Can you believe I had never heard of “score study” until I started my degree at university? Score Study was not part of my lesson experience as a young piano student. When I started a new piano piece I was taught to look at the first few notes (and maybe glance at the key signature!) and start playing.
But once I learned to use score study techniques to analyze a new piece, a world of learning opened up before my eyes. Suddenly, each piece made sense. There were no hidden surprises and memorization became much easier… because I actually understood what it was that I was playing. Too bad I had to wait so long to experience this whole new world! 🙁
When I began teaching piano, I was determined to make score study an integral part of my lessons. As my teaching career has progressed I have approached score study in many different ways and with many different tools. Below I’m sharing a “fancied up” version of the Score Study Printable I am currently using with my piano kids.
Why Use My Score Study Printable?
Bringing relevance to your students’ sheet music should be a top priority. Why? Because if their scores have no real meaning to your piano students…
- You face weeks full of “look at your music, not your hands” struggles
- You take the chance of having your students reinforce habitual mistakes
- Your students may experience slow progress due to an inadequate understanding of certain elements in their scores.
If your students can instead learn to view their sheet music as an assistant to playing well (rather than as a “somewhat helpful but rather confusing tool”) then you’re a giant step ahead!
With a bit of score study you head off problems at the pass and send your students home armed with a real and tangible understanding of their music. You are also giving your students the necessary skills to tackle a brand new piece of music all on their own!
Preparing the Score Study Printable
You can download my Score Study Printable here. Print it double sided. Fold/cut as indicated on the sheet. Glue the back side to a piece of paper in your students’ binders and then assist them in filling in the answers… happily taking this lovely opportunity to really get into some in-context theory instruction!
Here’s a picture of a finished Score Study Printable recently completed by one of my students.
Next Step… Make a Game Of It!
While you’re delving into score study, you’ll also want your students to truly understand the theory concepts behind each element. The monthly games we create for our PianoGameClub members compliment the practice of score study perfectly; providing the hilarious and fun tools to reinforce the concepts students encounter in their piano pieces. Check out PianoGameClub here.