As piano teachers we spend a lot of time explaining to beginners how to find the starting note. The younger the student, the more they need help with this.
A few years ago I started a ritual with my beginning students.
- Name the note on the staff.
- Point to the correct key on the piano.
- Wiggle the starting finger. Wave it around in circles and talk to it.
- “Fly” it to the correct starting key on the piano. We have a lot of fun with this!
And yet, some students still have trouble knowing where to place their hands when they practice alone.
To help beginning students of all ages develop independence in finding their starting position, I made these printable worksheets. There are two pages, one for each hand. Students only need to know the beginning note in each pattern, and then step up or down to the next note. This also helps with interval reading. The idea is to gain confidence to tackle a new piece on their own.
For those of you who don’t want to print individual copies, you can laminate them for use with dry erase markers. A sheet protector works the same way. If you are making summer take-home folders, this might be a good worksheet to include.
I’ve thought about drawing another set that starts with different fingers in each pattern, not just the thumb. If you have an opinion, let me know.