Now that the new year has started, a lot of people will want to start new things. Has playing an instrument always been your dream? In this article I discuss 3 tips to help you get the hang of note reading.
But first let’s explore, why is note reading important?
Funnily enough, all students try to avoid note reading. Note reading is like reading a new alphabet, it’s pretty challenging. Not because it’s difficult per se, but because it takes a lot of work and effort. Our brains have to digest a lot of information every day, and a lot of the information we absorb, we simply forget rather quickly. That way our system doesn’t overload. Only the things that are really important get stored in our long term memory. In other words, we need to make sure that your brain considers reading notes important.
How do we do that?
Well that brings me to my fist tip:
- Repetition over a long period of time
You have to realize that reading notes is a matter of long term repetition. You will notice that if you start practicing your notes for a week, you will start remembering them. If you stop for two weeks, you’ll have forgotten them again. In other words, notes need consistent repetition over a long period of time. When I say long, I mean at least 6 months to a year. A lot of students get impatient with themselves because they can’t remember their notes, but it’s important not to criticize! Try practicing your notes 10 minutes everyday consistently for several months and be patient and understanding. It’s important to not only know your notes on the short term, it’s important we get them stored in your long term memory! So what’s the best way to practice your notes? That brings us to tip number 2:
2. Naming your notes
One of the best ways to learn your notes is to take a new piece, practice separate hands and say the notes you’re playing out loud while you’re playing them. There are tons of music methods using this strategy to learn notes. Even dating far far back, the pianist and composer Carl Czerny, who was the teacher of the great Franz Liszt, describes this method of note reading to one of his students in his letters.
Now that’s a method that has held up over the ages!
3. Use and app
One of my favorite ways for my students to learn notes is through an app. Apps are exceptionally great for repetition. My favorite note reading app is Noteworks (and no, I’m not sponsored) It has many levels in which you can practice more challenging note reading and you can practice with a little keyboard that’s very accurate. It took me a long time to find a good note reading app because a lot of apps don’t have a realistic keyboard, meaning if you see a c that’s very high, they only give you the option to press the central c for example (which is in the middle of the piano). This doesn’t help you learn the note heights properly, which is something that’s crucial in note reading. So Noteworks is definitely an app that I would advise if you decide that you want the help of an app.
If you need any help with your note reading, or you have any other musical question please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact me at : info[@]dimitrovboelee.com. You can also purchase an online piano lesson at the shop page. There’s no commitment there, if you want just one lesson to find the solution to a specific question you can just purchase one lesson.
Are you running low on cash and can’t afford a lesson right now? Why don’t you watch my course on note reading for FREE? This link will give you a 2 week premium membership to Skillshare. Skillshare is an awesome learning platform. I learned about Skillshare from famous Youtubers. I teach there, but I also have a premium membership myself. With a premium membership you have access to ALL courses that are being taught on Skillshare, which means that you can watch my course for free, but also all other classes as well. Skillshare teachers teach a variety of different subjects, from business to art to music of course.
Thanks for joining me in learning something new today,
And as always, don’t forget to practice 🙂