Reinforce Note Reading
Submitted by Denise Gagne, Canada
Idea posted 2002-10-30
Question: I want from the start to make sure that they recognize the notes on the staff. I made big posters, but do you do anything extra to reinforce this?
Answer: In The Complete Recorder Resource Kit, there are a number of activities to reinforce note reading:
Mad Minutes - similar to the math mad minutes that kids do.
Time them on the mad minute, and let them try and beat their previous time each time they do one. This takes no more than four minutes of class time and has been really effective for me. I included a mad minute for the introduction of each new note: There's a BAG, BAG E, BAGED, and CDEFGABCD mad minute.
Note Name Flash Cards
Flash cards always provide a quick review. You can play games by dividing the class in half and playing one side against the other.
In addition to these, in my classes, I use the hand staff - they can do a quick drill of note names. In The Complete Recorder Resource Kit, if the students are lost after BAG E, and I see them peeking at other kids' fingers instead of reading, I can switch them to kid's notes - the note name right on the note. This is better than having them pencil in note names; they see note placement, not just the letters.
They need instant recall of note names to be successful note readers - getting that transfer is always a challenge!