Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finally Completed! My Musical Alpha Gems

I bought my gemstones at least a month ago, planning to make my own sets of alpha-gems (inspired by this post from Joy over at Color in My Piano) within the week. Somehow, that never happened! So on my term break week I was determined to get these completed and ready for use over the summer!

It took quite a bit more time than I'd anticipated, but I finally got them completed this afternoon. I took Joy's idea and ran with it- creating a few more sets then just the original alphabet letters.

I grouped my alphagems and have them stored in some cute, colorful plastic containers so I can easily pull out the set that I need. And now a bit more detail about what's inside each container (descriptions follow each picture)...

This set is simply the alphabet letters. I'm going to use these for my beginner students to help them identify notes on the keyboard, and also to drill notes on the staff with some of my elementary students.

This set turned out to be the smallest, and is made up of what I call 'Landmark Notes' (some people like to call them 'Guide Notes'), the first notes new students learn and ones that help orient them on the staff as they continue to learn more notes.

Another set makes use of intervallic relationships. Within this container are gems noting half and whole steps, steps and skips, and intervals from the 2nds to octaves. Beginner students will use the step-skip gems, while more advanced students will drill intervals. These can be used along with the basic alphabet keys- draw a letter and an interval and place both gems on the correct keys or line/space on the staff.

The final group is basic alphabet keys with added sharps and flats. I plan to use these with students as we learn pentascales.

So there's my project for the week! What do you think? Any suggestions on additional ways I could use these in my studio? I'd love to hear other ideas!


  1. I bought my gems right after Joy's post, too. Still have not made them, but I hope to get them done this summer! :)

  2. Oh, I think I need to make some, too!

  3. I can't wait to use them next week! Joy always has great ideas :)