Puzzles are a motivating, play-based, musical tool for piano teachers. Over the past month, teachers have been using our Note Reading Trains and our Cut and Play Keyboard Recognition printables to reinforce early piano skills with their primer and preschool students.
But puzzles aren’t just for the youngest piano students in your studio. With some simple modifications and some interesting musical additions, they can be a wonderful teaching tool for your eight, nine, and ten-year-old students too!
Enter… Song Strips.
Song Strips are musical puzzles that use familiar tunes to build up the sight-reading and ear training skills of your level 1 students. And because kids are motivated to complete challenges in “record time” they will use the Song Strips over and over without losing interest.
Using Song Strips With Your Piano Students
Song Strips are simple, linear puzzles that are assembled with listening skills instead of visual skills. And because students, and not teachers, must play the music that is being listened to, Song Strips also improve sight-reading skills.
Song Strips require little prep and have simple instructions; making them the perfect at-home homework tool.
Getting Started With Song Strips
To get started, your students must print out the Song Strip printable. On the printable, they will find three lines of music, each separated into three puzzle blocks.
Before cutting out the blocks in each puzzle line, your students must play the music and name the familiar tunes.
Instruct your students to cut out each block in each line of music, mix up the blocks, and then place them on the piano bench. When they are ready to begin, have your students reassemble each line of music by playing individual blocks, grouping them into their original tunes, and then placing them in the correct order to recreate the puzzles.
While the music in the Song Strips is composed at a primer level, because this is a sight-reading and ear training challenge, it is best used with students who are one level above (i.e. Elementary Piano Level 1).
To download our Song Strips, as well as many additional fun theory activities, visit Teach Piano Today’s Homework Pages (click the pink button before the image below).