When I am teaching piano, one of the teaching tools I use frequently is the Wright Way Note Finder (find it on Amazon). I love this tool because it is useful for building a stronger sense of staff-to-keyboard correlation in students in just a few minutes’ time during lessons.
Watch the video below to learn more about how I use the Wright Way Note Finder during lessons. In this video, I also describe what I consider to be the four steps that our minds go through when decoding music on the staff during sight-reading:
- Recognizing the note’s location on the staff (e.g., treble clef line #2).
- Audiating (hearing in your mind’s ear) the approximate pitch (how high/low is this sound?).
- Correlating the note to a specific key location on the keyboard (e.g., the G above Middle C).
- Knowing the name of the pitch (e.g., G or sol). This step is not nearly as important as the other three steps; yet, in practice, we and our students tend to overemphasize the importance of the note names. This step is not crucial during sight-reading.
I like to use the Wright Way Note Finder to help the student improve steps 1-3.
Where to find the Wright Way Note Finder and similar tools:
- The Wright Way Note Finder costs about $12 on Amazon.
- Alfred Publishing offers a similar tool called the All-In-One Flashcard for about $8. As the video on Alfred’s website shows, the tool is two-sided with letter names printed on one side. And the quarter note can be flipped upside down so that the stem is pointed the proper direction.
- Slide-A-Note is a similar teaching tool, sold for about $7 at slideanote.com, that shows a sideways printed keyboard for the intent of further building the student’s sense of correlation from staff to keyboard.
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