Saturday, July 31, 2010

Using Songs To Teach

I love the power of songs to aid in memorization. Lately around our house I've been singing a little song I made up to the cub scout law to help one of my sons who was having trouble learning it. I was thankful when earlier this year my daughter's school teacher sent home a book of songs to go with her multiplication facts. It so much easier to remember things when you put them in a song.
So I was delighted when I discovered a few new "piano" songs this week.
Thanks to Wendy at Compose Create for her post on some fantastic new games, my preschoolers are excited about piano practice this week because of the fun Piano Discoveries videos on You Tube that we watched together. I love how it teaches students how to identify & draw the clefs and landmark notes through song. For some reinforcement of the Landmark Notes, we used my magnetic dry erase board and magnet notes with this clever "Barnyard Board" staff from the Piano Discoveries site. Don't you love the cute drawing of the Middle C Cat that my son came up with spontaneously?
My students also enjoyed this catchy FACE song to help them learn the treble space notes. After watching this video my son was excited to beat his score on the Treble Clef Notes on Music Ace.

Another one of my favorite "teaching" songs is the GBDFA song from Susan Paradis's site.
Do you have any favorite songs for teaching piano concepts?


  1. Dear Heidi,

    It made my day to bump into your blog this morning and see a photo of your son playing with my Barnyard Board. His Cici the Cat is the best! Thanks for writing about my Piano Discoveries and keep up the nice work on your blog.

    Anne Crosby

  2. Love these suggestions - I often write my own lyrics to even my senior students' Minuets and Sonatinas etc. to help them memorize. It really works!

  3. Heidi, I love your ideas here. I also sing lyrics to even my older students to help with rhythm and phrasing. They "smile" at my lyrics, but still get the idea!
    YOu mention Piano Preschool several times on your blog. Do you have a Preschool where you integrate piano, or is that just what you call your younger students?

  4. I ran a piano preschool last year for 1 hour a week with a small group of 4-5 year olds (including 2 of my own). It was a lot of fun and that's what actually inspired me to start this blog - so the majority of my older posts focus on our happenings at piano preschool.