This relatively new method of teaching beginning music is based on time tested teaching methods. First of all we all learn better if we are able to associate the new information with something we already know about. This makes understand something that is “foreign” to us a lot easier and we are far more comfortable with it. By making the standard oval of the music note and adding a few lines and circles to it caricatures of familiar animals that are not only familiar, but friends of young children, the strange notes that are on a bunch of lines suddenly become friendly and fun to work with and learn about. By having a little story about each animals location on the music staff and the it location on the keyboard instrument, learning to play the keyboard can be accomplished by children as young as 3, and even younger children can begin to recognize the Animal Notes on the Grand Staff and the keyboard.
Note Reading and Timing are the two building foundation stones of music. The Animal Note Method stresses these two important factors in its beginning books. There are three note reading books, one for piano, guitar, and violin. They teach the beginning notes of the first positions of each of these instruments. Timing is built into to the beginning violin book, but there is a separate book that stresses just timing for the piano and guitar. By using the already learned Animal Notes, training the individual’s ear to listen to the length of the notes is much easier, making learning timing a lot easier. As accurate timing is learned, its true value is appreciated as “Fun” songs are played and applauded by family and friends. It is very hard for many to do this when learning standard music notation. When it is difficult to figure at the next note to be played, timing takes the back seat in importance.
With the set of Animal Note/standard note flash cards and a set of suggested story ideas, it is easy and fun to help the student learn the standard note from the information attached to each Animal Note. The Animal Notes have families; the Mothers of each family live in the middle of the Grand Staff and for piano, in the middle of the keyboard. The children are located in the top of the musical staff (and keyboard), and the fathers are in the lower range. Again, we’re using associative learning as the teaching tool.
Teaching music should be fun and successful. The Animal Note Method goes a long way in making that happen.