Tag Archives: table top keyboard; paper piano keyboard

Colorful Paper Keyboards


Colorful Paper Keyboards

There are so many different things to do with a paper keyboard. There is something different about working away from the piano. Sometimes students freeze up at the piano and can’t even find middle C. I think it has something to do with performance anxiety, since the piano is usually used at the lesson to perform for the teacher. But away from the piano, our students are usually more relaxed. So a paper keyboard is a good tool to work on names of the keys.

There are other uses for a paper keyboard. You can use them at group lessons when you don’t have a real keyboard for students to use. Your students can “play” along with you or another student who is at the piano. Then students can take turns coming up and playing the same thing on your piano. They can practice 5-finger patterns, ostinati, simple duets, ensembles, and intervals, for example.

A paper keyboard can also be used to play games. I don’t have time today to list all the games I’ve played on a paper keyboard, but I hope to have time soon. 

I have made some black and white keyboards in the past, but the one I am posting today have the black key groups in color. I got the idea from a pre-school student who had some trouble keeping up with the other children in a game. By using a color to help her identify her position, she relaxed and was able to do just fine.

I like to make enough keyboards to use at a group lesson. Be sure and set your printer to landscape format. Then laminate, cut on the lines, trim next the the second group of three, and tape the two parts together so that it will fold easily for storage in a pocket folder. I use wide, clear strapping tape because regular tape will split at the fold after a few uses.  Place the first group of three on the left before you tape it, and your keyboard will have middle C in the middle!

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Filed under Preschool Music Resources, Theory

Picture of Table Top Keyboard

table top keyboard

I decided to add a picture of the table top keyboard that my students are using from yesterday’s blog post. This one is sitting on the coffee table in my piano studio (living room). My husband got  a glass top to put on the coffee table so I don’t have to worry about students messing it up.

You can see the chips I bought last year. They are called Counting Chips and came in a package of 75 with 5 different colors. I got them at an office supply store in the “teaching” department. They are about 1 3/8″ in size (about 3.5 cm), so they are quite large for chips. This makes them very good for very young children.  Notice that they come blank, but I’ve written the alphabet on some of them. You can also use, milk carton tops,  checkers, or soda caps. If you want to make your own out of construction paper, find something around the house to draw your circles with, such as a medicine bottle.

Now think of all the games you can play with this table top keyboard!


Filed under Preschool Music Resources, Teaching Business