Day 1 – Reading Piano Sheet Music – the A Note and Keys

pianoGum Drop Notes

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Getting started

First things first!!

Put tape on your keys.  I know I know

No complaints.

Try to stick with me on this and you might be able to ride over some of the tripping hazards and short circuits that cause the ‘pause’ in a study and then the ‘quit’ that eventually comes.

This is unconventional, I realize.  But we don’t all learn the same way, and many of us have actually built invisible walls that will stop us in our tracks.

The Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing method claims to ‘go in the backdoor of learning’ where no traps have been established.

I use labels.  I color them while they are still on the backing paper and then just put them on the key.

It doesn’t damage anything.

Run with me on this.

You will have fun…learn a ton…quickly…..and accurately.

Reading Sheet Music



Know Your A Notes and Keys Sheet Music

Practice this until you can play it with the play-along

Next week: Know Your B Notes and Keys Sheet Music


Digital and Zip File  – Downloads to print

for your own use.

1 – Study cards

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing


Downloadable ‘Symbols Study Cards’ 

Study Symbols Cards - Digital
Study Symbols Cards - Digital
The symbols study cards are the start to building a strong foundation of knowledge on little step at a time. Reviewing cards that hold on the answers and weekly removing a small part of the information is a way of embedding knowledge and insuring success with the pat on the back of success. The students will know the answers. They will be nurtured not tested.

(don’t overlook this step.  It provides success in the following weeks with the games.  Great for the right brained student and the visual learner.)

2 – Symbols with Symbols

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing


Downloadable ‘Symbols with Symbols’ 

Symbols with Symbols Digital
Symbols with Symbols Digital
Match musical symbols with the same symbol. This is the first of a series of 'Ten Minute Music Theory Games'. Match the symbol with the same symbol. Play a game of 'Go Fish' or 'Memory'. In class, simply present the shapes of the symbols without too much detail.

Simply match the symbol with the

symbol.  Lots of suggested games.

Display symbols memory Here’s what you get

3 – Symbols with names

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Downloadable ‘Symbols with Name’ 

Symbols with Names Digital
Symbols with Names Digital
Match the symbols with their name. One game "Snap" is suggested. It's fun and fast and requires attention to what others are doing as well as what you can do. What would normally throw someone into a tizzy out of frustration is overcome by competition with self and others. Download the zip file and print as often as you like. Make as many sets of cards as you need for your own personal use. Not for resale.

4 – Symbols with Rests of equal value

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

symbol with rest

Downloadable ‘Symbols with Rests of Equal Value’ 


Symbols with Rests of Equal Value
Symbols with Rests of Equal Value
Download a zip file of the symbols and their matching rests. This game includes clue cards that give all the answers. Print as often as you like (not for resale - thanks)

5 – Cover the card

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing


Downloadable ‘Cover the Card’

6 – Bingo – Tic Tac Toe

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Bingo heres what you getThis is what is included in the download

Downloadable ‘Bingo or Tic Tac Toe’

Musical Symbols Tic Tac Toe/Bingo
Musical Symbols Tic Tac Toe/Bingo
This is a Digital Download of a card game of Tic Tac Toe and Bingo with large boards. Each card has 9 symbols on it. When the symbol is called by someone who calls the symbols as he picks the key card from a central pile, place a marker on the symbol.The first to cover their card wins.

7 – Hierarchy of Notes and Note Exchange

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

Downloadable ‘Heirarchy of Notes’

hierarchy notation exchange

Hierarchy of Notes and Rests - Digital
Hierarchy of Notes and Rests - Digital
Digital - Measure Up and the Note Exchange are a great game for learning how notes relate to one another and make a measure.



Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing


The games are digital downloads, print a sheet for your students to take home.  Make a number of cards for a group lesson

(no mass production, no free downloads or resale please – thanks)

Any questions:

Students of music need to be aware of what is going on around them.

The games  require the student to multi-focus on what they are doing as well as what others are doing.

A little competition adds to the fun.

Print the cards and make multiple games.

Laminate them.

(not for resale – thanks)


Here is a way to mentally ‘download and embed’ information immediately giving an understanding of the ‘bit of information’ you are trying to learn.

***  Visual learners need to see in order to process the information.

***  Auditory learners need to hear the instruction to process it.

***  Kinesthetic learners need to do it, touch it, experience it to process it.

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

does it all.

Throughout the sheet music you will find little hints about the way we process information.

Whether playing the piano, violin or cello we start with the very basic information.  Once that is embedded in our thinking and muscles, we move onto the next layer of information.

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Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

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A Study in White Keys on the Piano — Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing is a method of music education using color-coded notes, play-along music, and music theory card games to teach complex music theory in its simplest form. Each note has its own visual identity just as it has its unique quality of overtones. Begin your study of complex music theory concepts as you begin piano lessons. You and your teacher will decide the correct fingering, yet all the clues, teaching you complex concepts in their simplest form are throughout the sheet music, play-along music and music theory games.

It isn’t our goal to become sophisticated or classy. Our goal is to learn to sight-read music as if it were a second language. Learning happens best when we are having fun. Most of all, our purpose is to ignite our sleeping brains, by using music as the catalyst, to pull each of us through whatever it is that challenges us. Dyslexia, mental short circuits, and learning differences are no match for Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing. Scales Aren’t Just a Fish thing mingles direct attention to learning styles through the use of music to give students with various learning differences a chance to learn easily while having fun. Songs Included are: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ABC Song Baa Baa Black Sheep The Bear Went Over the Mountain Chipmunks love Peanuts (Go Tell Aunt Rhody) Row Row Row Your Boat Hey Diddle Diddle Rain Rain Go Away Diddle Diddle Dumplin’ My Son John A Peanut Sat on a Railroad Track A Frog Went a Courtin’ Hickory Dickory Dock Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush Anchors Aweigh O’Come Little Children Long Long Ago May Song Old MacDonald Had a Farm Allegro Remember: All the tunes are written in the same key as the violin musicso both instruments can play easily together. Have fun!!

The tunes in this level of the Big Book of Gum Drop Notes are a bit of a challenge. Salmon swim against the current. It is a challenge for them but they are mono-focused. They want to accomplish the task. This is what will be required of us in this level of playing. Using the ‘gumdrop notes’ makes it easier. Almost too easy. It doesn’t seem to be an upstream battle. It isn’t our goal to become sophisticated or classy. Our goal is to learn to sight-read music as if it were a second language. Learning happens best when we are having fun. Most of all, our purpose is to ignite our sleeping brains, by using music as the catalyst, to pull each of us through whatever it is that challenges us. The Gum Drop Notes are an amazing system of color-coded notes structured to teach music theory without our being aware. Included in the Salmon level are Suzuki Piano Songs and fun tunes. The difference is that the Suzuki songs are challenges. They are written in the same key as the Suzuki violin. This way a family can play together and have a wild time. Here are a list of the tunes: Perpetual Motion Doubles Perpetual Motion – Solo Allouette Andantino Ring Around the Rosie Allegretto Animal Fair All the Pretty Little Ponies Happy Birthday Ode to Joy Etude – Solo Etude Doubles Bingo – Solo Bingo with rests

You made it. If you have completed the Big Book of Gum Drop Notes “Pre-twinkle’, ‘Twinkle and Guppy’, and ‘Salmon’, then this is the final level of Book one: ‘The Big Book of Gum Drop Notes – Graduates Level – Piano Sheet Music’. Be sure to have a concert to share your gift. Included in this book are lots of beautiful Minuets and a Gavotte. These are dances. The songs are: ‘Minuet One’ by Bach, ‘Doe a Deer’, ‘Minuet 2’ by Bach, ‘Boom Boom, Ain’t it Great to be Crazy’, ‘Minuet 3’ by Bach, This Old Man, Happy Farmer, America the Beautiful, Gavotte by Gossec. The music is written in the same key as the same title for violin. Include all instruments that play the treble or bass clefs. Gum Drop Notes make it easy to join in and have a concert.

Piano Sheet Music – Paperbacks

Some special musicians have special skills making the music they play above and beyond that of others. How do they learn to implement these unique techniques into their music? Not all of us have the opportunity to be exposed to the channels that professional musicians do. In this manual, a number of ‘Secret’ Techniques are discussed. If only a few of these skills are mastered it will raise the bar on the music they play.

Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series


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Free Piano Workshop:

Free sheet music and

play along music

for total beginners





Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing™ 

A concept connecting how we learn

and how we process information

with the study of music,

developed for over thirty years

To touch lives with a calm and gentle spirit…

waterfall 2

Working seamlessly – embellishing Traditional and Suzuki Music Lessons

Carol Anderson

Igniting Sleeping Brains!

Creating fluid thinking


Enhance your piano practice.

I hope by this time you have seen the value in marking your piano keys with the appropriate color.  It would be best to use something that doesn’t leave any kind of marks on your instrument.  As the days of the year progress, you will appreciate the subtle hint of color.  Each note will develop its’ own character and as you hear it, you will sense the unique overtones and know which note you are hearing

The notes and rhythms will become more complicated.  But you will be ready and find it exactly the point you are prepared for in your studies.

But you will be ready if you have prepared well.

Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing will teach music theory while you are having fun.  You will magically begin to become familiar with each of the notes, how they sound and where they are on the keyboard.

Each note is given a color.  A warm color if the tone is warm.  Cool colors for cool tones.  What makes a ‘tone’ cool?  Tones aren’t simply a pure note that is picked up by your ear. A tone is actually a group of tones that make a note.  Some have a lot of ‘overtones’ such as A.  Some have few such as E.  Also, as you progress through the Daily exercises, you will notice that sharps and flats are notated with a circle around them.  The circle is the color of the tone it is moving toward – all part of the study of music theory.

This is not intended to be a substitute for a good teacher.  This series is an embellishment that might help you become distinguished as more ‘accomplished’  than your peers and give you a solid understanding of the construction of music and give  your muscles an opportunity to develop memory

Have fun.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me with your questions.


The following is not meant to be a big sales push.

The tools are merely available if you want additional help with

your study of the piano.  Most are free if you are a prime member and want to see the information as an eBook.

The music theory card games are as a digital pdf so you can make them yourself.


Begin to sight-read music

while having a yummy time 🙂

Music Theory Foundations

Piano Sheet Music – Paperback books




Ten Minute Music Theory

Card Games Series




This workshop series allows new students to the piano the opportunity to work at their own pace, studying one small ‘bit’ of information at a time and embedding it so that they don’t have to think about notes or finger patterns. It’s in there. Beginning with ‘Gum Drop Notes’ teaching where each note is on both the staff and the keyboard, the student learns slowly and carefully working toward keeping up with the play along music.



Carol Anderson,
Scales Aren’t Just a Fish Thing

The Brain and Music









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