It is important to develop note fluency at an early stage. The process of learning new music will become easier. Sight-reading and sight-playing will be less stressful. Students will be able to read through music more quickly and play more expressively.
Online Note Reading Websites & Note Reading Games
The following list is a compilation of some of the sites available on the Internet to help with practicing and improve note reading.
Musictheory.net has quite a few music drills. Under the "Trainer" section, click on "Note Trainer". Users can specify whether to be drilled on reading in the treble clef, bass clef, tenor clef and alto clef. Hints are available and Note Trainer keeps score. Users can also do ear training drills, watch flash presentations of various topics of music theory and print off blank manuscript paper. Note that the Note Trainer may be too advanced for young beginners as it tests students' reading of the entire Grand Staff plus ledger lines.
Funbrain.com – The Piano Player
Students drill their note reading and keyboard geography in this online game. Four levels of play are available: Beginner (one octave with labels), Intermediate (one octave, no labels), Expert (four octaves with labels) and Virtuoso (four octaves, no labels). The Piano Player is best suited for younger piano students (12 and under).
Eight sets of online flashcards are available on Musiccards.net: Note Names, Key Signatures, Intervals, Triads, Piano Note Names, Reading Piano Notes, Guitar Note Names and Reading Guitar Notes. Reading Piano Notes and Reading Guitar Notes are instrument location/geography drills. Students try to identify the note. To get the correct answer, scroll over the card. Several "decks" are available – no ledger lines, staff and ledger lines, naturals and accidentals.
Piano Pedagogy Plus
Online flash games are available on the Games page. Users can practice note reading on all four clefs. The games are timed and points are deducted for each incorrect answer. Students can also practice their interval reading.
Five note naming games are available on emusictheory.com: Note Names, Paced Note Names, C-Clef Note Names, Piano Keys and Guitar Frets. The first three are straight note identification exercises while the last two are instrument geography drills.
Online Note Reading Resources – Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Each of these websites listed contain a variety of drills and tools to help music students improve their note reading. There are other sites out there. Explore the many sites available and choose what sites work best for the student and his music practice needs.
For more information on practicing music, read Five Free Music Websites to Improve Ear Training, Free Websites to Help with Music Theory or Rudiments, and Reasons to Practice Daily.
Originally published on Suite101.com on November 22, 2009. Updated March 24, 2013. All rights reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.