It’s very likely that your piano students are happy riders on the “emoji train”. These little images are everywhere. Their popularity is soaring, and you can bet that your kids would be stoked to see them appear in your piano studio.
I was making my monthly (okay… weekly) trip into Staples when I saw a pack of emoji stickers that were simply asking to be made into a piano lesson activity.
So, today we’re sharing five ways you can use emoji stickers as score study tools! Your piano kids will squeal with happiness… and you’ll love the learning that will happen!
5 Ways To Use Emoji Stickers As Piano Teaching Tools
You can find large packs of inexpensive emoji stickers in just about any retail store (see Amazon). Seek out the packages of small stickers so that they fit nicely on sheet music. It’s also helpful to have the packages that include ALL of the emojis you’d find on your phone. If you aren’t familiar with emojis, trust me… your students will be 😉
Once you have a significant stash of emoji stickers, follow along to find out how you can use them as piano teaching tools!
1. Tempo and Expression Markings
When I was a piano student, we simply “drilled” the Italian definitions of tempo and expression markings. Allegro, dolce, moderato, cantabile…. they were something that just had to be memorized. But with emoji stickers you can easily bring Italian terms to life! Discuss the meaning of the tempo or expression marking at the beginning of your piano students’ pieces and then have your students select a corresponding emoji sticker. Instantly memorable!
2. Rhythm Helpers
With the wacky world of emojis you have a rhythm helper at your fingertips! To help your students remember tricky rhythms in their pieces, use the food emojis as a reminder. For example, you could stick a strawberry emoji (straw-ber-ry) above a set of triplets… or you could stick a watermelon (wa-ter-mel-on) over a a set of four sixteenth notes. You can also make fun rhythm worksheets with emojis by placing food stickers on the page and having your students clap the word and then write down a rhythm to match. See below for an example of “wa-ter-mel-on ap-ple”
3. Drawing Attention to Dynamics
If you have piano students who do not pay attention to dynamics, emoji stickers can be the “Hey! Look here!” notification that they need. Have your students select an emoji sticker that they feel represents forte, piano, mezzo forte and mezzo piano. Place a sticker beside each dynamic marking as a reminder.
4. Phrasing and Expression
When teaching classical music (such as Sonatinas) I like to have my students identify different “voices” in their music. This helps immensely with phrasing, expression, and the ability to “tell a story” through their music. Have your students select different “characters” and then place the appropriate emoji stickers over matching phrases. You can read more about the role “characters” can play in teaching Sonatinas here.
5. Note Reading Reminders
Some piano students have a “pesky” note that they always forget, confuse or otherwise muddle. Enter emoji stickers! Ask your students to place emoji stickers above requested notes. Your students will have fun while they learn to identify and isolate their “trouble notes”. The stickers then stay on the page as reminders for at-home practice (works great for reminding students of sharps and flats in pieces with a key signature too!) See below of an example of a “Bass Clef G reminder”.
This Music Will Make Your Students 🙂
Is your music shelf looking a little tired? Are you sick of pulling out the same books over and over again? Teach Piano Today’s PianoBookClub is an easy way to refresh your teaching and bring some life to your music library. For just $8 per month you receive an entire book of studio-licensed music enabling you to have a wealth of teaching material at your fingertips! Find out more here.