Piano Sheet Music for Beginners "Snakes"
"Snakes" piano sheet music for beginners makes reading notes easier by focusing on just one question: which way does the note go? It can only go up, down, or stay the same. And it doesn't matter where they start!
Pick any piano key!
"Snakes" is the next step after Wormies, another piece of free kids' sheet music. Pick any key on the piano to be the starting note, use only your pointer finger, and you're off to the races!
Make it easy - just one problem at a time!
This piano sheet music for beginners helps by focusing on just one question: which way does the note go? With no clef sign or time signature to muddy the waters, students only need ponder, "Line note? Space note? Moving up -- or down? Or the same!"
Download piano sheet music for beginners Snakes
Just one finger
Kids like a challenge that calls on a single skill. No finger numbers to worry about -- just use the pointer finger. And you can pick any key to be the starting note! So this is an easy exercise to get perfect.
Quick success is fun for students
It makes them feel smart, and tells me instantly if there's comprehension in their note-reading. Writing big fat notes (an exercise we do frequently as part of learning to read notes) on a whiteboard is one thing -- somehow the notes don't look the same printed small on a page.
Only a bit at a time
For young kids, I might assign just #1 the first week, to be played 2x a day. Next week, #2. Very often, the kids will go ahead on their own, because they find this piano sheet music for beginners so easy.
Don't let them memorize it!
With older kids, I almost always suggest that each day they do a different Snake. This way, they don't quickly memorize the way each exercise sounds. (Memory, though a wonderful asset in itself, can work against sight reading.)
Using the metronome
Sometimes I ask students to play these exercises with the metronome, giving them a Slow, a Medium, and a Fast speed to try. (Tell them NOT to count four beats for each note even though the notes look like whole notes -- but as beginners, they probably won't think of doing that unless their mother is helping them! Just one tick for each note. And set the speeds slower than you might think.)
Playing with a group
When I ask for solos in a group setting of new beginners, kids frequently wish to play a Snake. The other kids and I will follow along (keeping their attention from wandering) by calling out, "Start," (that's what we call the first note, as this is an exercise only about reading steps and not real staff notes), "up - up - up - down, up -" etc.
This idea works with skips (3rds) too
When kids have mastered these exercises, they are usually ready to go on to "Snakes Go for a Walk," which introduces skips into the mix. The skips are "hidden" -- that is, I don't tell them where they are. It can be surprisingly hard to spot them for beginners, so I start it slow; #1 has 1 hidden skip, #2 has 2 hidden skips, etc.
I hope your students enjoy this piano sheet music for beginners!
More songs especially for new beginners:
ABC & CDE - Two little 3-note songs focused on the Middle C area, one for left hand and one for right
Black Keys songs - a whole page of songs set to lyrics and poems, all on black keys!
C&B & C&D - Left hand, then right hand, 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 tune? Its repeated notes make up for the "tricky" skips in the melody - plus there are lettered notes in some of the arrangments!
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 - 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 treble and bass clef with 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 - 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.
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.
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