Music Tree and beginner’s reading


Claudia said: Sep 5, 2013
 2 posts

My 5 year-old is currently finishing Suzuki book 1 (pending graduation recital) and is also working on Music Tree Book 1 as a reading book. Although she understands the basic concepts and when focused can sight-read and count, she absolutely hates Music Tree and it often takes upwards of 20 minutes to read 2 lines of music, mostly trying to get her to look at the music and place her fingers on the keys. Her attitude has gotten so bad, I’ve put Music Tree on hold until I can think of a way to make it more rewarding for her.
At first, her teacher and I purposefully did not emphasize note memorization, other than the landmark ones, as introduced by Music Tree, as we wanted her to get solid on recognizing intervals. Recently, I started using an iphone app for staff to keyboard recognition. It seems like a good complement to Music Tree and to her is just a video game!
Does anyone on this forum have any experience using the Music Tree CD accompaniments or the MIDI disk? Are they helpful? Also does anyone know of any other pedagogically sound reading software or apps?


Iris said: Sep 5, 2013
Iris PerryPiano
River Edge, NJ
1 posts

What app are you using?

Sent from my iPhone

Dr. Iris Perry

Community Youth Orchestra Of S CA said: Sep 5, 2013
 Violin, Viola
70 posts

I use the app called “Tenuto” to teach my students note-reading. It’s like an elaborate set of flash-cards.

Kids are drawn towards visual technology like the iPad…might as well use it as a medium to deliver the information!

Irene Mitchell said: Sep 6, 2013
Irene Mitchell
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Dallas, TX
114 posts

Theta music is currently offering a 20% discount for their studio packages (up to 50 students):
These theory/ear training games are varied and fun.
‘Squish Note’ on iphone is fun (think ‘whack-a-mole’) as is ‘Magic Piano’. Two good metronome apps are ‘Steinway Metronome’ and ‘Tempo Perfect’. ‘Tonal Energy Tuner’ is helpful for tuning instruments. ‘The Amazing Slow Downer’ can be used to slow down the speed of recordings without altering the pitch.
I would love to hear about more technology musical aids, thank you, Claudia and Gene!

Irene Mitchell

Claudia said: Sep 6, 2013
 2 posts

I have been using Tenuto’s exercises on the computer (free version). For staff to keyboard identification, I prefer iLove Piano, as it allows you to use your actual piano as an input device. I only wish there were actual melody lines… Although it does help my little one, since for those simple Music Tree exercises, it seems the main challenge for her is placing the correct fingers on the correct beginning notes, then she can read the intervals.
I just downloaded Note Squish and love it, I’m sure it will be a hit with my daughter! And aren’t the metronome apps wonderful! When I was young I remember going through several of those little pendulum ones each year, then that big black box, the Franz metronome (anyone remember that?) until those little electronic ones came out, and that was state of the art!
Thank you Gene and Irene for you tips.


Maxine Casper said: Sep 8, 2013
Maxine Casper
Suzuki Association Member
Laguna Hills, CA
3 posts

My students are enjoying and benefiting greatly from skills learned from PianoHead by Spinapse on the computer and/or the IPad app. Notation is one of four skill areas. There are also scales, key signatures, and intervals, along with the opportunity to compete with others around the world in all four areas. One of my boys came swaggering in to tell me that he was the “PianoHead World Champion for the Week!”

Another great app is Note Works featuring a crab like character who gobbles up the correct notes. He is fun to watch along with the sounds! The best part of this app is the key signature portion of the program. I have my students practice the key signature games before or as the new piece in that key is assigned. It makes reading the piece so much easier and with far less mistakes.

Deborah Van Til-Macaulay-Courtney said: Sep 9, 2013
Deborah Van Til-Macaulay-CourtneyPiano, Organ
Kettering, OH
1 posts

I used the Music Tree series for years, and found that my students became disinterested in reading on the early levels. So I switched to Faber and Faber “Piano Adventures”. There are three levels of preparation books BEFORE the primer level. The authors do an excellent job of writing kid friendly lyrics that appeal to pre schoolers and kindergartners. The music itself is well written and interesting. On each level of difficulty are many supplementary materials featuring music in a variety of genres and styles. Students have the opportunity to do much reading on the same level of difficulty, before progressing to the next level. The series does a lot of drill of basic reading concepts, which I believe is very necessary.

I hope you find this helpful.

Deborah Courtney

This topic is locked. No new comments can be posted.

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services