My student still can not read music after a year! : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I have a student that has been taking lessons for over a year. She is still struggling to read basic notes such as middle C, D, E, B, and A!! I have tried flashcards, notespellers, pre-reading, worksheets, quizzes, etc. Any ideas?

-- Kristy Hergatt (, November 21, 2002


How old is she? What course are you using?

-- Arlene Steffen (, November 21, 2002.

I had a student like that, an adult. I can only imagine that both cases are similar. One thing I have to say about my own teaching is that my students generally, usually, learn how to read. I am a careful teacher this way. But my adult student simply could not learn to do this well. It was frustrating, but I guess you have two options: you can coddle the child and allow her to move along as best as she can as long as she's happy, or you can kind of stop her for some minutes each lesson and concentrate on reading, with its subsequent writing work as you've apparently been doing. It's hard for me to keep a student "amused," so if they don't have the love of piano learning, it's a waste of their time. Perhaps another teacher will amuse them, I try, but because I don't tell jokes, I often don't succeed. Occasionally I do have a success story, and of course, it makes both teacher and student happy. There is a reason a student cannot read. Who knows, perhaps she is reading handicapped...I meant it, like with musical dyslexia? You'd have to be a little more intensive and hope she doesn't give up. I would give her easy pieces, I like Edna Mae Burnham's course for easy reading. Curious, though, does she have a good ear?

-- Cindi Waters (, December 06, 2002.

Kristy, What else can u do? How old is the student? have you tried any note speller books ?I guess the solution in this case is just patience and a lot of dedication.You can also let the parents know that the kid is struggling a little bit with that, so maybe they could help the child review everyday.,

-- Gabriela Fernandez (, April 21, 2003.

In my studio, I have two tranfered students who cannot read notes and rhythm after one year of study piano. I am sure you have tried many ways to work with them. There may be mental block on reading, feeling rhtym, or transfering information from the eyes to the hands. Normally, I would checked first the rhythm. Asked them to clap and count out loud (Louder then their clapping). If they can do it. Check their interval reading. If they can read with intervals in time, then that may be tranfering information from the eyes to the hands. Using claping and tapping will keep the hands moving in time. Playing intervals second, third, fouth, fifth and so on will help them feel the distance in their hands. Normally this kind of student, I would use two to four measures phrase to help them feel success, One of my student, I found she have mental blocks once she think that is new techniques. She would "switch off " her reading skills. After I help her to overcome her fear. She start to read from one measure to three page in a week. Good Luck, Keep trying new ways.

-- Say Eow Quah (, July 05, 2003.

Basically, the problem i see here, is the student has a learning disability with pattern recognition. the simple solution is to reduce her field of vision in terms of reading notes. start simply by introducing just one line, then two, then back to the first until she recognizes the pattern. In time she will read fine.

-- justin (, March 01, 2005.

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