Music I Have Learned
Today I am sharing a chart your students can use to make a list of the music they have learned. My friend Marcia is doing a 30 Piece Challenge and she thought it would be helpful to have a chart for each student to list the name of the pieces they have learned. So I made one up to match the other balloon-themed material I’ve posted this year, such as the academic calendar and the freebie Key Signature Chart that is a test product in my store.
I created this file as an editable PDF, but only the title is editable, so you can use it for anything and call it anything you wish as long as the title fits in the space. To edit the form, simply click on the title and type over the text with whatever you wish the chart to be called. For example, you can title it “Scales I Know” and have students keep a list of the scales they have learned. Put it in your student’s binder and you’re good to go! I made it with space to list 40 items so it will work with the 40 Piece Challenge.
Have you heard of the 40 Piece Challenge? This is an idea thought up and shared by the imaginative piano composer, blogger, and piano instructor from Australia, Elissa Milne. You can read all about it here.
I first heard about Elissa’s idea at a MTNA convention about 3 years ago. Students set a goal to learn 40 pieces each year instead of only practicing the same several difficult pieces the entire year, neglecting easier pieces that help with sight reading and make piano more interesting and educational. The music doesn’t have to be memorized or polished to perfection like a competition piece. Now that her idea has spread all around the world, teachers with a shorter teaching schedule have tweaked it to require only 30 pieces.
To find all the material I’ve posted this year that matches this chart, select “Free” in the top menu. When the page opens, select “Teaching Aids” and start scrolling down to find the matching pages. There is a lot of material there!
2 Octave Major Scales
2 Octave Harmonic Minor Scales
One Octave Major Scales
One Octave Minor Scales
5-Finger Major Scales
5-Finger Minor Scales
Click on each picture to download the files.
I’ve finally finished remaking all of the Picture Scales. I needed to update some things under the hood, so I took the opportunity to make some more changes including remaking the one octave and two-octave scales.
They aren’t easy to make, so I was really dreading it. Then there is the problem of not knowing my left hand from my right. Plus, I constantly mix up the 4th and 2nd finger. And the 1 and 5. Now that I think about it, how did I ever learn to read music! 🙂
However, over the years they have been well worth it. I use regular scale books, too, but there are times when picture scales come in handy. My theory is, use what works! These picture scales are excellent for:
- Visual learners
- Memorizing scales
- Teaching scales by ear
- Students with learning disabilities
To find these in the future, go to the top menu and select Free > Newer Free Resources > Teaching Aids. Or just do a Google search for “Susan Paradis picture scales”.
If you like the idea of picture scales but don’t like my fingering, I have posted some sheets where you can write your own.
St Patrick’s Day Composing
In my never-ending quest to change everything on my website to portrait orientation, I have updated these two St. Patrick’s Day composing pages and put them together into one PDF file. It’s time-consuming, which is why it is taking me so long!
The first page is for composing on the staff. I wrote a little poem and put the rhythm above the staff. The student can write a melody with bass notes, or just the melody.
The pre-reading page has the rhythm written above shamrocks, and they write the finger numbers of their melody on the shamrocks.
I always suggest to my students to start and end on the same note if they want a singable melody and I suggest D using only white keys for an Irish sounding melody. It is always amazing to me that some students have an innate ability to come up with a good melody! Other students write notes willy-nilly here and there and it sounds rather like me composing 12-tone music for a theory class. 🙂
Some students want to compose melody and accompaniment, so I suggest they start with fifths in the left hand and use D minor and C parallel fifths. If they get carried away and want to expand their composition, check out the staff paper I’ve posted that has a braced grand staff, measures, and bar lines. It’s one of the pages in this bundle. Staff Paper Variety Pack
If you don’t know how to print only one page in a PDF bundle, there is a tutorial in my FAQ.
Animal Alphabet Memory Match
My students love memory games. Maybe it is because I have such a bad memory I never win!
I made this game for a student who is learning the notes on the staff around middle C. You might notice the illustrations are the same I’ve used in a lot of beginning activities. [A few years ago I wrote a set of short songs for each of these animals and the links are at the end of this post.]
- The object of the game is to match the alphabet letter to the correct note on the staff.
- Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader.
- Print the first page on card stock.
- Re-insert the first page into your computer and print on the back. (You might need to practice how to print on the back using scrap paper.) There is a tutorial in my FAQ page about how to print on the back of PDF documents.
- Laminate the cards for durability. Cut them along the dotted lines.
- Place the cards face down in a 4 x 4 grid as shown above.
- The first player turns over 2 cards. If they match he keeps them and takes another turn. If not, it is the second player’s turn.
- The second person continues in the same way.
- The player with the most cards wins.
- To identify the names of notes located around middle C.
- To improve visual memory skills.
- Young beginners through ages 7 or 8.
Grid to Help Young Children Play Memory Games
Young students often have trouble playing memory games because they don’t realize after they look at a card they have to put it back in the exact same space. I use this grid, glued to the file folder that holds the cards, to help them put it back in the correct space.
Memory Game Grid
Animal Alphabet Songs Teaching Beginning Notes
A is for Alligator
B is for Bears Playing Baseball
Pat the Cat
Dogs Eating Doughnuts (The Doughnut Mystery)
E is for Elephant
Frogs Wearing Flip Flops
G is for Giraffe