Using these rhythm cut-outs is a great hands-on way to teach rhythm. If students are confused about rhythm values, it could be that verbal explanations didn’t work. How many times have we thought students understood a concept only to discover later that they were really confused but didn’t want to tell you? I remember when I was a young piano student just nodding my head in agreement when I really had no idea what my teacher was talking about. I started parroting back her definition of time signatures because I was a good at memorizing. But I didn’t understand what I was saying and I didn’t want to admit I didn’t get it. I liked her and I wanted to make her happy!
One of the first and most important rhythm concepts students have understand is that a note with a dot is equal to three of the of the next shorter note. That is the key to understanding dotted half notes and dotted quarters. Theses rhythm shapes are great for that because they are proportional in size; so two eighths are the same size as one quarter.
Print this page on card stock and glue it to a sheet of thin craft foam before you cut them out. If you are crafty, even better is to glue the page to foam board (also called tag board), which will make them easier for students to move around but a lot hard to cut out!
I made this printable years ago, but today’s post is updated to make the notes easier to read. Plus, I fixed a note that was orientated wrong. So if you have the old file, you can replace it with this one.
Another way to explain fractions is to use my Rhythm Pizza printable. It is a very helpful first step to teaching rhythm values. Then to teach counting dotted notes, use this helpful visual, Rhythm in the Grid.
I know you can come up with many ideas for students to learn with these!
Big One Staff Flash Cards
I’ve thought I’d take some time to let you know how the updating of my teaching resources is going here on Piano Teaching Resources.
First of all, it’s a big undertaking to re-do and repost more than 10 years worth of printables, and I’ve been working on it for three years. I do it in my spare time and I feel like I have finally made some progress. I’ve finished the most of the holiday games and worksheets. I’ve finished all the other games and worksheets, and that took forever! I’ve posted so many big files.
The printables I’ve finished can be found by selecting “Free” at the top of the page and then following the links. Right now I’m working on “Teaching Aids” which includes certificates, flash cards, and anything that is not a worksheet, a game, or music. The last thing I do will be the music section.
Back when I first started posting, I was not able to rotate PDF’s to portrait orientation or to combine pages into one PDF. That is one of the things I fix when I go back and re-do material.
It’s been very helpful for me, in a way, to re-do my material. Some of it was made for a specific student, but then I forgot all about it. Going though and re-working material has helped me re-connect. In the beginning I made all the graphics in programs that were not very flexible. For, example, the flash cards I’m posting today were originally made in Word for Windows 95. That was when some of my readers were babies! I updated them in programs better suited for graphics.
I am posting these cards because they are useful for younger students. The lines are big enough for students to count, but not so big that they take up a lot of space. They have some features that make them easy for teachers to use:
- Black and while
- Big fat lines that are easy for students to count
- Four cards to a page
- Only two cutting lines so there are no margins to cut off
- Big enough to play games
Thank you for your feedback and comments and I’m so happy that my material is helping piano students around the world!
Binder Covers 2016
It was a year ago that I made my first “editable” PDF document, in the form of a binder cover. I think teachers liked it, so I made one for this year, too. I use them for my own students, and I want to share them with you again.
You might notice these have the same design as the calendar I posted a few weeks ago. I put them on the front and back of my students’ binders. All of the students get the calendar, but my younger students get the staff with notes and the older ones get the key signature chart.
There are 2 pages in the file I’m posting. Only the first page is editable, fillable, or whatever I should call it! Every time I see editable, I think edible and get hungry! 🙂
Being editable means you can personalize it with your own text. There are 2 places on the page you can personalize by printing any text that will fit into the space. Instead of “Piano Binder” you could type “My Music Notebook” or whatever fits.
Only want one of the 2 pages in the file? I explain how to print only one page in my frequently asked questions.
- Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader. (This is the same free program you use to print all of my material.)
- On the first page, click your mouse about 2″ down from the top. (See above where I wrote Jonathan.)
- A light blue text field box with a blinking cursor in the middle will show up where you should type. The blue box will not show up when printed!
- Type your text in the box, adjusting your wording to fit.
- Repeat about 9.5″ down from the top. (See above where I wrote Piano Binder.) Type text in this box also.
- I formatted the blue text fields to be centered so you will be starting in the center of each field.
Can’t open the PDF files? Check out my frequently asked questions from the menu bar above. Teachers have reported problems with the Windows 10 Edge browser and use Chrome or Explorer instead.
Don’t like orange? You can always use last year’s blue binder covers.
Editable 2016-17 Calendar
Calendar 2016-17 (This is the non-editable version)
Reminder Postcards 2016 (This is the smallest size allowed by the USPS and is not editable.)
If you want happy parents in your piano studio, keep it well-organized with a good calendar so that parents and students know well in advance what is coming up! I put it on the front of their binder and also email it to parents.
The calendar is designed for you to type your studio events in the center. I suggest you put dates for:
- Festivals, including sign-up deadlines
- Holiday breaks
- Days your studio will be closed
- Group lesson dates
- Deadlines to memorize music for events
I have some good news for those of you who like editable files! For the first time ever, this calendar is editable in Word as a .docx file. You can even edit the “Calendar of Events” title. Open the file in Word or another word processing program and place your cursor in the table and type your information. Use Times New Roman and a 10 pt font size to match the style of the calendar. The borders of the table are there as a guide and will not show when it is printed. You will have to download this file and open it in Word and not open it in your Chrome.
If you don’t use the editable Word docx file, here are some suggestions on how to personalize and print your calendar. You will be printing in the center of the page. Since every printer is different, figure out how to insert the page back into your printer in order to print in the blank space in the center.
I advise you to set your margins to:
- Left – 2.3
- Right – 2.3
- Top – 1. 5
- Bottom – .5
If you have trouble downloading the PDF files, please check my FAQ because everything I know to help you is listed there!