We added 2 Notes and Rests Review slides. This gives us a chance to review the notes and rests with the students before we start the game. We also added a little "home" link on the bottom right of each slide that takes you back to the Review slides, because we've found that after being "tuned out" during the review by students who "already know this", we often have to return to the review after they have not made it to the treasure in time :)
Earlier this week, a group of our Music For Little Mozarts Book 3 students were having difficulties finding the starting position for their hands on a new piece. We quiz them on note recognition almost every week, but there was still a disconnect. Even though they know the note names and can find the corresponding keys on the piano, when it comes to a new piece of music, they want to be told where to place their hands.
So I put together this activity for them to practice starting a new piece. I will eventually make it into an interactive PowerPoint game, but for now, it will do to get them started. If your students have the same problem, download it and try it out with your students.
It has a lot of color, so you may want to use it on a tablet/laptop rather than printing it off.
These cards are great for reminding students of the names of the staff notes. Print the small ones double side so your students can have a single card with all 4 phrases on them.
Also included on the PDF are 2 blank staves that can be used for lots of different games. We used them for spelling games - students spelled words out on them using pebbles or small erasers. Just click the images below to download!
We constantly reviewing note names in our lessons. Even when it seems everyone knows the notes, we have learned to keep reviewing, because as soon as we take a month off, it seems all the notes disappear from the memories of our students :)
We use flashcards, have them read the names of notes in their pieces and of course a whole bunch of PowerPoint games.
EggsTravaganza is an Easter Egg themed game. Students have to name (or play) 4 notes before the 30-second timer runs out. It's great for when we have only a short time for review. With each turn taking just 30-seconds, we can always get in a bit of note-review in every lesson.
I'm not sure if our students will still want to play it after Easter. Time will tell :)
Find it in our PianoTogether Store.
What do elephants and cows have to do with piano lessons?
When I was began piano lessons, we used the sentences “Every Good Boy Deserves Football” and “Good Boys Deserve Fresh Apples.” Not a good idea to have "Good Boys" in both sentences - we often confused the two.
Elephant Face and Biking Cows are PowerPoint/Google Slides games that are used a LOT in our lessons. The Elephant’s Face is high up on his body - treble clef is for high notes. The Bike and the Cows are down on the ground - bass clef is low notes. That's how our students remember which sentence applies to which clef.
But the sentences are just a spring board. Ultimately we want the students to recognize the notes on sight, and that comes from lots of practice and consistent review, which is why we use these activities so much.
As well as learning E,G,B,D,F as the names of the treble clef line notes, students need to know where the matching keys are on the piano. So many times, a student has correctly named the D or the F, and then proceeded to play the D or F close to Middle C.
So we have them play the “E, G, B, D, F” keys 3 times in a row before they start naming and playing the notes. The neat thing about PowerPoint versions of Elephant Face and Biking Cows is that the student also hears the note played, so not only do they see the correct “answer” after they have named and played it, they hear it too.
We have added 4 new maps to the game so that our "Music For Little Mozarts Book 1" students can also take part. "Music for Little Mozarts" introduce dotted half notes in Book 2, so the new maps don't use dotted half notes.
The first and second new maps uses just quarter notes, quarter rests and half notes. The third new maps add half rests and the fourth new map adds whole notes and whole rests.
These maps have longer timers, giving the students 10 extra seconds to reach the treasure. That way, all our students get to play TIME FOR TREASURE! YAY!
We took on a few transfer students in September. I was surprised how many of them didn't know the different note and rest types. Most of them had a good idea about how many beats each note/rest lasts (though some didn't - even after 2 years of lessons?!?), but a lot of them really didn't know the 4 beat rest is called a Whole Rest, or the 3 beat note is a Dotted Half Note. (One little girl called it a "Half Note Dot" - I thought that was cute).
So we have been playing Pick-A-Card and Perfect Match regularly to remind students of the note names and lengths, and now we have added another game for this purpose - Time For Treasure.
The game comes with a notes and rests chart for you to spend time reviewing the notes and rests with your students before playing this. We avoid tears in our lessons for young kiddos by making sure that everyone scores points - even if they need a little help in the game :)
PowerPoint slides are predictable, so to create some randomness, I don't click on the clouds in numerical order. Clouds on the top line are for treble clef and clouds on the bottom line give bass clef notes
Rainbow Keys is available on our Etsy Store