Every concept taught in every lesson should be presented through a visual and an aural experience. But this is not always how it happens. As piano teachers and students plough through theory concepts in lesson books, ear training can be easily overlooked.
But it shouldn’t be! Ear training is important. And it also happens to be a great way to get kids away from the bench, allowing them a momentary “brain break” where they can rest and get ready for more music.
Trevor and I love ear training activities because they lend themselves so well to game play… and we LOVE… piano games! In today’s post we’re sharing a cute ear training activity you can use with your beginners when you’re teaching steps and skips.
Don’t “Wing” It: Use This Stepping, Skip, Squawking Printable!
Today’s activity can be prepped at a moment’s notice. All you need is the activity page (see download instructions below) and 10 buttons, candies or dimes.
Before the game begins, have your student sit away from the piano with the activity page placed in front and the dimes placed to the side.
Next, have your piano student listen closely as you play steps and then skips. Together, discuss the various strategies that can be used to differentiate between the two sounds. After this quick tutorial you are ready to play:
- To begin, have your student choose any number between 1 and 8. Write it down. This becomes his “chosen number”.
- Play a step or a skip on the piano and ask your student if he heard a step or a skip.
- If he hears a step, he removes a coin from the chicken labelled with the word “Step”. If he hears a skip, he removes a coin from the chicken labelled with the word “Skip”.
- Your student examines the number revealed by the coin removed in Step 3. If the number does not match his “chosen number” from Step 1, he keeps the coin.
- Repeat Steps 2 – 4 until your student removes a coin that reveals his “chosen number” from Step 1. When this happens, the game is over.
- Record your student’s score (the number of coins removed). In future games he can attempt to beat this score.
Access Today’s Printable Here
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!