Piano key notes right around Middle C seem easy to seasoned note-readers, but young beginners need lots of practice.
We piano lesson teachers are frequently in a hurry to move things along when we have glimpsed a flash of understanding from our students. Better music ahead! Bach! Mozart! Someday, Chopin!
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But reality intrudes when we see our little musical scholars mistakenly playing Middle C with left hand an octave low... or misreading B below Middle C, despite drawing it multiple times on the whiteboard together.
The fact is, musical notation is a new language, and kids need repetition, repetition, repetition!
So here are a couple of those in-between along-the-way little songs. Download these easy pieces in two separate free piano sheets for beginners!
You may think that a song with words telling you what the names of the notes are will defeat the purpose of note-reading.
You would be wrong. The lyrics of the song will help, but not entirely replace the work of figuring out what these notes are!
Now a song for right hand... What follows is surely not Bach, nor are the lyrics reminiscent of the great poets, but it will serve!
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Try placing these pieces in your students' notebooks just as they will be played on the piano - left hand song on the left, facing the right hand song on the right.
Piano teachers, when you first look at the songs together and say, "Which hand plays this song, TOP or BOTTOM? ( RIGHT or LEFT)", you may be surprised that the empty staff is not the huge give-away clue you thought it was!
Therefore, every little thing we can do to help our beginning students is worth it!
Here are the links to the two little songs:
Download piano key notes for beginners A, B, & C in the left hand
Download free piano sheetmusic for beginners C, D, & E in the right hand
ABC & CDE - Two little 3-note songs focused on the Middle C area, one for left hand and one for right
Black Keys songs - songs set to lyrics and poems, all on black keys!
C&B & C&D - Left hand, then right hand, each play little songs with lyrics that make them fool-proof.
Dueling C's - a short song with 3 notes: B, Middle C, & D. The thumbs of each hand are "fighting" for the Middle C - but the music makes it plain which hand really owns it.
Fuzzy Wuzzy - this song is about a bear that WASN'T fuzzy. Quarter rests form part of the action! One-handed & two-handed arrangements.
Indian Dance - Though it sounds powerful (and even difficult with an added repetitive chord in left hand), it is very intuitive and repetitious, easily conquered in several lessons.
Jingle Bells - Is there a child who doesn't know this happy tune? Its repeated notes make up for the "tricky" skips in the melody - plus there are lettered notes in some of the arrangements!
Lavender's Blue - this pretty song forms part of the drama of Cinderella's rescue by the prince in the newest Cinderella movie with Lily James... little girls love to play this song!
Mary Had a Little Lamb on the white keys - even adults benefit from having this tune "in hand" - later they will learn much about using chords from simple little songs like this.
Music Alphabet Song - from A,B, & C in the left hand, through C, D, E, F, & G in the right hand, this song travels scale-wise through all the notes, to help a logical thinker conquer this concept.
Ode to Joy - like Mary Had a Little Lamb and Jingle Bells, this melody is well-known, and starts with finger 3 on E.
Peck! Peck! Peck! - a "shared-hands" melody, this cute song about chickens pecking on the ground to find their breakfast only moves by steps.
Pizza Please - Using just 3 notes, this song for left hand or right hand is actually Hot Cross Buns in disguise.
Sharks - Wait until kids have started working on the bass clef before you give them this dramatic 3-note song.
Snakes - the next step after students have conquered Wormies, this more intricate set of exercises is longer, with smaller note heads, but still moving just one step at a time in either direction
Snakes Go for a Walk (also called "Crickets Go Hopping") - More exercises like Wormies and Snakes, but with "skips" hiding amongst the steps in each line. Line 1 has one hidden skip; line 2 has 2 hidden skips - you get the idea!
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - this song is so familiar that children will conquer it easily, especially because it moves by repeated steps. Excellent for memorizing and transposing.
When the Saints Go Marching In - just 5 notes, with no stretches or replacements, make up this familiar song!
Wormies - This little set of exercises asks beginners to choose ANY white key, and then decide whether to move up, down, or stay there, by looking at the next note. EASY.
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
This book is available as a digital download from this site. Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.
It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls.
The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.
With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.
Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!
Helps me a lot as a music teacher too. I'm a violin and piano teacher, and I think this is an incredible site!
There are an incredible amount of people online who just want to be heard, but very few who have given what you have so clearly. Regarding instruction for those of us who can't afford lessons,your site has been a real gift to stumble across. I'm looking forward to now removing a few bad habits. My humblest thanks from Australia.
I wanted to thank you.
Several of the songs on this site work so well for some of my picky students and the ones who don't practice a lot.
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.
You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.