7 Creative Activities for First Piano Lessons

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7 Creative Activities for First Piano lessons

Are you looking for fun and creative activities for first piano lessons?

Last week, I started this two-part blog series to dig into this amazing mega bundle of fourteen beginner piano resources and describe some of their many uses.

If you missed part one, catch up by reading 7 Unique Ways to Rock Your First Month of Piano Lessons With Activities Students Love.

Ready for even more ideas? There are always so many eager new, young piano students ready and willing to give the piano a try — why not make it as engaging and fun for them as we can?

They’ll appreciate and enjoy these games and activities, and piano lessons will become much more fun for you, as the teacher, too!  😀

If you live in a part of the world where summer is coming soon (or is already here), you’ll especially appreciate the fact that many of these resources are summer themed, thus making them ideal for use in the months ahead.

And now, without further ado, let’s get acquainted with 7 more creative activities for first piano lessons…


1. Piano Key Puzzle Activities for First Piano Lessons (Sunglasses Themed!)

Piano Key Puzzles Activities for First Piano Lessons

Put on your sunglasses and head to the beach!  The point of this game is to review note names on the piano keyboard with cute, colourful, kid-friendly sunglasses as the backdrop.

These are the kinds of activities for first piano lessons that tactile students love!

For this puzzle, a small keyboard appears in the left lens with a dot on one of the white notes.  The note name appears in the right lens.  All students have to do is match the puzzle pieces to create a complete pair of sunglasses.

Version 1

I recommend starting off with the easiest version of the game for your youngest students.  This is the version with only a very small portion of the keyboard showing (just three or four white notes and their corresponding black keys).

Also, in this easier version of the game, each pair of sunglasses is one unique colour like you can see in the image above.

Students will quickly catch on that they just have to find the matching colour, but that’s okay! Little ones will feel successful and proud of themselves for being able to match the notes correctly.

Version 2

Once they’ve done that, the next version of the game is the same except that the keyboard in the left lens consists of seven white keys and a group of two and a group of three black keys.

Version 3

The next level of the game consists of sunglasses that are all one colour.  This makes them harder to match!

The same two variations of the game, with the two different sizes of keyboard (three – four white notes vs. seven white notes) is available.

Version 4

And finally, a printer-friendly, black & white version can be printed out to save the teacher money on ink. These look fantastic printed on vibrant card stock.

There are so many uses for this game! The cards can be shuffled and the students can race to see how many puzzles they can put together.

Or, the cards can be placed face down and a simple game of “matching” can be played with two students or with the student and teacher.

These cards can be used for partner pickers in a music classroom, and more.  I plan to use these as one of my Summer Piano Camp activities for sure!  This game makes it so easy to plan fun activities for first piano lessons!


2. S’mores Treble & Bass Music Note Flashcard Activities for First Piano Lessons

S'mores Flash Cards Activities for First Piano Lessons

The clever graphics on these flashcards are sure to catch your students’ attention.  Superimposed on a piece of chocolate is a large marshmallow.  Inside the marshmallow is the grand staff.  A singular whole note is on the staff.

A little bear is in the corner of each flashcard, and he’s holding all the fixin’s to make a s’more — adorable! He will keep the student company as they name the note on the staff.

These flashcards are useful for not only beginners, but also for more advanced students, as some of the notes are ledger line notes.

The flashcards can be used for so many different activities for first piano lessons.

  • Use these music note flash cards as conversation starters in your studio, for example, “Did you go camping this weekend?  Did you make s’mores around the campfire? Let’s look at some musical s’mores now!”
  • For extra fun, you could even get one of these adorable classroom campfires to really set the stage.
  • Or make your own piano studio campfire with tissue paper and paper towel rolls! How cute is this craft!
  • Another idea I had is to prepare a small sandwich bag with a piece of chocolate, two graham crackers, and a marshmallow inside.
  • If the student names a predetermined number of notes on the flashcards correctly, they receive the bag of goodies to take home and make their own s’mores.  Yum!

The sky is the limit for how many ways you can use music note flash cards to create memorable activities for first piano lessons!

For even more flashcard ideas, read 5 Engaging Ways to Use Music Note Flash Cards in Piano Lessons.


3. Pirate Landmark Notes Worksheet Activities for First Piano Lessons (Sailing the C’s)

Landmark Notes Activities for first piano lessons

As with nearly all of the items in this mega bundle of beginning piano games, worksheets, and activities, this set of worksheets is available in full colour, black & white, and with an answer key.

Your little pirates are sure to enjoy the variety of activities for first piano lessons included in this set of seven worksheets.  Some of the activities include:

  • Circle the Bass F’s red, circle the Treble G’s blue, & circle the Middle C’s green
  • Trace the notes
  • Draw the notes
  • Match the note to the correct treasure chest
  • Cross out the notes that are NOT landmark notes
  • Speed drills

Pro Tip: Use colorful dry erase pockets and dry erase markers and you’ll be able to use a single set of worksheets again and again!

Once again, the impressive, attractive graphics are sure to keep your students’ interest.  You’ll be a popular teacher  with this set of unique and very educational worksheets.

In my studio, I run a month-long pirate practice challenge every fall.  Everything we do is pirate-related; we even dress up as a pirate for the final week.

These worksheets, which emphasize those all-important landmark notes, will fill a gap that has been missing in the challenge!


4. Finger Numbers Memory Match Plus Right Hand and Left Hand Activities for First Piano Lessons

Beginning piano finger numbers Activities for first piano lessons

These adorable, football-themed finger number and right hand/left hand cards can be used in such a variety of ways as activities for first piano lessons.  Here are a few:

  • These cards are perfect for identifying right hand and left hand, and naming piano finger numbers.
    • Shuffle the cards.
    • The student draws a card and places her hand on top of the hand on the card to discern between RH and LH.
    • Then name the hand and the finger number of the finger that is “catching” the football.
    • The teacher can also ask the student to go to the piano and play a piano key with that finger.
  • The student can sort the cards into RH and LH and then put them in order according to finger numbers.
    • For very young students, use the two full pages at the end of this set as sorting mats.
    • This will help those who are still unsure of which is their RH and which is their LH.
  • The cards can be used as a simple memory match game.
  • Make a bigger game of it!
    • Use the full page sheets at the end of the set and have a student throw a small beanbag onto the hand, then name the finger number it landed on.

There are some different background graphics to choose from, but they always have a little boy and girl football player on each card.

This is a very versatile set of cards. There are so many ways to use them, but whichever way you choose, your students will love them, and you will have super easy activities for first piano lessons ready to go!


5. Piano Keys Worksheet & Activities for First Piano Lessons

Piano Keys Activities for first piano lessons

Once you have taught piano key geography, this set of 17 polka-dot themed worksheets is perfect for music centers and camps, projecting on a big screen in the classroom, early finishers, and more!

Some of the activities include:

  • Draw polka dots on the groups of two black keys
  • Draw polka dots on the groups of three black keys
  • Draw pink polka dots on all the As, draw purple polka dots on all the Bs, etc.
  • Matching
  • Colouring notes on the keyboard
  • Name only the notes that have polka dots on them

My first impressions? Kids usually love to colour, and they’ll have the opportunity to do a lot of it while completing these fun review activities for first piano lessons.

In addition, there’s lots of repetition, which is absolutely necessary when learning new concepts such as the names of piano keys.

But the children won’t realize it’s repetitious because each activity is slightly different — genius!

These will be used during my summer piano camp this year — I know they’ll be a hit! Additionally, I can use them in the fall for any new students’ activities for first piano lessons.


6. Music Rhythm Bee – Rhythm Reading and Performance Activities for First Piano Lessons

Rhythm bee Activities for first piano lessons

This rhythm game is one of the most interactive activities for first piano lessons in this entire bundle, jam-packed with bee-utiful, educational components that make preparing and playing this game worthwhile. Here’s what you get:

  • Suggestions for using the game board with single or multiple players
  • Suggestions for playing with the cards only
  • Suggestions for classroom use
  • Rhythm performance ideas
  • 30 rhythm cards and two blank cards (to add your own rhythm if you wish)
  • Full-page images of the 30 rhythm cards for projecting or using with an iPad (save your ink)
  • Game board
  • Certificates (for bee-utiful rhythm or un-bee-lievable rhythm reading)

The zip file contains both colourful and  ink-friendly versions of everything, but as mentioned above you can skip the printing altogether and use your iPad or computer instead for this game — perfect for online lessons!

Either way, the very cute cartoon bees will accompany your student every step of the way.

All the rhythms are in 4/4 time.  Each rhythm is two measures long and consists of quarter notes and rests, half notes, dotted half notes, and whole notes.

This game can easily be adapted to play with a single student or in group piano class.

  • Shuffle cards and place on desk or table.
  • The student draw a card, claps and counts the rhythm on the card, and then performs it in a creative way such as marching, dancing, snapping, using body percussion, classroom percussion instruments, and more! The more creative the performance, the more giggles will abound!
  • If the student performs the rhythm correctly, they roll the dice to move forward on the game board.
  • The game is over when they reach the finish line.

I think we piano teachers can all agree that teaching rhythm right from the start is extremely important.

You can confidently use these engaging rhythm activities for first piano lessons and your new students will learn rhythms with ease with this fantastic game.


7. Music Symbols Puzzle Cards with Turtles – Music Matching Activities for First Piano Lessons

Music puzzles Activities for first piano lessons

There’s so much to learn when students are just beginning to learn the piano.

There are many essential music symbols, such as bar line, measure, grand staff, tie, crescendo, treble clef, bass clef, quarter note half note — whew! The list is exhausting.

But you can ease your stress with these adorable turtle activities for first piano lessons and solve the problem of how to teach all these terms.

Of course, you’ll introduce these symbols to your students one at a time.

These turtle-shaped puzzles, with the symbol/note/concept on the left and the term on the right, are sure to bring smiles to your students’ faces and increase their willingness to learn.

There are 44 different turtle puzzles for students to assemble.

I suggest giving students just a few to put together at each lesson, gradually adding onto the pile that they are able to do until eventually, they can assemble all of them.

As with most of the resources in this mega bundle of 14 games, activities, and worksheets, printing on card stock and laminating is a good idea.

I do this with all of my games; they will last so much longer this way.


8. BONUS! Free Piano Practice Activities for First Piano Lessons

Piano Practice Activities for first piano lessons

Each of these sheets contains 24 musical activities for your students to do, either over the summer or as a distance learning assignment (and will be great to include in a piano practice challenge).

Some of the activities include “Play anything you like for at least 15 minutes,” “Shape every phrase beautifully,” “Play one piece with your hands crossed on the piano keys,” and “Set 3 specific practice goals for today.”

The download contains six pages in total including both colour and black & white versions.  One of the pages is customizable.  Fill in the squares with activities of your choice!

I have printed out copies of these attractively laid-out activity sheets for all my students.

Since they are presented bingo-style, in the fall I’ll award a small prize for each “bingo” that the student achieves on their sheet.

I’ll require a parent’s initials in each box, but that’s just me.

You’ll rock your first month with these piano practice activities for first piano lessons whichever way you assign it.  😀

Grab this economical mega bundle of 14 games, activities and worksheets and maintain your students’ interest in learning to play piano in their first month of lessons and beyond.

And again, if you missed part one, read 7 Unique Ways to Rock Your First Month of Piano Lessons With Activities Students Love.


What do you use for Activities for First Piano Lessons?

Do you have go-to concepts you teach in the first month of piano lessons?

In reading through these activities for first piano lessons, did you come up with even more ideas? If so, I’d love to hear!

Tell us in the comments below!


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Celeste-tina Hernandez

Celeste-tina Hernandez

Celeste-tina is a Royal Conservatory of Music trained pianist and music teacher. She holds a B.A. in Music and Drama from Trinity Western University and an M.A. in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University as well as numerous teaching certificates. She is a long-time member of the British Columbia Registered Music Teacher’s Association and regularly contributes to Progressions, the provincial magazine for registered music teachers. Celeste-tina currently teaches 65 piano, voice, and guitar students from her home studio in Chilliwack, B.C. She enjoys teaching students from ages four to adult and people of all abilities, both individually and in groups. She counts it a blessing to be able to share her love of music with so many and can’t wait to get back into the studio every Monday morning to begin another fun-filled week of music making.

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Hi! I’m Melody Payne, a pianist and piano teacher, educational resource author, a fun-loving wife to the most wonderful and talented hubby I could ask for, and a lifelong learner who loves to share. I want to make your life as a music teacher easier by writing and sharing helpful and relevant music teaching articles, and by creating educational resources with your very own students in mind. If you are a parent who wants to enroll your child in piano lessons, I’d love for us to get started building those skills that can give your child a lifetime of musical enjoyment!

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