Sometimes when you’re learning about music theory it is easiest to just show students on a piano. I say sometimes, but the more complicated music theory ALWAYS requires understanding of a piano. This year my husband and I created hook & loop interactive piano displays for both our band room and our choir room. Here’s our “how to” blog post for creating this great simple classroom tool.
Interactive Piano Display Step 1
Step One: Print out or make a piano.
You can buy my printable piano HERE, this gives you two options for printing (regular black and white or colors matching boom whackers pitches) AND it comes with appropriately sized notes for labeling. Print out however many octaves you want (I usually use two), and put it together. I would recommend laminating to make it more durable.
UPDATE! – This product now includes a matching Treble Clef display with colored note heads that also match Boomwhackers. (shown below)
OR you can absolutely make a piano and labels out of construction paper or whatever else! I’ve made a large one out of the large rolls of paper school’s always have and it worked well also!
Interactive Piano Display Step 2
Step Two: Apply hook & loop dots to the keys you want to be able to label. You can purchase these at almost any department store OR – I have had great luck with this budget off brand (Amazon Affiliate Link) – You get a TON of dots for SUPER cheap, and they work exactly like the brand name ones! I use the clear dots ON the piano itself so they are less visible when not labeled, and the white/softer dots on the back of the note labels (so you won’t see the white).
Interactive Piano Display Step 3
Step Three: Create the labels and apply the opposite hook & loop dot to the labels. If you purchased my piano it includes a page of appropriately sized letters and some sharps/flats/naturals signs. I would also recommend laminating these to keep them more durable. From this point you’ll be able to attach and detach labels as you see fit!
Interactive Piano Final Product
The finished project will look something like this (apologies for the glare!):
How can I use this in my music classroom?
This can be used for SO MANY things in the music classroom. One of my favorite activities is to do a bell ringer as students are entering the room. I randomly pass out letters to students and before they sit down they have to place their label on the correct note. Super simple! When we’re learning something new with theory we always end up at the piano physically moving around on the notes showing the relationships the notes have. In band rehearsals it’s used to talk about key signature, enharmonics, fingers, and SO much more. We’ve just truly used it ALL the time since we put them up!
Hopefully you can find some uses for this in your classroom! Thanks for reading!