This is one of the first things I do with a new student between the ages of 3-8. After we have loosened up, playing (or hitting!) the keys anywhere on the piano and talking about what different sounds we can make on the piano, we discuss the patterns of black and keys.
With a teenage or adult student this is obvious, but with this young age group this needs to be reinforced as it is essential for them to start to identify notes later on. Kids this age need a lot of help recognising patterns.
So we take to the floor! I scatter the cards in front of the student and we start to build our own piano together.
If the student needs more help, and isn’t yet able to immediately see the groups of twos and threes I organize them in separate piles, rather than randomly scattered. Then I ask them which one is next, the big one or the little one?
After the preschooler becomes pretty good at building the piano – we add the dogs and gates to make the groups even clearer. We use these cards again later when we’re learning the musical alphabet, matching up the alphabet animal to the correct key.
You can download these printable piano builder cards to use yourself by entering your details below, print out as many copies as you like and cut them apart. I laminated mine to make them more durable.
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Do you have any games you use to teach this concept?
Any questions about how I use these cards? Leave them in the comments below!