How to Teach the Music Reading Skills

Most of the people will agree with this line, that music is an art. In order to understand the notes in music, people really need to focus on the intricate details. In addition to this, there is a need to possess some note reading skills as well.

Once, there is an expertise in the music industry, and people are pros at reading the notes, then there is a need to teach them to the juniors. Learning the techniques and implementing them in the career is one part of the story. Another part of the story is that there is a need to know the ways, as to how the information should be passed on so that the students can inherit those note reading skills. When you take a piano class or a professional singing class, you will understand the importance of music reading skills to interpret the right notes and melodies.

Learning the Piano Takes Effort in Reading NotesIf people ponder over it, musicians will find out there are major four components or elements to the implementation of the music reading skills. These are as followed:

1. Melodic Shape
2. Steady Beat
3. Intervals
4. Note names

There are numerous other factors that affect the note reading skills. However, the four mentioned elements set the base for the note reading process. They are a must for all the music aficionados. Read through the article, to study the ways of injecting the note reading skills in the students.


The first step to take is to ponder over the shape of the line that will be created via music. For instance, you need to notice whether the line formed is going up or is going down? Then you need to decipher the correct pattern of that line. This way you will be able to identify the correct music, once you will take a glimpse of new music. Here are some of the activities that you can follow to understand the concept of melodic shape.

  • Point at it and say: All the students need to identify the pattern of the music by interpreting if it’s going up, down or it is the same. Initially, this might be a slow process, but later it will cover up the speed.
  • Tracing: Give some tracing paper to the students and ask them to join them according to the music. This way there is a sense of contouring.
  • Ribbon: Pass on a ribbon to students and allow them to decipher the notes of the song on it. Ask them to sing along with it.
  • Aural phrases: There is a need to connect the dots and the aural phrases so that they are able to focus on the notes collectively.

Hearing each beat to match your piano playingCHAPTER 2: STEADY BEAT

When you are in the flow of the music, and something interrupts you in between, it is really difficult to get back the attention, right? But what actually disrupts the flow? Hesitation and mistakes are a major party to the disruption. But you will notice, that if a song has got perfect notes all along the way and steady beats does not sound good. When you add in some random wrong notes, it seems perfect.

  • Duet: Try out a duet part with your student and let them fix the error. All you need to do is keep singing so that they can catch the error and fix in the steady beat. When the students are given a chance of doing a duet they need to focus on the steady beats as well as the notes as they are working with a partner and if something goes wrong the partner will go wrong along with them as well. So, they will be able to take into account the entire song and will become more efficient while playing the duet with you.
  • Rhythm Section: What you can do is play an instrument while the student is singing, so that they can pick up the steady beat because of the rhythmic instrument being played in the background. Ask your students to choose an instrument of their choice such as piano, violin, etc, and do not give any instructions to them on the basis of the rhythmic beats of the students. Then you can join in with them for this part as well. They will be able to understand their music in a better way.


Intervals are really important for a musician. This way they will be able to understand the correct turn for all the notes and how the song is given a meaning. Some of the important intervals are explained in detail here.

  • Coloring: Pick up a piece of paper and on the music notes draw a line. Wherever there is an interval draw a circle and hand over a different color to the student for different intervals. Then ask them to identify the patterns and different intervals. After due time, your students will be able to identify the patterns in your music, and they will be able to read the music fluently. In case you are not comfortable with the coloring process, you can take up a photocopy and go ahead with this exercise through the same process.


Note naming is on the latter stage as your student needs to get their hands on the three steps as mentioned earlier first. Then only they will be able to construe the true sense of the note naming process. This stage will turn your students into singing maestros, and you will be able to take a sigh of relief after putting in so much effort.

  • 60-second challenge: For this purpose, you need to present your students with three cards and ask them to identify the notes and name them on the basis of the colors of the cards and that too just in 60 seconds. Your students will surely love this activity. For other note games, you can browse the internet and get your hands on some of the most interesting games to teach your students the intricacies of the music world.

In a nutshell, if you want your student to climb the ladder of success and win accolades for their performance, there is an immense need to have a strong grip over these four foundations or important elements of the music world. This way you will be able to understand the music and read it like a pro.