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Learn to Read Piano Music Quickly with These Acronyms
Mnemonic Devices Are Tricks for Memorization
Mnemonic devices are tricks that we can use to help us remember things more easily.
Rhyming is a great memorization tool. If you can make anything rhyme, you'll recall it much faster simply by reciting the rhyme.
Acronyms are another great way to remember difficult bits of information. We'll use both of these memorization techniques to help you read music more quickly!
Instructions for Reading Treble and Bass Clef
The top staff is called the treble clef. Use these mnemonic devices for the treble clef lines and spaces:
- FACE is for the Space
- Every Good Boy Does Fine is for the lines
The bottom staff is called the bass clef. Use the following memory tricks for the bass clef lines and spaces:
- Lines = Good Burritos Don't Fall Apart
- Spaces = All Cows Eat Grass
Use the memorization tricks we talked about! You'll get faster at reading the grand staff (which is how you refer to both clefs, and in piano music). Counting up each note works, but it's a slower method than saying to yourself, "Every Good Boy Does Fine."
This is also a good tool for helping kids remember the lines and spaces on the grand staff of piano sheet music. Feel free to print it out!
Rhyming and Reading Music
Notice that if you say it this way, "FACE is for the space" it rhymes.
"Every Good Boy Does Fine is for the lines," rhymes as well.
This will help with the hardest part for students, which is keeping the memory tools for the lines and spaces straightened out in your head. Also, keep in mind that there are four spaces on each staff and five lines. So that helps narrow down the options.
To be extra clear how the piano's keyboard relates to the grand staff (music notation). I have added a picture of a scale. Its helpful for young kids to see that as the keys go from left to right on the piano, the notes on the scale get higher.
Feel free to print it off and keep it by your piano!
Two More Tricks for Reading the Grand Staff
Did you know that treble clef is also known as "G clef"? Or that bass clef is also known as "F clef"? The video below explains why and how these names can help you read music.