Keep reading to check out my top ten ways to use puzzle erasers in your next lesson!
Beginners will enjoy placing these little erasers on high notes or low notes, on groups of two or three black keys, on each C or D....use your imagination and the sky's the limit!
2. Building whole steps, half steps, and intervals.
Use these erasers to help students visualize the difference between a half step and a whole step, a step and a skip, or to build harmonic intervals of all types.
3. Building major and minor scales.
Do you have students that struggle with key signatures? Use puzzle erasers to practice building scales on the piano keys and identifying the correct sharps and flats for each key signature.
4. Building and inverting chords.
Puzzle erasers are a great tool for helping students to visualize chords! You can have students build a chord, change it from major to minor, invert it from root position to first inversion, and more.
5. Creating a round hand shape.
Young beginners can use each hand to "make a house" for their puzzle eraser to practice creating a round hand shape.
6. Practicing wrist lifts.
In my very first teaching tip video, I showed how I use puzzle erasers to introduce the concept of wrist lifts--so helpful for releasing tension and laying the groundwork for learning phrasing!
Put those puzzle erasers to use on the staff, too! Practice placing them on line notes, space notes, landmark notes, and more! I like using the free, large staff paper found HERE on Susan Paradis' website, but you can also easily make your own.
Once you have your staff paper handy, try a few of these options:
- Have students create a short phrase by placing their puzzle erasers on the staff, then sight-read it on the piano.
- Have students "notate" a pattern they hear you play using puzzle erasers on the staff.
- Have students create a short phrase on the staff and use it as the basis for an improv activity.
- Have students spell words using the music alphabet such as "egg," "dad," "cabbage," etc. on the staff.
9. Erasers can be practice buddies who watch for mistakes.
Have students choose their favorite eraser to be their practice buddy. This buddy will sit quietly on the edge of the piano until they need to "investigate" (with the teacher's help) a wrong note, incorrect rhythm, technique issue, etc. Ask students, "what problem did your practice buddy find, and how can you fix it?"
10. Erasers can be practice counters to keep track of how many times a section has been played.
Working on a tricky section in the music? Line up a set of puzzle erasers on the left side of the piano, and have students move one eraser to the right side of the piano each time the section is played correctly.
What do you think? Do you use practice erasers in your lessons? What creative uses have you found for these small, but mighty, teaching tools? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!