Highlighter Tape Alternative for Marking Music

Just a quick, fun post today…

I’m sure many of you are familiar with and love using highlighter tape to add visual reminders to students’ sheet music. The “tape” is transparent yet colorful, and removes easily if you want to keep the student’s music clean. I’ve seen highlighter tape available at music stores, conferences, or online.


Highlighter tape is a bit expensive (but worth it!), in my opinion. However, I recently discovered that these highlighter “tabs (pictured below) are just as good if not better!Hot-Sale-Paper-Sticky-Adhesive-Post-Highlighter-Index-Tab-Flags-It-Neon-Page-Marker-School-Memo.jpg_350x350


They are essentially pre-cut as opposed to the tape rolls. Only half of the strip is sticky, but that actually makes removal easier. Win-win.

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You can buy packages of highlighter tabs here on Amazon; however, you will find it to be much more affordable in the office supply aisle at your local store. You might even find them at your local dollar store.

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12 thoughts on “Highlighter Tape Alternative for Marking Music”

  1. I really like these tabs too. Another thing I use them for is to keep track of my students level for Notes in the Fast Lane (Susan Paradis), Sightreading Challenges (Diane Hidy) and Rhythm Drills(Wendy Stevens-Compose Create). I keep the drills in a binder with sheet protectors to use at lessons for all of my students. On the tab I write their name and then move it along as they successfully clap lines of rhythm or name & play note sheets in less than a minute. I love how they are easy to remove and write on.

    1. Hi Heidi! I do the same thing with the duet books I use for sight-reading, but I happen to use Post-It notes for that. I write the student’s name on it and we move the bookmark forward as we sight-read each duet. I didn’t think of using the highlighter tabs for that, but I imagine they would work very well just as you suggest! Thanks for commenting!

  2. These notes must be a new product. I discovered them at target a couple of weeks ago. They are extremely popular with my students–they like choosing their favorite colors! I have been using them in my students’ music, but also at the top of each piece with reminders of how to practice: for example, “Count out loud!” “RH alone,” etc.

    1. Yes, I love that the tabs can be written on in pencil! I’ve had these sticky tabs in my desk drawer for a few years, but I never thought to use them like highlighter tape until recently!

  3. Haha! Leave it to Joy to come up with a better idea:)
    EXCELLENT ideas, ladies!!
    win- win for us:)

    I also use those little sticky 3M note pads and place them on each side of a bar or more of my student’s music. This helps focus their eyes on the difficult passage while blocking out the rest of the music on the line.

    many thanks!

    1. Yes, that is a great way to focus students, Debbie!! I think piano teachers naturally love all office supplies, don’t we. I always keep post-it notes, colored pencils, paper clips, and highlighter tape/tabs nearby when I teach. 🙂

  4. With the disclaimer that we do carry the highlighter tape at Music Educators’ Marketplace, I wanted to add to your comments. I prefer the tape for two reasons: one, it can be cut to any length, so that just a single note or dynamic marking can be highighted or a longer passage can be set forth. Secondly, it can be re-used, sometimes multiple times, especially if I don’t write anything on the pieces. When we remove a piece of tape from student music, I stick it on the end of my piano to be used again. It does not leave any residue and this makes it extremely economical and very popular with our customers and our students.

    1. Hi Karen!! Thanks for your comment. Regarding your second point, the tabs are actually just as removable and reusable as the tape. But you made a great point about the tape being great to be able to create any length. I plan to always keep a roll or two of highlighter tape around in addition to these little sticky tabs! 🙂

  5. Hi Joy, Thanks for explaining the way this tape works! I had heard about it, but now see how it can be useful.

  6. Hi. I love your blogs and it always help me. I’m a piano teacher from Singapore. I’m stationery lovers too! In Singapore, we had this kind of colorful sticky post for quite some time. I use that for my student. Recently another popular highlighter is called highlighter frixion where you can erase the highlight part. I love that so I highlight the part that my student need to keep practice until they master the part and I rub it off easily. It’s quite helpful so I told my students the highlighting part will be disappeared if you keep mastering it. 🙂

  7. I use both tape and tabs all the time. I use the tabs that have outlines of a point on them to point out a particular measure that needs attention. Tabs are used to mark which piece in a book. Tape to get short lengths so the student remembers to practice only one hand between that tape. White post-it tape for my organ students so they can write down registrations for the current organ on which they are playing. These are good for just about everything!

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