We have a craft bin at home that our girls can paw through whenever they’re feeling creative. And by “bin”, I mean a horribly disorganized “squish it down until it fits” assortment of pipe cleaners, pom-poms, glitter, glue sticks and a host of other things that make Trevor shudder whenever the bin makes an appearance.
And while the craft bin has a tendency of taking over our kitchen table for hours at a time, it also spurs some moments of creativity in our two children that make the mess worth it. Recently, one of these moments became a “piano teaching aha!”…
While playing around in the bin, my daughter announced, “Everything looks cuter when it has eyes!” She then began fixing googly eyes to everyday household objects including the stapler, the remote control, an apple and a wooden spoon. It was hilarious.
When it finally became time to “de-personify” our kitchen utensils, I decided to see how I could use these googly eyes in my piano teaching studio in ways that would engage the imagination of my students.
The results of my brainstorm are shared below in today’s post. If you’re looking to get some giggles out of your students while reinforcing important musical concepts “get googly” and try out our 7 strategies.
7 Ways To Use Googly Eyes When Teaching Piano Lessons
To make our 7 strategies work you’ll need a pack of googly eyes and some “sticky dots” (small sticky circles). With that simple set up, you’re ready to create some memorable teaching moments:
- Attach two googly eyes to a popsicle stick. You’ve created “Mr. Skip”. Use Mr. Skip to seek out all of the notes in your students’ music that move by skip. Have your students slide the popsicle stick along the page, allowing “Mr. Skip” to point out where each skip is found.
- Attach two googly eyes above measures in your students’ pieces that need extra attention at home. Reminders have a way of seeming bossy and boring, but with googly eyes they are a blast.
- Attach googly eyes to the knuckles of any students who have trouble with collapsing finger joints and then tell your students to “Keep all eyes on you!” as they play.
- Attach googly eyes above or below the note heads of a selected note in your students’ pieces. For example, ask your students to find and then attach googly eyes to “All of the G’s” in their pieces. This strategy provides a fun way to focus on, identify, name and remember certain notes. Call them the “Cyclops Note” and you have an instantly memorable learning moment.
- When teaching a new scale, attach googly eyes to the “front face” of the black keys that are used in the scale as a great visual of the required accidentals. After the scale has been played several times, remove the googly eyes and then have your students re-attach them to the correct black keys (once again further solidifying the black key pattern).
- Stick two googly eyes to a post-it-note flag and have them “peek” out of the top of your piano students’ piano binders as a “Hey! Remember to play me!” home practice nudge.
- Draw three circles at the top of your students’ current pieces. During the week, encourage your students to play the piano for three different family members or friends. After each performance, instruct your students to complete “a face” (one of the circles) by adding googly eyes and then drawing the remaining facial features. Finally, have your students write the name of the audience member who heard the piece.
Pushing Away The Walls of That Piano Teaching Box
Are you looking for more creative and crafty ways to improve your piano teaching. If so, check out three of our most popular “craft-inspired” piano teaching spots by clicking on the images below: