Teaching Landmark Notes with French landmarks!

In my teaching lately I have been focusing a lot on landmark notes and intervallic reading. I think it’s so cool when a young student can learn right from the beginning how to sight read by intervals and directions on the staff – and they get so excited to be able to “read” music so easily and quickly! There’s plenty of time to learn those letter names; I find that using mnemonics too much can be a crutch that stops students from becoming great sight readers early on.

So today I’d like to share some fun resources that can help your piano students get started learning those landmark notes on the staff and gaining those skills to sight read right from the get-go! I made resources to help my students in those areas and as the ideas kept coming it ended up turning into my French Piano Pack. I think you’re going to love it!

French Piano Pack

Just like the Russian Piano Pack and the Irish Piano Pack, this resource includes a variety of printable activities and materials that can be used with individual students or with a group. There’s something for every level in this pack, which makes it an awesome way to run a studio unit on France for a month! I think it would be so fun to assign French piano literature to each student as you study the music of the French composers, learn about Impressionism and more!

I’ll highlight a few of the great resources included in this pack.

I had a blast creating the Name That composers card back 3French Composer game! I dug through lots of my old college notes and projects and read up on a lot of the great French composers such as Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, Satie and more! This is a fun card game that can be used individually or in a group in a variety of ways. Students will learn 3 fun facts about each composer, listen to 2 or 3 examples from their piano literature, and learn their dates and photos and a famous quote from each composer. These cards can be used as flashcards, as a listening assignment, or as a few different games to be played at a group class or a lesson.

Students will be able to learn all about Impressionism with the resources in this pack. They will learn about the common characteristics of an Impressionist piece and compose their own! In conjunction with this composition activity there is a listening assignment, and they will also be introduced to different scales and modes used commonly in that genre.

eiffel tower colorUsing famous French landmarks as examples – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe and the Cathedral of Notre Dame – students will learn all about landmark notes and how they help you know where you are on the piano. This pack comes with a couple of different sets of flashcards and a few worksheets to help learn their landmark notes. The Steps & Skips Strips are fabulous for learning about steps and skips and directional reading (up and down) on the staff and keyboard, and will have all of your beginning students sight reading in no time!

Louvre colorI love the French Piano Practice Chart that I included in this pack – it’s a picture of the Louvre Museum that students can color one section at a time as they practice throughout the month. You could also hang the completed artwork in your studio as your students fill them in!

There are 11 different activities included in the French Piano Pack. I hope you and your students enjoy! The French Piano Pack is available for purchase in the Shop.

Jennifer Boster

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