With piano students I introduce intervallic note reading early and often. Being able to recognize steps and skips on the staff and on the keyboard is a skill that helps develop fluent and effective piano players. Naming notes is obviously an important skill when reading music… but it’s not the only skill.
So, if your young piano students are great at note crunching but not so great at intervallic reading then the inchworm activity we’re sharing today will help them reinforce this essential skill.
Recognizing Steps and Skips With Intervallic Inchworms
I’m going to be honest… while I want my students to be self-starters, I’m not above using candy and sticker incentives to inspire a bit of learning 😉 And if a candy incentive (say… a gummy worm) can be incorporated into an activity, as we’ve done today… better yet!
The set-up for today’s activity is pretty simple: you will need a gummy worm, the printable found here (preferably laminated) and a dry erase pen.
Before the game begins, you will have to draw one interval (a step or a skip) in each of the four boxes at the top of today’s printable. You’ll notice that each of the four boxes has three lines. These lines do not represent a real staff and note heads drawn on the lines or the spaces will not represent actual notes. By using only three lines, as a modified staff, your students will be able to focus on looking for steps and skips using the “line to a line, space to a space” for skips vs. “line to a space, space to a line” for steps instead of naming specific notes.
Once the intervals are drawn on the printable, give your student the gummy worm and, beginning at the lowest key of the keyboard image, have your student ‘inch’ the worm up the keyboard according to the steps and skips in the four boxes at the top of the printable.
To see the activity in action, watch the video below:
Looking For More Off-The-Bench Fun?
Taking short breaks away from the piano bench increases a student’s effectiveness when on the bench. But time away from the bench does not have to be wasted time. With games from Teach Piano Today’s PianoGameClub, you’ll find that off-the-bench fun might just be the most valuable learning experience in an entire lesson.