Here at KC & Friends, we believe that laughter is the key to learning.
No more boring flashcards!
Think back to your own experience learning the piano as a child… Do you remember using music note flashcards? Do you remember, like I do, frantically flipping over card after card, trying to make sense of that little back dot, where it was on the lines, and what that all meant? It was so stressful! And so hard to remember – they all looked the same!
I knew there had to be a better way of teaching music theory to kids. That’s why, when I started KC & Friends, I came up with a series of characters to represent the notes. Each of the musical Friends we meet along our piano journey symbolizes a musical note. These Friends are more relatable to kids, and much easier to remember and tell apart than those boring, old, traditional music notes.
Meet your music!
First, I came up with nine characters – or Friends – to represent the notes that make up the Middle C Position on the piano. Each Friend has three elements that make them recognizable and memorable to kids:
- Every Friend’s name begins with the letter that represents the note
- Each Friend has a fun, distinctive look that reinforces and represents their name
- Every Friend has a little catchphrase that helps kids remember where that note lives on the staff
That means when kids learn piano with the KC & Friends method, they get to make nine unforgettable new Friends in level one. Friends that they know well and will never forget!
The flashcard redesigned!
Ok, so we didn’t get rid of flashcards altogether – after all, there’s no sense re-inventing the wheel. Instead, I chose to redesign my flashcards to make them fun rather than intimidating!
My flashcards show the notes on the staff, but they also show the Friends. So instead of interrogating them about what note it is, I ask them questions about their Friend:
- “What do you know about that Friend?”
- “Is it a Treble Clef Friend or a Bass Clef Friend?”
- “Are they a line note or a space note Friend?”
- “What does this Friend say?”
When kids realize that they know the answers to these questions about their Friends, it gives them the confidence to try reading music too. And they can! Without any of the usual boring theory and stressful memorizing, they’ve learned to read music!
Practice Play makes perfect
To really learn something and commit it to memory, you need to practice. And for that practice to really be effective, it needs to be enjoyable and engaging. That’s why we’ve come up with some fun games involving our Friends to help kids laugh and learn while they play.
Music is a series of low to high notes and, in a way, that’s just like a deck of cards. So, we’ve come up with a piano version of “Go Fish” where kids fish for the note that matches the Friend in their hand (or vice versa).
Monkey’s Memory Challenge
Our version of the memory game: turn over the cards and match the musical note with the Friend.
Why rename a classic!? We take it in turns to play cards from our deck of musical note cards. The highest note wins!
Ready to play with KC & Friends?
We’ve got lots of games and resources to help you and your students laugh and learn.
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