Summer is winding down, school is starting back, and for piano teachers that often means new piano students. I remember when I was a classroom music specialist. I had a guitar and students would wildly raise their hands to request their favorite songs and bob up and down with excitement. Children love music. So when piano students sit on my bench, I try for that same kind of enthusiasm. But piano is a lot harder for children, no doubt about it. What can I do to make them as enthused about piano lessons as they were when I pulled out my guitar for a sing-along? And can I share my ideas with other teachers around the globe? That is why I started this blog.
If you’re looking for some pre-reading music to use with your beginners, here are some old favorites of mine. They were originally made in landscape orientation, which allowed me to make the score larger. I’ve updated them, because parents kept telling me how hard it was to play sideways pages in a binder. I agree! So I am gradually revising all my pre-reading pieces from landscape (sideways) to portrait view. It takes a lot longer than you may think, which is why it is a gradual project. It is almost like starting over because I have to resize everything before I move it around. But it is so much easier to use in a binder that it’s really worth it for my students. And in the spirit of sharing, I’m offering these to you, too.
If you want to see the landscape versions, go here to my old site, scroll down, and click the page numbers at the very bottom.
These pieces can be used at the first lesson, depending on age and ability, and are appropriate for ages 4 to 7. All of them are on the black keys, which means students do not have to know the names of the keys. Only fingers 2, 3, and 4 are used. The two easiest ones are What the Robin Said to the Worm and What the Worm Said to the Robin.
The five pieces in this set are:
- Red Light, Green Light – color coded to show which hand to use.
- What the Robin Said to the Worm – No notes on this one, only finger numbers.
- What the Worm Said to the Robin – This is the partner to the previous piece, using two fingers.
- Hot Cross Buns – 2 pages, one for each hand on the black keys.
If you have some pre-reading favorite of mine that you would like me to re-do in portrait, post the name of the piece in the comment section here, and I’ll put them at the top of my list!