I always feel a bit sorry for the month of January. After the hype and excitement of the holiday season, January is inevitably set up for failure in the piano lesson “excitement department”. While December was packed with fun activities, festive events and beloved music, January has ‘Blue Monday’ (the, scientifically, most depressing day of the year).
However, with a bit of imagination, January can have its own brand of piano lesson excitement too. Keep reading as we share some DIY note reading fun inspired by a cup of hot cocoa and mini-marshmallows.
Note Reading With Mini-Marshmallows
Today’s activity has been specifically designed to keep up with December’s glitz and glam; it’s hands on, off-the-bench, visually engaging and FUN. It also provides teachers with a quick glimpse into any note reading components your students may find challenging.
The set-up for today’s activity is really simple. You will need a coffee mug, 20 mini-marshmallows, five popsicle sticks, and our printable (which can be downloaded here).
Before You Begin…
Before the game is started, choose a “note set” on which you’d like to focus and then use the printable above that applies to your choice (the treble clef or the bass clef). Write four note names on each of the five popsicle sticks (for example, on one stick you might write, A, E, F, C). Next, fill the cup with the marshmallows, followed by the labeled popsicle sticks. Make sure the ends of the popsicle sticks with the labeled note names are inside the mug. Finally, place your mug on the circle on the printable.
Playing The Game
To play, instruct your student to pull one popsicle stick out of the mug. Next, have him select four mini-marshmallows from the mug and then place them on the staff in a position that represents each of the four note names.
For example, if your student draws a stick that has A, E, F, C and he is using the Treble Staff printable, on the staff he would place a marshmallow on the 2nd space, a marshmallow on the first line, a marshmallow on the first space and a marshmallow on the Middle C line.
Once your student has found the correct positions for the four marshmallows, they are returned to the mug and and a new popsicle stick is selected. Play continues until all five popsicle sticks have been removed from the mug.
More Piano Games For Memorable Learning Moments
You can never reinforce important piano concepts too many times. This means that providing your piano students with a wide variety of activities designed to teach and reinforce concepts (like note reading) is important. Learning moments like these are not just fun, they are memorable; meaning your students are more likely to retain information and recall it back on the bench.
Looking for more memorable learning moments? Our unique and quirky games from PianoGameClub.com are a teaching “must” in piano studios around the world. If you haven’t used game-based learning to deliver theory and ear training instruction… give it a try!