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Encourage Praise and Repeat
A new eBook by Ernst Renner, founder of www.littleComposers.com
First and foremost, “Encourage Praise and Repeat” is a blueprint-like eBook which gives parents a step-by-step guide to help them with preparing their child or children for the future. By future, I mean the next segment of time when pretty much everything we know today is hardly applicable. Research is now on overdrive and hardly a day goes by without announcing yet another discovery.
Science leads the way to the future and everyone who wants to participate has to acquire the knowledge to do so. Even then, participation is not guaranteed unless one is at the right place at the right time but this eBook is not concerned with that part at all. What matters is acquiring knowledge and how soon a child can start to do so. Some parents might be surprised to discover that their child, by nature, is already an extremely smart human being (which is a very good thing). Think about it. A mom gives birth to a baby and what happens then? Does she rush out to get a language teacher to help the baby learn to speak? Is a walking tutor needed to teach the baby how to walk? Don’t laugh. Around the sweet age of four and up, things change. Some parents begin then to hire professionals or look for the right kindergarten and preschool to start learning baby stuff. Why? Because. Everyone is doing it and therefore it must be the best thing to do.
Let’s back up a few years
Baby is born and baby is healthy. Bravo. So far, so good. With the exception of grandma, the baby is mostly talked to as if it was an adult. By this I mean that the language is adult language. There are no “doo doo doo dee dee dee you are soooooo cute” sentences coming from mom. Instead, she says “hello (name)” and continues the conversation as if the child is already 10 years old.
Why is this important?
Simple. Children learn by imitating and what we, the grown-ups show them, they repeat. To help you quickly understand what’s at stake, I’d like to tell two quick stories. Both are true. A proud father once introduced a three-year old girl to me. The child was held by grandma and at age three was not able to communicate anything that I could understand. As I listened to grandma introducing me also with language I could not understand (doo doo doo, looooky looooky, whoooody whooody) I begun to realize what was going on. I said nothing and complemented my friend on being the father of such a beautiful girl.
Let’s look at a completely different scenario. The other day I entered the elevator and with me came a mom with a three-year old child (I actually asked how old the child was before I exited). Before the door closed, the child pointed towards the button and asked me which floor I lived on. The building I live in has two parkades, a main floor and (I think) 24 floors. I told the little boy that I lived on the 12th floor. That proved to be a challenge because he know the numbers 1 – 10 and 12 was probably not yet something he was familiar with. I quickly updated my answer with “one, two” instead of 12. That was perfect and he pressed the button for me. Another time, he asked me about my wife which he knows by name!?!? Mentioning this elevator conversation to my wife confirmed that they have a little chat now and then. Do you see the difference?
What you say and how you say it makes all the difference in the world
Parents are becoming more and more aware of this fact and don’t need to be told how to talk to their child. Praise Inspire and Repeat (the eBook) takes over around the time when they need to climb the first of many “knowledge steps”. Special attention has been paid to make sure that the steps are given in the right order and the whole learning process hinges on music which is a time-tested method to foster a child’s creativity and much more.
Ideally, to get the most out of this eBook a parent should have access to a tablet such as an iPad or similar. The eBook takes advantage of specific apps which were created to inspire children to compose their own music and by doing so, learn the importance of thinking in clusters (whole concepts instead of little unrelated ideas). Most parents are lost when it comes to music although they know about the advantages but still, it isn’t something they feel comfortable. Well, that’s not a problem and those who give it a try will quickly discover that every parent can teach the first musical steps with the help of intelligent apps that do almost all the teaching but in a way that isn’t so obvious.
Praise your child
With the help of technology, teaching is no longer an issue. What seems to be the greatest hurdle to the way children learn is the lack of praise and inspiring words. This is particularly in issue if a parent didn’t receive words of encouragement or praise while growing up. Unfortunately, the only way to overcome this problem is to let it go.
So how then do you teach your child with maximum impact? It’s not as hard as you might think. Simply make time to play and listen to them. Engage them in a conversation and give them room to teach you. To make that happen, you have to ask the right questions which is an art in itself but if you really work on it, you will get good at it and the result will be a smart and brilliant child who does well in school.
Never stop praising and encouraging. To much is better than too little. Be patient and remember that Rome wasn’t build in a day. Every day is a new learning experience but before too long, you will develop the skill to interact with your child on a much more mature level then other kids in the same age group and other will compliment you as I did when I told the mom of the child who pressed the elevator button for me. The good news is that it doesn’t end there. You will go far and hopefully find really good teachers who don’t instruct but instead continue to ask the right questions and continue with praising and encouraging. Plenty of students remember their favorite teacher and speak kind of her or him. Why? Think about it. Teachers make a huge difference in our lives and if the teaching starts early and on the right track then the rest is almost predictable.
If you happen to be the parent of a child age 4 – 6 then visit the Little Composers website and try some of the virtual teaching tools which can help you to make the best of those most important and crucial years. One day you will be glad you did.
I’d love to hear your comment either here or on the Little Composers Facebook page
Creative Children Compose Music just got a new feature added as shown in the app diagram below. This latest version is able to add rests to the melody which greatly enhances the composition experience as it mimics real songs more closely.
This app helps anyone to learn the basics of composition by implementing three easy rules.Fill the red containers by playing red keys
- Fill the red containers by playing red keys
- Fill the white containers by playing white keys
- End every composition with a C
How to edit the melody
Once a melody has been recorded, the app can play it so that you can listen. Sometimes, as we listen to our compositions, we feel that some changes would enhance the melody. Here is how you can edit and record over the old notes. We call the process “erase and replace” and works like this. Touch any container that you want to erase and then play a new key. As soon as you do that, the old note will be erased and replaced by the new one you just played. You can repeat this process as many times as you need to make the melody perfect.
Why you should use and learn this app
We are working on an advanced version which has many more features, an actual piano keyboard and instead of four bars, you can record and listen to 16 bars of music. There are many more options and for the first time, we are implementing a MENTOR mode to help you with getting the basic melody right.
Visit us on the Little Composers Facebook page to learn more about this new version.
Where can we get this app?
Creative Children Compose Music is available on iTunes, in the Windows App Store and you can instantly access the latest build on via www.littleComposers.com
There, you can find how-to videos and much more information and support.
Eventually, kids will no longer remember the yellow school bus because the trip to the nearest school will no longer be seen as the most effective way to educate our children. Many parents have begun to question the systems that have been in place to educate children for so many years. Amid the many studies showing the excellence of alternative educational paths, parents are searching. Oftentimes questions about our current educational systems effectiveness lead parents to the notion that children can often be educated in a way that is more suited to their own talents, and in a manner that will encourage greatness, by staying in their own home for formal education.
When parents choose this path they will sometimes question their own ability. What if you are not trained in foreign language, higher level mathematic operations or music? How will you educate your intrinsic learner without possessing the skills of a seasoned professional in these areas? A few clicks of your mouse will yield innumerable resources for these areas and allay many fears that you child would miss something if homeschooling is the path that you choose.
Let us take music for example. Music is one of those mediums that affects our energy level, our state of mind, and our memory recall (counting and alphabet songs anyone?) There have been countless studies performed on the effect that learning an instrument has on mathematics and literacy. An article in Time Magazine recently even stated the following:
“Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. This helps them develop “neurophysiological distinction” between certain sounds that can aid in literacy, which can translate into improved academic results for kids.”
This can again be intimidating if one is not even able to read music, how will you teach it? Let’s take a look at a groundbreaking concept that allows children to not only learn the fundamentals of music composition but also can teach them how to sight-read music. During the foundational years of preschool and early elementary school this skill can aid in the acquisition of many other learning concepts as well.
The concept is the brainchild of an Austrian born composer who saw a need for the availability of a digital concept that allows children to not only be exposed to, but also integrate music composition into their education. Thus, little composers was born. Possibly the most intriguing element about this concept is that it is available as a free app to the public and your child will be enticed to compose, replay and learn music composition all while requiring minimal parental guidance. What could be simpler than that?
Little composers can help you solve the questions about where to begin with your child’s music education, just knowing that such apps and concepts exist may just stave off any feelings of inadequacy on the part of a parent. When parents feel empowered they feel confident and that in turn can lead to greatness and beyond for the newest “little composer.”
Little Composers has just published Learn Note Names, a new eBook targeted towards music students who need help with learning the note names.
- Struggle with music notation
- Need to get up-to-speed with note names
- Have troubles with identifying notes and chords
There are many apps and books that cover music theory but what makes this eBook different are the many encouragements the author has strewn in when ever possible. Because of that, Learn Note Names is an easy read for many new music students and everyone else who wants to understand music notation.
Learn Note Names (Treble Clef Edition)
Music notation is a very complex topic and therefore it is no surprise that so many students struggle with memorizing the note names. The worst part is that if a student has troubles with recognizing the note names, she/he will soon fall behind in all music theory related tasks and stop enjoying the lessons altogether.
Parents! Don’t let this happen to your child
Learn Note Names is an easy read that starts with a story. The purpose of the story is to make everyone understand how important reading is. Every parent who has a music student needs to make sure that the lessons are stress free and knowing the note names goes a long way to prevent troubles which nether the teacher nor the student want.
The eBook is divided into nine chapters and has a total of about 20 pages which means that it can be read rather quickly. Every chapter gives detailed instructions and adds two new notes. The eBook contains plenty of illustrations which support the explanations. Besides the theory part, the author includes lots of encouragement and praise and makes no secret about learning note names.
Learning Note Names is not easy
For some reason, music students get told to study the note names and criticized if they fail to do so. Now that many kids have access to electronic devices which run all kinds of apps, learning the note names has become a lot easier than it used to be but still, it is not something that can be done in one afternoon either. Once a student has been made aware that everything hinges on recognizing note names quickly, they can then decide on how much time they want to dedicate to studying.
Spend as much time as you need to
When someone is just beginning to learn something worth while, she/he is often told that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Perhaps that old and proved proverb describes it best. As the eBook mentions, it is OK to get to know a few notes very well and then extend and enlarge that circle more and more as things start to make sense.
Learning the note names is key to success and there is no shortcut. If you decide to get this eBook then please provide some feedback so that future revisions and additions make it even a more essential text then it already is.
Little Composers publishes the Creative Children Compose Music method which includes apps that teach children to compose their own music. The third module, PRE PiANO NOTES is progressing well and on schedule to be released later this summer.
PRE PiANO NOTES composes real music
Little Composers develops apps which turn moms into music teachers and children into famous Little Composers. Our latest module, NOTES is the third and last of the series. Module one, PRE PiANO LESSONS is for young Little Composers followed by PRE PiANO KEYS which uses the first seven letters of the alphabet to write music.
PRE PiANO NOTES, just as the name says, records and displays real music notes and therefore is suitable for children of all ages who want to experiment with composing their own music especially if they have outgrown the KEYS app.
Learn Note Names
In order to get the most out of the NOTES module, our Little Composers need to start to learn note names. No worry, we have several apps for that on our home page and iPhone users can use the search phrase “Little Composers” to find Notes for Little Composers in Apple iTunes.
Beginning Music Lessons
Parents often contact us and ask at what age their child should start with music lessons. Traditional music lessons where a student visits the music teacher generally start around age six or seven and it is OK to start even later. But music is changing and now comes in many forms and shapes. Music Lessons are not the only way to begin to learn how to play an instrument. Many children use apps to learn and play which not only enables them to start sooner, but also gives them a huge choice of apps and the amount of apps available is growing fast.
Little Composers is pleased to offer some of the best music education apps for kids who want to begin their music lessons early. If your child is curious about music then simply visit the Little Composers website and try a few apps. We offer support and even a composition contest which features the best songs in the famous Little Composers gallery.
See you there!
This article teaches beginners how to learn note names by studying only three lessons. Each lesson covers small steps that are easy to remember and the Little Composers website published an interactive note chart for some extra practice. Both versions, bass and treble clef are available.
image for the LEARN NOTE NAMES TREBLE CLEF APP by Little Composers
Before You Learn Note Names
This article assumes no prior knowledge about music notation. In case you have tried to learn the note names before but stopped because learning got too hard then this article is for you as well.
Look at the picture on top of this article and get a good look at everything you see. Don’t memorize any note names just yet but look at the shapes instead. Before we can learn note names, we must remove them from the picture so that our mind can start empty. Now picture a white sheet with nothing on it and proceed to lesson one.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 1
This first lessons is not about notes but rather examines all the different lines which hold the notes. Before we do that we need to identify the treble clef. You can find the treble clef at the left side where the lines begin as shown in the picture below.
Now let’s look at the five lines. In the above example, the long lines are sub divided into four spaces which are called measures o bars which is plural for bar. Did you ever hear about the 12 Bar Blues? The number 12 just means that the song is 12 bars long. If you have troubles with imagining measures or bars simple think of them as containers that are lined up side by side.
To complete this lessons, we need to recognize the vertical lines which show us where one bar (or container) ends and where the other one starts.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 2
One bar at the time
To make things easy, let’s focus on the first bar only with another look at those lines in more detail.
To make this really easy, let’s get rid of four lines and only keep the centre line.
The center line is called the B line.
Remember this because from now on, we start out with finding that line.
Look at the image and focus on how the B note is exactly centred on the line. Half of the note is above the line and half of the note is below the line. This is very important to understand because from now on, we differentiate between two kinds of notes. Those who have a line in the center and those who do not (like the A and B).
A B C
Now we are learning the first three notes and you should not go on to the next lesson until you have the A, B and C memorized. Memorizing the A, B and C is easy because music notation has borrowed them from the alphabet. The alphabet starts with A B C D E F G and once you remember those seven names, you know all the note names that I know. The tricky part is that those same seven letters get reused over and over just as the image on top of this page shows. Do you see that the first three notes (top image) have a second note on top of it? And now you know why they share the same name.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 3
Let’s take a little brake from learning the note names and do a bit of math. Don’t worry, it’s really simple. The most common form of time signature is the 4/4 one. What does that mean and why are we learning about them now?
As you already know, each note has a name. The name can only consist of A B C D E F and G.
What we need to understand is the length of a note. You could say that a note is a little like a person. A real person has two names. A first name and last (family) name. For example, my name is Ernst Renner and your name also has two parts or possibly more if you have a middle name. So for now, let’s say that a note has two names. The letter name and then the length name.
How long is a note?
Take a look at the four bars (remember bars from lesson 1?)
The first bar has one note which is just a round hollow shape and there is only one note in that bar.
The second bar has two notes in it. The also have a round hollow shape but each note also has a line attached to it.
The third bar has four notes in it. The round shape is no longer hollow and each note has a line attached as well.
The fourth bar has eight notes in it which look almost like the notes in bar three but they are connected in two groups of four notes.
Study this list a few times:
- Round hollow shapes are called whole notes.
- Round hollow shapes with a line attached are called half notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a line attached to it are called quarter notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a lines attached that are connected are called eight notes.
Look at the above image one more time and examine the blue numbers. Each measure or bar has the numbers 1 2 3 4 written which helps us to visualize the note length. The rules are simple. A whole note takes up the full space and is four counts (1 2 3 4) long. The half note, just as the name says, is half of that and each note is two counts long. Therefore, you are allowed to fill a bar with two half notes. The quarter notes each are one count long and it takes four quarter notes to fill a bar of music.
If this made sense to you then you can expand one these rules by mixing up half and quarter notes. For example, if a bar begun with a half note, then you could add another half note or two quarter notes. The order does not matter. The quarter notes could be first followed by the half note or, the half note could even be in between but that is sneaky.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 4
Well, it’s time to leave you.
WHAT??? We just started and I only learned three notes. What about the rest?
Let’s switch back to math. You’ll see in a minute why. As you know, it all begins with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and 10. Once you knew those numbers, the teacher introduced the next set of numbers which continued from 10. Just as a refresher, they are 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 and 20.
The word eleven is a new word to remember. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen are also new and at first hard to remember. After fifteen the more familiar six(teen), seven(teen) and so forth make more sense which is why we learn those faster.
But wait a moment! What happens after 20?
Good news, counting gets a lot easier. Why does it get easier? Because there are hardly any new words to remember until you reach hundred. Every time you finish a block of ten, only the last one has to be remembered. Like thirty, forty, fifty and so on. Even those become predictable and do you know why that is? The magic word is “pattern”. A pattern is something that kind of repeats and because of that, we can take advantage of patterns. There are many patterns in music and there are many patterns in math.
Now I want you to count to 100 (and don’t cheat! because it is important)!!!
You only have to do this exercise once so, as you count, try and focus on patterns.
Do you notice how often you say one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine? Quite a bit. The reason why I asked you to count ’till hundred and search for patterns is because if you were able to find all or most of the patterns, you will also be able to find all the note names just as easily.
Always start with what you already know.
A quick refresher. You know the center B line and you know that there are seven note names which are exactly the same as the first seven letters of the alphabet. If you string them together, you could say (just like you counted before) A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G and on and on and on for ever.
If you were in front of a grand piano right now, you could open the lid, touch the very first key on the left side and do the A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G …. until you end up at the very last key which is the C.
Hint: If you just did that then you touched 52 white keys.
Now I would like you to take a piece of paper and a pencil and draw five long lines from left to right. All the way across the paper. Make them as long as you can and if you have trouble making them kind of straight then use a ruler. Space all five lines the same as seen in the images above. Don’t worry if they are not 100% yet. This is just so that you can begin to draw your memory map. Skip drawing the treble clef for now. It takes a bit of practice to make it perfect so it’s OK to just imagine that it is there plus, you probably need to use the space for notes.
Now start at the very right part of the page and draw the C note. If you need to, take a quick look at lessons 2 (A B C).
Make sure that you draw the C note in between the spaces. To the left of the C, draw the B note, again, just as in the image you studied in lesson 2. Now draw the A note. The A note is almost like the C note except that it is one white space lower. Stop drawing for a bit and take a look at your three notes. If the B is centred on the line and the A and C notes are exactly between the lines, than you did it right.
On the bottom of the page, write the note names exactly like this: A B C D E F G A B C
Now you have a little helper sheet to figure out the missing notes. Below the A, you need to draw the … what comes before the A? Take a look at the letters you just wrote. The note before the A is the G. Now draw in the G just like you drew the B. The G note is also centred on the line which means that if you can draw a B, you can also draw a G.
What comes before the G?
Finish all the way down to the A and then take a look and compare your drawing with the picture below.
Do you see what happens when you run out of lines? Simply draw short “helper lines” which are just long enough to hold the note nicely. This is how you extend the five long lines. Pay special attention when you draw the low A because you will need two short helper lines instead of one. Let’s repeat this. The first three notes (low A B C) need short helper lines.
If you do this exercise every day, you will memorize and know the note names and maybe teach other kids who struggle with music notation.
I hope that you have learned how important it is to see patterns. Patterns are a sort of a shortcut and the more patterns you notice, the faster you will learn.
If you need help with something I’d be happy to do answer your questions. Just go to the Little Composers support page and ask your question
After you know your note names, you can use the TREBLE CLEF app for Little Composers to make sure that you don’t forget them.
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