressely for singing and it spread, but it was not universal. Other systems exist that use fixed do, and somehow in both ways. That is, they still manage to orient themselves within the scale while at the same time using the syllables as pitch (note) names. It's logical in Romance language countries that always did use the syllables. But others are using the syllables because psychologically they are supposed to be easier to remember, being more meaningful, as well as being easy to pronounce. The word "eff" cuts the note abruptly into a staccato. I am fascinated by how the notes and music might be perceived in this fixed do singing system. It seems they still hold on to the "within the scale" sense somehow.

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#960824 - 03/28/08 10:53 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
KeysOnTheCeiling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 244
 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by KeysOnTheCeiling:

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that
[/b]
"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. \:\) You've got to know the right answer first in order to know whether your little rhyme is right . . . [/b]
It's actually much easier for me to remember the notes, and the order of keys than to remember the sayings. I can name you the keys, but I oh so very showed you how I forget the sayings.
_________________________
"Derrrr dat wuz gud"

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#1694621 - 06/12/11 09:53 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
timtopham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 110
Loc: Brunswick, VIC
I'm a fan of combining all these methods to achieve the best resuls!

I use a combination of the acronyms to achieve fast note recognition away from middle C, intervals to help them get used to movement and distances up and down, and the "Five C's" method which shows the mirror image of C's across the grand stave.

If you're unsure about this, draw a grand stave with middle C between the two staves on its line as usual. The next C's moving out from the middle of the keyboard are in the second top space in Treble and second bottom space in Bass clef. The next C's moving outwards are two ledger lines above and below the staves. Pretty useful reference points...
_________________________
Tim Topham
www.timtopham.com
Piano teacher, accompanist, presenter
Melbourne Australia

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#1875901 - 04/08/12 11:16 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
RandomPianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 51
Loc: China
I've used the acronym
Every
Good
Boy
Deserves
Fudge
laugh
_________________________
"Just practice diligently and you will do very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine."
~ J.S. Bach

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#1876080 - 04/09/12 08:32 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
To address the OP's original question: for the D above Middle C that's called "Dangling D" and the B below Middle C is "Bottom B". I don't have a name for the g above the staff, but but he time the kids are playing above the staff, they have a good grasp of the note names on the staff so I just tell them to read the highest note they can (F) and go up from there. Then for the ledger lines above Treble clef you spell ACE (going up). It's the same for ledger lines in the Bass clef going down ACE.

As for spelling the word FACE, I have run into that a little bit, but they are eager to learn how to spell a word. I tell them it rhymes with "space" for treble clef space notes and that seems to help them figure out the word.

Lastly, when students are just learning to read notes, I have all of these acronyms written on a sheet of paper with the notes above them. We have this paper out on the piano as we do our flash cards or when I ask them to read notes from their book. We go through this process each time:

1) Is it Treble or Bass?
2) Is it line or space?
3) What do we say for Treble/Bass clef line/space notes?
4) then we count up the lines or spaces as we say the phrase to figure out which note it is

This is time-consuming, but eventually they will be able to recognize the note on sight. We also do a LOT of interval reading, so that not every note has to be read, only the starting note for each hand and various notes throughout the piece as needed if there is difficulty or leaps.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1876083 - 04/09/12 08:48 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
I realize that this is an old thread, revisited, but always pertinent.

As mentioned, the landmarks and relationship of the G and F clefs and Middle C is first. Actually the grand staff is taught fairly soon with all lines and spaces drawn next to each other; then with the middle C line erased. I think that helps with how 2 staves were created. Then the paper is turned sideward showing the up is right side of keyboard etc.

I next have them learn GBD, FACE and have them repeat it over and over.

If you start on ANY note on the grand staff, that phrase will repeat as long as spaces OR lines are used.

I make sure that they know what skips and steps are.

I teach music more by intervals than letter names but the above is a good reference and helps them understand note notation.

A blocked triad, C, F, G in the G clef is also taught soon. Helps them relate written notation to skipping keys on the keyboard.

Flash cards for the young are first just a few, with more added each week. Drilled. Name. Find the note on the keyboard.

But...again, when reading music, feeling intervals always worked for me.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1876118 - 04/09/12 09:55 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
I always feel like such an oddball when I read threads like this, since I learned by acronyms and note recognition, and think I read music pretty well. Eventually I knew all the notes, and didn't need to count up with the acronyms. Perhaps my sight-reading would be improved even more if I learned to play by intervals.

Does anyone know which method taught "Great Big Dreams For America" for bass clef lines?

I'm hoping to figure out which books I used as a child. These were my mother's books, so probably date back to at least the 1940s.
_________________________
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#1876150 - 04/09/12 11:10 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
A Chromatic Clock for $24.95 tells it all.

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#1878375 - 04/12/12 05:30 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
I'm not a huge fan of acronyms because students will forget which one to use for what situation (for example, remembering that FACE is for treble clef spaces). I was going to avoid them entirely, but when we got to that page in the theory book, a lot of my students really loved the acronyms, so I ended up teaching them. we took the ones in the book, and I let the student alter them slightly to personalize it (and therefore make it easier for that student to remember). I think the book had "Good Birds Don't Fly Away" for bass clef lines, and my student insisted that Good birds DO fly away! (and I have to agree) so, we changed it smile.

My teacher makes students remember "Gibbiddy-F, A-C-E" (GBDF ACE) and explains that as you skip up the staff, it just repeats itself. This seems to help when students are identifying notes on a grand staff, rather than one isolated clef. She teaches that the lines from the bottom up start with the Gibbiddy part, and the spaces start with the A-C-E part. It's simple, and it seems to work (as long as the student is looking at a grand staff).

I primarily teach my students to read by interval, but I like to make sure they can identify individual notes as well. It's the combination of the two that makes a good sight-reader.

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