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 For, example, the flash cards I’m posting today were originally made in Word for Windows 95.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!
Key Signature Flash Cards
Today I am posting some handy key signature cards that can be used both as flash cards and playing card games. You can even print them both ways!
Above you can see I made backs for the cards. There are two versions. One has the names of the keys printed so the cards can be used as flash cards at home or in the lesson. I also wanted a reverse side that I could use for a rummy type card game. Obviously, the answers could not be on the back of the cards, so I drew a colorful piano graphic. For card games, you will need to print out several sets of cards. I wanted a design that would appeal to older students and also be appropriate for card games.
There are 2 pages of key signatures, one for flats and one for sharps. I put in two C Major cards because of a Circle of 5ths activity we do. Feel free to omit the colored backs and use only the key signature cards. If you do, print only the first two pages, and use a pen and label the backs yourself.
If you print on both sides, I suggest you test out one page first using plain paper and an economy (sometimes called “fast”) setting. I don’t want you to waste your good paper and ink. This was a big project for me, requiring a lot of drawing and placing by hand. I hope that you will find it helpful.
Large Fly Swatter Game Cards
The Fly Flash Cards that I made a few years ago have been a big hit with teachers all over the world. It is exciting to think that children are using my graphics to learn note names in places that I’ve only read about. Recently I pulled out the cards to use with a few of my younger students and it was very obvious that the cards, which I made to be the size of playing cards, were too small for young eyes. That set me to work making some larger ones that I hope will be easier for my preschool and 1st grade students. If you want the smaller cards I posted previously, go here.
There are several ways to use these cards. Of course the way that is the most fun is to use a fly swatter and let your students swat the cards as you call out note names. Or the student can call out notes as he swats them. I like to use a timer when the students get really proficient with notes. You can play in a group or with one student. You can also use these as regular flash cards and play any kind of flash card game you can think of.
If I play this with one student at a private lesson, it often works out best to play this and the end of a lesson when I have an extra few minutes. Sometimes the kids get rambunctious swatting flies and it can be hard to calm them down enough to go back to the piano and place a piece!
I didn’t come up with this idea by myself. There are numerous places on the web where teachers have presented all kinds of flash card games with fly swatters. All I did was make cards with flies on them!
If you’ve never tried swatting cards before, try it out!
Ledger Line Flash Cards
I still remember the day as a student when I counted down ledger lines to find a low bass note one time too many. After all, I had found the note the day before, but I couldn’t remember it. In disgust, I decided right then that I would memorize the bass and treble ledger line notes so well that I would never forget them. It was such a relief and I remember wondering why I didn’t do it earlier!
As a teacher I work with my beginning students using flash cards, worksheets and what have you, and so many times assume my intermediate students will learn their ledger line notes on their own. From my own experience this does not always happen, so this year I am going to use these flash cards with my older students.
There are 3 pages for you to print. Check to make sure your PDF document window shows that you are printing at 100% size. One day everything was printing out too small and I found that was the problem.
Many thanks to my friend Glenda who suggested I make these cards.