Basic music reading will add a whole new dimension to your skills - the ability to translate a sheet of paper with all those dots and strange symbols into musical sounds. The musical language has only seven letters to learn - they just repeat for higher or lower sounds. Time to get started!
Let’s F-A-C-E the music by learning the spaces of the treble cleff.
As you can see, the spaces spell the word “FACE”.
The Lines use the first letter of the words Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge to give you the E-G-B-D-F.
Flash cards will make the process of learning the notes a much quicker process and a little more interesting.
Flash cards that can print on any computer can be found at:
If you are more of a "game" enthusiast - try "Learn Music Notes", a free flash card app for phones or tablets:
Be sure to set the preference to English ABC in the settings. The program is set for Solfage (Do Re Mi)
Now, let's put this to practical use by playing a tune. We'll play in the comfort zone for now - not venturing to the "dark side". The following tune, Hot Cross Buns, uses only three notes. As you play each note say the note name to help solidify where these notes are on the staff and your Psaltery as you play. Hint: begins on E- find any E on your psaltery that has at least two notes below it.
Once you can play this melody starting on your chosen "E", try to find another "E" on your psaltery and do the same. This will allow you to play in different octaves - the same notes but with a higer or lower pitch (sound).
Now that you can play this in at least two places (on most psalteries), let's get a bit braver and try another few notes:
Here's one more to try: Boil Them Cabbages Down.
Uses four notes - see how easy it is to expand your knowledge!
Remember to say the note names as you read and play.
Note values: This tune uses only quarter (solid dark filled in) notes and half (not filled in, empty) notes. Be sure to hold the half notes. When you see a half note (not filled in) simply wait for one count by saying the word "Wait" after the actual note name. Don't be overly concerned about values right now, we'll get into rhythms and counting in upcoming lessons.