Should you cut your nails short to play the piano? Can you practise and play well with long nails? The answer is perhaps not as simple as some would have you believe…
Boys and Girls
Without wishing to sound sexist, this blog post definitely relates more to my female piano and keyboard pupils than the males! I have yet to teach a boy or man who was unhappy about cutting his fingernails to play more easily. The ladies and girls are a different matter. Continue reading
When I start a new pupil, whether they have requested piano or keyboard lessons, I always talk to them about this choice. Often it’s something they haven’t even thought about. Sometimes it’s a parent who decides and they have a fixed idea about what they want, which is fine. But it’s always good to ask the question… Continue reading
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! Continue reading
I’ve added the outer octaves to my free printable key guides, so now you can cover four octaves. These should fit any piano or keyboard with standard sized keys.
Make sure you line them up with the black keys (in groups of twos and threes) and make sure the third overlay starts with Middle C. On a piano, Middle C is approximately in the middle – obvious, I suppose!
On a 5 octave (61 key) electronic keyboard, Middle C is more to the left of centre and the first guide will line up with the lowest key on the keyboard.
Just download and print these files:
piano key overlay – middle octaves
piano key overlay – outer octaves
and then trim the guides to size.
What do you think? Are these going to be useful to you? Can you suggest any improvements? Please comment below so that I can keep updating and improving these resources. Or if your prefer, you can Contact Me directly.
If you’re still learning the names of the notes on your piano, here’s a printable guide I made for you. Many thanks to my good friend Sandie Barker who gave me the idea. The note names are clear and you also have the treble clef and bass clef notes to help you:
piano key overlays
Simply download the file here, print out onto paper or card and trim the two sections as shown. They will fit nicely behind the keys of most pianos and full-size keyboards. Put them in the centre of your piano and make sure you line up the pattern of black keys correctly, as shown in the picture.
I think these are a much better alternative to putting stickers on the keys of your beloved instrument. I would strongly recommend that you don’t put stickers on the keys of your piano or keyboard, even if the instructions say ‘easy to remove’ or ‘won’t leave marks’. I have seen keys ruined by them! These overlays can be removed and replaced whenever you need them.
One word of advice – use these key guides only for as long as you need them. Get to know your notes and then remove them when you can!