Printable music notes are really all these "Wormies" are: simple exercises that creep slowly along. This free sheet music for beginner pianists is a gentle, fun way to break into reading notes.
The only question is "Which way does the note go?"
These Wormies are an easy way for very young musicians to try their hand at notereading. Treating the musical staff like a ladder, students ask themselves, "Up? Down? Or the same?"
Pick any key to start on -- you don't need to be able to find the correct place to start on the staff! The whole point of this exercise is just to determine the direction of the notes, not the actual note names.
Forget about fingering
I ask students not to worry about good fingering. Using only their pointer finger (finger 2) and choosing any white note on which to begin, they go up or down the "ladder" as they read across each Wormie.
Don't play them too many times
Usually, I ask kids to play one Wormie a day just two times (to help prevent memorization!), and to try a different Wormie every day. At the next lesson, instead of hearing them play ALL the Wormies, I'll ask them to choose their favorite to play for me. It's usually number 4, because they know it's hardest!
No extra symbols to worry about
Notice that there are no clef symbols -- just a plain, uncluttered staff with lines and spaces. (Thank you, Martha Beth for this insight!) With notes made extra large on purpose, following the very short lines of "music" is pretty easy.
There's another version, longer & trickier
Snakes, which are just longer Wormies, is the next notereading step. Very likely, your beginning notereaders can by-pass Wormies altogether...but even older beginners of ten and eleven love the simplicity of Wormies, and quickly grasp the principle of moving notes.
It's a beginning!
Do you have a story or a question about music teaching? Share it!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Debbie, Nashville, TN:
I have been looking for a very, very long time for a website like this! WOW! I have been teaching for over 20 years and it's nice to have a resource such as this!
...I have been slowly giving my oldest daughter whatever my memory can dredge up, scouring the internet for free music she can do, but your website with its instructions AND tips on how to teach pieces are going to help me SO much in this endeavor. I just wanted to tell you thank you. Really really! THANK YOU!
Kim in Washington:
My son is hooked...I've been introducing piano to my son on and off for a year or so, but he's not had much interest. Then I gave him "Monsters Everywhere". He loved playing it with the organ sound on our piano. He memorized it that week and I'm printing off the other Halloween songs to keep him going. I love the detailed instructions on teaching since he is my first student! Thanks so much.
That is so neat that your son has experienced the magic and mystery of music through this little song. That is so exciting to me. Thanks for writing, Kim!
Helpful Piano Sites
EyeEarRevolution (a blog)
Martha Beth's Piano Site
Piano Music for Boys (Teach Piano Today)
Piano Adventures Forum
Susan Paradis Teacher Resources
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....I have a lot of books on graded pieces but not a lot of beginner pieces. I use material I have written myself together with books I encourage my parents to buy... but sometimes parents just can't afford a book- and as a teacher you sometimes do find your self searching for material....Thank you thank you thank you once again!