My son has been learning to play the piano of his own volition using an online program. Sometimes, though, we do an activity or game together to practice notes recognition. I’m delighted! Our super easy DIY staff to practice reading notes is a staple next to the piano bench.
This is a complete reversal of his attitude toward the piano. A few years ago, I wanted to sign my son up for piano lessons, but he said no.
“I won’t practice so it will be a waste of your money!” he declared. Ok, then.
But now that he is interested, I thought I’d make a staff to practice with together, for those times he was in the mood for my help.
In the interest of full disclosure, I remember that my dad made a staff notes slider when I was a kid, learning to play piano! This is something that I remember.
How to DIY a Staff Notes Slider
All I needed were these items I already had around the house.
- an empty cereal box
- paper to make the staff and notes
- scissors, tape, and a marker
This was so easy to put together. First, I cut a side off of the cereal box. Then, I made five straight lines on the blank side. (I did use a ruler so they were all straight and 1 inch apart.) After the lines were drawn, I used the scissors to punch two holes in the cardboard, one on top exactly in the center, the other on the bottom directly under it. Through these I pulled the yarn and tied the ends together, with the knot on the cereal box cover of the cardboard.
Then I had to create a treble and bass clef and a note. I was tempted to draw them. I would have, if I had talent. But my attempts to draw the treble clef were less than successful. So I found some clip art, pasted them in a document, sized them appropriately, and printed them off. I chose to laminate those items so I could tape them to the board and remove as necessary. I taped the note exactly in the center of the yarn.
How We Use the Staff Notes Slider
Now I can slide the note up and down on the staff. We can use it review which note is which on the piano. Right now, we are practicing treble clef. When he’s ready, I’ll turn it upside down and tape the bass clef on to the staff.
I love it! Our homemade staff for practice reading notes is a simple but helpful addition to our piano practice time.
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