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!
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
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!"
Just one finger
Kids like a challenge that calls on a single skill.
No finger numbers to worry about -- just use the pointer finger. (Although I have found that most kids WANT to try to play Snakes and Wormies using all five fingers!)
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 and younger kids, I 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.
They should NOT 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," (also called "Crickets Go Hopping") 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!
The link for the Snakes song:
Download piano sheet music for beginners Snakes
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 - 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.
For a child who is a beginner guitar player, making music can be BAFFLING. Teach them how to play guitar in small baby steps.
Frere Jacques, with lyrics in both French & English. Versions for voice (the vocal round), and for piano.
I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song) is a very pretty folk tune with clever lyrics. Download sheet music in 3 arrangements, 4 keys.
Seek Ye First lyrics, chords, & sheet music is written for early piano. This pretty melody happens all inside 5 fingers! An optional descant is also provided.
This simple piano sheet music, Canoe Song, is high energy and singable. Just right for students who are beginning to tuck fingers under in scales, or can JUMP.
Songs Old & Songs New
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible
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.
Just the Black Keys
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.
The Adventures of Tonsta
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!
Available at Amazon
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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.