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Why Are Some Of Your Treble Clefs Truncated?

When working from Middle C to C above Middle C, we often truncate and zoom in on the treble clef. This allows us to enlarge the notes for greater readability and accessibility.

We often get asked why the treble clef in our videos seems, truncated, wrong or incomplete. This is an understandable question for sure and arguably a strange thing for us to have done, but it’s done with very good reason.

Keep in mind that the truncated clef only appears in the “Preschool” section of our program. The “Primary” “Melodies” and “Piano” sections all include normal clefs. You can find an example of our more standard notation here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZSXfYz_Zyw

The first year of our program (Preschool Prodigies) focuses on the C Major scale and on using 8 bells that only span one octave. This means that for the entire first year of curriculum (almost 100 videos), there isn’t a high D, E or F anywhere.

So for the first year (and only the first year) we made a conscious decision to make the staff as big as possible. This makes reading music and following our videos  substantially easier to read for young kids“Bigger graphics” was a constant cry from our audience in the early days, and simplifying the treble clef helps increase the size of the graphics by 20-30%.

Because we rarely go above middle C (in the materials where this happens at least), that top space/line is a massive chunk of the screen that never gets used.

In other words, putting the full treble clef in each video would have been, in the eyes of the preschoolers using the videos, a waste of space! 

For instance, when we play 3 note songs, we simplify the clef to make each note almost 30% the height of the video. This makes it super easy to read for young kids.

As much as we love music educators (of course!!!), the first year of the program focuses on pitch development and learning the language of music, not on reading the treble clef. Young kids can barely read letters and numbers, so to expect parents at home to teach their kids to read the treble clef was introducing too much of a variable for the first year. Preschool Prodigies is supposed to be the ultimate music lesson primer, not the end-all-be-all of music lessons, and it’s okay to delay learning the treble clef until elementary school.

In fact, when you ask people what their biggest problem is with playing an instrument, it’s very often “I could never really read music.” So in an effort to make the program as simple and as error-proof as possible for people with no musical background, we didn’t choose to “read music” in the first year.

To these ends, a bigger, albeit truncated staff, means bigger graphics and happier preschoolers.