13 September 2010

Teaching Music Reading with Magnetic Musical Notes

I came up with this solution to help people learn how to read musical notes better years ago before high prevalence of the digital age, which allows people to more easily perform tasks such as these on digital screens:

The Western musical notation consists of a five-line notation system where notes are placed along the positions of the five lines.  In general, the higher the note, the higher it is placed; the lower the note, the lower it is placed.

People when first learning music sometimes have difficulty recognizing the notes, especially if they jump around a lot.  One solution I devised was, therefore, to cut soft fridge magnets (such as ones that real estate agents send around) into the shape of a note.  A piece of paper containing the five-line staff would then be placed on top of a piece of sheet of metal (such as using the flat cover of a cookie tin).  The entire apparatus of the metal underneath and five-line staff on paper on top could be placed on the music reading stand, and the teacher could move around the note to ask the pupil or students which note it is, or to actually play the note.

This would be a more dynamic approach to helping kids or adults learn to read music.


I really do not understand what you are up to. If I do so, so do many I suppose. I try hard but so far I don't get it. Can you explain it in an other way please because it could be a good way to teach others to read music in a better way as usual notes do. Thanks, Alex Janssens
Basically, you just move the magnetic musical note (cut from a fridge magnet) around onto different levels of the staff, and ask the student to either play the note, or to name it. For example, if you put the note at the "D" position, the student would play "D" or name "D". If you moved the magnetic note to the "E" position, the student would play "E" or name "E". The reason the magnetic note sticks is that behind the piece of paper with the staff printed on it is a piece of metal.
Actually, this has existed. My teacher used a game with a metal plate that was boxed painted with a staff and magnetic note to move about. It was a set she bought. This was 56 years ago. I remember it with fondness.
Sounds fun.
There are similar inventions like this. But I like the simplicity in the way that you explained it so that anyone could make one of their own.

Good idea

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