Beginning piano students are all so different; they have different likes and dislikes, different needs, different abilities, different weaknesses and different strengths. As piano teachers, we’re constantly adjusting our teaching strategies to accommodate these differences.
But there are also similarities between beginning piano students, and one of those similarities is a confusion that arises between “look-alike notes”.
When our young piano students begin reading on the staff there are often sets of notes that get muddled and mixed-up. Look-alike notes (B vs. D, A vs. E etc.) require a bit more drill and practice to get them straight; but drill and practice gets old… fast.
So in today’s post we’re sharing a fun off-the-bench activity that you can use to set your students off on a note-reading path that is “easy-peasy lemon squeezy”!
Sorting Look-Alike Notes With Lemonade
When it comes to preparing piano teaching activities… simple is sweet! Today’s activity requires easy-to-acquire materials and amateur-level crafting abilities.
Our Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy note-reading game requires some construction paper, two straws, a marker, and the printable found here.
To prepare for this activity, cut two cup images from a piece of blue construction paper and two lemon wedges from a piece of yellow construction paper. Use these cutouts to create the “game board” as shown in the image below.
Then, choose one page from the printable provided above and cut out the 12 images of the two look-alike notes (for example, B and D). Spread these look-alike notes around the game board with the note images facing down. Finally, label the two “lemon wedges” on the game board with the names of the two look-alike notes (B and D) being reinforced in this game.
How To Play Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
This game is a simple sorting activity. The look-alike notes (B and D) that are spread around the game board represent ice cubes that must be placed into the appropriate lemonade glass.
To begin the game, the student chooses an ice cube from around the game board, examines the note image on the back and then places it “note image down” onto the lemonade glass that has the lemon wedge with the corresponding note name.
Next, the student selects another “ice cube” from around the game board and places it onto the appropriate glass. The student repeats this procedure until all ice cubes have been placed into the correct lemonade glasses.
Note: In the printable you will find three pages of commonly-confused notes. When your students no longer confuse B and D, you can have them sort A vs E, or C vs E. We have included a blank template that you can use if there are two notes that your students often confuse but are not listed above.
Looking For More Off-The-Bench Fun?
If you’re looking for more great ways to get wiggly piano students off the bench, be sure to check out TeachPianoToday’s PianoGameClub. Now that it’s May, our subscribers are receiving four new games to pump up the fun in their studios. If you are looking rock game-based learning in your studio, check out PianoGameClub where our members get four new piano games each and every month for just $8!