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Note-Reading Tips for Students

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

It is crucial for students to learn and understand the notes on the staff. With that said, some students have a hard time identifying the notes. Here are a few tips on learning the note names and where they are placed on the piano.


The classic note-reading flashcards can be used to learn the notes. Students can also have other ways of using the flashcards. For example, the teacher can time the student to see how long it takes them to go through all of the cards. The student earns a prize if they beat their last time.

Note-Reading Worksheets/Games

There are many resources for free printable worksheets/games that practice with note reading. Here are a few of my favorite links:

Mnemonics for Staff Lines

Everyone has heard of "Every Good Boy Does Fine" or "FACE" but what if the student came up with their own saying that will be easiest for them to remember? For example, if the student likes dogs then they can make up a saying using the letters EGBDF or GBDFA for the bass clef.

M&M Staff

Our students love using M&M's for the staff. We printed off the grand staff onto card stock and laminated it. I name a letter name and a clef and the student uses an M&M to mark that note.

Floor Keyboard

We bought a floor keyboard from Amazon to use for games matching the letter names on the keys and the staff notes. I use the note flashcards to have the student match the note on the keyboard.

Learning Intervals

When reading music, it is also important to understand intervals. Before a student plays a new piece, I use a sheet protector or a plastic cover in front of their music. We use multiple dry erase markers with color assigned to each interval and circle the different intervals in the music. You can also draw lines in the direction of where the notes are moving.


Check out our Note-Reading Flashcards to help your students improve their note-reading skills! Click here to get them!

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