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#2103040 - 06/15/13 08:25 PM Child's learning development relates to reading music???
chueh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/08
Posts: 87
I have a music degree but not in music education. I teach piano and always wonder how a child's comprehension and learning ability go as the brain functions.

Can someone in music ed. or specializing in child development in music explain to me what notes on staves are like to children??? Why is it so difficult for them to MEMORIZE where the middle C, treble G, and bass F are, no matter how many times I emphasize them when they play a piece? To me, it is much more complicated to memorize verses of a song or a phone number. However, children can memorize almost everything but not music notes. Also why is it so difficult for those who actually can memorize and identify where middle C, treble G, and bass F are on the staves to identify notes a step up or down??? Line and space notes are explained so many times in every lesson. Why is the concept of line-space note so confusing to children???

I am targeting the children who are completely lost and have no clue HOW to identify the notes, no matter how many times I teach them HOW to find or count the steps on the staves to find the notes. I also emphasize many times in each lesson to count the steps from the notes they already know by using the method of line-space-line-space. Why don't they ever count the steps on the stave to fins answers, but just stare at their fingers and the piano keys with all the confusion as if their fingers and the piano can talk???

Furthermore, some of those who can read and identify the notes have trouble with which register the notes belong to. They play the right note names but wrong octave. Why does spatial relationship seem awkward for them?


Edited by chueh (06/15/13 08:37 PM)

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#2103101 - 06/15/13 11:07 PM Re: Child's learning development relates to reading music??? [Re: chueh]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4930
Loc: South Florida
You are asking the wrong question. Ask yourself why the little ones can't identify, looking at the notes, which are first line, second line, first space, and so on.

The problem starts with matching. If they can't match like with like, how can they memorize what they do not comprehend?
Piano Teacher

#2103119 - 06/15/13 11:59 PM Re: Child's learning development relates to reading music??? [Re: chueh]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
There are many things that go on developmentally. Gary has a piece of the solution. Children need to be able to differentiate between line and space. I have 5 yr old student who cannot yet consistently do that.

Relating the staff to the keyboard can be quite an abstract concept. Consider that the piano goes up to the right, down to the left. Notes always go left to right, as well as being stacked on top of each other. Notes also go up and down. That's a lot to manage. Then you add rhythm. Then you add finger numbers. Then you add left and right hands. Then you add skipping and stepping. What a ton of information for a child!

Children develop abstract thinking at different times. You might find this website helpful:

B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano


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