Monthly Archives: December 2012

Free Christmas Gift Tags

Christmas Gift TagsArt Stuff Printables is a new website with really cheerful and inexpensive printables for teachers, children,  and families. The site just opened last week and they have been adding new things every day. To celebrate their grand opening, they are giving away a cute set of Christmas gift tags. Plus, they are having a big grand opening sale.  If you want some last-minute gift tags, head on over there and download them before Christmas. Click on the pictures to go to the site.


In case you’re wondering, the artist is my own amazingly talented daughter who has taught me all I know about drawing in Photoshop. The gift tag with the piano playing Santa is the same graphic used in the Santa thank you cards that are on sale. I have looked all over for piano teacher thank you cards to give to my students, and finally I asked Liz to make me a set.  Right now she is working on a New Year’s banner that can be used to decorate your piano studio, and she has plans for a lot of other things.

If you have any requests, for example wall art for your piano studio, music teacher cards, or art for your children’s room,  leave a comment on their Facebook page and she might be able to make it.

If you go to ArtStuff Printables, be sure to like it on Facebook! I know she would be thrilled if you would pin some of her art on Pinterest!

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Filed under Teaching Business

Reindeer and Elves Keyboard Race Game

Reindeer and Elves Keyboard RaceReindeer and Elves Keyboard Race Game

When I made my first Keyboard Race game, I really had no idea that it was going to be the first in a series of games for every season. I’ve always used the snowflake version for this time of year, but my students wanted a Christmas version, so I drew one for them. The elves are students in my studio and each one is special to me! I hope you enjoy the diversity of elves from around the globe!

For Hanukkah or with older students, use the Snowflake Keyboard Race.

Notice I have cards for F# and Bb. That has proved to be a bonus for my average age beginners, because they learn the terms and how to use them early on. However, I remove those cards for my youngest students. I like to teach new concepts informally like this, rather than waiting for it in the method book. There is no reason students can’t learn something before they actually play it in their music.


  • To quickly identify piano keys.
  • To enjoy a seasonal game.
  • To identify middle C.
  • Optional: to identify B flat and F sharp.


  • Beginners of all ages enjoy the keyboard race games, but with your older beginners, I suggest the Snowflake Keyboard Race.


  • Piano or a music keyboard
  • Keyboard Race Cards
  • Two tokens (Inexpensive erasers will not damage your keyboard.)


  • The game is played with two players, usually the teacher and student.
  • The teacher sits on the right side and the students sits on the left side of the piano bench, at each end of the piano. The students chooses if he/she wants to play with the “Elves” or “Reindeer” cards.
  • Each player has one set of cards and one token, and places the cards on the piano book rack. The cards should be well shuffled.
  • The first player turns a card and moves his token to that piano key, the closest to his end of the piano.  The second player does the same.
  • Play continues with each player drawing a card and moving his token toward the middle of the keyboard.
  • The game is over when one player passes the middle of the keyboard. I like to use middle C with my young students.
  • Note: The player on the right side (treble end) usually loses, so that’s where I sit. Games are more fun for students if they win.

Why I like this game

  • My students love it and want to play it over and over.
  • It is the fastest and most fun way to learn keyboard names.


Filed under Christmas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Note Identification, Preschool Music Resources