Leaves Are Blowing and What Will I Be on Halloween are (free) beginning pre-reading pieces for young piano beginners. Years ago I published the companions to these pieces which you can find at this link: Free Halloween Music for Beginners
The originals were for the left hand and I never got around to making matching pieces for the right hand. Thanks to a reminder from a reader, that has been fixed now!
This set of pre-reading pieces not only help beginners learn the groups of two and three black keys, which of course, is essential if students are going to learn the names of piano keys, but they are also beginning composing pieces. In order to compose, students need to use their imagination and have a vision. I think it is safe to say composers get their start improvising and doodling around.
What I would like to see is students get carried away playing what they “will be” or how blowing leaves might be expressed on the piano. Sometimes teachers and parents get frustrated with students playing around on the piano and not practicing their assigned pieces. But as long as there is a balance, who knows what budding Beethoven we might be cultivating!
Don’t forget you can save ink by printing only one copy and saving it in a sheet protector. You can also download these into your iPad to save on printing.
You have posted on Facebook and emailed me such precious videos of your students improvising and having fun! I hope your students have fun with these!
The Grand Staff from G to F
In this worksheet, students write the name of the note inside each note. You can also have them draw lines to the corresponding piano keys if you have time. It can even be inserted into their binder as a handy guide.
Typically, piano students are taught the notes on the treble staff and the bass staff. But many times students don’t realize the logical continuity of the grand staff. We know the grand staff is more than two separate entities, one for right hand and one for left. However, there is just so much to teach in so little time that it is easy to have short cuts to learning concepts in order to get everything covered. If you have ever had students who need to see the overall picture of the grand staff, this little work sheet might help. It shows clearly how the music alphabet continues from bass to treble staff.
Elizabeth Gutierrez suggests using A C E to learn the grand staff. My students find A C E easier than some other ways. It also helps them to learn the inner ledger lines. So I have students circle all the ACE’s on the grand staff. There is no reason you can’t use guide notes, A C E or FACE, or Every Good Boy Does Fine, or whatever you find successful with a particular student.
Learning note names will not necessarily make students good sight readers. Different parts of the brain are used to identify notes than to actually sight-read notes at the piano. However, learning notes will help our students become overall better musicians. Learning note names can be difficult for some students, but we have to keep trying!
Here is a little tidbit for your students. The phrase GRAND STAFF starts with G and ends with F. How is that for a coincidence!
Lets Play Ball Worksheets
I made the Let’s Play Ball worksheet a few years ago for a student who loved baseball. The original one I posted was for piano keys only, and while I actually tried to make a staff version at the same time, I found it almost finished, abandoned and forgotten in my computer files. I finished it up because I have a student who just tried out and made a new baseball team and I thought he would enjoy this way of reinforcing note names. The instructions are to draw lines to connect the notes or keys to the alphabet letters.
These worksheets use some ink, which is why I like to use my iPad for handout like this. They both work really well on an iPad because all the student has to do is draw lines to connect the alphabet letter to the note on the staff or the piano key. Another ink saver is to make one copy and put it in a sheet protector and then use dry or wet eraser markers. I like the sheet protector idea because they are easy to store in binder.
I want to mention to my long-time followers that I have been trying to get all my material listed in a way to make it easier to find.
If you select the Free tab at the top a new page will open. Click on Newer Free Resources and scroll down to select the type of items you want.
I have finished moving all my old games to the “Game” page. There might be some floating around somewhere that I’m trying to find and add. Most of the holiday pages, except for holiday sheet music, is finished so you should be able to see almost all of the Valentine and St. Patrick’s day material.
Now I’m working on the “Worksheet” page and I think it will take me a long time. Eventually I hope to get all the music and teaching aids from the old site moved over. If you find a broken link, please let me know so I can fix it.
When a site has as much material as this one, it can be hard to find things. What I do is a Google search such as: Susan Paradis fly flash cards. Google seems to do a better job than the search engine on my blog! I also have a Pinterest page where there are boards for all my material.
Lady Bug Game Board
LadyBug Game Cards
This is one of my favorite games. It’s fast and fun and I think it’s a good game to play this time of year. I’ve revised it and remade the keyboard cards.
- I suggest printing the colorful game board on photo paper and then laminating it so the colors really come to life. It can also be taken to an office shop. MTNA members, use Office Depot/Max and receive a big discount.
- Before you print the cards, decide which pages you want to use. Please don’t print all the pages at once because the last page is the optional backs.
- Print on card stock. They do not have to be laminated.
- There are 5 pages of cards.
- Pages 1-3 are notes on the staff.
- Page 4 has keyboard cards.
- Page 5 is the optional back of the cards. After printing the cards on pages 1-4, insert the pages back into your printer to print the back of the cards. Please see my FAQ for a tutorial on how to do this.
- This game can be played with students or teacher and student.
- Each player has a token.
- The cards are placed face down next to the game board.
- The first player draws a card and moves their token forward along the path to the closest letter that matches the note on their card.
- The next player draws and moves in the same way.
- The game is over when someone draws a card that takes them to the last G or any note after the last G at the end of the path.
- There are many games you can play with this game board. Use your own ideas and I hope you have fun!
- To learn the music alphabet.
- To learn to recognize notes on the grand staff or keys on a piano keyboard.
- To reinforce learning steps and skips.
- Early childhood and elementary ages.
Why I like this game
- It’s fast, under 3 minutes, students always like it.
- Children learn faster if they are having fun.
- It’s a great game for beginners to learn piano key names.
- The game is so fast, you can play more than once.