Elephants Are Eating

Elephants are Eating

Elephant on E

As some of you guessed, the next letter in my series of songs that introduce notes on the staff to young beginners is the note middle E.  (If you are new to this blog, read the previous post about how I am teaching my early childhood students to learn notes on the staff.)  Notice that this song uses E and well as middle C and D.

If you are a new teacher or parent, here is how I suggest teaching this.

  1. Read my last post with suggestions of ways to teach the location of E on the staff. After the student can identify E on the staff, you are ready to teach this song. You do not have to do it all in one lesson.
  2. Practice  tapping the words on the piano cover in rhythm until the child gets it.
  3. Use pre-reading cards to practice measures three and four, reading by intervals. Practice using the correct fingers on the piano cover. Drop the hand into the surface. Try to avoid lifting individual fingers.
  4. Review the rhythm again!
  5. If the child is antsy, get off the bench and do something else.
  6. Find middle E on the keyboard, and play measures three and four by intervals. Play the entire piece. The teacher duet may confuse students, so don’t use it right away.
  7. Get off the bench and play a game.

My students loved the seeing doughnut from the D song on this sheet. Let me know if any of your students notice.

This new series of sheets I am posting can help keep young students from thinking middle C is always the thumb. Further help with this is available in my beginning reading book Sunny Solos ($4.95), a digital download from Sheet Music Plus. Sunny Solos is also very good for transfer students who need a review of the primer level.

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11 thoughts to “E is for Elephant

  • Kristen Crouch

    Hi There! I love having your site as a resource when I need new ideas! I teach kids with Autism and need simplified pieces. I love the Doughnut Mystery and Elephant Eating because it really hits home a single note with a single finger (I use the pieces just with the corresponding finger in the C position but may start having them try different fingering for each note). The songs are fun enough to grab my students’ attention which is what I need. The duet makes it more exciting for them. Can’t wait for your next one!!!! Keep them coming!

    • susanparadis

      I have two more made as well as several worksheets. I was at a music convention and I’m behind in my posting. But I will get up the other two when I have some free time.

  • Valerie

    Hello! It’s my first time on your site, and I really find your posts very cute. I give piano lessons for kids, and sometimes, I had a hard time getting attention from them. Your suggestions above does give me some ideas for my next kids lesson! Thanks for helping teachers like me! 🙂

  • Megan Hughes

    Keep ‘me coming. One note songs are the best thing ever. How about 2 notes next?

    • susanparadis

      Megan, when I first wrote the E song, it was just one note, but I added C and D. Do you think it would have been better for the student with just an E? I was thinking that they have had so much pre-reading by the time they get to this point that it would not be to hard and would add interest if they had to do some skipping. I always appreciate other thoughts!

  • Whitney P

    Thank you for sharing! Your duets add so much.

    So glad your Elephant has on a red shirt…..he’s just perfect for my Bama fan students!!! We love Big AL down here.

    • susanparadis

      Glad you like the red shirt!

      • Whitney P

        Just had to write back and tell you what my kiddos said. I used the D and E pieces as part of my sight reading packet for a couple of older students. They thought the songs were precious and loved that we just started out playing them as duets. Both thought they were “very fun!” Then, my younger students came and loved your cute lyrics and the fact that they could just sit right down and play both pieces!!! One thought your dog looked like my dog Scout and asked if “that Lady” wrote it about Scout. Scout loves doughnuts! HA!

        As always, many thanks for your willingness to share!!!

        • susanparadis


          Thank you. You’re so sweet to tell me. I work in such a vacuum most of the time, I just don’t know how things go over with other students. So I appreciate so much hearing what students have to say. I love making children smile while they learn!

  • leiaslessons

    My transfer students are trapped into the “C is thumb, D is finger 2, E is 3” mentality. It’s so hard to break them out of this, but I’m trying!

    • susanparadis

      You are right! It’s so much harder to fix than to learn different places to put fingers in the beginning!

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