Reading notes on the musical staff is one of the most important and most rewarding skills for a musician to learn. It may seem challenging at first, but with time and lots of focused repetition and practice, you can master the art of note reading!
To make music reading practice easier and more fun, we’ve created this set of Music Note Finders activity pages. This activity will help you master the entire grand staff, from the most basic guide notes to the full staff and its ledger lines. Read on to learn more about fun activities that you can do at home with these pages. We will also discuss how these pages can improve your note reading and piano playing skills!
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How do I use these pages?
We recommend that you print these pages on cardstock and laminate them so you can use them again and again. Using an erasable whiteboard marker, simply write the letter names of the notes in the open circles. Erase them with a whiteboard eraser or cloth after you finish!
Read on for a list of fun ideas that you can try as you use these downloadable pages!
How is this downloadable beneficial?
Like any skill, reading notes on a staff takes repetitive practice. This downloadable provides an easy-to-use way to practice reading notes, including guide notes that can help guide you to the correct answers and an answer key where you can check your answers after you fill them in.
What are guide notes?
Guide notes are specific notes on the treble clef and bass clef that a learning musician can memorize to make reading the staff easier. When you memorize these notes, they become a guide for trying to figure out other notes on the staff. First, we recommend memorizing the placement of middle C, treble G, and bass F. These notes are easy to identify and their placement allows a young musician to play a majority of early songs. Once these notes are memorized, you can count up or down from the closest guide note to identify other notes that you are unsure about. Remember: the alphabet goes forward as you step up and backwards as you step down! It’s important to count both lines and spaces, otherwise you will likely end up on the wrong note!
To learn more about guide notes and how to use them, check out this Hoffman Academy blog article: How to Read Piano Sheet Music.
Ideas for using the Music Note Finders activity pages:
- Time yourself! Use a stopwatch and see how fast you can fill out a page. Keep track of your best times for each page and see if you can beat them.
- Have a race. Print out two copies of a page and challenge a parent, friend, sibling, or practice partner to see who can fill out the page the fastest.
- Take a “perfect score” challenge. Choose five small candies, snacks, or coins. Complete a page and check your answers. For every incorrect answer, lose one of your five “rewards.” You get to keep the rest.
- Try filling out the notes in different orders, from top to bottom or bottom to top, left to right or right to left, or in any combination.
- Choose a Note Finders page and get a partner to help you. Have your partner call out one of the letters of the musical alphabet. Find all the notes on the page with that letter name. Then have your partner choose another letter and fill that one out until all letters have been named.
- After filling out a Note Finders activity page, see if you can find all the notes on the page on the piano keyboard.
Do you have trouble reading sheet music and connecting that to your keyboard knowledge? Are you unsure about how to improve this skill? We at Hoffman Academy have lots of resources that can help you learn! In addition to this downloadable and our many videos, please check out the following Hoffman Academy blog articles:
- Learning to Read Music
- How to Read Piano Sheet Music
- Seven Steps to Super Sight Reading
- Learning & Playing Piano Notes for Beginners
Now that you’ve read all about the Music Note Finder activity pages, are you ready to master notes on the treble clef, bass clef, and the grand staff? Download and print the Music Note Finder activity pages below to get started. After you complete an activity, you can check your answers: the answer key is included! Don’t worry about making mistakes – if you laminate the pages, you can easily erase your answers and try again. With time and practice, you will notice this activity and reading notes on the staff becomes much easier. Be patient and have fun!
Music Note Finder activity pages are free for Hoffman Academy Premium members!