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Aug 06, 2015

Using stationery to encourage musicianship

People hand iphone smartphone - Rhino Stationery

Children have an almost unending capacity to learn. The quantity of skills and knowledge that a child usually takes on board by school age would send an adult trying to acquire a similar quantity of new information into a blind panic.


Those early years of formal education are also the ideal time to take on the basics of more creative skills, not just learning to play a musical instrument, but developing good skills with both reading and writing musical notation.

The other ABCs

Often, connecting what the notes look like on the page with how they're produced on the instrument can be neglected. As with all learning, adding elements of play can make it easier to take information on board, and easier to avoid the "I can't do this, it's too difficult" mentality. For very young learners, extra large staves make it easier to either write notes themselves, or put stickers on the correct lines or spaces.

Brightly-coloured pencils or pens are excellent tools for encouraging young children to write out their own music, and to make it more appealing to read and create.

Music and maths

The link between music and maths is an ancient one, but it's also a sneaky way to encourage children to learn two skills at once, and even to learning some quite complicated division skills at an early age. Semiquavers don't appear quite so threatening or impossible when notated with a glitter pen. Additionally, a simple bar of 4/4 time can be used to explain about quarters (crotchets) or halves (minims) as well as furthering fluency in reading and writing musical notation.

One of the most exciting parts of any new school year is the joy of writing with a new pen or pencil on a fresh page of an exercise book, whatever the subject. Encouraging children to personalise their learning, and to see the links between all their school subjects, is an excellent way to use the enthusiasm they may feel for a subject that appeals to them, to fire interest in something they may not initially see as being so appealing, or that they find rather more difficult.

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