Note-Naming Worksheets - Reading Music Notes for Beginners

NOTE NAMING WORKSHEETS ought to be more fun than just worksheets.  These ones are, because they are real songs and pieces that kids love.   With "made easy" notes - keyboard music notes with names, these are songs the kids actually want to play.

Pachelbel Canon easy piano sheet music

Are lettered notes like a "gateway drug", risking the possibility that your students will never learn to read music properly?  On the contrary, in the early stages of note-reading, not only can many tears can be avoided and the reward of playing actual  music be reached, but understanding of the up-and-down movement of notes on the staff is reinforced!

I enjoy seeing students dive excitedly into a new piece and follow the lettered notes carefully, especially in the "helper" versions, where only a few tricky notes or measures are lettered.  I'm excited for you to see your students accept new music more willingly, too!

Most of the pieces on this page are beginner level, with a melody shared by both hands, but a few are more challenging, such as part 1 of Für Elise, with the original notes, The Lake Pirates, and also a LONG VERSION of the Pachelbel Canon (not the one featured directly below...).



Here are all the AlphaNote songs so far:

All the Pretty Little Horses


Amazing Grace


Arabian Dance, from the Nutcracker



Ash Grove


Beethoven's 5th Symphony - go to the page to download 3 arrangements



Bingo


Blow, Ye Winds in the Morning,  a sailor's song - helper version



Cat Came Back - see the whole page



Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy (a Sacred Harp melody)



Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly, an alphanote helper



Egyptian Dance helper version



Erie Canal Song



Erie Canal with 2 hands, helper version


First Noel


First Noel with helper notes (only a few alphanotes)



Found a Peanut


Für Elise, beginner version


r Elise original version, part 1 only, with helper notes


Fuzzy Wuzzy



Fuzzy Wuzzy helper version


God is So Good


God is So Good with chords



God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, alphanotes


God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, alphanotes helper


Greensleeves (What Child is This melody)



Greensleeves chords & melody, lettered notes & helper notes


Haida, a singing round from Israel


Happy Birthday, easy
 


Happy Birthday with chords, alphanotes helper



Hark How the Bells beginner arrangement, alphanotes helper



Hark How the Bells elementary, a helper version



Have You Seen the Ghost of John


Hungarian Dance




I'm a Pirate - go to the page for solo & duet versions


Indian Dance


Indian Dance helper



Irish Wedding



Irish Wedding "Helper" - just a few alphanotes



Irish Wedding longer, helper version


Jingle Bells


Jolly Old Saint Nicholas helper version



Kum Ba Yah



Kum Ba Yah helper version



Lake Pirates helper version



Lavender's Blue - with the Cinderella song lyrics!


Lavender's Blue helper version


Louie Louie






Mary Had a Little Lamb


Mary Had a Little Lamb alphanotes helper



Minka alphanotes helper, Dm traditional version



Monsters Everywhere, a Halloween song



Monsters Everywhere, with just a few helper notes



Morning Has Broken


O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)


O Holy Night



Ode to Joy



Ode to Joy, helper version


Old Joe Clark


Pachelbel Canon in D piano sheet for beginners


Pachelbel Canon in D sheet music long and fancy version


Pizza Please (Hot Cross Buns) for right & also left hands - see the main page




Sharks, plain version


Sharks, with dynamic markings



Silent Night duet with helper notes



Slumber My Darling (for singers)



Spanish Ladies, an old British sea chanty


Star of the County Down


Star of the County Down helper version


Take Me Out to the Ballgame


Tarantelle, the Spider song, alphanotes helper



The B-I-B-L-E



This Old Man



Toccata by Johann Sebastian Bach, introduction



Toccata, very short and simple



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star helper (just a few notes with letters)


Up on the Housetop the Reindeer Pause


Up on the Housetop the Reindeer Pause, in the key of C (more singable)


Wabash Cannonball, melody



Wabash Cannonball melody, helper



Wabash Cannonball Secondo



Waltzing Matilda



Waltzing Matilda with helper notes



We Wish You a Merry Christmas



We Wish You a Merry Christmas, late elementary arrangement, helper notes


What Child is This, lettered notes & helper notes


What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor



What Wondrous Love


White, Orange & Green (for singers)


Wiegenlied, "Mozart's Cradle Song", for singers


Yo Ho Ho, a song about life on the sea - please see this page


Yes, I've scoffed at this shortcut approach.  Not anymore.  What I've seen is that kids are much more willing to take on a new piece of music if there is a bit of help - or a lot of help - there.  They are playing MORE music!

Plus, their interpretation of the "up" and "down" movement of the notes is reinforced - or corrected.  A bit like a video game, this is an instant feedback system that really helps even with familiar melodies.  I have seen this with my students!

I've had lots of people request music with the note names on it to help them learn piano notes.  Today I gave "All the Pretty Little Horses", AlphaNote version, to a young beginner, and smiled to hear her persevere past the skips in the melody.  (Those skips always trip them up.)  

My young beginning readers and even pre-readers dive into this music:

All the Pretty Little Horses, reading music notes for beginners


Download All the Pretty Little Horses with easy-to-read keyboard music notes

It will be fun to see how it goes... reading music notes for beginners is a long process, in any case, and I'm hoping this encourages the learning of more songs, more quickly, rather than a reliance on the little letters inside the note-heads.  Maybe it will end up being like guitar tablature - the kids fight every step of the way against reading standard notation!  But I don't think so.

I do want to caution you about ONLY giving lettered-notes songs to your students.  You must continually be moving them along the reading road.  The day may come when you realize they aren't looking at the direction of the noteheads, or learning patterns, but struggling only to read the tiny letters inside the notes.  That actually slows them down.  These AlphaNote songs should be more like candy, eventually - an easy snack.

On the two initial songs, Mary Had a Little Lamb and All the Pretty Little Horses, I just went ahead and put AlphaNotes - piano music with letters - in every measure, but that was because I was just getting to know this software.  I think what I'm actually headed toward is just supplying the names of the first note of each hand, or perhaps the first measure.  

I'll be listing new additions to the "AlphaNote Repertoire" here on this page.




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