You’ve likely noticed that Trevor and I are on a two-person mission to rid boredom from every single part of a piano lesson; technical exercises, sight reading, theory, repertoire… everything is fair game in our mission to infuse fun.
As Mary Poppins says: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP- the job’s a game!” …
She’d make a great piano teacher, yes?! So, today we’re reaching into our magic carpet bag, “a la” Mary Poppins, to pull out a fun way of memorizing pentascales.
Fun With Pentascales: “Feed The Penta-pillar!”
Today’s super-cute printable (download it here) can be used to help your young piano students learn to memorize their pentascales. We’ve included a playing card for every “white key” pentascale… allowing you to pick and choose which ones to use with each of your young students. Use just a few, or use them all… it’s up to you! All cards can be used as major or minor (you can specify) and there are even blank cards in case you need more!
Here’s how to use the Penta-Pillar Playing Cards:
- To get started, you will need some clothes pegs and a dry erase marker.
- Next, download, cut out and laminate the Penta-pillar Playing Cards.
- Choose the playing card with the pentascale you would like your student to learn/play/review.
- Discuss which notes are affected by accidentals in the selected pentascale.
- Have your piano student “feed the Penta-pillar” by “nibbling” (clipping a clothes peg onto) each of the leaves that contain the name of a note affected by accidentals within the particular scale.
- Using a dry-erase pen, ask your student to draw the correct accidental(s) on the staff.
- Finally, play the pentascale!
Four More Fun Ways To Use Penta-pillar Cards
The sky’s the limit in terms of how you can use these cards… but here are four more fun ways to use these cards… all of which have worked wonderfully with my own students.
- Peta-Pillar Practice Aids: Once you’ve completed the activity described above during a lesson, send these cards home as an attractive practice aid for pentascale practice.
- Peta-Pillar Collector Cards – Use the cards as rewards for students who have correctly played or memorized specific pentacles. Can your students collect all 14? If your students are already collecting our Composer Cards, the Penta-Pillar cards can be placed in the same kind of trading card protectors. You can read about our Composer Cards here.
- The Penta-Pillar Switch: Kids love any opportunity to become the “teacher”. So, instead of having the kids clip clothes pegs to the cards… try it for yourself… but do it incorrectly. Can your students spot and fix your mistakes?
- Penta-Pillars in the Waiting Room: Leave the Penta-pillar Playing Cards and a ziploc baggie of clothes pegs in your waiting area. Can your students complete the full set before their lesson begins?
We love getting creative with piano teaching resources. And no where is this more evident than in the 4 incredible games we send to our PianoGameClub members each and every month. If you want to deliver awesome piano lessons but don’t know where to start, PianoGameClub will do the heavy lifting for you 🙂