Games, Printables, Technology

Printable Chart for the Note Rush App

Ever since downloading Note Rush for iPhone/iPad (read my review here), my students and I have been having a blast using the app to improve fluency in corresponding pitches notated on the staff to the keyboard.

(By the way, did you know that Note Rush is now available for Android platforms?)

Just for fun, I started keeping track of each student’s best time for each Note Rush level using a clipboard and a blank sheet of paper. Pretty soon, I realized I needed a better chart. So, I decided to contact the developer to ask if I could create one that visually matches the user interface of the app. He agreed, and happily sent me the graphics and information I needed. (Thanks, Thomas!) Here is the result:

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Continue reading “Printable Chart for the Note Rush App”

Reviews, Technology

Review & Giveaway: Note Rush app

13246163_248194038873284_8983692676277542062_oToday, I am so excited to introduce to you a brand new app for music teachers called Note Rush. As I have been experimenting with this app during beta testing, I soon discovered just what a useful tool this app is for my students. Note Rush has become my favorite app for piano teaching.

Note Rush is a note reading app that is simple, intuitive, and fun. Unlike other note identification apps that present a note and require the user to name the note by letter name, Note Rush “listens” using the iPad’s microphone to identify whether the user is playing the correct piano key. It’s so important for students to learn to associate staff positions with the corresponding piano key in the correct octave, and Note Rush encourages this!

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The app automatically calibrates to the piano, allowing the app to be useable even if the piano may be slightly out-of-tune.

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Allowing you to choose from a variety of levels — covering various ranges of notes in treble clef, bass clef, or the entire grand staff — the app is customizable to the user’s ability.

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Because the rounds are timed, students are invited to repeat the rounds to try to improve their times.

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The three themes appeal to a wide range of students while not creating a distraction through too many options.

Note Rush collage

Tell your students to buy this app instead of a box of flashcards. Note Rush is available in the Apple App Store for $3.99 USD. Find it for Android here. Be sure to visit the Note Rush website and like their facebook page.

Note: I bought this app. As always, my reviews contain my honest opinion.

The Note Rush developer has kindly offered two promo codes for a giveaway! For a chance to win a free download of Note Rush, leave a comment below before Tuesday, June 28 at midnight (Eastern time) sharing your favorite aspect of Note Rush. Two winners will be randomly chosen and contacted the following day.

Music Theory, Worksheets

Worksheets: Matching Staff to Keyboard

Have you ever had students correctly identify a note on the staff, but proceed to play the note in the wrong octave on the keyboard?  I think piano teachers all around the world can raise their hands on that one.  :)

Being able to identify note names on the staff by letter name is important, but not as important as being able to instantly connect a note on the the staff to a particular piano key.  This is why, during flashcard drills or note-naming games, I require students to play the corresponding piano key as they give a verbal answer of the letter name.

With all of this in mind, I created a new set of worksheets that require students to draw a line to match notes on the staff to the corresponding piano key.  Although students may decide to figure out the letter names of the notes as they solve each problem, it is not the end goal — they must go a step further and connect the note to the keyboard.

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By arranging a series of notes on each staff (instead of just one note), my hope was that students would develop a stronger understanding of how intervals on the keyboard look when placed on the staff.  Read more about interval reading here.

Download the free PDF by visiting the Printables > Worksheets page and scrolling down to “Matching Staff to Keyboard Worksheets.”  There are five worksheets within the PDF, arranged in progressive order by difficulty.  The first worksheet uses only the landmark notes Bass F, Middle C, and Treble G.  The following worksheets each gradually increase the range of the notes on the staff.

  Matching Staff to Keyboard Worksheets (327.4 KiB, 12,558 hits)

Update: I’ve created a new digital version of this worksheet that can be completed digitally on your iPad/tablet.

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables

Grand Staff Pass Game

I’m back!  I took a long blogging break over the holidays, but I’m super excited to be back and I have lots of things to share in the upcoming weeks!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years’.

Today, I am excited to share with you about a fun game I came up with for my students’ Piano Party last Saturday:

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“Grand Staff Pass” is a activity for finding and naming notes on the grand staff.  Each student has a printed grand staff in front of them, and must find the notes as indicated on the cards.  The cards are passed to the next student, going counterclockwise around the room.   Continue reading “Grand Staff Pass Game”