Using Sheet Music in Guitar Lessons in Tulsa


Hi, this is Andrea with Curtis Music Academy here with another amazing podcast about the joys of learning music. And I love music. I love playing the piano. I love playing the guitar. I love singing. I love playing various other instruments. And I even have the joy of giving drum and guitar lessons in Tulsa. And so it’s just a wide variety and I absolutely love it. And for this particular podcast, I would like to talk about a new way to teach students how to read. Now, I was classically trained as a student and so I know about sat reading and it’s actually one of those things that it can be a joy and it can be a struggle for students. 

And it just depends on their learning style and it depends on how much they practice and depends on a lot of other variables. But I came across this way to teach students how to read very clearly. So a lot of times we use mnemonic devices such as F, A, C, E for the space notes in the treble or all cows eat grass for the space nut in the bass clef. But actually these become a crutch and it doesn’t really help the student read music in the context of a song. Yes, it does help them identify what a certain note is, but it doesn’t help them while they’re reading music because they have to stop and they have to count up and they have to identify the note. This can apply to guitar lessons in Tulsa as well.

And so really it’s more of a crutch than it is a help with those mnemonic devices. And so I listen to this awesome podcast about teaching music. I’ve learned so much. It’s called Colorful Keys, and she has a YouTube page and a Facebook page. And I believe she also has a website, but she teaches about reading sheet music in terms of landmark notes and intervals. So with landmark notes, you actually memorize certain key points of the ground stuff. This could be five or six different notes and you totally commit them to memory that obviously the first three are middle C, treble clef G and bass clef F. This can be helpful when taking guitar lessons in Tulsa.

And beyond that, there’s a couple more as well, like treble C and Bass. See, beyond that, she works with students to recognize intervals. And so this is incredibly profound. I’ve just spent a couple of weeks working on this with my students and I’ve already seen the fruit of it. And so it gets me really excited. And so she has this little way to teach students how to read and pay attention to intervals. And that is if it’s the same interval like going from a D to a D, you use the color green colored pencil to connect the two notes. If it’s a step, use the color red. If it’s a skip, you use the color blue. This would be a great tool in guitar lessons in Tulsa.

And obviously you can go on to do other endeavors as well. You could do a whole octave worth of intervals. But, you know, for a lot of my students, they are really at that point where there is it, the same is a step or is it a skip? And so as the student is marking and connecting the dots for these notes, the actual action of connecting the dots and the action of using the different colors is actually helping them to put it into memory, to pay attention to the intervals. So it gets me really excited. And I’ve seen students play the song before we do that. I’ve seen students play after and it’s just so much better afterwards. And so and even if we just do one line of the song like that, it’s just a huge help during piano and guitar lessons in Tulsa.

Reading Notes During Guitar Lessons in Tulsa 

And so when students understand the intervals of a fourth or the third, they can just quickly recognize that everything is relative. Like, OK, I might not be able to, in the context of a song, know this note because it’s all happening so fast and I’m reading, but I know that it’s just a step up, so I’m just going to play a skip. And so it just really helps learning the intervals. And I really think it makes the students long term better musicians as well, which is my goal. I don’t want my students just to be able to read sheet music because that’s actually how I was raised- both during piano and guitar lessons in Tulsa.

And there were so many positive things from when I took piano and guitar lessons in Tulsa as a child and as a teenager. But I think one of the main drawbacks of teaching children to play the piano classically is that, yes, they can sight read and that’s a positive thing. But usually people have like a repertoire of four or five songs on the piano and that’s all they know. And they’ve been taking piano or guitar lessons in Tulsa for years. So that is the one drawback, I think. And so I want my students to be really well rounded where they can play a variety of songs, they can play pop songs, they can put music in front of them. Sure. 

With sheet music and learn how to play it and memorize it. Or they could have music in front of records and they can learn how to play that way, or they can improvise or they can write their own music and all this different kinds of stuff. So all of it excites me. And so another reason why I was really motivated to help my students read music better is because it can be when there’s a student who’s struggling with reading music, it can be agonizing for them and frustrating. And I don’t want piano and guitar lessons in Tulsa to ever be frustrating for the students. I want it to just be fun, first of all. But second of all, of course, it’s learning. Of course, it’s a discipline. So there’s challenges in that. 

But I want it to be systematic, like, OK, I’m just going to connect this line. I know it’s an interval of a second, so I’m going to play a second. I want them to be encouraged and feel confident as they’re playing their instrument, whether that’s the piano or guitar lessons in Tulsa or anything. Another thing is that after listening to that podcast of the importance of intervals and the importance of landmark notes, I’ve gotten away from using faith to help students figure out what note it is. And I’ve gotten them to really pay more attention to the landmark notes, which I actually was really surprised. 

I had a lot of students who are a little bit more advanced who had trouble recognizing like Treble G or Bass F, which are the three most common landmark notes. So I’m really going to start presenting that and emphasizing it and helping my students in that way because I feel like they’ll be benefited more in the long run and it will benefit them to see the grand staff as a whole, that it’s all a continuous starting from low, going to high and just understanding the bits and pieces and putting it all together in regards to creating music. So I hope this podcast was informative about intervals and about landmark notes and about reading sheet music. So thank you so much for joining me from this podcast with Curtis Music Academy about piano and guitar lessons in Tulsa, and I will see you at the next podcast.