Check your student's assignments from the week before and look for incomplete or incorrect areas. Have them play their assigned songs for you, reminding them to “perform” each song – meaning they need to continue playing after a mistake, without pausing, pulling faces, grunting or making any other sounds.
Once you feel your student has a good understanding of the previous week’s material, you can move on to the next lesson as follows:
2. Bastien Primer THEORY Book pages 7-10 – The Musical Alphabet
Explain that there are only seven letters in the musical Alphabet – A through G. Have your student start with A on the piano and say the alphabet going up and then back down. You may have your student complete any portion of their theory homework during their lesson or at home.
- Fun Piano Lesson Activity – Musical Alphabet Bean Bag Toss is a ton of fun! To play this game, you will need to a giant floor keyboard. Laura Lowe* gives some great instructions on how you can make your own on The Piano Studio. She uses a sheet and permanent markers. If you don’t want to make one, you can buy a vinyl floor keyboard at Theory Time. This game is played by having your student draw a Musical Alphabet Card and then throwing a bean bag onto the correct key. If they don’t throw the bean bag onto the correct key, you can have them play it on the piano and then try again. Another variation would be to lay out all the cards and have your student take away the card their bean bag lands on. They can try to eliminate as many cards as possible in a certain time frame. This variation would be good for younger kids, or kids who don’t have the best aim. I have made some Musical Alphabet Cards that have all letters of the musical alphabet as well as sharp and flat keys for when your students advance.
- Fun Piano Lesson Activity – Another fun game I play with my students is the Musical Alphabet Race. To play this, move the bench aside and have your student step back several paces. You may vary the distance depending on the student. Tell them that they have one minute to correctly find as many notes on the piano. You will call out a letter of the musical alphabet, and they need to try to find it by running up to the piano and hitting the correct key. If they hit the wrong key, then they have to run back to their starting mark and then try again. I like to record the number of correct notes they got in one minute and compare their number at their next lesson.
- Fun Piano Lesson Activity - You can also use the Make a Keyboard activity from Primer Lesson #1 - Introduction and the Black Keys.
Bastien Primer THEORY page 7-10 – Musical Alphabet
#16-#18 – White Key Names
Space Flight Game
Bastien Primer PIANO page 14-15 – The Musical Alphabet
Your student will get a break from learning a new song this week. Have them follow the practice directions in their PIANO book.
- Have your student practice playing the musical alphabet forward and backward in different places on the keyboard. They can use their second finger of either hand to do this.
- They will need to find and play all the keys, memorizing the location of each letter of the musical alphabet on the keyboard.
- Have them shut their eyes and try to find the sets of two and three black notes, then with the other hand, find and name the nearby white keys.
I use many online resources for my lessons. I have gathered these resources into easy to follow lesson plans to save new teachers time and energy.
*This lesson includes materials from Laura Lowe at the Piano Studio.
Please contact me if any of the links are not working or if you have any questions and/or suggestions.