Why Choose the Animal Note Method

June 27th, 2012

All the social and nosiness networking sites on the internet today make keeping up on what is new in the music business a lot easier than even 10 years ago.  A lot of us are trying to make music education fun and easier to conquer for beginners than it was when I was a child.  I am delighted to see this.  In so many ways music education enriches an individual’s life.  It helps in metal development, improves eye – hand coordination, and opens doors to new friendships with other students and musicians, thus helping an individual’s social development.  With all the new choices, why would you want to choose the Animal Note Method developed by Noteimals LLC?  To make that decision you need to understand what makes the method of beginning music education so successful and satisfying to work with.

The method is based on associative learning.  Learning something new when it is based or associated with something you already understand makes new knowledge easier to understand.  The Animals Note Method takes the standard music notes and makes the ovals into caricatures of friendly and familiar animals.  Each animal has a short story that explains their location on the Grand Staff.  The first nine notes normally learned on the piano are the “Mother Notes”, the notes from the E below Middle C are the “Daddy Notes,” and the notes from A above the Middle C are the “Children Notes.”  Family is so important in all of our lives, and the children love the idea that the music notes have a family too.  The stories about each not help students learn the notes location on the Grand Staff while studying music in the “Animal Note Method”; then they can easily use this same information to recognize the notes in Standard music notation.  This method making learning the notes fun and so much easier.  This method allows a parent or teacher to start a child as young as 3 to read and play music without frustration.  It also works wonders with the older children as it allows them to catch on quickly and move ahead with confidence.

Why Does the Animal Note Method Work So Well?

October 16th, 2011

Most of us learn easiest when we can associate new knowledge with something we already know.  Our knowledge base grows quicker and easier when we add new material to a known base.  The Animal Note Method of beginning music education does just that. 

When students whether very young, more mature or a beginning adult, sits down.to learn an instrument, one of the earliest and most difficult task is to master note reading and timing.  There is so little to help them put this new information in prospective.  However the Animal Note Method has put fun animal faces on each of the standard notes.  The name of each of these animal notes starts with the same letter that is used for that note in standard music notation.  (When using the Do, Re, Mi system of identifying the notes each animal can be named the appropriate name, like Do, the Cat.)  Each of the animals have a simple little story to help the learner find the correct placement for that note on the Grand Staff and on a keyboard.  Word clues for the placement of the notes on the guitar and violin is not as easy, but it is still possible and helpful.  However, in my many hours of teaching I have not found our studio children have as much difficulty with placing the notes on these two instruments. 

It is very difficult to learn correct timing when a student is not certain of the next note.  The Animal Notes erase that problem so timing can be carefully and accurately learned, thus training the individual’s ear to recognize the length of sound correct for each note’s timing.

The Animal Note/standard note Flash Card along with the word clues help the student associate the face side of each note with that note’s back side (standard note).  A regular review of these cards as the student progresses and the “Moving On in Music” books make the move to standard music easy and enjoyable.  What level the “Animal Note” student begins playing in books written in standard music mostly depends on the age of the child, personality, dedication to music, and many other factors, but few have any difficulty reading the notes and the timing.

This method of beginning music is not only easier for your student it is fun for both your student and you.  It is a “new kid on the block” well worth trying!

A Mother Learns First Hand that the Animal Note Method of Beginning Music Education does Really Work

October 9th, 2011

Two weeks ago the Mom of one of my music families asked me if she could please work with me to see what made the Animal Note Method work for her children.  She told me that she had quit music lessons after a year because she could never read notes.  “The facts are that all of my children have not only learned to read music, and play with good timing, but they are also loving what they are doing and music is an adventure for them.”  We set up a time convenient for both of us.  After much thought, I decided to start her the same as I had her children to give her a better understanding of the Noteimals approach to music.
The first week we carefully covered the information and songs in the “Beginning Note Reading for Children” book.  We reviewed the word clues and used them to identify the standard note on the backside of each flash card.  Then I picked up a piece of music being played by one of her older children right now.  It is an intermediate level popular piece that she especially likes.  I pointed to a note she had been studying and asked her to identify it.
“Oh, no, I can’t do that!” she told me.
“Yes you can, just use what you have just learned,” I replied.
She studied the note for a brief moment and the biggest grin spread across her face.  “That is ’goat’ isn’t, and that is ‘elephant; and this one is ‘giraffe’!”    “WOW, this really works!  I am so amazed and truly impressed!
This week we moved on to “Timing” and the first “Fun Song Book.” She is so enjoying what she is doing, and her children are equally delighted.  The Animal Note Method of beginning music education just makes it possible for any individual to learn to play music and truly have fun doing what they are doing whether the individual is 3 or older.  Yes, it is new and a little different than the standard way of teaching music, but when it is proving to be a better way for so many, why not try it yourself and/or begin that young child in your life on the road to true music enjoyment.

“(I) Never would have gotten into music so much without you”

September 21st, 2011

“(I) Never would have gotten into music so much without you.”  Receiving a comment like this is really special to a music teacher.  This is the message left for me on Facebook recently by Austin Franke who had just sent me a rough copy of the first song he has written for the piano.  Austin is a college graduate working in documentaries.  He is in his mid-twenties.  He and his associates have made a rough draft recording of his new song “String.  Here is the link so you can enjoy this early verson of his song yourself:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAVRTnk6P8A
Austin was 5 when he started lessons with me, the third of the Franke boys to study music with me.  Although I had used the early stories of the Animal Notes with the two older boys, Austin needed them the most, as note reading standard music notation was very difficult for him.  If an individual cannot read music, timing is an almost an impossibly, unless you are one of those lucky few who are born with a natural sense of beat and timing.  The Animal Note Method was in its infancy at this point.  It was based mainly on word clues with ears, eyes, horns, or tails hand drawn on the standard music notes of the piece being played.  It really did help the children read music and learn the notes.  I would use the word clues and have the children decide what was to be drawn on each note to help them learn.  Learn they did, and Austin is living proof of this fact.  As an early teenager, he wanted to play the guitar, a much “cooler” instrument, and his piano playing stayed dormant for several years. It is wonderful to have it come back into his life in a strong and beautiful way.
Since those early days, Noteimals LLC has put the Animal Note Method into books that help beginning music student learn excellent note reading skills, accurate timing, and a true joy of music.  Many go on to play more than one instrument and some are now teaching others.  Happy faces have been added to the ears, eyes, horns, and tails on the standard notes creating friendly animals.  The Animal Note/standard note flash cards and the word clues reinforce the learning process.  After completing the series of books the students find they love to play and do so with ease and accuracy.  Visit www.noteimals.com to learn more.

Suggested procedure for using the Animal Note Method of beginning Music Education

June 19th, 2011

The Animal Note Method of teaching music, created by the Noteimals, is carefully built so each book adds new skills and abilities until the student is reading and playing in the standard note method with confidence.  You will need to start with “The Animal Note Method of teaching music, created by the Noteimals, is carefully built so each book adds new skills and abilities until the student is reading and playing in the standard note method with confidence.  You will need to start with “Note Reading for Children” and a set of the Animal Note/standard note flash cards.  As each new note is added, review it with the flash card, the word clues for that animal, and then again with the corresponding standard note.  At each lesson, review the notes learned with the flash cards.  Make games with them, let your child create little songs with them.  When the “Note Reading for Children” book is finished, move on to the “Timing for Children”.  When you have started on the section on Half Notes add the “Fun Songs Book One” and/or “Christmas Songs for Children”.  Move on to “More Fun Songs” and “Moving On Book One” and possibly “Moving On Book Two” if you feel your child needs more time with the Animal Notes.  The Theory is very helpful to you as a guide, as it gives  ideas and suggestions to help  you explain basic elements of Music theory as you move forward with your teaching. You can order the books as needed or all at one time, whichever is best for your personal situation.   Please visit our new Website: www.noteimals.com for more important information and helpful suggestions.

New Website is Finally Here

June 5th, 2011

For the last 18 months we have been working on another website.  While there is a great amount of useful information about learning to play the piano on piano4kids.com, we wanted to expand the animal note method to other instruments and thus broaden the scope of children’s musical education. In addition to that, we wanted to have information better organized and structured, yet be able to update and change it as needed.  This was not as easy as one might think.  Thanks to a lot of hard work, we are excited and proud to introduce www.Noteimals.com.  We created this name from animal notes – the core of our method – and it allows us to include a wider variety of instruments. For your convenience our new site’s structure takes into consideration students’ age and provides appropriate teaching suggestions. Please go and visit it.  We welcome your comments and ideas. Use the site’s Contact page to send us your thoughts.  We sincerely hope you enjoy the new site as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it for you.

Early Music Education Develops Skills Valuable in all Future Education

February 11th, 2011

The other morning, when watching the news as we prepared for the day, a special report caught my eye.  They were talking about the latest research which gave one more strong reason to involve you’re your children in music.  The report found that any child who studied a musical instrument for three or more years did much better in school, scored higher on all tests taken, and in general, were more motivated toward education.
WOW, this really makes a lot of sense to me.  Think of what it takes to learn to play an instrument.  One of the biggest elements is concentration - from the very beginning.  The Animal Note method of early music training, developed by Noteimals LLC, makes this learning more fun and a lot less frustrating, but it still requires concentration by both the student and the teacher or parent when working on the material.  It also requires memorization of many facts, and working on something until it is right.  These are basic and essential learning skills required for any individual to do well in education.
Thanks to the Animal Notes. children as young as three can start learning to read music notes and the basics of timing.  They learn to use their hands correctly at the keyboard and most important of all, they develop a love of music in a positive and supportive atmosphere early in their lives. The many elements basic to all education have been planted and will be transferred to other life facets of their lives including doing well in school.

Timing, a Vital Skill that must be Learned

December 9th, 2010

The new website is almost finished, and I finally have time to visit with you again.  We are excited about the new site and hope it will be helpful to all the parents who are trying to give their children the advantages gained by an early introduction to music.  We hope the site will also be of value to those of you who are willing to include children as young as three in your teaching programs or to try the Animal Note Method with your new older students or students that are having difficulty learning standard music notation.  The Animal Note Method of beginning music education is designed to give all children a wonderful jump start into their music education.
However, today I want to talk to you about “Timing’s” place in music.  Anyone who teaches or plays any instrument is well aware of the great importance of good timing practices.  However, many of you will admit, as I do that this talent did not come naturally.  I have always had some envy for those lucky few to whom timing comes by second nature.
Of course I must also admit that standard note reading was not any easy thing for me to learn either.  Therefore learning smooth timing skills came slowly as well.  This is sadly, true for many individuals who truly desire to learn to play an instrument well. 
The Animal Note Method is so helpful in teaching strong “Timing” principles.  Once the notes are learned in the “Note Reading” book and are easily read, the child can then concentrate of counting smoothly, thus developing a good “ear” for correct timing.  It is extremely important to have the child count every piece in the “Timing” book.  Admittedly, it is more fun to play songs from the “Fun Song” books in our series, but it is so easy to play the songs as you think you have heard them, not necessarily with correct timing.  I have found with our studio students that helping them work through the “Timing” book in the series is a vital, fundamental part of their basic music education.  I am delighted by the good ear for correct timing each child develops by the end of the book.  It is well worth the time spent on the songs in this book as the results are so beneficial to each individual. 

The Animal Note Method is Growing and Reaching Out to New Age Groups

November 12th, 2010

It has been a long time since I have taken time to visit with all of you.  There is a lot going on in our music world.  We are working on a new web site for you.  Over the last three and a half years I have put a lot of information and effort into this site, but it is not the easiest place to find the information that might be of most importance to you and your music students or your own children.  In the new site we are working to better organize the information so you can find ideas and suggestions at the click of your mouse.  It will be under the name of our company, Noteimals (short for note animals).
Our teaching studio has some new students this fall that have enriched our lives as we hope the music they are learning is enriching theirs.  I am working with a family of six children ages 6 to 13.  The six year old has never taken music, but her older brother and sister have all had at least 6 months or more of music training.  All chose the Animal Note method to start their music lessons with us.  I was surprised as the oldest girl (13) had had a year of music before moving to Arkansas.  However, she explained to me, “I can read notes, but it is such a struggle for me.  I want to see if this will help me straighten out my problems.”  She has been working with me for about 4 months and two weeks ago I started her in our “Moving On – One” book that has each short song written first in the Animal Notes and then on the next page the same song is written in standard music notation.  Side one of the first song was easy for her, and she played it perfectly.  I turned the page and standard notes stared back at her.  She looked over at me with a scared look in her eyes; “I can’t do that!”
 “Yes you can, just try it, please.”  She started with great trepidation.  “Just ask yourself what each note is doing if you don’t recognize it, just like we do when we study the flash cards.”  I reminded her.
 Suddenly the music started flowing from her fingers and the biggest smile broke across her face.  She was so excited when she realized what she had accomplished. 
The Animal Notes might seem “babyish” for older children, but the older children we have worked with seem to enjoy them as much as the younger children and benefit greatly from the learning method.  

How the Animal Note Method Works

June 13th, 2010

The system is set up so children of all ages can profit from its teaching method.  Even some adults who swore that they were totally unable to learn to note reads have mastered the skill with this unique teaching method.  The Note Reading book, as all beginning music books, has just the first 9 notes; each introduced with its word clue to help the child identify it location on the grand staff. For example, middle C is the Cat that has whiskers and lives in the box between the two clefs. The Timing book stays with these same note as it emphasize learning and practicing correct timing.  The notes are the children in a family and vary in age, like the quarter note is a 1 year old (count) toddler who can’t wash his face.  As a “child” is introduced with its story, 4/4 timing is discussed and at least one song (for the whole note) or more for each note value to allow the student to practice getting the correct proportion and value of each note and work on listen to the length of the notes as they relate to each other, thus developing good skills in this area of music before moving on in music.  By using the Animal Notes that are simple to read, the student can concentrate just on mastering timing.  The Fun Book, and Christmas Book do introduce some new notes out of the nine not range, as will the new books coming out soon.  The Moving On book for younger children we are working on now will not introduce the range of notes and theory as it is designed to help younger children prepare to move on the the more advanced Moving On Book.  The Moving On books present one page songs first in the Animal Notes and then the same song is presented in standard music notation.Again with emphases on what a child is familiar with, the family, the notes on the grand staff are broken into family members.  The first nine notes learned are the mother notes, the base notes, (low E,  Elephant, down to low F, Fish) are the Daddy notes and the upper Treble clef notes (middle A to high G) are the children notes.  Each note has its own word clue story to help the child learn each animal’s location on the Grand Staff of music.  The sets of Flash Cards have all these notes and a list of suggested ideas for word clues, the Animal Note on one side and the same standard music note on the other side of each card.  My students study these cards from the very first lesson using the animal side of the card first with its word clue, then turning the card to the standard note and asking what is this note doing and repeating the word clue.  Yes the children remember the notes as animals all their live, but also learn them by the letter names we use here in the States.  Other countries that do not use this system, but the Do, Re, Me system, can name the Cat Do to get the same mission accomplished.This is a creative and fun method of starting a student in music.  It is being successfully used in several keyboard classroom of schools, as well as by private music teachers and parents.  It is so wonderful to see a student enjoy learning to read notes and understand timing without frustration.  It is a gift well worth giving.