In February we ran the one-minute flashcard challenge. I like to run this challenge periodically to do a little check-up on note-naming among my students. February is a good time to do this because it gives an opportunity for the students to earn an extra prize in those long weeks between Christmas and spring break when it seems not much is happening.
This year the flashcard challenge was divided into three levels:
- Level 1 – beginning students who have just started learning notes on the staff and do not know them all yet. They are required to name and play only the notes they know in one minute.
- Level 2 – students who can name all the notes on the staff, but are not proficient yet. These students are given a minute and a half to name and play all the notes on treble and bass clef.
- Level 3 – these are more advanced students who can name and play all the notes on treble and bass clef in one minute or less.
A little note about why I have my students both name and play the note…I have found that while lots of students can easily name the notes, it is quite another thing to be able to locate that note on the piano. And that’s actually the point of learning the notes – being able to play those notes that show up in our music in the right place on the keyboard.
Each student that completed the challenge (and they all did!) was rewarded a prize and signed their name on the white board. Everyone likes to see their own name displayed, and the board creates a sense of community within the studio as students check out who accomplished the challenge.
The record time was 23 seconds (24 cards in 23 seconds!) and was a tie between a competitive brother and sister. This ended up being a lot of fun as I shared with the other students how the brother and sister kept beating each other and asking to try again. A little competition can be a good thing!
Thanks to Susan Paradis for the flashcard download and for the One-Minute Club Cards! I made the cards into stickers using this printer paper and placed them on/in my students’ binders as a reminder of their accomplishment, kind of like a badge.