The most rewarding part of my day begins when I open up my computer in the morning, hop on over to the WunderKeys For Piano Teachers Facebook group, and scroll through all of the creative ideas that community members are sharing.
I am continually amazed at the clever ways WunderKeys teachers inject magic into their music lessons… and it seems that other members are amazed as well:
“The Facebook community is second to none. The method book is absolutely right for me and I would have chosen it regardless, but knowing that I have a community instead of just figuring out everything on my own means that, to me, WunderKeys is becoming a way of teaching that is completely unique compared with anything else that I have ever tried.” ~ Cassia
With a little bit of ingenuity, a few simple crafting supplies and a good dose of imagination, the teachers in the WunderKeys Facebook Group are helping students make musical memories that will last a lifetime.
To help you inject this same magic into your own lessons, today we are sharing five teacher-submitted lesson extension ideas that correspond with our WunderKeys preschool and primer books.
If you’re new to our online community, or if you haven’t yet joined, you may have missed some of these “wunderful” ideas…
Microcar Finger Names
This idea was submitted by: Jennifer G. Thank you, Jennifer!
This activity should be used with: WunderKeys Piano For Preschoolers, Book 1
This activity reinforces: The finger names used in the WunderKeys preschool piano books. It also helps students develop their bilateral abilities and fine motor skills.
How It Works:
1. To set up the game, create a construction paper parking lot with stalls containing the images of the Wunderbie characters. Next, label several microcars with images of the Wunderbies and then line them up beside the parking lot. Instruct your student to sit on the floor beside the activity.
2. To begin, call out a Wunderbie name and then instruct your piano student to use her corresponding finger to “drive” a car marked with the matching Wunderbie sticker to its correct parking spot. Not only does this activity help students learn their Wunderbie finger names, but it also develops fine motor skills and bilateral abilities!
Up, Up, And Away
This idea was submitted by: Krista M. Yeah, Krista!
This activity should be used with: WunderKeys Piano For Preschoolers, Book 1, Unit 9
This activity reinforces: Recognition of high sounds and low sounds
How It Works:
1. In Unit 9, Pinky Pig is being lifted into the sky with a balloon bouquet. To bring this activity to life, use construction paper and your crafting prowess to create a cloud and a tree. Next, tape the cloud above the high keys on your piano and the tree above the low clouds on your piano.
2. To begin, call out a finger name and then ask your student to use her corresponding finger to play black keys moving higher or black keys moving lower. Remind her to use the visual clues taped to the piano to play sounds moving toward the cloud for high sounds or sounds moving toward the tree for low sounds. Keep playing until your student has mastered high and low sounds.
Bunny Hop Beats
This idea was submitted by: Teresa P. Wahoo, Teresa!
This activity should be used with: WunderKeys Primer Piano Book 1
This activity reinforces: Counting quarter, half, and whole notes
How It Works:
1. To set up this activity, create bunny footprints, label them with quarter, half or whole notes and then arrange them in a line on the floor. For fun, give your students a rabbit stuffy to hold while performing the activity.
2. To play, instruct your piano student to hop from one bunny footprint to the next. Each time they land on a bunny footprint have your student count for a number of beats that corresponds to the label on the bunny footprint before they move on.
BEARied in Butterflies
This idea was submitted by: May L. Thank you, May!
This activity should be used with: WunderKeys Piano For Preschoolers, Book 3
This activity reinforces: Aural awareness of quarter and half notes.
How It Works:
1. To set up this activity, get your craft on and create 8 to 10 popsicle stick flowers. Arrange the flowers in a “garden” on the floor. Have your student sit beside the garden with a cup of coins. The coins represent bees or butterflies. If possible, search your local craft store to find some bee-shaped or butterfly-shaped manipulatives to replace the coins.
2. To begin, play two measures of quarter notes or two measures of half notes while tapping a steady beat. Instruct your student to name the note value that was played. Next, have your student move a number of bees to the flowers that corresponds with the note value that you played. For example, if you played quarter notes, the student should move one bee to one flower and if you played half notes the student should move two bees to two flowers. Keep playing until every flower has a bee.
Start Using The WunderKeys Method Books Today
If you’re feeling inspired and ready to turn your piano lessons into a learning adventure, the WunderKeys method books can help you get started! With off-the-bench activities built right into every book, WunderKeys is a jumping-off point for musical creativity and imagination. Check them out on Amazon here and be sure to join our Facebook group to become a part of our creative community!