what is it that they say?
ah that's right, "if you snooze, you lose".
Well it appears that I've been doing too much snoozing these last couple of weeks and not enough doing, as the weeks have simply flown by! I had wanted to write up some more notes from things we did in class but haven't quite got down to the writing up part. In our class this week along with storytime and dancing and singing, the children spent some time identifying the pattern of the black keys, from two to three. They placed coloured circles on top of each of the black keys on their keyboard printables. They also put the miniature keyboard printables on top of the keys on the piano that were black, to match them up. So for example, they put the picture of the two black keys, on top of the set of two black keys on the piano.
But I have been working on something. In my never ending quest to find ways to help the children with their learning acquisition and skill development I came across something rather wonderful as I was skimming through the latest newsletter from EPTA UK. In the newsletter it mentioned an event happening in June run by the people at "Dogs and Birds" on their teaching syllabus. And then being ever curious, I looked them up on the internet and discovered their website. I soon learnt that they have this fun way to teach note names and how to read music on the staves. It is completely accessible to 3 year olds. Which is just perfect for my students as I am currently teaching 3 - 5 year olds. And towards the beginning of this video from Dogs and Birds you'll see that they do an activity identifying the set of black keys, are they in a set of two or a set of three. And does that set of black keys have the "dog" note in it? For example, between the set of two black keys the note is "dog" (D). But there is no "dog" (D) in the set of three black keys.
I had seen elsewhere from other teachers the use of animal toys for naming notes on large floor sized staff. But this method takes it a step further as it has identified colours for the left and right hand eg. treble clef is in red, and bass clef is in blue. Then the method uses tiles as objects to move up and down the stave to identify the note names. Now instead of using the "boring" alphabet letters for the note names. This method uses the animal name instead. So for example, the C note is called cat. And the D note is called dog. The E note is called egg. And the F note is called fish, etcetera.
Well I have taken action, and am now awaiting delivery of the clever coloured staves board and the animal tiles, as well as the method books.
And having just seen this video again from Dr Mario Ajero, Dr Ajero has given me some ideas for some exercises to go through with our students in our next lesson. All these ideas are so very helpful and very much appreciated!
So for those of you who are homeschooling your younger children in piano at home, then you may also find these videos an interesting watch. Once again in the video below you will see reference made at the beginning of the video to playing the set of black keys, on this occasion the set of two black keys.