Where's the Pickup?

Here's a story about four silly dogs.

Notice how you feel when you read it.

Dogs as people.pages.jpg

How are you feeling? 

Are you frustrated?


Were your eyes flitting around trying to make sense of it?

Are you uncomfortable but can't figure out why?

Can you spot what's wrong?

The first word of each sentence isn't near the rest of the sentence.

Perhaps you tried reading the words at the bottom
and came up with a sentence like, "Would This Do?"

Here's the same story with a more logical layout.

It's difficult to read even something as simple as this silly dog story when the layout  is poor. Even putting three simple words far away from the rest of their sentence makes our brains work harder than they need to. 

This feeling of frustration and confusion is how many of our students, especially those with any learning differences, feel when they see a piece that looks like this:

There's a better way.

The pick-ups can be printed at the beginning of each system as part of their phrase. This is one of many accommodations I made in the Attention Grabbers series. (I'll write about each one of them separately.) Perhaps your students, like mine, will play more musically when the phrases are put together in a logical way.

Here are the same two lines the way they appear in the piece Bright Side from Attention Grabbers Book One. 

Sometimes the simplest changes can produce big results. Have I grabbed your attention?

Attention Grabbers are also available on SheetMusicPlus where you can see more sample pages.

Australian and European teachers may prefer to use BookDepository. This is the easiest source for the fabulous music of Elissa Milne.