Tag Archives: Piano

Wednesday Question: Halloween Games and Music Roundup

Dear Susan,

I was wondering if you can list all the Halloween material on your website.

Over the years I have made many games and posted some original Halloween and fall music. I am going to try to list it here, and I hope I don’t leave anything out! I am in the process of making new games, music, and activities, as well as updating a few things, so check back frequently. Some of the printables may look a little different from the image here. I am trying to change my landscape music to portrait orientation. If you have any trouble printing things, please check my FAQ and download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Bats and Cats

Bats and Cats   -  This is a very simple board game to learn beginning note values.

BatFacts

Bat Facts, a Note Story -This is a note story about bats. It has some science in it, too!

Kandy Keys

Kandy Keys – Not too many students like candy corn, so why not use it to place key signatures on the staff. No, we don’t eat it after we’ve mauled it around!

Pumpkin_Keyboard_Race

Pumpkin Keyboard Race – This game has been a staple in my studio for years and years. It is gratifying to see this game used so much by teachers all over the world.  It is a good game for older beginners to quickly learn the keys of the piano.

write-in-note-names_halloween1

Halloween Notes On the Staff – I use this staff for students who have to learn all their notes quickly in order to take the Texas theory test.

Pumpkin Notes

Pumpkin Notes, Mixed Up on the Staff – When they need a little challenge, I use this one.

hide-the-pumpkin

Hide the Pumpkin Fun Sheet – This is a printable to identify piano keys.  There are two fun sheets to a page for this printable, so it saves paper.

Free Halloween Music

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

What Will I Say On Halloween?  Finger numbers only. This is very easy easy for the first week of lessons.

It’s October - Finger numbers only. This is very easy for the first week of lessons. It does not mention Halloween.

Hey Mr. Mummy  This is an on-the-staff piece with a flat and a teacher duet.

See the Scarecrow

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

Halloween is Almost Here_PreR

Halloween is Almost Here - This is an easy pre-reading Halloween song.

Halloween is Almost Here

Halloween is Almost Here - This is the same as above, but on-the-staff.

Halloween, Halloween

Halloween, Halloween (pre-reading)

Halloween, Halloween_on_staff

Halloween Halloween (on the staff)

once-a-year-on-halloweenprereading

Once A year On Halloween (pre-reading)

once-a-year-on-halloween

Once a Year On Halloween (on the staff)

 

Five Little PumpkinsPR

Five Little Pumpkins (This is a pre-reading folk song, but to be honest, I found it to be too long for a preschool beginner. Maybe if you learn it in sections it will work. Otherwise, it is better with an elementary age child.  This is the well-known folk song children sing in school.

Five Little Pumpkins

Five Little Pumpkins The on-the-staff version works better for me!

Sneaky Sneakers

Sneaky Sneakers  This is a level 1 piece. There are two pages, and it sounds like Halloween music, but it has no words.

 

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Filed under Halloween, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Teaching Business

Welcome to the Music Room

Welcome

Welcome Poster for Music Rooms

Last year I saw a lot of cute posters on the web to welcome students back to school. You might have seen some like this that use a sentence after ever letter in the word Welcome. I didn’t see one for music, so I thought it would be fun to make my own version for music classes.

I remembered how much music meant to me when I was a student. For one hour, all I thought about were the beautiful sounds that were created in that room.  (I’m thinking choir here, not my piano playing!) I hope my students in band, choir, and orchestra have the same wonderful experiences I had.  

I want my piano students to know they are safe in my studio.  There is no pressure to like a certain kind of music, or be embarrassed about anything. I’ve had students tell me they really love Broadway music more than  popular music on the radio, but they don’t want to share that with their peers.  I want them to feel free to make mistakes, or able to confess they didn’t even open their piano books this week because they were so busy with school projects. Come into the music room and get away from everything. Everything is fine in the music room.  

Click the link under the picture to get to my website where you will click Download to open the file. The printable will not have my treble clef logo on it. Notice this design matches the polka dot theme I’m using this year. I had fun drawing the little swirly at the bottom. I couldn’t decide if I should leave it in, but then the whole design is so over-the-top!

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Filed under Music Printables, Teaching Business

Alphabet Animal Keyboard Clothespin Matching Cards

Alphabet Clothpin Matchup2

Animal Keyboard Matching Cards

I had so many requests for this keyboard version of the Alphabet Animal Clothespin Matching Cards. I think it’s because most of us get new students in the fall, and one of the first things we want to teach them is the name of the piano keys. When I give workshops, I list about 10 ways to quickly teach keyboard names. Now I have another activity to add to my arsenal!

You can try this with all elementary ages. However, sometimes a graphic representation of a keyboard is too abstract for preschool children. You will have to guide them more and sit at the piano to help them out. Children also forget from week to week. This activity is something teachers and parents can do to reinforce what students learn at the lesson. I also think it’s a great way to evaluate how well they have learned the keyboard.

To print, click the caption under the picture. That will take you to my website, where you can download this PDF.

Objective

  • To quickly identify the names of the keys on the piano keyboard
  • To work on eye-hand coordination
  • To strengthen the fingers
  • To enjoy a hands-on activity

Ages

  • Children ages 5-8

Materials

  • Regular size clothespins
  • Animal Keyboard  Clothespin Matching Cards, printed on card stock and laminated or covered in clear vinyl, and cut out

Directions

  • This activity is for one student, but can be modified for more than one
  • The teacher gives the student the cards and a supply of clothespins
  • The object is to attach the clothes pin on the correct name of the piano key

Why I like this game

  • It does not require a lot of preparation
  • It is fast and can be played in a few minutes
  • It helps to strengthen the fingers a little

 

6 Comments

Filed under Games, Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Jot! A Great iPad App for Education

Jot_2

Jot! An iPad App

I’ve noticed a lot of piano teachers have iPads. I see them at conventions typing away on their tablets while I’m still trying to find a pen in my purse as I remember that I left my paper back in the room. So I take scribbled notes in the margins of the presenters handouts. I have files of scribbled notes with very wise sayings from some of the great presentations I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. I think I’m rambling, so I’ll get right to the point.

Jot! [$4.99] is a white board app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, and I think it’s a fine app to use with older elementary students. It’s easy to learn, quick to set up in a piano lesson, and simple enough for even me to use.

After you download the app from the Apple app store and open it, there is a page to show you how to use it. You will need to refer to this later.

Once the app is installed, it is easy to use with any PDF printable. Here is how to open one of my documents.

Open up my website on your iPad. It’s faster for me to use www.susanparadis.com  but you can use my WordPress blog, too. Follow the links until you get to “download PDF document“. Select it, and it will open on your iPad. Turn your iPad in the same orientation as my printable. This is important. Most of the material I use on the iPad is in landscape orientation, so turn your iPad to the horizontal (landscape) position if the PDF is also in landscape.

Touch the top right corner of your iPad, and the words “Open In” will magically appear. Select, and a pop-up box will appear with an icon of every app on your iPad that will open a PDF document. If you do not see Jot, go to the second or third page by using the tiny buttons on the bottom of the box. Select “Open in Jot!” (You have to have iOS 6 installed or it will not show up.)

Now comes the only hard part of Jot. On the next screen there is a pop-up box that says “Background.” You will see a mini version of my printable. Using your fingers, drag it to fit inside the even smaller red rectangle. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get it all inside. Any part that is not inside the red box will not show up in Jot! Obviously the guys who made this app are not used to granny eyes!

Click done, and the printable will open and you can draw on it. You can still adjust the size by using the two finger iPad gesture to stretch it bigger.

The menu is on the right side if you are in landscape orientation. Select the squiggly line, a color, and draw away. You can adjust the size of the drawing line. Try out the other boxes and notice you can draw shapes.

There is an undo selection, a way to save documents or send them to parents, and best of all, an eraser. If you press hard on whatever you draw, you can move it around the screen without changing the PDF background. That comes in handy if you want to draw whole notes and move them around the staff.

There is a free version of Jot, so you can try it out. [Edited: This tutorial does not work with the free version, but the free version can give you an idea of how it works. Also, you can take a screen shot of a PDF and use that in the free version.} It is supported by advertisements, which distract me, so I upgraded to the paid version, and it was worth it.

There are other interesting things you can do in Jot, such as real-time drawing collaboration. You can share your document in real-time with users on the internet.  Students can do worksheets on their iPad at home while you watch back in your studio, just as if they were sitting beside you. I have not been organized enough to try that out yet!

I would like to be clear that I do not find writing with a stylus or a finger on a tablet easy for younger children in the  limited time session of a piano lesson. I think it is better for younger children to use hands on activities and not writing on a computer tablet. Jot is better with children over 8 years old. However, parents who have the time to sit and work with their child and guide them will have a better experience.

Disclosure: This review is my opinion after using Jot! for almost a year. I was not paid and I did not receive compensation in any form.  My review was not solicited, nor do the developers know I am writing this review. I discovered Jot! in the app store and bought it after using the free version for several months.

Jot_1

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Filed under iPad Ideas, Music Reviews, Teaching Aids