Learn how to read music - the trouble with mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool that helps you remember an idea through a pattern of letters or numbers, such as using 'Every Good Boy Does Fine' to work out what the treble line notes are. This is the way that music teaching has traditionally been taught, but it often results in learners who struggle to read music - why?

Teaching music reading with mnemonics:

Is not fun

difficulty with mnemonics
Teaching music reading using mnemonics is not a fun or engaging way to teach. It uses an abstract, mechanical strategy which can be very tedious for beginners to use when reading music. It can be confusing for them deciding all the time which of the four mnemonics to use, and this, combined with having to count up the lines and spaces to identify every note, can make reading music a tedious and slow process.

Requires the learner to think logically

difficulty with mnemonics
When learners are taught the notes using mnemonics, it requires them think in an abstract, conceptual way. The ability to conceptualize a thought and see patterns are skills that are not well developed in children, but develop with age.

Doesn’t facilitate instant recognition of the notes

difficulty with mnemonics
Mnemonics do not teach learners to instantly recognize the notes, but they must constantly count up the lines and spaces in order to identify them. The learner must use this strategy over and over for every note, and must depend on the strategy, rather than actually learning what the notes are.

Doesn’t link notes on the stave to notes on the piano

difficulty with mnemonics
In addition to this, mnemonics only teach the notes on the stave, without linking them to the notes on the piano. With students who have been taught the notes on the stave using mnemonics, it is common to find that they are not able to easily locate the corresponding notes on the piano.

There is a better way!

Just because mnemonics have “always” been used to teach beginners how to read the music notes, that doesn’t mean it's the best way! Easy Notes is an up-to-date, fun, engaging, motivating and effective way to teach beginners how to read the music notes. It really works! Find out why Why is Easy Notes so effective?

Find out more

How Easy Notes Works - an explanation for music teachers
How Easy Notes Works - an explanation for the self-learner
Why is Easy Notes so effective?
Learning music by association
A better way to learn music - tell me a story
Piano lesson books Easy Notes works with
Your feedback and successes using Easy Notes