General Learning Aids
Music Magnetic Board
For those who can read music, I would recommend that you get this to help your child in learning. This is because a magnetic board is much more flexible than using notecards – there is no need to shuffle or search for the correct card; just move the note up or down on the stave, and students can learn intervals more effectively using this board. The magnetic board shown above is available at MUSIC THEME, excelsior shopping centre #B1-04/5/6. Alternatively, another version of the magnetic board is available for students enrolled in the music course in Yamaha Music School.
Music Flashcards (Hal Leonard)
These cards are very useful in learning note-reading, music terms and rhythm. Available at most major music stores (e.g. Yamaha Music School)
From Top Left:
Front of note-reading card
- Back of note-reading card, showing letter name and position on keys
- Back of interval-reading card
From Bottom Left:
- Signs – Treble / Bass Clef, note/rest values, time signatures
- Simple performance directions
- Rhythm cards
Music Flashcards (Alfred’s)
There is actually not much difference between this and Hal Leonard flashcards, only that for the note-reading cards, only one clef/stave is shown instead of both staves. Available at most major music stores (e.g. Yamaha Music School)
Bastien Interval Cards
An alternative to using the magnetic board to learn intervals, with answers shown at the back. This is available at Music Essentials, #02-70 Concorde Hotel & Shopping Mall.
by Josephine Koh & Florence Koh
This is a fun way to learn note values and their value relative to each other. Available at most major music stores. Very suitable for young children. Available at most major music stores (e.g. Yamaha Music School)
Music Terms Cards
by Brio Music Press
This set of cards provides an interesting way to learn music terms. It comes in two sets – set 1 consists of terms mostly for grades 1-2 and set 2 consists of terms for grade 3-5. The cartoons shown on the cards helps students to remember the terms easily. All definitions come in 3 languages – English, traditional and simplified Chinese, and Japanese. To test yourself, you can use to TV card (bottom right) to cover up the meaning and to guess using the cartoon shown. Unfortunately, these cards are only available for sale in Hong Kong, at Tom Lee Music. It is, however, available for loan at my studio.
Learning Materials for Supporting Tests
Major & Minor Scale Picture Workbook
by Glenna Battson
These workbooks provide an interesting and fun way for students to learn and remember the structure of each scale using by cartoons to represent each scale. Students follow a worksheet format designed to help them discover, then remember, scale notes and fingering. Click on each thumbnail above to see the contents of the book. This is available at Music Essentials, #02-70 Concorde Hotel & Shopping Mall.
by Brio Music Press
Scales Plus offers an innovative way in scales learning. It makes good use of the strong visual and aural memory of learners to help them learn fast and effectively. Unfortunately, these book are also only available for sale in Hong Kong, at Tom Lee Music. It is, however, available for loan at my studio. To view the content of this book, click on the thumbnail above. Each book consists of:
A visual keyboard shows the exact fingering positions to reveal the corresponding notes as they play.
- full sets of fingering facilitate a prompt recital of scales with ease and efficiency.
- Smart Colour Scheme is designated on sets of fingering in each scale and on the visual keyboard.
- Complete scales are printed for elementary grades to assist learners to familiarize each note, especially those far from middle C
- High readability allow learners in elementary grades to focus on the particular scale by arranging two scales at most on one page.
Distinction for Piano Exams – Helpful templates for scales Grade 1-8
by Jenny Soh Chye Yen and Kenny Chia Han-Wee
These scale templates are helpful for piano students who have difficulty in reading the notes or looking up at scale diagrams from a book. As you can place them right at the other edge of the piano keys as shown in the photo above, students can look both at the diagram, the keys and their fingers at the same time without looking up and down if they are learning from a book. This will help them to focus more on the fingering and improve on hand coordination. Of course, this does not guarantee a distinction as the title suggests because good scale playing involves not only pressing the correct keys with the correct fingers, but also even and suitable speed, even tone and with some gradation. It will, however, help tremendously for those students who have a lot of difficulty remembering the fingerings and notes for scales. All major, harmonic and melodic minor scales are included in each set of scale templates. These templates are available at Renner Music Co, No, 1 Sophia Road #01-09/10 Peace Centre S228149.
Essential Elements & Exercises for Aural Tests (Grade 5-8)
by Emeritus Professor Edward Ho
Very often, teachers do not have enough time during lesson to prepare students adequately for aural tests, especially for higher grades (test C/D) where aural exercises can be rather time-consuming. Furthermore, the student is unable to practice by themselves without the teacher as the teacher needs to play the exercises for them to hear. With these supplementary exercises for aural, students are able to practice aural test by themselves and check with the answers provided. With more than 40 musical excerpts for test C/D, these books would provide the student with more than adequate practice in aural. Available at most major music stores (e.g. Yamaha Music School)