This has got to be one of the most-used DIY projects I’ve ever made!
Music whiteboards cost a pretty penny in music catalogues, so I decided to make my own. I bought this 8.5×11” frame from IKEA for under $3. I chose one that had plexiglass instead of glass, so that I won’t have to worry about it breaking if it gets dropped. The frame is a sturdy plastic.
On my computer, I designed the staff and keyboard pictures on a horizontal piece of paper, printed it, and inserted it into the frame. Easy!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve been using my DIY music whiteboard! I pull it out during lessons all the time. With beginners, I like to be able to quickly review the notes they’ve learned so far before I introduce the next. Sometimes I have the student draw the notes, or and sometimes I draw the notes and ask them to identify them. Either way, you can also have the student draw lines from the notes to the corresponding piano key below. I like practicing intervals on the whiteboard with students, too. With older students, you can quickly and easily draw out scales or chords.
If you make two or more of these whiteboards, you could probably come up with some fun games to use during group classes. I’m imagining music trivia with two teams (quizzing intervals, major/minor 5-finger patterns, scales, key signatures, etc.) or maybe some melodic dictation!
It seems that whiteboards are often hard to erase. I’ve learned a few tricks though:
- Never use red dry erase markers.
- Always erase the board when finished. The marker is always harder to erase after it has sat there for a few hours.
- You can try cleaning it off with water (or hairspray or any other cleaner Google suggests), but after awhile, the whiteboard will still get yucky and hard to clean.
- Fortunately, I found out that replacement plexiglass sheets can easily be bought at craft stores! I found 8.5×11 sheets for under $2 at my local Hobby Lobby store.
I just added the “Whiteboard Background” pdf to the Printables > Other Resources page, if you’d like to download it (scroll down to the W’s). It might be fun to design a few other types of backgrounds for the whiteboard. Let me know if you have any suggestions! :)
UPDATE: This is the frame I bought from Ikea.