I decided to make a new set of notehead cards, a set that both teachers and parents can use. With that in mind, I made them the size of playing cards with only 3 pages to cut out. There is one page each for steps, skips, and repeats. I also included a very detailed parent/new teacher instruction guide that took me a lot of time to write, so I really hope it helps. Trust me, if you only show these cards to parents, they make no sense. Once parents see how they work, they are delighted to know they do not need to know how to read music to help their child! I loan these cards to parents, but you can also email parents the link for them to print. Remind them they are free!
Parents Guide Included in Notey Noteheads
There are 5 pages included in this printable. The first 3 pages are the cards. The 4th page is the colorful back to the cards, which seems really important to my students, because it makes it more fun. Children are very visual and are attracted to colorful images. The 5th page is the guide for parents. For those of you who have no idea how to print on the back of cards, or how to print only the first 3 pages, I posted a tutorial on my FAQ page. Scroll down to read it. When cutting out the cards with printed backs, use the colorful side as your cutting guide.
There are notehead flash cards like these on my website, but they are larger, and I don’t think as user-friendly for parents or as enjoyable for students. Daily use of these cards when students are learning notes that move up, down, and repeat can make a big difference in their music reading abilities.
They can help both the precocious child, and the child who needs lots of extra help.
One more thing. Start with the stepping cards. If students have not been introduced to skipping notes, save them for later. Be sure to tell your parents which cards to use.
If you are looking for beginning Autumn or Halloween music, here are some of the easy pieces I wrote for my students. They range in level from the first lesson to the first year. Many of you have downloaded these pieces over the years, but here they are in a convenient collection.
Students who have only had a few lessons are so excited to get a Halloween piece!
I wrote some of these in both pre-reading and on-the-staff notation so they are perfect for beginning students. They are not in middle C position, so they help with interval reading. The last one is 2 pages and a little more difficult.
Click on the links, not the pictures to download these. If you have trouble, try downloading the latest version of Adobe Reader.
What Will I Say On Halloween? (Finger numbers only. Very easy for the first week of lessons)
It’s October (Finger numbers only. Very easy for the first week of lessons. Does not mention Halloween)
Hey Mr. Mummy (On the staff with teacher duet)
See the Scarecrow (Very easy on staff piece for students just learning to read notes. This is a fall piece that does not mention Halloween.)
Halloween is Almost Here (pre-reading)
Halloween is Almost Here (on the staff)
Halloween, Halloween (pre-reading)
Halloween Halloween (on the staff)
Once A year On Halloween (pre-reading)
Once a Year On Halloween (on the staff)
Five Little Pumpkins(pre-reading, but too long for a young beginner. This is the well-known folk song.)
Five Little Pumpkins (on the staff)
Sneaky Sneakers (Level 1. Two pages, does not mention Halloween)
I promised yesterday that I would post a shorter version of Easter Bunny. This version came about when I realized that I wrote the original too difficult for my preschool student. While the version I posted yesterday was great for another student, teaching preschool children often requires short songs that repeat. She was so happy to get this, just in time for the Easter bunny!
Be sure to set your printer orientation to landscape when you print this version.
One of the reasons I wrote this tune was to give students a little extra practice with the 4th finger. Beginners often get the 2nd and 4th fingers mixed up. It takes even longer for preschool children to get the concept. I have a bag of plastic rings in all kinds of cute shapes that I bought from the dollar store. She chose a color and put a ring on each 4th finger. That made the biggest difference in her ability to enjoy playing this little song. Here is a picture of the rings on finger 3. You can see how it helps to put the rings on finger 4 as they play this piece.
If you want some even easier seasonal music on the black keys that can be used at a student’s first lessons, check out my left and right hand versions of Hot Cross Buns. The left hand version is here. Children who celebrate Easter enjoy learning about the tradition of hot cross buns. I have also posted some sacred pre-reading and level 1 versions of hymns suitable for the Easter season. You can look at them in the music section of my website, www.susanparadis.com.
I wrote a little song about the Easter Bunny in several different levels of difficulty. This is the first version. It is suitable for young beginners who are comfortable with the thumbs on the white keys. I have an 8-measure version in landscape orientation and I will post that tomorrow. I also have an on-the-staff version for students in their 2nd method book (Level 1 in most methods, Level 2 in Hal Leonard) that I am working on. This is the reason I like to self publish. I can customize music for different levels.
To help students who get their hands mixed up, I like to highlight the right and left hands with 2 different colored highlighters. If you have never done this in their lesson book you will be surprised how helpful it is. Students enjoy picking out the colors and that adds a little motivation. (Try to find a set with purple. It’s very hard to come by!) We all have students who focus on one hand and need some extra help to get them together. Some students always get the left and right hands mixed up, as well as some adults, such as me! Simple songs like this can really help that problem before they move on to reading on the staff.
Blogging is a spare time activity for me, and I have not had time to post all the spring time material I’ve made. Sometimes things sit in my files for years before I have time to modernize, revise, and post it. Thank you for all your suggestions, and thanks for understanding! I really appreciate and have learned so much from my readers and the blogging community.
Do you find it helpful for me to highlight the hands like this? Leave a comment if you do. You may remain anonymous!
What Will I Say On Halloween?
I wrote this for a new student right after her first lesson. She saw the all the Halloween sheet music around my studio, and wistfully asked me if she could play a Halloween piece. Of course I had to draw one before her next lesson because she is so darling and wanted one so badly!
Since this student is on the first pages of her book, I wrote it without notes, just finger numbers. I am sharing it with other teachers because it was too much work for just one student! She was having a little trouble with finger numbers, so I’m going to put an pumpkin ring on her 4th finger.
It is intended to be in 3 meter, played on the black keys with the left hand. The last note in each line is a dotted half note. If you tap out the rhythm on your piano cover, students will get a feel for how it goes.
So if you have a beginner or a preschool child of your own, please feel free to use it. Maybe the ending will encourage your students to compose their own song! What will they say at the end?