I teach beginner guitar. Even though tablature is an easy way to read music, reading standard notation expands the world of a budding musician. It’s not necessary to know how to read music on a treble clef staff, but the benefits of taking the time to learn outweigh any inconvenience it may pose.
Have Fun Reading Music with this Game App: Staff Wars
Learning to read music isn’t a thrilling experience by itself–even for the motivated musician. It takes repetition. As a teacher, I search for better ways to keep the repetition interesting. Then I found out about Staff Wars.
Staff Wars is an app (Windows/Mac, iOS, Android) designed to practice reading standard notation. It doesn’t teach what the notes are and how to play them on an instrument (I can do that), but it turns practice into a game.
The game is simple. The notes slide across the screen from the right side of the screen.
If the musician plays the right note, the note explodes, points are scored, and a new note comes. Each correct answer increases the player’s level of difficulty making the notes come faster. (Don’t forget to tune the instrument before starting to play.)
If the right note isn’t played on time, the note crashes into the staff and explodes. Playing the wrong note doesn’t make the player lose. The note keeps moving toward the staff until the right note is played or it crashes. Each game allows for a certain number of crashes.
I introduced this game to my students and have found a new and exciting way to practice reading music. The app includes three clefs to practice (with guitar, I will be using the treble clef). In the settings, I can select the range I want to practice–like the range of notes found in a song we are practicing.
I am glad I found this app and plan on using this with my students to help reinforce standard music notation.
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