I want to share with new teachers a way to make sure your young students never forget the names of the piano keys! Over the years I’ve collected a lot of tiny toys that fit on the keys. These little guys are erasers, but I have all kind of trinkets in my collection. First we learn C, then F, and over several lessons we gradually work up to all the keys. In this photo, my little student picked any item out of my collection that started with the same letter as the key. So that students won’t just count up from C, we let our little animals hop around to all the C’s, all the F’s, etc. I mix up the order, and the time it takes to learn all the keys depends on the age and ability of the student.
We also play the Keyboard Note Race games that I have posted with several different graphics on my website. This week we’re playing the one with the shamrocks. Click on the link below the photo to print it out. For older beginners I don’t use toys, but we play the keyboard race games. Older beginners are notorious about trying to play the piano before they learn the names of the keys, maybe because we move faster and they don’t have as much time for it to sink in. This game helps with that.
In this game you and your student sit on each end of the piano, draw cards, and try to be the first one who passes either Middle C or Middle E. I guarantee you students will quickly learn their keys with this game. I’ve made it with pumpkins, snowflakes, hearts, and I can’t even remember what else, to make it more fun for students. Colored pencil erasers make good tokens for older students.