Learning to read music is a learn-term project, a lot like learning to read words.
This week, Paul Stein made the point in his blog about what makes a good reader that words have tangible associations, such as a "pig" or a "dog" -- but the associations with notes can seem little more abstract, especially to a beginner.
I actually started learning to read music on the same day that I started violin lessons at my public elementary school. I was nine years old, and they placed the beginning violin book Muller Rusch in front of me. Off we went!
Many people I know learned to read music from taking piano lessons, before ever taking lessons on the violin or another instrument. When I finally started learning the keyboard, well after learning to play the violin and to read music on the violin, my understanding of note reading took a major leap. It all seemed much more logical on the piano, with its black-note sharps and flats!
Those raised in the Suzuki method may have started reading well after learning to play. This has evolved over the years; Suzuki students start reading earlier than they used to, but they still don't start it right away. The idea is that a student achieve a level of physical comfort and fluency on the instrument before starting to read. After all, you learn to speak before you learn to read.
What was the situation for you? Did you learn to read music on the piano? The violin? Another instrument? And was the reading delayed, or did you start reading from the beginning? Please select the answer that best matches your experience and then tell us all about it!
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