Monday, October 22, 2012

Music Education - Learn How to Read Music

People enjoy music in their community, some as audience members and some as participants as well. Learning how to read music for the first time or as a refresher will open horizons that transcend other forms of communication.Written music is a language of the world. Whatever one's life has been, acquiring or refreshing basic music reading skills will enhance the enjoyment and success in this artistic endeavor. Some people have no formal musical background, or haven't picked up their instruments or sung since grade school. Now is a great time to learn or relearn the basics. Anything that you learn or refresh from years ago is a gain. Gracefully accept age related limitations while learning to innovate, and you'll be enlarging your musical world.

Reading music starts with being able to see what is in front of you. Make sure that you have plenty of light, that you can easily see what is written on the instructional music page in front of you and that you are comfortable physically. If you can't see the music, try a larger print version of a beginning music instruction book. Reading glasses might also help. The piano or keyboard is a good instrument on which to base your initial music reading skill application. Pianos are widely available in community settings. Because the keyboard is a percussion instrument, a beginner can practice music reading skills and immediately hear the translation of what they are seeing on paper. Even if you plan to sing rather than play an instrument, being able to find your first note and hear it on the piano is hugely gratifying.

The first thing to learn about the keyboard is the location of middle C. A regular sized piano has 88 keys, 52 white keys and 36 black keys. Count only the white keys from the left or lower tones. The 24th one is middle C. It may be helpful to mark it with placement of a penny or sticky note with the letter C written on it. Another way to locate this note is to find the middle area of keys. Middle C is the white key just left of the group of two black keys. Confirm the placement of middle C by both methods.

Now look at middle C written on music paper. For now we will only consider notes starting at middle C and going to the right or higher in tone. Middle C is denoted below the five lines landing on what would be the next horizontal line which horizontally bisects the written note.

Now gently strike the note you marked previously as middle C. Learn the notation shown above and practice finding it on the piano. Listen to the tone. Practice finding middle C without the penny or written clue. Repeat looking at the Middle C on the music paper and finding it on the piano keyboard. Practice this 7 to 10 times over a week, for no more than 30 minutes per day. Congratulations on reading your first musical note!

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