Monthly Archives: April 2010

Keyboard Fly Cards

Keyboard Fly Cards

How about using flash cards to teach brand new students the names of the piano keys? Make the cards a fun game that can be played several ways. That’s what I’m posting today. Jennifer, whose website I recently added to my blog roll  made the suggestion. Since I have been honing my Photoshop skills and had some new techniques to try out, I thought I might as well make something useful. If you’re a Photoshop user, you know that there is more than one way to do things, and there is an endless supply of new things to learn.

 Getting back to the cards, here are some suggestions.

  • You can use these to play Swat the Fly like the Fly Flash Cards I made earlier. Place the cards on a table, call out a letter, and the student swats it as quickly as possible.
  • You can play hide and seek with the cards, hiding the cards around the room. Tell your student to find the fly holding the “D”, for example. Little students need the cards to be very obvious. Older children like a challenge.
  • In a private lesson, have the student sit across the room from the piano.  While you time him with your phone or a timer, he grabs the card, runs to the piano, and plays it. This is a variation on my favorite keyboard game. It’s easy, fast, and it works.
  • In a  beginning group class,  pass out the cards and let students run up and play their note on the piano.
  • In a group, students sit in a circle and pass the cards while music plays.  When the music stops you call out a letter. The student with that cards runs up and “swats the key” by dropping a braced 3rd finger into the key.

 I hope some of you will leave a comment here for other ways to use these cards because I know how creative piano teachers are.

 There used to be a time when some of my students had trouble learning the names of the keys. I am happy to say that by using some games and a few worksheets at the beginning lessons, all of my students learn their piano key names quickly now and can identify them with speed. While learning sentences and ideas such as the Back yard where the Cat and Dog Eat and the Front door, where Granny and Auntie live are helpful to introduce the keys, I also needed some way for the student to identify them quickly and not have to count up from C. That is my objective with these games.

 This is a large PDF file with 2 pages. It may take a little while to download. There is one card that is intentionally left blank.  I’m not sure what you can do with it, but maybe you can come up with a game where it is the free card and the student can play any note he wants.


Filed under Group lesson ideas, Note Identification, Preschool Music Resources