Keyboard Geography Cheat Sheets

This year, I have seven students who have had a tough time with their keyboard geography at the piano. One of them is an ARK learner (aural, read/write, kinesthetic. Another one is a VR (visual, read/write. The others are VA (visual, aural) learners. We've tried landmark notes. We've tried colour-coding lines or notes (that worked pretty well, until I started to wean them from the colour-coding). We've tried the good old phrases that everyone knows (e.g., "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge"). No matter what, they look at me and ask "Where do my hands go?" or they'll look at Bass C and play me Treble C, as if any C will do.

This new idea came to me as another student and I were checking with DaTuner Lite to see how well my acoustic piano was holding its pitch.

I pulled out my Piano Teacher's Resource Kit and photocopied the reproducible Keynote Reader worksheets. Next, I had those students write in the letter names and draw a line connecting the note on the keyboard to the corresponding position on the staff.

Next, the pièce de résistance: I introduced the keyboard number system. For instance, the lowest C on the piano is C1, with the notes below being A0 to B0. I labelled the first one for them and had them finish the rest.

Next, I had them apply this new knowledge to the pieces they have been working on. It didn't take them long at all once they labelled their starting notes as "C4" instead of just any old "C".

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Thank you DaTuner Lite and Piano Teacher's Resource Kit!

Piano Teacher's Resource Kit look inside Piano Teacher's Resource Kit (Reproducible Worksheets, Games, Puzzles, and More!). For Piano/Keyboard. Educational Piano Library. Softcover. 88 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.296802)...more info