Getting started with ear training doesn't have to be difficult. Today I would like to share a fun, simple activity that you can do with your students as early as the very first lesson. This activity will help students learn how to listen for steps and skips as well as ascending and descending patterns on the piano.
To use this activity, print out the instruction sheet and flashcards (found HERE). Start by showing students just the first two cards—same or up/different. Play one of the two patterns on the piano (I like to start by using the notes C, D, and E) and have them listen and identify which pattern they hear. Then, add the third card and ask students to identify whether the pattern they hear is "same, up, or down."
Once a student is comfortable with "same, up, or down" patterns, gradually add more cards and begin creating longer patterns by playing several cards in a row and asking students to put the cards in the correct order. The last two cards (using an “X” between the notes) introduce the concept of listening for skips. Practice singing and playing these cards separately before adding them to the mix.
Once your students are comfortable with this activity, they are ready to do the ear training challenge worksheets using steps and skips found HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Download the "Same, Up, or Down" ear training activity HERE.
What do you think? Will you be doing ear training activities with your students this year?