Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fun Activities for Teaching Music Alphabet on the Keys

I usually introduce the white keys CDE (below the 2 black key groups)first.
First you say "Hey Diddle Diddle the D's in the middle" and have them find all of the D's on the piano in the middle of the 2 black keys. Then have them sing the music alphabet to discover what comes before and after D (C & E). Then go to Music Learning Community to play LetterFly until they know these 3 notes very well. A couple of other computer programs I have purchased that include games for this concept plus many more are Midisaurus Fun for Kids and Music Ace Deluxe. Midisaurus is more suitable for younger children, but Music Ace is more comprehensive.
My teacher taught me to find the CDE keys by calling the 2 black keys the "doghouse." The "D" for dog is in the middle. The "C" cat and "E" elephant live on each side.
Next I teach "F & B outside the 3" (3 black key groups) and have them find all the F's and B's on the piano.
My teacher taught me to find the GA keys by calling the 3 black keys the "GArage." It has car G & car A parked inside the "GArage." This is only effective if your child is reading fluently and can associate GA with garage.
Following are the links for my kids favorite games that helped them learn the white key letter names
Piano Candyland
I transformed my older version of Candyland and chose the following spots for the pink squares: Piano for Plumpy, Bass Clef for Mr. Mint (because the bass clef resembles a candy cane and its lower on the board), mezzo forte for Jolly, forte for Gramma Nut, Double Bar Line for Princess Lolly and Treble Clef for Queen Frostine (because the Faber Piano Adventures books introduce say The Queen Treble Clef has a fine swirly dress and she plays High notes on the keys). I love this game because my younger kids can play with the "Keyboard cards" while my older kids are challenged by using the "Staff cards."

"Cover the Keys", "Music is Fun Bingo", "Shamrock Keyboard Game" and "Snowflake Keyboard Race"
All of these games are free printables on Susan Paradis's amazing piano site. I love her creative resources!

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