Thanks to generations of thoughtful teachers, the means of teaching notation is a well-refined method.
But before children learn How to read notes, they must first understand Why.
People have been making music for more than 50,000 years, but only the last 1,000 years with notation. Yet, notation has become an integral part of music learning- why?
Much like the way we record histories through the written word, notation allows musicians to capture melodies and pass them down over time, ensuring that no song ever be lost. Just imagine how many works have been long forgotten because they were never written down!
It is thus clear that every musician must learn to record his/her work. And as music teachers, we must prepare children to learn this language.
SOUND before SIGN is the way.
Unfortunately, notation is often introduced without a connection to sign or sound, rendering children bewildered and frustrated. We must first develop an inner concept of sound; then we can introduce notation.
So: singing, learning songs, playing with the melodies, developing an inner perception of sound, calling the pitches according to what you hear ( this is solmization) – and then notation, this is the way.
As soon as I play a melody on an instrument, I have to decide for a key. The “Do” or the “La” must have a fixed position. This is wha
t tabDo does on screen 2. When we move the “Do” position, the relative Do-Re-Mi etc. positions remain, according to what we hear. However, confusion arises because the notation appearance changes a great deal. Not to mention, playing the same melody in different keys feels differently.
Therefore, the question is: what and how much does a non-instrumentalist have to know about notation? I will not answer this question here. But, obviously, tabDo is a powerful resource for introducing children to notation.