Every beginner’s first challenge is to learn the names of the keys on the piano. I think the fastest way to learn is to make a game of it, such as Cover the Keys. In the past I called out letters and the student would cover them with large plastic tokens that I bought at Staples.
Recently I decided it would be more fun to select alphabet cards rather than calling them out, so I made some I could use for a long time.
To play this game, laminate the cards, cut them out, and put them in a small bowl. Laminate and print out one game board for each student. Students take turns drawing the alphabet cards and then covering the correct key on the Cover the Keys game board. I still use my colorful plastic tokens to cover the keys, but I made the cards small enough to use as tokens on the game board if you would rather do that.
In an individual lesson, I play along with the student. One of my students is just learning the notes, so I had to help her out. After playing the game a few time, I didn’t need to help her because she had learned all the keys. How’s that for quick learning? When you take turns drawing the cards there is an element of luck involved, and she was tickled to actually beat me!
If you play this game with a lot of students, be sure to print enough of the alphabet cards, especially if you use them as tokens. I’ve actually never used the wild card, but since there was a space, I made one. It is certainly optional, and depends on how much time you have to play the game.
If you notice, I have the keys grouped into two and three black key groupings. If they learn that the group of two starts with C and the group of 3 starts with F, it helps them learn the keys faster. You can go to the piano before or after you play the game and have the student play CDE and then FGAB all the way up the piano. Little children, especially, need to relate the game board to an actual piano!
If you want an European version of the music alphabet, please send me an email and I will send you one. Tell me what you would like on it.