Woohoo! We’ve reached #20 in our Tuesday Teaching Tactics. These short posts are meant to just give you a quick idea or reminder about something you can incorporate right away in your teaching. We have loved sharing our favorite tricks and thoughts with you each week. So let’s delve into today’s tactic – cover the measure.

First, I have to confess something… I love collecting sticky notes and tabs. There are so many varieties – big squares, little squares, long rectangular ones, and thin highlighter type ones… So in finding uses for them, I heard a wonderful tip from Diane Hidy once to cover the measure. I loved her idea! She showed an example where she covered measures to show patterns and promote memory work from the beginning.

I’ve taken the long rectangular ones and gone further with this idea. I like to cover the RH on certain parts so students will have to practice LH alone, especially on Chopin waltzes or other tricky pieces where the RH melody seems to be much easier to memorize. And sometimes, my students beg to use highlighter tape ones to mark the sections – all A sections get a pink sticky tab, B sections get green, and so on. Practice is practice and giving them something fun to peek under or to look through just makes it a little more fun right?!

So I hope you’ll go collect a few more sticky tabs and try this tactic! Remember to cover the measure and have fun doing it!

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com