[Find the Starting Note, today’s Throwback Thursday, is a set of pages to help students find their hand position and was originally posted about 10 years ago. Since for the past few months I’ve been posting some info and material to help students who have difficulty learning to read music, I’m re-posting both levels. Finding where to put their hands and following patterns is difficult for some students. This helps two ways, seeing the patterns on the staff, and finding the notes on the keyboard.]
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 wet-erase markers. A sheet protector works the same way.