Tag Archives: Pre-reading

Fun With Frogs: Fingers and Hands

Fun With Frogs-Fingers and Hands

Fun with Frogs: Fingers and Hands

A teacher emailed me the other day asking if I have anything on my site for new students to use during the summer.

Well, it just so happens I have a young student who will be starting lessons this fall. So I have been working on a giant bundle of kindergarten through 2nd grade fun sheets. They can by use by students before they begin lessons or at their lessons.  All of these lessons use a frog theme. I’ve used Mr. Frog before, but this time I’m adding a lot more. My goal is to touch on everything a new student learns in the first few lessons, as well as some note practice for students who need it.

My young students love Mr. Frog and his friends Miss Frog and Freddy. The frogies love to hang around their pond in flip-flops and practice stepping and skipping on the lily pads. They travel, too. They were recently seen in the English countryside, where they were busy working on UK versions of their rhythm sheets. They have finally learned crochets and minims, but they are a little confused about demisemiquavers!

You might notice that I’ve posted some of these previously. However, they have all been updated with new matching fonts and in some cases, I drew new art. I tried to minimize the ink but still keep them cute. I’ve used red for the right hand and blue for the left hand.

Today I am posting the first 4 pages, which focus on finger numbers. Here are a few ways to use them:

  • Email them to your student’s Mom so she can work on these during the summer.
  • Use them at with as a Frog theme for summer lessons.
  • Use them at summer music camps.
  • Use on an iPad or mobile tablet.

If you think of any other ways, let me know!

I plan to post more frog related activities including the UK rhythm ones, so stay tuned!



Filed under Group lesson ideas, Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources, Worksheets

More Pre-reading Music Bundle


Pre-reading Piano Music Set 2

Pre-Reading Piano Set 2

The set I’m posting today has 5 more pre-reading pieces. Several of these pieces are about back to school. Two have never been posted or shared on my website, so today is their debut! The other ones I’ve posted before, but I’ve revised them to portrait orientation to use in binders.

One of the new ones is The Golden Rule. If you notice any similarities to Red Light, Green Light,  or Right Hand, Left Hand, and other pieces I wrote, well, it is on purpose.

You see, I had little 4-year-old who just loved Red Light, Green Light. For an entire year he played it over and over. So I started writing new lyrics and drawing different art using the same notes in order to expand his “repertoire.” Of course he loved those, too.

Here’s the run down of today’s bundle.

  1. It’s October is the easiest of the set.  There are no notes,  just left hand finger numbers. I wrote it to give one on my students more experience in “floating” down the keyboard.
  2. Snail, Snail is a traditional children’s song and is the only one in the set I didn’t write. Brace the 3rd finger with the thumb and drop into the keys. Moms and Dads, don’t let your child poke at the key or play with stick fingers.
  3. Play The Golden Rule with firm finger tips and alternate between the left and right hand. The yellow section is hands together.
  4. T-Ball is for fingers 2, 3, and 4 on CDE. Keep the hands in a rounded position, drop into the keys, and keep that thumb forward, not dangling off the keys. It’s fun to wrap their fingers around a ball to show a nice rounded hand position. I have some mini promotional sports balls that I’ve collected over the years. They are good for little hands.
  5. Back to School is the twin to T-Ball. It uses CDE only, with fingers 2, 3, and 4, and is a great way to start learning the names of the white keys.

If you like these, check out my other post with 5 different pre-reading pieces.

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Filed under Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Pre-Reading Music for Young Beginners Bundle


Beginners Music

Pre-reading Piano Set 1

Summer is winding down, school is starting back, and for piano teachers that often means new piano students. I remember when I was a classroom music specialist.  I had a guitar and students would wildly raise their hands to request their favorite songs and bob up and down with excitement. Children love music. So when piano students sit on my bench, I try for that same kind of enthusiasm. But piano is a lot harder for children, no doubt about it. What can I do to make them as enthused about piano lessons as they were when I pulled out my guitar for a sing-along? And can I share my ideas with other teachers around the globe? That is why I started this blog.

If you’re looking for some pre-reading music to use with your beginners, here are some old favorites of mine. They were originally made in landscape orientation, which allowed me to make the score larger. I’ve updated them, because parents kept telling me how hard it was to play sideways pages in a binder. I agree! So I am gradually revising all my pre-reading pieces from landscape (sideways) to portrait view. It takes a lot longer than you may think, which is why it is a gradual project. It is almost like starting over because I have to resize everything before I move it around.  But it is so much easier to use in a binder that it’s really worth it for my students. And in the spirit of sharing, I’m offering these to you, too.

If you want to see the landscape versions, go here to my old site, scroll down, and click the page numbers at the very bottom.

These pieces can be used at the first lesson, depending on age and ability,  and are appropriate for ages 4 to 7. All of them are on the black keys, which means students do not have to know the names of the keys. Only fingers 2, 3, and 4 are used. The two easiest ones are What the Robin Said to the Worm and What the Worm Said to the Robin.

The five pieces in this set are:

  • Red Light, Green Light – color coded to show which hand to use.
  • What the Robin Said to the Worm – No notes on this one, only finger numbers.
  • What the Worm Said to the Robin – This is the partner to the previous piece, using two fingers.
  • Hot Cross Buns – 2 pages, one for each hand on the black keys.

If you have some pre-reading favorite of mine that you would like me to re-do in portrait,  post the name of the piece in the comment section here, and I’ll put them at the top of my list!

Please follow my terms of use. I own the copyright. You may print these for private piano teaching or personal use. They may not be sold or redistributed by any means, including file sharing or posting on the internet. 


Filed under Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Notey Noteheads – Cards for Beginning Readers

Notey Noteheads

Notey Noteheads

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.


Filed under Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources, Teaching Aids