It can feel overwhelming to “check all the boxes” during a piano lesson. There is so much for our students to learn and so little time to allow the learning to happen.
Music history was the one thing that I (guiltily) pushed aside in my piano lessons. While I would have loved my kiddos to know about composers and their life and works… I simply could not scrape together enough time to for an adequate experience.
But as I started to use composing as a teaching tool, I realized that not having knowledge of composers was a missing link in my piano teaching chain. How could inspire my students to become composers, if they didn’t anything about the composers who came before them?
When Trevor and I came up with the idea of Composer Trading Cards a while back, I literally ran into Staples to have them printed that afternoon; I was so eager to get my student started on this exciting lesson addition… and I was absolutely thrilled that it wasn’t going to use up my valuable lesson time.
If you’ve been collecting our free Composer Trading Cards from day one then you know how much fun piano students have building a collection, how excited they get when learning “fun facts” about these fascinating people… and you know the satisfaction you feel as a teacher in knowing that this very important “box” is being checked in your lesson offerings.
Today we’re sharing another set of two Composer Trading Cards. If you’ve missed our previous posts, check out the download instructions below to get other card sets.
Composer Trading Cards: Tchaikovsky and Boulanger
One of the added bonuses of using Composer Trading Cards in your lessons is that they often spark great conversations that would not otherwise arise.
Recently my young piano student said to me “I used to think ‘Why is it always boys who write music?’… But now I know it wasn’t!” After which we launched into a great discussion of why this perception existed and then revisited her Fanny Mendelsson, Clara Schumann, Amy Beach and Cecil Chaminade trading cards… reviewing their most famous works and talking about the life they would have experienced during their time. My student left her lesson happily clutching her new Nadia Boulanger card (which we’re sharing today!)
Today’s set includes a Tchaikovsky trading card and a Boulanger trading card (in a spiffy new design!) to add to your piano students’ growing collections. See the download instructions below.
How To Collect Composer Trading Cards
The best way to collect these cards is to provide your students with a plastic trading card protector page to clip into their piano binder. The cards then slide nicely into the individual slots and are an inspiring way to begin learning about music history.
To use the cards, simply send home a Composer Trading Card (or two) with parent instructions that help your students research the composer and fill out the questions on the back of the card. When your students return the following week with the completed card, discuss what they discovered.
The Composer Trading Cards we’re sharing today (and other sets of the cards) can be found in the Growing With WunderKeys Toolkit (where we now keep most of our newly released printables).
While you’re there, be sure to download our other free lesson offerings and check out our newly re-vamped WunderKeys Piano for Preschoolers method books!