Yesterday was the first in many months of quarantine in-person lessons in the studio and oh boy, did I miss all that live interaction! Even with all health protocols in place! To make the first lesson special for my beginners I created cards for the listening activity. The concepts of high/low, fast/slow, and happy/sad are too abstract for little brains to contemplate. But with the help of visual aids listening activity becomes a fun part of the lesson.
High and Low Listening Activity
The cards contain two nature objects to present high and low sounds. Listening to the sounds, encourage your student to choose the card that mostly represents the pitch. Bird for the high sounds, and elephant for the low sounds. After the cards are placed on the piano in the proper register they could be collected by the student.
Music Direction Up, Down, Stay in the Same Place
Together with High and Low Cards, use a music direction set of cards for the listening activity to determine the music movement. Hot air balloons for music going up. Submarines for music going down. And the train for music stays in the same place. After discussing what are the air balloons’ submarine and train movements look like, ask the student to listen to a short pattern and choose if the played sounds can be represented by a balloon (up), a submarine (down), or a train (stay the same). The cards are also helpful for the new piece exploration. When listening to the music piece played by a teacher, the student is asked to create a map of the music movement using the cards.
Fast and Slow Listening Activity
In addition, Fast and Slow Cards can be used in the same way. Let students choose which card to use to describe a short musical movement played by the teacher. Slow music – snail, fast – rabbit.
Major and Minor Listening Activity
Moreover Major and Minor Cards are good to start seeding the differentiation between major and minor. For instance, major sounded music reminds me of a happy sunny day. And rainy day represents a sad and melancholic piece. Later on, use the cards for listening to major and minor chords. Preschoolers love this type of listening activity.
More Piano Teaching Resources
If you are looking for a piano method that is designed to raise a well-rounded pianist and help to include aural, rhythm, and technique elements into each lesson, look at Piano Heroes method books. Establish the proper piano posture, and eye-hand coordination, and develop aural and reading skills in preparation for playing classics from a very young age. For the most important part, colourful pages, animal heroes, and appropriate music score sizes catch students’ attention and invite them to everyday practice.