www.learnNoteNames.com just published their first app which was specifically developed for new music students who need to learn the note names and more about music notes.
Learn Note Names
The app is currently available on the www.learnnotenames.com website and depending on the feedback received, the app might head for the app stores in a few weeks. If learning the note names is something you want to master then head over to the www.learnnotenames.com website to load the app for free without registering.
How the app works
The Learn Note Names app opens in your browser and displays an empty staff with five thin vertical guiding lines. Those guiding lines are there to help you write the notes by simply touching the line anywhere between the low A and high C notes. As soon as you touch the screen, a note will be written exactly where you touched and then you have two options.
- Touch the note
- Guess the note
Touching a note on-screen will play the piano sound and display the note name towards the bottom of the screen long enough to let you know the note name. This will quickly tell you which note you’ve written and the more notes you write, the faster you will remember.
Guessing the note names can also be beneficial to learn the note names which is why upon first touching the staff, the note gets written without sound or note names. Otherwise, the learning process would be slowed down which would make the app less effective.
How many notes can the app teach?
Almost all grand pianos have 88 keys. This means that there are 88 notes to know but in reality, this is not practical. Piano music is divided into two clefs, the treble and bass clef. The treble clef notes are usually played by the right hand and the bass clef notes are usually played by the left hand.
For many children, learning the note names is not easy which is why we start with the treble clef first. The note range covered starts at the low A which is two keys below the middle C and ends low octaves higher with the high C. All in all, the app teaches 17 notes and knowing those notes well makes learning the rest very easy. There isn’t really much piano music that extends two octaves above the middle C but reading those notes is just a matter of focus and practice.
How much should a student practice?
One of the greatest misunderstandings of our times is repetition (also called “practice”). The famous saying “practice makes perfect” is true but often ignored because we want to do things right now. We don’t want to repeat and we tend to forget that everything we already know well only happened because we repeated. Perhaps we repeated without realizing but still, when we repeat often, we generally get to know quite well and herein lies the formula for success.
The formula to success
One of the world’s most famous violinists one said that if he doesn’t practice one day, he notices. If he doesn’t practice for two days, his teacher notices and if he doesn’t practice for three days, his audience notices. None of us can claim world fame but still, the lesson here is that if you want to get very good at something, you have to understand the formula of success which is based on repetition upon repetition.
If a new music student who struggles with music notation opens the app, creates a few notes and concludes that this is boring, then yes, she/he will probably give up lessons shortly. But those who persist and keep pushing on for two or three days will quickly realize that things get easier. There is always that one note that is the easiest to remember and if you try the app, then you will discover that special note.
Discover your special note
How to discover your special note? Well, it’s not something you have to worry because you will know soon enough. It’s not something you should force. Just write notes and touch notes to see their names and after a few minutes of doing so, you will begin to favor one note. You know that note and tomorrow, when you open the Learn Note Names app again, you will maybe even write that note first.
Good, you found your special note and now it is time to build your knowledge around that note. Memorize the musical alphabet which is made up of the first seven letters of the actual alphabet letter A B C D E F and G.
My special note (and how I learned the rest)
My special note was the C note which is written on the first and lowest of the five staff lines. For some reason, I recognized that E note right away and because I knew the alphabet already, I was able to quickly read one note below and one note above the E by thinking of the three letters D E and F. I spent some time with those three notes and after only five minutes, I knew the D and F notes just as well as I knew my special note.
Time to expand again
Instantly recognizing three notes has a big advantage which is based on the fact that there are less new notes to learn. Here is what I mean by that. The three notes became my starting base and since there are only seven letters in the musical alphabet, I knew that I had to work on learning just four more notes.
The best way to proceed is to once more extend the three notes by going to learn the note below as well as the one above which would be the C and G notes. Now I was working with C D E F and G. Knowing the D E and F notes already meant that adding the two new notes came easy. If you think that all that was left to do is extend just once more then you are right. As soon as you have the C D E F and G notes down, you add the last two notes and finally, you have the first seven note names covered. The hardest part is over but please remember the importance of repeating. Don’t go on a two-week vacation and think to yourself that you did it. Learning is good for us because it makes us smarter but the moment we stop looking at something, we notice it just like the famous violin player did.
If you’ve read the article then you have learned a clever way to master the note names. Find your favorite note and extend from there as I told you. If you don’t follow that pattern of finding your first note and then keep adding one below and above, then you most likely will just open the Learn Note Names app and write notes randomly. That is not how a musician’s brain works and most likely, you will not find the result you seek. Writing random notes prevents you from establishing the much-needed reference and without that, you might not succeed. The fastest way is to slowly build your knowledge and keep extending by just two new notes at a time.
I hope to have inspired you to start learning the note names and if you read this article and follow my suggestion then I would be happy if you told me your favorite note. Which one did you get to know first and what helped you memorize it quicker than the others?