Fun Tip for Beginning Piano Students

My children, aged 7, 8 and 9 just began taking formal piano lessons this summer.

We had worked with all three of them about 4 years ago on the piano before we had a major move and life change interrupt. We used the We Hear and Play materials, in which the children learn to play colored notes. I colored their fingernails with the color of the notes using washable markers, put colored stickers on the piano keys, drew a treble clef symbol on the back of their right hand, and a bass clef symbol on the back of their left hand. I even made them a special adjustable chair to put them at the right height to reach the piano. The children all loved the process, and all of them worked their way through the first book. It was expensive, but we felt it was worth it to expose them to the concepts of reading notes and transferring the notes to the piano keyboard.

They are currently more than halfway through their first books with the new teacher, and I realized that they do not know the names of the notes they are playing very well. So, being the veteran music teacher that I am, I decided to pull out my flash cards.

Here’s the idea. Why not give beginning piano students a flash card of each new note they are given to learn on the piano. By simply taping a plastic zip-lock bag inside the front cover of the piano book, the teacher will be able to send each note home with the child as they learn them. The parent then will be able to help the child learn to identify each note quickly. Also, flash cards with pictures of the notes on the piano could be included. The child could then play a matching game with the note on the staff, and the note on the piano. I have started doing this with my children, and it has helped them a lot.

About Curtis Hollembeak

Psalm 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Curtis currently lives in Rockford, IL with his wife and three children. Curtis works as church and school music director at the Berean Baptist Church. He has been a music educator and director for over 15 years.
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