Go ahead, accuse me of seeing EVERYTHING through piano eyes. I can’t help it. I just do! Really I just look for ways to use things I love in my piano teaching. What’s the latest thing I love to be incorporated into lessons? The giraffe!
The giraffe is my absolute favorite animal because it’s long neck allows it to see everything. The other thing I like about giraffes is that they are pretty quiet. I like to think that it is because they are so busy watching all the things that their long neck makes it possible for them to see! Here are two ways to use this information for piano lessons:
Keyboard Topography: This works well with very young students age 5-6 and under. Using a toy giraffe that fits on the piano keys (I bought a finger giraffe from Oriental Trading Co.), place the giraffe on the G key. Help your student find all the G’s on the piano. Then read the story “Giraffes Can’t Dance”, and every time you get to the phrase “Giraffes Can’t Dance” have the student play the G key. You can even add in an extra “Giraffes Can’t Dance” after each page so that the student gets a lot of practice at finding the note.
Grand Staff Notation: This works well with students of any age. Show the student a visual of a giraffe. (I bought mine at T J Maxx and it sits on my piano). Draw a high G on the Grand Staff or Treble Clef Staff. Point out that just as the giraffe is tall enough to look down on all the other animals, the high G sits up high enough on the staff to look down on all the other notes. Then whenever your student has trouble remembering that high G note, just point to your giraffe to remind them!
That’s it! 2 lesson plans from 1 simple prop.