Throwback Thursday Simple Sharps and Fearless Flats

Drawing Key Signatures

Simple Sharps and Fearless Flats

Simple Sharps and Fearless Flats are great to help students who are having trouble writing key signatures. Sometimes students are confused or have trouble putting the accidentals on the correct line or space.  A couple of years ago one of my students was struggling on learning how to draw key signatures on staves. His brother was there and said, “You haven’t done Simple Sharps and Fearless Flats? That’s the only way I was able to learn them.” Honestly, I was really amazed he could remember the name of these handouts after all those years. I can’t even remember what I named a worksheet last week!

I laminate these and use them as helpful posters when I am showing how to write key signatures.  They can also be printed and put in the  student’s binder for reference. The blank staff at the bottom can be used for practice. If you print multiple copies, try using the “fast” or “economy” setting to save ink. I do that and they look fine, just not as vibrant. They also work well in black and white, if you want to save color.

The large staves and spaced apart sharps and flats really do make writing key signatures simple and fearless, especially if I use them with 2 other helpful posters on a giant staff, Down a Fourth and Up a Fourth.

How to draw key signatures

Down a 4th up a 5th Bundle

By the way, I know so many US teacher use “Fat Cats Go Down And Eat Breakfast” and “BEAD Greatest Common Factor.” That is what I used in college, actually. But I like the Canadian/UK  “Father Charles” method because it is the same backwards and forwards. Certainly, you can teach your students either one!

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Pinterest
Pinterest

Filed under Intermediate Students, Texas State Theory Test, Theory, Worksheets

Shamrock Interval Worksheet

St. Patrick's Day Music Intervals

Shamrock Harmonic Intervals

Not too long ago I asked for suggestions for worksheets for various holidays, and an interval worksheet was suggested. I am posting one today with a St. Patrick’s Day theme which I call Shamrock Intervals. 

You know, as teachers we can never assume our students know anything they haven’t specifically been taught and reinforced. Roman numerals comes to mind, as well as fractions for rhythm. That is something I remind teachers when I give workshops.

I poignantly remember one sweet little student. I was reminding him that the spaces in the treble clef spell FACE. He hung his head in shame and in the most despondent voice said, “I can’t read.” I know I’ve told this story before, but I will probably repeat it, because it made such an impression on me. It changed the way I taught, not only children, but when I give workshops to adults, or even when I help someone at the computer.

You might be wondering what this has to do with intervals! The fact is, teachers have to explain what the word interval means, and we have to say it a lot if we want them to remember it. They will forget!

Also, we can’t assume students know how to write ordinal numbers with suffixes, such as  1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Students sometimes have no idea that “octave” is often abbreviated by writing “8va,” or 8ve, even if we write that in their assignment book regularly. We have to explain that while 8va means to move up one octave in piano music, it is often abbreviated in theory. It is not an official proclamation from the Kingdom of Music Theory, but that’s just the way it is, at least from my experience.

So on this worksheet, I wrote the intervals both ways and included octaves. I hope your students get something out of it!

 

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Pinterest
Pinterest

Filed under iPad Ideas, St. Patrick's Day, Theory

A Simple Guide to Teach Major Scales Without a Book

A simple step-by-step start to major scales

Click here for the special price

I am excited to share with you a special offer on a simple guide to teach major scales without a book taught by the outstanding pedagogy teacher, Elizabeth Gutierrez. She is extending this offer to my followers, for a special price before it goes live to the public.

This course was originally part of the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers, so if you have purchased the 2017  bundle in the past, you already have this. But for those of you who didn’t, and are not able to attend PCPT in person, it is now available as a stand alone class for only $37.00 for a limited time. Included with the price is lifetime access to it across all your devices. Plus, Elizabeth is adding a couple of more modules of additional help.

Course Description

Why wait until students can read a scale book and understand key signatures before starting scales? You can start students easily with scales once they know steps and skips at the keyboard. Elizabeth shares a tried and true method for introducing scales in a highly visual, auditory, and kinesthetic manner to confirm understand of all 12 major scales in just a few weeks! All without a book! When students are finished with this system, they will be able to move easily into playing one octave scales with the traditional fingerings.

The course contains a video lesson plus 4 PDF handouts.

Course Enhancements Coming Soon

  • A week-to-week assignment plan for an average age beginners so you will have a better idea of how to progress from week to week.
  • A video of an actual student performing scales

Benefits

Elizabeth’s system will get your primer-level students (any age, even 4-5 year olds) started on scales in a very straightforward, understanding way. No more waiting until method books introduce scales. She begins this step-by-step teaching plan when students have demonstrated a good grasp of steps vs. skips on the keyboard and on the staff.

This system works beautifully for beginners of all ages and it’s especially helpful for teaching transfer students who need serious review or who have never learned scales at all. The reason it can be used with pre-schoolers who have learned whole and half steps, is because it is all on the keyboard, without a book!

If you are an adult who always wanted to learn some music theory, you can enroll in this program and guide yourself along quite easily. 

Home school parents who have some background in music will learn how to teach their students scales in all the keys. Once students are finished with this two-hand method, it will be easy to move into key signatures and the circle of fifths. It will help students who want to learn how to play with church groups or take theory exams.

Access this course anytime, on demand, across all your devices. All the PDF handouts are downloadable so you can use them again and again with your students.

The good news: You get the pre-launch price of $37.00! Hooray!

The bad news: You have to grab this before Sunday, Feb. 18 at midnight Central time.

About Elizabeth

Founder ELIZABETH GUTIERREZ began Piano Camp for Piano Teachers in 2009 as an extension of her instructional blog for piano teachers. She has years of experience teaching piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has given numerous workshops and master classes to working independent teachers around the globe both in person and via livestream on Facebook and Periscope and also as a national clinician for Faber Piano Adventures. For her workshops and online courses, she draws on her extensive background as an independent teacher, professor, performer, and composer/editor/author.

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Pinterest
Pinterest

Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources, Teaching Aids, Teaching Business, Texas State Theory Test

Valentine Card Envelope Tutorial

Envelope For Valentine Card

I had some requests for the envelope to match the Valentine’s card I posted recently, so I decided to post the template with a tutorial in case you want to make one. You can find the Valentine’s card here.

Now if you have a very large music studio, cutting out a bunch of envelopes is probably not something you want to do. But if you have a child or grandchild who takes piano, or if you only have a few students, it really doesn’t take much time to cut this out. And with an envelope, you can even insert a special treat!

This template is for standard 8.5″ x 11″ US letter size paper. I’m not sure if it will work with UK size paper since I don’t have access to that size paper. But some of you on the other side of the pond might know how to do it.

When you print, it is important to select “Actual Size” or some words like that. If you choose “Fit Paper” or “Scale Paper” it is not going to fit the card. Also, it is a lot easier to fold the envelope and card if you don’t use card stock! I used 24# pound paper, which is not that much more expensive. It is good for printing both sides because it doesn’t see-through as much.

Happy Valentine’s Day!Music Valentine Card Envelope

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Pinterest
Pinterest

Filed under Teaching Aids, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day