How to Teach Children to Recognize Notes in Piano Books

A budding pianist will need some assistance and guidance to begin the process of reading music in piano books. To the untrained eye, the circles, lines and strange marks may appear to be a foreign language. It’s necessary to learn what the notes and symbols mean to enable your child to begin learning to play the piano. Once your child recognizes music notes, she’ll be ready to make some music 1.

Sit with your child with the treble clef staff and notice the lines and spaces -- five lines and four spaces. Each line and space represents a note on the treble clef staff. Reading the line notes from bottom to top, the notes are E, G, B, D and F -- you might use the mnemonic device “Every Good Boy Does Fine” to remember these notes. Also starting at the bottom, the space notes are F, A, C and E -- spelling out the word “FACE,” according to the PianoFun website 1.

Show your child the chart of piano keys and explain the correlation between the notes on the treble clef staff and the keys on the piano. Explain that the “E” on the bottom line of the treble clef is the “E” above middle C on the chart and the “F” space of the treble clef is the next note to the right of the “E” piano key.

Write the note names on the piano key chart, including all the line and space notes from E up to F 1.

Place the chart of piano keys at the piano and invite your child to sit at the piano to find the corresponding piano keys that match the piano keys on the chart. Help your child find each note on the piano and play them in ascending and descending order and then in a random order.

Encourage your child to practice playing the piano notes, even saying them as she plays them to reinforce the learning.


Find middle C on the piano by finding the set of two black keys at the center of the keyboard. Once you find the two black keys, touch the left black key and slide your finger down and to the left to the closest white key -- this is middle C, states the Piano Education website. The note immediately to the left of middle C is D and then E, F and G. After G, the notes begin again at A and continue through G, repeating until the end of the keyboard. Notes extend to the left of middle C in the same fashion, except proceeding backwards. Middle C is a floating line note one line below the E on the treble clef staff.