New Website Format

In an attempt to better organize the games and resources, I’ve decided to go to a blog format. Hopefully it will be easier to get around and find ideas to help you in your music teaching.

Games are now categorized, and there is also a search function to quickly find specific files. You can also subscribe to the RSS feeds so you you will be notified when there is a new post. For a short video on what RSS is and how to use it, click here.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me.

Simplified LDS Primary Songs

I Am a Child of GodEach year, children in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) learn songs for a presentation given to the congregation in the Fall. I have taken the songs for next year and arranged them for Primer/Level 1 students. You can find them at my Primary Page, as well as a few other Primary songs arranged for beginning students.

CLICK HERE for an updated post about the simplified primary songs.

Musical Alphabet Flashcards

Nothing fancy with these! Just cards with the musical alphabet on them. I also included cards with the sharps and flats as well. Great for learning the musical alphabet forwards, backwards, and skipping up and down. Also use them for scales, chords, and anything else you can come up with!

Musical Alphabet CardsMusical Alphabet Cards





Great Games for Note Reading

This idea came from Natalie on the Yahoo Piano Teacher’s List, and I just had to post it here as well. These are some great ways to teach note reading that I can’t wait to try with my students. Read on for Natalie’s instructions:

“I just learned how to make note reading FUN! Kids forget it’s theory
and learn quickly through enjoying the game.

Are you dreading teaching identification of notes on the staff? How
would you make that fun?

Well, I just figured out a great way and thought I would pass it
along to the rest of the teachers in the world!

Materials Needed:

1. Construction paper for cutting out quarter notes and half notes

2. Either a plastic table cloth (plain) or anything that the permanent
marker can write on and is large enough to walk on.


Draw a staff on your plastic table cloth with the permanent marker
large enough to fit your foot in-between the spaces and large enough
to see your feet standing together on the line.

Draw a treble cleff to resemble learning notes on the staff in the
RIGHT hand.

On construction paper draw quarter notes and half notes. Quarter
notes are in Black, half notes are in white. Or you can make all
notes quarter notes and just use different colors. Make notes large
enough to put on the huge staff on the table cloth. Write letter
names of the musical scale on each note. Laminate so they last longer.

NOW, there are three different games you can play with this:

GAME ONE: Jumping in spaces and on lines. Yell out a letter and both
of you jump on the right note. Say the corresponding word (ex.
E=Every B=Boy Etc.) Start at the bottom and go up, and then challenge
going backwords. If jumping becomes tiring you can just step. IF note
name is incorrectly given, you must start over from the beginning.
When student can get all the way through without your helf, a prize
will be given if wanted.

FACE rhymes with SPACE! Do the same thing as you would for the lines.

Make it challenging by mixing up lines and spaces.

GAME 2: Have student choose a note on the piano and then have them
find it on the huge staff. Have the pick up a quarter note or half
note out of the pile next to the staff (it has to have the right note
name) and place it on the staff. Then have them replay it. For young
children guide them to pick notes from middle C above. For older
students you can create a Bass staff as well as a treble staff and
they can choose notes from all over.

Winning Game 2: When all notes have been correctly placed a prize
will be given.

GAME 3: Make a song from the notes and then have student try and play it on
the piano. If all notes are placed correctly and student plays
correctly then they win!

These games are fun played in groups and children would love this
playing with their friends.

THIS WORKS!!! One of my young students already is extremely familiar
with the note names on the staff and ENJOYS this activity. You’ll
love watching the kids have fun and be excited they are learning it
so quickly.”

Thanks Natalie for these great ideas!

Cecilly’s Christmas Tree Landmark Game and Variations

OrnamentsThis GREAT game idea was posted by Cecilly on the Yahoo Piano Teacher’s List. I have made up some ornaments with landmarks, and several variations that you can use.



Ornaments with Landmarks

All Notes on the Staff

Key Signatures

Simple Intervals

Letter Names – including sharps and flats

Christmas Stockings with Letter Names – Just for something different!

Here are Cecilly’s directions:

Just a quick mention of another of my off the bench activities, this one to reinforce my Celebrate Piano student’s landmarks (Bass C, Bass F, Mid. C, Treble G, and Treble C).

It’s a “Swat the Landmark” game.

Materials needed:

1. Flashcards of each landmark note

2. Timer

3. Flyswatter (with a hole cut out of the center so you can see the card it’s slapped on)

To play: lay out all the cards face up randomly on the floor. Seat player on the floor in front of cards with flyswatter in hand. You control the timer. Set timer for 60 seconds (I use a 1 min. egg timer). At “go” you call out a landmark by name after which the student slaps at the corresponding flash card. If correct, a point is earned, if wrong a point is deducted. Immediately after a slap, call out “correct” or “error” then the name of another landmark. Names may be repeated. See how many points can be earned in 1 min. time. Slapping too hastily (and often incorrectly) will hurt the player’s total. Record their base score and then on subsequent playings, try to beat that score.

Just for fun during this holiday time, I’ve made a large simply
shaped Christmas tree cut out of green poster board. I’ve mounted it on my wall with poster putty, and then am going to mount the landmark cards randomly on the tree (like ornaments) also with poster putty. The student can then stand up to play the game. Fun fun.

Some other variations:

1. Play an interval at the piano and having the student “swat” the correct interval.

2. Show a flashcard of a note, chord, key signature, or whatever. Great for players of different levels.

Christmas Tree Folder Game

With it’s several variations, this is a great game for Christmas group lessons where students are of different levels. A Christmas tree is adorned with musical alphabet ornaments. “Decorate” the tree by matching either the note on the keyboard, bass clef note, treble clef note, or key signature to the tree. Can be played individually as well as in a group.

Christmas Tree Folder Game

Christmas Tree Folder Game





Christmas Rhythms

Mix up the rhythms from eight Christmas carols, and have students place them in the correct order. There is an assortment of rhythms from easy to more complex for many levels of students.

I also did up rhythms for two Hanukkah songs – My Dreidl, and Chunukah. For some odd reason, I made up these rhythms to read from the top of the first column down, then the second column down. Not that it matters, since they get all mixed up after they are cut!

Christmas Rhythms

Christmas Rhythms

Hanukkah Rhythms