What is Figurenotes?

Each musical note is represented by a coloured symbol. You then match that symbol to a sticker on your instrument.

The matching element means this way of playing is instantly accessible. If you can match, you can play! Very intuitive to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Matching-Pic

The colours repeat – all the Cs are red, all the Fs are blue etc. – but the shape changes depending on the octave (a high C would be a different shape to a low sounding C)

For instruments without stickers, the conventional way of learning the fingering for each note can be used, but using Figurenotes as notation. This makes the notes more memorable and confusion between two notes is less likely.

Figurenotes was created at the Resonaari school in Finland by music educators Kaarlo Uusitalo and Markku Kaikkonen. Initially designed to enable those with learning disabilities to play music, it has since developed into a tool to help anybody get started. Drake Music Scotland brought Figurenotes to the UK in 2010 and developed it further, creating software and printed resources. There is now a global interest in Drake Music Scotland’s award winning Figurenotes resources.

Ready to get started?

We have all  you need to get started and playing in our online shop.

What Our Users Say...

The day has been great! The games with Figurenotes gave me lots of new ideas. The computer session was really helpful and answered lots of my questions about how to do things. The band session was fun and illustrated how to get a group going. It was much better than I expected, as I had no idea what to expect! Loads of questions answered! Presenters were great! Thank you so much for a brilliant and inspiring day!
Amanda Frew
A well organised day; good pace. Really well resources, with instruments, computers, etc. Ideas for how to teach Figurneotes in the early stages was really useful. Breaking down the content into manageable chunks and progressing. Great to put it all together in the band session.
Johnathan Westrup – Drake Music (England)
Today was very useful. I can work on rhythm and pulse using Figurenotes to make it enjoyable for my pupils. Everything we covered was beyond my expectation. It was really valuable to have the different kinds of games you can play using simple materials. The adaptability of everything covered was really valuable.
Janet Okumu – Kodaly Instructor
Ideas for different ways of reading music, which will be very useful for a couple of students struggling with standard notation. The games ideas will be really useful too. Thank you!
Marit Falt
Learned more about using the software, which will help me build resources for my school. Loved the practical band skills. I can see this working really well in the classroom. I also enjoyed the games - would use them with ASN pupils and S1/S2. The most valuable aspect of the day was the band skills - seeing Figurenotes used on various instruments and how it might work in a group setting.
Jacqui Cockburn
The day was exactly what I needed to make me feel wildly enthusiastic again. [My partner] may find me hard to live with for the next few weeks!
Annona Thornton
Renews enthusiasm with new ideas of different way of working. Sharing ideas with other musicians and getting new ones. Excellent day. Great fun. Well done! Continue doing the good work.
Annona Thornton
Fantastic balance of active and passive sessions. The presenters were open, friendly, knowledgable, and fun. The Q&A session was particularly useful. A really fabulous day. Very informative and enjoyable.
Susannah Breaden – YourDNA Creative Arts
Great range of ideas for using and adapting Figurenotes, including games, band, and technology. I will be able to apply some of these ideas straight away, easily adapt others, and work on the technology aspect too.
Susannah Breaden – YourDNA Creative Arts
It's been so awesome. Having fun just reminded me to be using Figurenotes more. Absolutely loved the games, the skittles, the software - loved it all! Thank you for having me!
Mo Malcolm-Gourley
I've got lots of new ideas to use as teaching methods for pupils who struggle with music notation and had a laugh at the same time!
Jen Austin
  Excellent! It has worked wonders and the pupils love being able to understand rhythms, as in the past they have 'forgotten how the tune goes' and, therefore, had no success at home.
Elaine Moffat
The Figurenotes notation system is very quickly understood by children (as in, by the end of the first lesson), and brings the practical advantages of a music notation system. This combination makes initial progress in terms of the musical result very fast. Nothing gets kids playing and learning tunes in the beginning like Figurenotes.
Tom Ashe – Favela Brass
Nothing translates as easily as Figurenotes. It is just so obvious that it works!
Lucinda Mackworth-Young – Pianist

Great to have new ideas, learn how to adapt various instruments and experience band arrangements. Also great to have software queries cleared up. Very thorough and staff answered all queries and questions. Thank you. A wonderful day!

Musician and Tutor

Figurenotes, starting simply for my ASN pupils, is very relatable and doable. The fact that I can make my own unique music and resources, and so can my pupils, is so valuable. Really enjoyed the training day. Extremely valuable for my pupils

ASN Teacher

Great to see that there is a useful resource to compliment me or others in delivering REAL music lessons. Really useful to see how Figurenotes can start basic and develop to full musical writing and composition.

Chloe Douglas – Primary Teacher

By attempting instruments myself I realised how easily we could help the children to access instruments. Learning to play Manic Monday on the guitar was the most valuable aspect of the day. I've waited my whole life for this LOL! Seriously though, this illustrated the above point.

Colette Edie – Support Teacher

Delighted to be shown a new way of teaching notation. A very nice mix of activities/information delighted with the 3 different presenters. Never got bored. Great! When can I attend more of this?

Dorothy Mutch – Music CST

Fantastic to find out about ways that kids who can't speak or read can learn to read music. Also, finding out that I can play guitar! Fantastic course - paced to perfection! Very engaging and appropriate.

Rachel Paterson – Principal Teacher ASN