Recently, I went through a big overhaul of the annual One-Minute Club Note-Naming Challenge we do in my studio including an update to the levels as well as putting together a new display/tracking board. I updated the original post to show you some of these most recent updates (including photos!). It also contains all the details you need to get it started in your own studio.
Part of my big update was moving to a leveling system based more on a landmark approach to teaching note names rather than the skips-alphabet approach.
While I find the skips alphabet approach to be a really useful way to help students understand how the grand staff comes together, I personally found my students spending too much time counting up the staff to find the notes and struggling to name them quickly.
The landmark approach highlights 12 “guide notes” if you will that outline the mirror-like relationship of the grand staff. I especially love how it makes sense with the location of the Bass Clef (or “F” Clef) and the Treble Clef (or “G” Clef).
Rather than students learning individual pitches, they recognize the pattern of the entire grand staff in relation to the piano and from there simply go up or down a step or skip to find the notes surrounding the landmarks.
In the process of all my updates, I created a beautiful visual aid with three different pages to help students see all of the landmarks in a variety of patterns together. Print it off and laminate one copy to use in all your lessons or print off copies for each of your students.