Music Worksheet: Identifying Space & Line Notes on the Staff

Here’s a new free music worksheet that I just added to the Printables page:

This worksheet introduces the idea of identifying the space notes on the staff using the mnemonics FACE and All Cows Eat Grass.  These are the only two mnemonics I use.  I don’t teach separate mnemonics for the line notes anymore (like Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge or Great Big Dogs Fight Animals) because it’s simply too much to try to keep 4 different mnemonics straight!  I have found that it’s easier for students to remember just two mnemonics and then learn to jump up a step from the nearest space note to identify a line note.

To download, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the I’s for “Identifying Space & Line Notes on the Staff.”  Enjoy!

Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1142 posts here.

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  1. Posted 12 April 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I love this! What a great idea to only teach two sets on mneumonics. Nearly all of my students are at this point right now (all beginners) and are having difficulty remembering the associations. I think this will greatly help!

  2. Posted 13 April 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I do this too! I also tell them how to tell which one is for the Treble clef, and which one is for the Bass clef. Your Face is up higher than the Grass that the cows are eating. : )

  3. Heidi
    Posted 16 April 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    This is so great! I’m going to try just the two mnemonics! My students are always confused. And Sara’s way of gettting the clefs straight. Brilliant! One of my students made up a new mnemonic for the bass spaces, All Crows Eat Garbage. This one seems to stick better in their minds, I think because it’s kind of silly. :)

  4. Michelle
    Posted 16 September 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Base Clef spaces (including the B space) All Cows Eat Green Beans! Can’t take credit for it. A 6 year old transfer student taught me this at his first lesson. I’ve been using it ever since.

  5. Posted 24 April 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    that was just what i need

  6. Kim Adcox
    Posted 25 September 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    do you have one of these for treble and bass clef lines?

    • Posted 25 September 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Nope, I did not create a worksheet with mnemonic devices for the line notes for a very intentional reason. As this blog post states, I find that giving students four different mnemonic devices to remember complicates things. The result is that students not only get the four sentences all mixed up, but much worse, students’ note reading skills are impeded by relying on the sentences. Instead, I ask students to use FACE and All Cows Eat Grass and then go up/down a step in order to name the line notes. This helps them understand how note-reading works because it forces them to think more intervalically.

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