Will You Be My Valentine
Today I am posting a new Valentine’s piece that I wrote just for young children. It is in middle C position, (both thumbs on middle C) and it has no skips, just stepping notes in each hand. If you’re not an experienced piano teacher, but like to work with your young child at the piano, you may be interested to know that notes that move from one finger to the next are much easier for beginners. Most piano teachers wait until students have mastered stepping notes before they move into notes that skip fingers. That is not something I knew when I was a young teacher. Back before there was such a thing as piano pedagogy, we learned on the job! I’m sure a lot of my readers can identify with that!
This will be good piece for sight-reading or just something fun the week of Valentine’s Day.
In case you’re looking for some more easy Valentine’s Day music for beginners, go to my Valentine’s Music page here. There are also some that are a little harder, including one that is late elementary. I’ve written several levels of this one, because it used to be a favorite of mine when I had a classroom.
There’s a Little wheel A-Turning in My Heart
Here is one of my favorite preschool songs that I’ve made in both pre-reading and on-the-staff versions.
Chocolate Valentines Pre-reading
I hope some of your young students will enjoy my little Valentine ditties!
I almost didn’t print this new game, not because it is embarrassingly simple since that has never stopped me before. No, the problem is that in the easy version, the player who goes first always wins. But then I remembered that the reason we play these games is to reinforce music theory in a hands-on way, not to learn a life lesson. 🙂
Besides, as I played it with my younger students, I didn’t tell them and they didn’t notice. If they did, it didn’t bother them because I always let them go first anyway.
When I played the harder version with my older students, we usually tied, and that is fine, too.
I also want to share how I made the printed dominoes strong and sturdy so they will last a long time.
So here is my version of Rhythm Dominoes, a simple way to reinforce or even teach, rhythmic values in 4/4 meter.
- Page one is for early elementary and the second page is for late elementary.
- White card stock
- Two different colors of colored card stock
- Glue Stick (I used Elmer’s Xtreme®)
- Strong scissors
- Optional: Laminating film
- Use sturdy card stock to print the page you plan to use.
- Spread glue on the entire back of the printable. I used a liberal amount of glue stick. Do not leave any spots glue-free.
- Carefully glue the printed page to a blank sheet of colored card stock.
- Laminate the pages that are glued together and cut out the dominoes.
- Repeat with the second level of the printed page, using a different color of card stock to help you keep the levels separate.
- If you want to use this in group lessons, consider printing 2 pages of each level.
- Mix up the dominoes and divide them between the players.
- The youngest player goes first and places a double domino on the table.
- The second player places a matching domino next to the domino on the table, connecting the two. Players may match with a note, number, or rhythm pattern.
- Two numbers (inside the colored circles) cannot be matched together.
- If a player doesn’t have a match, he/she skips a turn.
- Continue taking turns placing dominoes on the table, snaking them around the table.
- The first player to run out of dominoes is the winner. If neither player has a match, the player with the fewest remaining dominoes is the winner.
- You can certainly make up your own rules to this game. Variations include passing out 5 dominoes to each player and putting the remainder in a pile to draw if the player does not have a match.
- Students will learn to quickly identify rhythm patterns and notes of equal value in 4/4 meter.
- Students will match rhythmic note values in 4/4 meter.
Fun with Frogs: Fingers and Hands
A teacher emailed me the other day asking if I have anything on my site for new students to use during the summer.
Well, it just so happens I have a young student who will be starting lessons this fall. So I have been working on a giant bundle of kindergarten through 2nd grade fun sheets. They can by use by students before they begin lessons or at their lessons. All of these lessons use a frog theme. I’ve used Mr. Frog before, but this time I’m adding a lot more. My goal is to touch on everything a new student learns in the first few lessons, as well as some note practice for students who need it.
My young students love Mr. Frog and his friends Miss Frog and Freddy. The frogies love to hang around their pond in flip-flops and practice stepping and skipping on the lily pads. They travel, too. They were recently seen in the English countryside, where they were busy working on UK versions of their rhythm sheets. They have finally learned crochets and minims, but they are a little confused about demisemiquavers!
You might notice that I’ve posted some of these previously. However, they have all been updated with new matching fonts and in some cases, I drew new art. I tried to minimize the ink but still keep them cute. I’ve used red for the right hand and blue for the left hand.
Today I am posting the first 4 pages, which focus on finger numbers. Here are a few ways to use them:
- Email them to your student’s Mom so she can work on these during the summer.
- Use them at with as a Frog theme for summer lessons.
- Use them at summer music camps.
- Use on an iPad or mobile tablet.
If you think of any other ways, let me know!
I plan to post more frog related activities including the UK rhythm ones, so stay tuned!
Funny Thanksgiving Food Bundle
Maybe some of you are taking a trip on Thanksgiving, and want something to keep your children busy when they get tired of movies and computer games. There are also some home school Moms who can use this in a music lesson next week.
The printables I’m posting today are old, so if you have been following my blog for a while, you recognize them. After one reader alerted me on Facebook that the link was wrong in my Thanksgiving Round Up post, I decided to freshen them up and put them all together in one PDF for you. There are two versions, one for learning piano keys, and the other has the easier notes around middle C on the staff. Each one comes in B&W and color.
The pages in color were not meant to be printed out, but to be used on an iPad or Android. There are several child-friendly PDF annotating apps you can download for your device.
However, if you want to print the color versions out, I suggest you print out just one copy of each. Put them into sheet protectors, and store them in a binder. Use page dividers to keep all the different printables organized, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Rhythm, etc. Use a dry erase marker on the printables, and you can use them over and over. If you leave the writing on the page too long it will not erase very well, so be sure to erase the marks before the end of the day. I got this tip from a teacher’s comment on my blog, and I think it’s a great way to save ink!
For those of you who do not know print out just one page of a PDF document, take at look at my FAQ here. Scroll down the page to find “How to Print on Both Sides of Flash Cards.” I give instructions on how to print just one page.