Some months ago, I found these fun keys at a craft store for $1 each. I bought 12 of them. (Can you tell where this is going?) :)
Using a paint pen, I wrote the names of the 12 keys on the ends of each one.
At the beginning of the lesson when the students warms-up with their pentascales/scales/arpeggios, I can ask the student to randomly choose a key to see which one(s) we will review that day.
I’ve also used these keys for simple activities such as asking students to draw scales or chords on paper or on a paper staff with glass gems. Technique and theory is a little bit more fun when students get to randomly choose the key instead of the teacher, and it is always fun to have a cute prop.
If you would like to have your own set of metal keys, you may be able to find vintage keys on Ebay or Etsy.com.
After the success of these metal keys, I wondered if I could make a printable of 12 keys that I could print off for my students. After learning each scale, I could award the student with a key to add to their keyring which could be kept on their piano bag. Here is what I came up with:
In case you don’t feel like cutting out keys for each student, I also made a simple checklist version:
I was having so much fun with these key images that I also decided to make a set of worksheets for matching each key to the correct key signature. I ended up creating a colorful digital version of the worksheets for use on the iPad, as well as a printer-friendly, black-and-white version. Here is a peek at the digital version being used on my iPad Mini and the app GoodNotes:
You can download the printer-friendly key cut-outs, checklist, and worksheets on the Printables > Worksheets page under “Music Keys Printable.”
Music Keys Printable & Worksheets (4.2 MiB, 12,688 hits)
You can download the colorful, iPad friendly version of the worksheets on the Printables > For iPad page.
Matching Music Keys (2.9 MiB, 4,993 hits)
Update: Check out reader Patti Bennett’s “Major Key Challenge” she ran for her students using these printables! Click here to read all about it.