Lesson 3 Music Notes

We read and write words using the alphabet.  We read and write music using “notes”.

The different types of notes show musicians how long to make a sound.

Can you sing your ABC letter song just through “g” then stop?  When you sing it, notice that you sing each letter for the same amount of time until you sing “g”.   The sound “g” is longer, twice as long, as the letters “a-f” in your alphabet song.

In music, this would be written using quarter notes and a half note for “g”.


The quarter note looks like a big black foot on a  skinny leg.  Think of the quarter note as a “foot” note that marches to the beat!

Each quarter note takes one beat, just as each letter “a-f” takes one beat when you sing your ABCs.




The “g” in the ABC song is sung twice as long as any other letter and would be shown as a half note.  Use your imagination and it looks a little like a raindrop.  It gets two beats as when you say “rain-drop”.  A raindrop falls and goes “ker-plunk!”




PS:  There are other types of notes that we will learn about later.


HALF NOTE ACTIVITY:  Clap your hands while you say these words.  But ONLY clap when you say “drip” or “ker”.  NEVER clap on “drop” or “plunk”.

Drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop, ker-plunk!

Drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop, ker-plunk!


Do you know how to march?  Marching to the beat, each step is taken on a beat.

Hup-2-3-4!  Hup-2-3-4!

Lesson 4 Staffs & Clefs

“Granny Vee’s Music House”

Where do music notes live?  Why in a music house, of course!  It’s officially called the GRAND STAFF.

The squiggly symbols in the “music house” below are called “clefs”.   The word “clef” means “key”.  Remember, all houses need a key to enter!  So there is always one at the beginning of music, too.

The  squiggly symbol on the top of the “music house” is the treble clef and it sits on the lines (staff) of the treble staff.  The notes on the treble staff sound higher than the bass notes.

Memory Tip: Both “treble” and “top” start with “t” in their spelling.  The treble’s on the top!

The backwards “c” symbol with the two dots is the bass clef and sits on the lines of the bass staff. The notes on the bass staff sound lower than the treble notes.  Just as the basement of a house is lower, you can remember that the bass notes are lower and on the bottom.  Also, “bass” in music is pronounced like “base” in “basement”.

Memory Tip: Both “bass” and “bottom” start with “b” in their spelling.  The bass is on the bottom!

Together, the treble staff and the bass staff make a “big music house” called the GRAND STAFF.   (“Grand” means “big”.)

ACTIVITY: You can recite the following in a sing-song manner to help you remember this lesson.  When you say “the treble’s on the top” use a high voice.  When you say “and the bass is on the bottom”, use a low voice.

The treble’s on the top and the bass is on the bottom

The treble’s on the top and the bass is on the bottom

Of the Grand Staff, of the Grand Staff

And in the middle, there’s a “C”!