X Marks the Spot!

Today I am releasing the first of my ‘X Marks the Spot’ Ladybug series. I started making these resources when I started working with pre-school students for the first time earlier this year. Because these students were still unable to read I knew I wanted to steer clear of text-heavy method books at first. I created these resources to enable teaching that was black-key centred and incorporated all of well-known tunesaural-training, wrote learning and a visual component.

Each song-sheet has a diagram of a keyboard, with a blue ‘x’ over the keys used in the given tune and a sleeping ladybug sitting on the starting note. Students are able to use the song-sheets at home to jog their memory of how to play songs but will need to work with their ears and memory to figure out the rest!Hot Cross Buns

An added benefit: I’ve also found these resources are suitable for use with early primary students!

How I use it:

Here is an overview of how I incorporate ‘X Marks the Spot!’ into my piano lessons. I use these resources differently in every lesson depending on the student but here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Sing the song: The first thing I get students to do is learn to sing the song with both lyrics and solfege. If they don’t know it you can encourage parents to play or sing the song for them at home or instead find a song they do know already.
  2. Clap & sing the song
  3. Clap &  sing the rhythm syllables 
  4. Examine the Song-sheet: At this point students look at the diagram and identify which keys are used in a particular song (e.g. “a group of three”) and then find the corresponding keys on the piano. Repeat the process for the sleeping ladybug key.
  5. Copy-cat: Break the song into pieces and model for the student, getting them to copy/imitate what you are playing. Alternatively….
  6. Sing short excerpts and ask the student to try and play the song back to you. I am genuinely surprised how easily some young beginners are able to do this!

In addition to the Ladybug sheets I have also created a number of resources that help students move from playing the song to notating it and I look forward to sharing these with you in the future! 🙂 I will be releasing these resources one at a time whenever I find the time, let me know if you’re enjoying them or some diagrams you would like to see in the future. 🎹

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