Do you teach a musical instrument? Try this inexpensive and easy-to-make magnetic learning resource to teach note names and positions to your pupils!
Like all the best ideas, this one is pinched from someone else. My friend Sandie (herself a piano teacher) showed me a similar magnetic board she bought some years ago with movable note heads. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one anywhere – so I decided to make one. It’s quick and easy, and all the materials are really inexpensive. Give it a try!
What you will need
I got the magnetic backing sheet from eBay for £1.99. It’s A4 in size and has an adhesive back so you can stick it to a board if you wish. I haven’t bothered – it works perfectly well as it is.
The musical staff and clefs are drawn on with a permanent marker. I practised with a dry-wipe marker before going for the final version. This is probably the part I’m the least satisfied with: the bass clef is fine but the treble clef is poor-drawn. I might get around to making a better one some time. Or I could remove the existing marks with alcohol and try again.
The notes are 10mm black plastic fridge magnets from eBay. You can get 50 of them for £4.95 or shop around for smaller quantities.
The note names are added using my P-Touch label maker, but you could cut pieces from a printed inkjet label or even just write on pieces of any adhesive label.
How I use it
The finished board is great for gradually building up my pupils’ knowledge of note names and also for making simple sight-reading exercises. Start with the letter names, and gradually substitute the blank ones.
I use this board several times every week in my teaching practice. It’s surprising how it sometimes comes in useful with intermediate pupils as well as beginners.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!