There are times when I feel more like a math professor than a piano teacher. Long before most children are confronted with addition or fractions in school, I’m teaching my piano students how to count, add, and divide note and rest values within different time signatures. Just one more lovely benefit of piano lessons!
But to some piano students, note values, rest values and time signatures don’t seem that lovely and can sometimes be a stumbling block. Grasping how a time signature affects the number of beats in a measure requires a solid understanding of rhythmic values and an ability to add note values with ease.
So, today we’re sharing a cute, fishy-themed printable that I play with my young piano students when we turn the page in their method books and discover time signatures. This printable helps to reinforce note values and to understand how these values fit within the 4/4 time signature. Check it out below…
An E-FISH-ent Printable to Introduce 4/4 Time
Today’s printable is easy to play and requires only a few pennies as props. It takes the bite out of time signatures when your students encounter them for the first time. Here’s how to play:
- Follow the instructions at the end of the post to download and print the activity.
- To begin, players use pennies to cover all of the note images on the game board (one penny per note)
- Next, Player 1 removes pennies (one at a time) until the combined value of the revealed notes matches the number of beats in a measure of 4/4 time. When this happens, Player 1 keeps all of the removed pennies. However, if Player 1 removes pennies and accidentally exceeds the number of beats in a measure of 4/4 time, all pennies removed during the turn are returned to the game board.
- Player 2 repeats Step 2.
- Players continue alternating turns until one player collects six coins and wins the game.
Where To Find Today’s Time Signature Printable
As you know from previous posts, to make our printables easier to find, and to correlate them with our new WunderKeys Primer and Level 1 books that we’ll be releasing later this year, we’ll be putting them up on WunderKeys.com.
Today’s resource has been added to the Primer Section of the WunderKeys Resource Page.
Click here or on the activity title page below to visit the WunderKeys Resource Page, and then scroll down to the Primer Section to find the downloadable pdf. And, while you’re there, be sure to check out our completely revamped 2nd edition WunderKeys Preschool Piano books!