Since the start of term I have been using a variety of flashcards intensively with my students to improve note recognition in sight reading . It has proved to be popular with my students as they can compete to see who can accurately read and play the notes in a shortest space of time. Some of them have even made their own set of flashcards so that they can practise using them outside lessons and get ahead of the competition. Filipa was keen to show me the cards she had made at home and having worked with them at home she was able to shave 5 seconds from her reading time the following week!
If you don’t fancy making your own flashcards, there are a number of different sets available. I have reviewed their relative merits.
Jane Bastien Flashcards – These are the cheapest and probably the best value flashcards on offer. They cover a wide range of notes including ledger lines as well as intervals and key signatures but no notes with sharps or flats.
Chester’s Flashcards – Whilst these are the most expensive, they are also larger in size than the others and laminated, making them easier to handle, quicker to flash and more durable. They don’t offer key signatures or notes on ledger lines however.
Hal Leonard Flashcards – Though cheaper than Chester’s Flashcards, Hal Leonard offers a similar size and quality of card to the Jane Bastien set but also offers cards with per defined rhythms which can be useful for composition activities. The types of card in this set are also colour-coded, however key signatures are not included in this set.