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 For, example, the flash cards I’m posting today were originally made in Word for Windows 95.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!
Mini Ledger Line Flash Cards
Today I am posting the mini ledger line version of the small flash cards I posted the other day. I like to tell my students that even though I won a ledger line contest when I took piano, I didn’t remember them. Every time I would get to a ledger line note in my music, I would have to stop and think, and count up or down. Finally I got sick of not knowing them quickly, and made myself a set of flash cards (yes, even way back then I was making flash cards…) and practiced, until I finally had them really set in my memory.
Those of you who are visual learners have no idea how hard it is for some of us to learn to read notes quickly on the staff. In my case, notes tend to jump around on the page, first looking like a B and then a D. I used to get so confused and I still do sometimes! To make matters worse, my eyes turn anything with lines and patterns into 3D, which is not good for note reading.
I think not knowing ledger lines notes quickly is one reason intermediate students break down when they sight read. I hope these cards will help.
Mini Flash Cards
Years and years of flipping flash cards for the One Minute Club has left its toll on my old set of mini flash cards. I needed a new set, and while I was at it, I made a few changes. I moved up the placement of the staves so that my thumb has a place to hold the card without covering the bass notes. Then it popped into my head that some of my students with learning problems might do better if the bass and treble clefs are different colors. So far it’s really helped. Let me know if you think it’s a good idea, too. Of course, you can always print them on the same color card stock. I do not recommend laminating these cards if you plan to use them for speed.
The nice thing about mini flash cards is that they can sit on your piano all the time and not get in the way.
There are only two pages to this printable, one page for the treble clef and on for the bass. I know some of you are wondering, where are the ledger line mini-cards? Well, they are coming. Check back in a few days!
I don’t use Big Flash Cards all the time. I limit it to about a month or 6 weeks in the spring. Since flash cards are so boring, I turn it into a contest and that makes it more fun. Although each student buys a set a flash cards, sometimes they lose them during the year. So I made a set in Finale and now they have no excuse. While it is important that students learn to play by intervals and not think of each note as they play, students should learn the names of the notes to give them confidence. When we do flash cards in my studio, the student has to say and play the note. I don’t think it does a whole lot of good in piano to know the name of the note, but not which key it is on the keyboard.