This is one of the trickiest topics in Thinking Theory Book One. However, accidentals, tones and semitones are some of the sticking points that just need to be got over before piano students can move forward.
There’s tons of review in the Thinking Theory books for these concepts. But what about that first introduction? How can we teach accidentals without puzzled looks or blank faces? (Especially when it comes to those white key sharps and flats.)
Accidental Ambles Game
For this game all you need are two counters (game tokens, small toys, or erasers) and a way to randomise accidentals. I’m going to use the Decide Now! app, but you could just as easily use cards or a special die if you have one.
How to Play
- Place one token an octave from the bottom of the piano on low A.
- Place the other token an octave from the top of the piano on high C.
- Take turns to draw a flat, sharp or natural. A flat moves you one key to the left, a sharp one key to the right, and a natural means you go to the nearest white key (or stay put if on a white key already).
- The winner is the first to reach the end of the piano (either end) or the closest to an end when the time is up.
Flipped Accidentals, Tones & Semitones
This week’s Thinking Theory flipped video covers not only accidentals, but also tones and semitones in the clearest and most concise way possible.
Unfortunately this is one of those things that’s said differently in the USA. American versions are on my to-do list, so stay tuned for those if you’re on that side of the Atlantic.
More Flipped Thinking Theory
If you liked the approach of this video, you might also like these others:
- Flipped Basic Note Values
- Flipped Beginning Solfa
- Flip and Gameify Landmark Notes
- Flipped Time Signatures
- Flipped Note & Rest Values
- Flipped Dynamics
- Flipped Accidentals, Tones & Semitones
- Flipped Articulation
How do you teach accidentals, tones and semitones?
Do you have a favourite game or activity to teach this concept? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook.