Monthly Archives: September 2012

Let’s Play Ball

Let’s Play Ball

I have made a lot of worksheets to help students learn piano keys, but I have not made one for baseball. I have one little guy who just loves the game so I made this for him. In order to save paper and make it more fun for students, I designed it big enough to use on an iPad. If you don’t  want to use this on a mobile device, print it out just as you usually do. Be sure to print in landscape orientation. Don’t try to click on the picture above, because that will just pop up a low resolution image that is only for illustration purposes and it does not look good in print or a mobile device. Click the heading under the picture and it will take you to my website where you can print it.

If you want to try it on a mobile device, here is one easy way to download this into Skitch, a free app for Apple and Android.

Directions for using the Skitch app

  1. Using your iPad, open the Skitch app. On the home page there are several icons on the top row. Select “Web.”
  2. When the next window opens, there will be a place to type in an address. You will have to open the typing tool. Type in  (do not use the address for this blog)
  3. Select “Worksheets” and scroll way, way down the page until you see number SP614, Let’s Play Ball. Select it and then select “Download”. This opens the Let’s Play Ball printable, but you are not going to print it.
  4. Turn the iPad to landscape orientation (sideways). Using two fingers, center the graphic exactly like you want it.
  5. Click the camera icon on the top left side of the app.  Skitch saves the graphic and places a tiny icon of it on the home page for future use. You cannot change my graphic (other than crop it or zoom in or out), but you can draw or type all over it.
  6. Now the student can use the arrow or pencil tool and draw a line from the keyboard to the correct letter.
  7. The trash can icon at the bottom of the left hand side will clear the graphic of any marks your student makes so that it will be ready for your next student. The third icon down on the left side is the “send to” tool. You can send it to a parent to show them how much your student is learning!

If you want more info on how to use Skitch, see my 2 posts from this past summer.

Disclosure: I have no connection to Skitch whatsoever, nor does the company know I recommend the app, but I’ve found this one is good for piano lessons. I wanted an app that was easy to use and didn’t take much time to learn, and Skitch is my favorite. Leave a comment if you have a favorite app to use with your students. If you like my printables, please go to my Facebook page Susan Paradis’ Piano Teaching Resources and “like” it!


Filed under iPad Ideas, Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater – On the Staff

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

Question of the Week

Dear Susan,

Will you be posting a version of Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater with notes on a staff? I would like to teach it to my daughter. 

–Anxiously Waiting

Dear Anxious,

Oh my goodness, I totally forgot to post this, even though I have a student working on it! So wait no longer, here it is! Click on the link below the picture of the music, and be sure to print it in landscape orientation.



Filed under Elementary Music, Halloween, Teaching Business

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, Pre-reading

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Have you ever made something for a student that did not turn out as well as you hoped? Well, that’s what happened to this. One of my younger students loved it, but found the skipping fingers in the first measure difficult. So if you want immediate success, my advice is to give it to an average age beginner who will not get frustrated with the 5 – 3 finger pattern. Luckily my student is the confidant type who told me that with a little practice it would be easy. I did not try it with my preschool students. This is just a reminder to me that a skill that is easily picked up by an 8 or 9-year-old beginner is much harder for a  6-year-old. Skipping fingers are easier if you don’t start with 5-3. The problem with folk songs is that I do not have control of the melody!

This song has quite a vocal range, so for singing, I change the key and start way up in the soprano range. (B flat is a good singing key, starting on the D above treble C.) It is a good song to help children find their head tone.

Afterwards, I played the black key version that I used to play as a child. For children who learn easily by ear, that is a fun option! This is such an appealing folk melody. I changed the verse slightly because my student loves cats.  Change if back if you wish.

I hope that this is a piece you can add to your collection of autumn pieces that are fun this time of year!


Filed under Teaching Business

Halloween and Fall Piano Music


If you are looking for beginning Autumn or Halloween music, here are some of the easy pieces I wrote for my students. They range in level from the first lesson to the first year. Many of you have downloaded these pieces over the years, but here they are in a convenient collection.

Students who have only had a few lessons are so excited to get a Halloween piece!

I wrote some of these in both pre-reading and on-the-staff notation so they are perfect for beginning students. They are not in middle C position, so they help with interval reading. The last one is 2 pages and a little more difficult.

Click on the links, not the pictures to download these. If you have trouble, try downloading the latest version of Adobe Reader.

What Will I Say On Halloween? (Finger numbers only. Very easy for the first week of lessons)

It’s October (Finger numbers only. Very easy for the first week of lessons. Does not mention Halloween)

Hey Mr. Mummy  (On the staff with teacher duet)

See the Scarecrow  (Very easy on staff piece for students just learning to read notes. This is a fall piece that does not mention Halloween.)

Halloween is Almost Here (pre-reading)

Halloween is Almost Here (on the staff)

Halloween, Halloween (pre-reading)

Halloween Halloween (on the staff)

Once A year On Halloween (pre-reading)

Once a Year On Halloween (on the staff)

Five Little Pumpkins(pre-reading, but too long for a young beginner. This is the well-known folk song.)

Five Little Pumpkins (on the staff)

Sneaky Sneakers (Level 1. Two pages, does not mention Halloween)



Filed under Halloween, Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Firefighter Finger Numbers

Firefighter Finger Numbers

This is an activity for those of us who teach young children or for parents who want to give their children a head start in learning piano.

I made this for a 4-year-old who loves anything related to firemen. I wanted an activity he would enjoy that would be a good way to reinforce finger numbers. Thanks to this game, his confidence has soared because it is now easy for him.

In addition to finger numbers, this activity helps children learn the meaning of the symbols RH and LH as well as to learn to distinguish their right and left hands.

I printed my cards on  magnetic printer sheets but you can also use card stock. The magnetic sheets are kind of pricey, so shop around and see if you can use a coupon. Mine came in a sample pack, so I wanted to try them out. You might want to try printing them on card stock and using magnetic strips you can buy at craft stores. Disclaimer: My magnetic cards are a little difficult for young students to use until they get used to how thin they are. I remove them from the cookie sheet and hand them to the children until they learn how. Standing them up on the sides of the cookie sheet helps.


  • The free Firefighter Finger Numbers printable, printed on card stock or magnetic printer sheets
  • Cookie tin or magnetic surface, optional


  • Print out both pages of Firefighter Finger Numbers and cut them into individual squares.
  • The student will match the finger with a dot on the “glove” with the correct number on the firefighter “hat.”
  • Place all the cards in view, so that the young child can see them and select the correct card.
  • The student will learn faster if he says the finger number out loud as he works.
  • If the student is capable, (older) play a memory game with the cards. If you do this activity, do not use all the cards,  because otherwise it is too difficult for the intended age group.


  • To visually match a finger number to the correct finger on the left or right hand
  • To recognize the printer symbols LH and RH as right hand and left hand
  • To identify a picture of a hand as a left or right hand.


  • Early childhood, age 4 to first grade

If you need more material for learning right and left hands and finger numbers, check out Colorful Hands, Finger Numbers for Beginners,  and Colorful Fingers.

I am working on a Bingo Game of some sort for finger numbers as well as some other early childhood printables. Sign up for email updates of my blog so you won’t have to keep checking. Your email will remain anonymous. Click Follow Susan’s Blog by Email at the top right of the page.


Filed under Games, Preschool Music Resources