Submitted by Rachel Baker Ford
Idea posted November 29, 2001
When teaching notation, I always use the grand staff because of the presence of middle C - which is on the middle (leger) or 11th line of the grand staff. Because C, so named for it's staff position and not the middle of 88 keys, is recognizable, the rest of the note reading follows in alphabetical order. I usually tell my students that we musicians can only handle the first seven letters of the alphabet and when we get to #7, we start over with A. If the direction of the melody is up or towards the top of the page, we go up in the alphabet and conversely if the melody goes down.
Using the D in the middle of the two black keys, this is easily transferred to reading the keyboard notes - D to D. For extra help, if needed, D in the bottom (bass cleft) part of the staff is on the middle line. A is on the first line going down from C, and A is also in the first space when starting up from the bottom of the (bass) staff. I've been using this for many years with children through adults in private practice and in classroom settings. This always works.
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