As a new piano term is approaching I’ve been looking at various worksheets, sheet music and games to use with my piano students.
At some point every piano student should understand the theory concept of scales. A blog called “Sara’s Music Studio” has two free worksheets which reinforce pentascales for major white and black keys. Rather than printing off the Major White Key Pentascales Worksheet & Major Black Key Pentascales Worksheet for each student I plan to print off one copy of each worksheet and to have students create pentascales on the pages during the lesson with colored buttons, afterwards playing the pentascales on the piano keyboard.
I believe it’s beneficial to teach adult students chords and chord progressions. Adults enjoy hearing a full sound from the keyboard and playing chords gives a sense of accomplishment as the right and left hands are playing together. 8notes.com have a variety of easy sheet music with chords written alongside a right hand melody; I’ll be keeping on hand Fur Elise and an Irish tune called Star of the County Down.
Makingmusicfun.net is offering free ebooks to download. The Mozart Piano ebook and Beethoven Piano ebook contain piano pieces which are suitable for students who are getting a start to playing Classical music.
Joy Morin’s “Color in My Piano” blog has several games which I’d like to try. One is called The Amazing Keyboard Race Game and it reinforces note-reading. The other is called Finger Piano Twister and it reinforces finger numbers. These games are quite kinesthetic and look great for children.
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Being able to read music notation opens up a whole world to piano students. While many musicians can play beautifully without knowing how to read sheet music, learning how to read sheet music will enhance their musical skills.
Reading Sheet Music
By learning how to read sheet music students can play virtually any piece of notated music.
When a student learns how to read notes, rhythm and other musical markings, sheet music will be understandable. Music is very orderly and structured, so there is no need to be confused at all the symbols. Start by learning simple rhythms and commonly used notes and then gradually adding on to that knowledge until almost any combination of notes, rhythms and markings make sense.
By learning how to read sheet music students can visually see theory principles at work.
Reading sheet music allows a student to play other peoples’ compositions and to see how these composers applied the “rules” of music into their compositions. Rather than simply learning theory principles (ex. chord progressions) in an isolated manner, students can view how individual theory principles work in a broader musical context.
By learning how to read sheet music students find ideas from other composers for their own compositions.
As students play sheet music they will find musical combinations that sounds pleasant to the ear. Students can then transfer these ideas into their own compositions, improvisations, or accompaniments. Musicians benefit not only from listening to well-played music but also from playing beautiful music scores by skillful composers.