In previous blogs, I discussed note reading through rhymes and landmarks. Both are valuable, and here’s a third tool that helps, too: reading by intervals, the distances between two notes.
I’ve found interval reading to be one of the best systems for helping students read quickly. We get a starting note name, either through using rhymes or landmarks, and from then on we observe the distances. Is the right hand moving by steps (seconds)? skips (thirds?), or bigger intervals (fourths, fifths, etc.)? Is the left hand using fifths or octaves or something else?
Interval reading can move students from trying to name every note to a much faster system of reading.