Every year on the pre-service teacher education course with which I am associated in England, we have something we have come to refer to as ‘the notation argument’. When this happens varies, but it normally occurs fairly near the beginning of the course. In essence, what happens is that a divide opens up between those pre-service teachers who believe they need to teach western classical stave notation in isolation from other aspects of music, and that this needs to be done in advance of other musical activities, as preparation for them. The other group of pre-service trainee teachers counter this with the case that there should be some sort of a need for this knowledge, and that acquiring it in isolation is unlikely to happen anyway. This notation argument can rage, on and off, for a good proportion of the first term, depending on how the issues are dealt with, and how passionate the various advocates are.