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#960782 - 03/19/08 11:45 AM "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Ashdyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 83
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Anyone use this method of teaching? The Rhyme "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" (or sometimes i've heard Every Good Bear Deserves Fish) demonstrates the line notes on the staff in the treble clef.

This works great for my students, but then when we come to learning the space notes they get confused. I was always taught it spelled the word "FACE", though a lot of my students are really to young to know how to spell, and get really confused about the D at the bottom and the G at the top.

How do you teach the space notes in the treble clef to your students?
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#960783 - 03/19/08 11:58 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
F[/b]inding A[/b]cronyms C[/b]hallenges E[/b]veryone

I guess if they can't spell FACE, they'll have trouble with 'acronyms'. Seems odd there is no commonly used one for the spaces.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/English_music_mnemonics

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#960784 - 03/19/08 11:58 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
miaeih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 267
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
I had no problems teaching FACE to 4year olds... How old are your students?

Other way is... I do not always teach both the lines and the spaces as it is overwhelming for some students. Usually I teach just the spaces and teach them to figure out the lines from the spaces. This way you are not only teaching them to read without rhymes but also understanding "higher" and "lower" notes and mapping moves on the staff with the keyboard.

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#960785 - 03/19/08 12:08 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3332
Loc: Western Canada
Changed treble clef line notes to these;

Boys get:
Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday

and for the

Girls get:
Every Girl Buys Diamonds Friday

Do give the girls a choice though, and most times they chose Elvis' over the diamonds! \:D
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#960786 - 03/19/08 12:21 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I reserve acronyms until after my kids have learned landmarks. I want them to understand why the musical notation system we have works the way it does, and how it works before giving little shortcuts to where the notes are. So I leave out Every Good Boy Does Fine or whatever mnemonic device we use (and All Cows Eat Grass, Good Boys Do Fine Always, FACE) until after the kids have learned treble G, both middle Cs, bass F, understand how to count up and down from them, and how to find them on the piano.
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#960787 - 03/19/08 12:25 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3332
Loc: Western Canada
Ashdyre,

Opps, sorry I don't think I answered your question quite right, so let me try again.

I use colored markers for each note;

a is mauve
b is red
c is pink
d is blue
e is orange
f is yellow
g is green

So I will highlite the note/s they don't get until eventually, there are only black and white notes and none highlited.

It's surprising that by highlighting notes, they can see that actually there are very few notes they "don't" know.

Hope this helps!
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#960788 - 03/19/08 01:02 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
Treble lines:
Elephants Get Big Dirty Feet


Bass lines:
Good Burritos Don't Fall Apart
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#960789 - 03/19/08 01:06 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I have kids stretch their fingers out, thumbs up, and "wiggle" each finger (starting with the L.H. pinky) saying: "Good Boys Do Fine Always". Then we "wiggle" the R.H. fingers (pinky first), saying, "Every Good Bird Does Fly". Then we wiggle just the pinkies, saying "Good", "Every" (on the L.H. and R.H. respectively).

Then I ask them to imagine that the 5 lines of the staff are actually long, skinny fingers, and ask the name of each "finger/line", bottom to top. Almost all students can instantly understand how to identify the names of the notes. Then we talk about the spaces between the fingers/lines (I use the sayings, "All Cows Eat Grass" and "F-A-C-E").

I like this method because unlike with flashcards or charts, students have their fingers available at all times to quiz themselves or jog their memories if they've forgotten a line or space name. And my kinesthetic learners like using finger movements to add to the visual effect of reading notes.
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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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#960790 - 03/19/08 01:20 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Kenny Kenpachi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 29
Loc: North Jersey, New Jersey
I thought I'd chime in from the prospective of an adult learner.

I've always found the acronyms slowed my progress. Every time I used them I became more frustrated that I couldn't recognize the note by sight.

But of course I could remember that Grizzly Bears Don't Fly Airplanes \:D .

I was able to find some programs to help notably this free one called Notecard:

http://familygames.com/freelane.html

It displays a random note (you can select to be tested from either the treble or bass clef or both) you also select a Level of difficulty and it has two modes to answer with by letter recognition or key recognition.

Another one that isn't free but is a more basic program is Sight Reading Challenge:

http://www.wieser-software.com/

It randomly selects a note from either the treble or bass clef plays it and asks you to select the correct letter. This is strictly a letter recognition program.

Neither of these programs deal with accidentals.

But they still are great sight reading reinforcement programs that I wanted to pass on.

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#960791 - 03/19/08 01:32 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
The assigning of letter names on the music staff works best in converting to the keyboard when you approach it as "Middle Line-ness".

There is a middle line at Middle C - added when needed. There are also Middle Lines in the Bass Clef and in the Treble Clefs.

Teaching Middle C (thumbs share) produces 9 note
FACEG

Counting 7 notes lower is the Bass D
GBDFA ((using the thumbs sharing on the middle line)

Counting 7 notes higher from Middle C is the Treble B
EGBDF (using the thumbs sharing on the middle line)

THIS IS THE GOOD PART!
When you play all of the 1-3-5 fingers you play all of the lines.

When you play all of the 2-4 fingers you play all of the spaces.

Put them on the music staff as "bubble whole notes" vertically above each other. Then draw a 2nd diagram of notes entered diagonally upwards.

A little work to get this will help. This works best with 9 year olds and up - because this is when "logic" enters as a tool for thinking. Also, before that their fingers may be uncomfortable in maintaining their position on the keys while you try to show the relationships.

All students must be acrobats with naming letter names in stepping, skipping, repeating, leaping.

I believe in color coding, but I would not do it for learning note names. I would use orange to mark the C's as landmarks - using 3 only at Elementary Level, and 5 at Intermediate and then 8 with the use of 8va, 15, va.

I would use blue to mark notes which "repeat" (immediately) or "return" (within a few beats).

Even though I've said a lot here, there is still a lot more to say about teaching staff to keyboard. I think keyboard orientation needs to come first. Then impose it onto the music staff.

Mnenomics are just another thing to remember and convert to application. Too many steps to the process, i think.

Betty

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#960792 - 03/19/08 02:13 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
ClaraSchumann Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 73
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.

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#960793 - 03/19/08 02:50 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11162
Loc: Canada
My journey involving acronyms:

At some point in childhood I think I briefly saw the Every Boy acronym. I sort of tried to remember it, wasn't studying music, and saw it as pointless without thinking about it much.

Then in grade 13 there was an old school French teacher about to retire who used the dead language approach and horrible pronunciation. This teacher taught us irregular verbs by having us memorize "Mount Everest" ending with "brrrr" for coldness, and each letter of Everest stood for an irregular verb that had one "r", I think. I found it hard to memorize the words of the mountain, hard to remember which mountain, but easy to remember the verbs if I forgot all that nonsense.
Little French kinds learn the verbs naturally by being exposed to them, and I decided to be like a little French kid - problem solved.

When I decided to learn theory and reading many years later I rejected the "good boy" method. If the notes go alphabetically why not just learn them in order and know where a few key notes are? That sort of worked, but I had to do a lot of counting up and down. I abandoned my studies.

Next off I went on one of those note training sites and just started memorizing the notes as they flashed on the screen, making the range wider as I got more proficient. That sort of worked but I was warned that wasn't good enough.

Then I did theory with pencil and paper making sure I knew the notes along the way. Simply writing them down, keeping the notes signalled by the clefs in mind, helped. the note recognition software reinforced it.

Then I got to chords, inversions, and found myself face to face with:
FACE
EGBDF
subject of the acronyms.

I stopped what I was doing and memorized those two sets. Then I continued working on the theory while remembering those two: but simply pronounced as EeGeeBeeDeeEff. No boys with fudge. They stayed in memory for having manipulated them and also strenghtened my note reading, or rather not recognition since I tend to go intervalic. (Now I know that's ok).

Up to then I was bringing theory toward playing: I memorized the note names or intervals and then used them when I played.

The last thing I learned is that you can also absorb the theory through the experience of playing, and absorb it backward into theory. For example, the circle of fifths exercises do that. I know theoretically that the next note in the key signature is G, and when I am playing a C chord, my last finger falls on that G. I can see and hear the theory. There are many other instances that I have seen since then where the theoretical is learned first or at the same time through the practical.

So for me it's a combination of writing things out, studying them, memorizing a few key things, understanding the structure of both keyboard and staff, and experiencing the music in an intelligent or guided way.

I find the acronyms distracting. My Everest was forever becoming Kilimanjaro. And when Every Silly Boy Loves Ice Cream it doesn't work at all.

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#960794 - 03/19/08 03:26 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5832
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Then I continued working on the theory while remembering those two: but simply pronounced as EeGeeBeeDeeEff. No boys with fudge. [/b]
Some may have come across the (fairly old now) beginner book called "Jibbidy-F and Ace" which encourages a similar thing - just reciting the letters without acronyms.

I tend not to use acronyms much, for the reason Betty states - it adds an extra step into the process. Like Minaku, I use landmarks, basically.

Having said that, one of my students some years ago came up with his own (which may be a better idea anyway!) - "empty garbage before Dad flips".

Diane, as I am a person who just can't help associating letters with specific colours, your system would totally drive me crazy, because your colours are wrong:
a is mauve ... no, it's yellow
b is red ... no, it's dark blue
c is pink ... ah, you got that one right! \:\)
d is blue ... d is green
e is orange ... I think I could accept this one
f is yellow ... no, no, it's light blue!
g is green ... OK, I'll buy that
Hopefully your students aren't like me \:D
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Du holde Kunst...

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#960795 - 03/19/08 04:26 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I forgot to add, that I ask (fourth grade & older) students when we're learning the names of lines & spaces: "how much is eight times five?" When the student says, "forty", I ask them how they knew that. The student usually replies, "I MEMORIZED my times tables"--I then ask them, "do you remember how long it took you to figure out multiplication before you memorized the times tables? You had to count by fives: five, ten, fifteen, twenty...and now you can look at the problem and instantly know the answer. It's the same with the notes on the staff."

My point is this: the acronyms are merely one tool for helping a student read music, and are no substitute for securely memorizing the note names. We also discuss relationships between notes (distance and direction), so the student can have another possible way to identify a note if he/she has forgotten its name.
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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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#960796 - 03/19/08 09:21 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Lillystar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 20
Ashdyre, I personally don't recommend the use of acronyms to teach line and space notes to beginners. I believe they are a crutch. What happens when they can't remember the acronym?

I think it is more constructive to take teaching time during the lesson to 1) Teach guide/landmark notes: F, G clef notes, the three C's and then drill the other notes in addition to 2) teaching the concepts of intervals.

I introduce the guide notes and use various ways to reinforce them. In addition to theory work, I make my own worksheets on a staff and have them fill in the blank circles with the correct notes, for example. I see this as ongoing learning. The first year is for building a solid foundation and I try to direct my teaching plans by this fact.

It's obvious you are a caring teacher and your students are fortunate to have someone like yourself in their corner!

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#960797 - 03/19/08 10:23 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Diane,

Uh, do you have young students who actually know who ELVIS really is???????
\:D
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#960798 - 03/20/08 09:06 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
For those of you who want to avoid using acronyms altogether, good luck! In my experience, most school music classes use them to teach kids to read notes, as part of their "music literacy" emphasis. Piano students will often tell me, "here's the saying our music teacher uses"--if it's different than the one I use, I use the one the student is more familiar with.

But an "all-or-nothing" approach to acronyms or guide notes wouldn't work for my students. I like to give my students several tools to use to decipher music notation, because each student processes (and remembers) information differently.
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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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#960799 - 03/20/08 10:27 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
lalakeys, do you think the use acronyms have to do with what type of students you're teaching? If you had all adult students for example, do you think you'd still be using the same method?

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#960800 - 03/20/08 10:45 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 538
 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:
lalakeys, do you think the use acronyms have to do with what type of students you're teaching? If you had all adult students for example, do you think you'd still be using the same method? [/b]
I'm sure there are different ways for different people. My first teacher (I am an adult student) gave me one form of the acronyms, but I found it was much easier to recognize the notes directly. My kid's teacher told me to buy flash cards for my kid, but as it turned out my kid didn't need flash cards or acronyms. Another idea is why not wait till the kids get a bit older to start lessons?

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#960801 - 03/20/08 11:10 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Ashdyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 83
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
thanks for all your help guys. It's silly, i've been playing piano for 22 years and teaching for 6, the thought of NOT using anacronyms just never occured to me! That's how i was always taught, as was my older brother and my mother... even students i get from other teachers that's all the know! I'll have to give it a try though.

Yes, i do agree it can become a crutch because instead of saying "That's an F!" you see them sit there mouthing the words "Every Good Boy..." BUT the one or two students i got who didn't know it, stared right from the bottom going E,F,G,A... until they got it :S

The anacronyms seem quicker but i'm definatly open to trying new things.

Thanks again!
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#960802 - 03/20/08 12:16 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
I avoid the acronyms, but at some point most of my students learn them at school. It can be just as difficult to remember four acronyms that don't make sense, as it is to remember the lines and spaces, which do make sense.

Many of my students learn these funny ones at school:

Elvis Goes Boppin' Down the Freeway

Friendly Aliens Come Earth
;\)

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#960803 - 03/20/08 12:38 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Ashdyre - until I read this topic, I hadn't realized that I had stopped teaching acronyms, and a just started teaching the basic names and drilling students for a couple of minutes at lessons. The acronyms are helpful for a while during the learning process, but in the long run, as lalakeys pointed out, just plain memorization until it's part of your knowledge base, is the way to go. Thanks for the topic.

John
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#960804 - 03/20/08 11:56 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I don't use acronyms at all, if I can help it. Sometimes my students will bring it up, or parents. But I've felt it confusing. I agree with the other posters that think landmark notes are the best way to learn.

I save acronyms for learning the order of sharps and flats.


But for the heck of it:

E ven G eorge B ush D rives F ast!!!!!
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#960805 - 03/21/08 12:04 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3332
Loc: Western Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Diane,
Uh, do you have young students who actually know who ELVIS really is???????
\:D [/b]
Geesh! Good point! Maybe I'll just change it from:

Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday, to;
Elmo's Guitar Broke Down Friday!

Pretty sure I saw Elmo with a guitar once! \:D
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#960806 - 03/21/08 12:50 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
FlipSpiceland Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 24
Loc: Melbourne, FL
I think my favorite is "Eee Gee Bee Dee eFf"

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#960807 - 03/23/08 10:09 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
KeysOnTheCeiling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 244
FACE
good boys desverve fudge
all cows eat grass

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that

i use father chalres goes down and ends battle
battle ends and down goes charles father.
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"Derrrr dat wuz gud"

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#960808 - 03/24/08 12:29 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Ashdyre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 83
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by KeysOnTheCeiling:
FACE
good boys desverve fudge
all cows eat grass

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

something like that

i use father chalres goes down and ends battle
battle ends and down goes charles father. [/b]
OK i feel really silly...

What do you mean:

get down and eat big fat carrots (order of keys)

Frank Burns Eats Apples in Gym Class

I have no idea what those stand for...???

GDAEBFC?
FBEAGC?
_________________________
Love is a friendship set to music.

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#960809 - 03/24/08 01:01 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11162
Loc: Canada
 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. \:\)

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#960810 - 03/24/08 05:05 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5832
Loc: Down Under
 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 . . .
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#960811 - 03/24/08 08:02 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Cindy O-H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Northeast Tennessee
I too use the FACE methods


Space rhymes with FACE therefore the space notes spell FACE

The Bass clef is lower so the FACE starts beLOW the staff also spelling FACE but with a twist it now spells FACEG and they love the nonsense word of the bass blef and they tend to remember it as well as the treble clef notes.

Too many things to remember is bad, but the FACE for all the face notes is what I have found the easiest.

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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: 5271
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
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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
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#960814 - 03/25/08 11:17 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
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 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 Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1492
 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
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#960816 - 03/25/08 01:04 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Betty Patnude Offline
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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
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Posts: 11162
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 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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#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.
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#960820 - 03/28/08 06:58 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Innominato Offline
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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...
_________________________
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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!
_________________________
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#960822 - 03/28/08 08:27 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
Innominato Offline
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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)

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#960823 - 03/28/08 08:49 PM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"
keystring Online   content
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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.
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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...
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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
_________________________
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#1876080 - 04/09/12 08:32 AM Re: "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" [Re: Ashdyre]
Morodiene Online   content
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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.
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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: 4974
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
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
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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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