Printable Listening Sheet

Today I ran across a Listening Sheet that I designed a while back for my students. You can use it to encourage your piano students to actively listen to recorded music. Active listening has always been a skill that must be developed, but have you noticed that we are teaching the first generation of students who have never really listened to music without video? This makes it even more challenging for them to listen to the music itself.

This listening sheet allows the student to listen for what instruments are playing, what the tempo is, and what the time signature is. Notice that the space to write this information is located on the Bass Clef Staff. I did this to draw attention to the Bass Clef Staff since piano students often seem to not notice it. Here is just another opportunity for them to see it. There is also a spot where they can indicate whether or not they would like to learn to play the song – great info for a teacher to know!

You can download the file by clicking here or on the picture above. For more FREE PRINTABLES, click here.

Music Notation Made Easy

I recently found this
visual of the grand staff on wikihow.com which is great for quickly showing kids how the Treble Clef
and Bass Clefs are related.
After looking at the picture the phrase “Ace In The
Hole” came to my mind as a way to help kids connect the two staffs.
I often find that students have a hard time learning to look at both clefs at the same time.
They also tend to forget
the name of the note on the top line of the Bass Clef. “The Ace In The Hole” phrase can also
reenforce the concept of middle C being in the middle of the two staffs, which seems to
also be a surprisingly difficult concept for students to grasp.

Source: wikihow.com via Dana on Pinterest

Play-Doh Re-Mi, Anyone?

Making A Staff

Sometimes it escapes me how much difficulty piano students have learning to read notes on the staff. You see, the more than 30 years that I’ve spent playing the piano have fooled me into thinking that reading notes on a music staff is EASY-PEASY. Not to worry – reality quickly sets in once my students sit at the piano and I put a sheet of music in front of them. The cheerful, excited faces they had during the pre-staff notation days of their lessons are suddenly absent – replaced by blank stares and a series of failed attempts at finding the right note. So, what to do?

Enter… Play Doh!

Step 1: Have the student make a staff. Some surprising revelations can occur at this time. Here’s one from a student: “There are only 5 lines?”

Step 2: Now the student can add space notes or line notes.  Another revelation: “You mean the space notes have to fit BETWEEN the lines?” 

Happy FACE notes

Step 3: The teacher can add a Treble Clef OR Bass Clef. Then give the student the appropriate phrase to remember the note names. Now have them make up a phrase of their own.

Step 4: Take a picture of that beautiful smile your student is flashing!

3-D Bass Clef Staff