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Using a Chalkboard Piano in Lessons

Chalkboard Painted Piano

It’s no secret that I love using resources in lessons, but if I had to pick a favourite it would definitely be my chalkboard piano.

A birthday present from my parents over ten years ago, this piano has been on a lot of adventures. It’s been moved eleven times since I’ve owned it, travelled close to 300 kilometres, and experienced four major earthquakes. It had been in need of a makeover for quite a while, so when I saw a chalkboard painted piano on Pinterest I knew just what I wanted to do.

Painting the piano was surprisingly easy. It only took a few hours which included buying a can of chalkboard paint, taking off the front panels and lid of the piano, painting one coat (while making sure the keys were protected), and then putting everything back together once the paint was dry.

I use a damp cloth to wipe it down, and every few months give it a thorough clean to make it look freshly repainted. And the secret cleaning product that does the job? Coca-cola (yes, really!).

Using a Chalkboard Piano in Lessons

There are so many opportunities for incorporating the chalkboard into lessons. Here are just a few of the ways I use my chalkboard piano with students:

  • Learning treble and bass notes
  • Illustrating theory terms
  • Identifying keys
  • Writing messages to students
  • Explaining and highlighting ideas
  • Writing down notes when composing
  • Playing games (have a look at these theory game ideas from Teach Piano Today)

Chalkboard Piano

Alternatives to a Chalkboard Piano

Of course painting a piano is not always the best idea. Here are some other options instead:

Chalkboard Wall

One day I’m going to have to upgrade my piano (sad trombone). Because I love using a chalkboard in lessons my plan is to turn one wall of my studio into a giant chalkboard.

Freestanding Chalkboard

If painting a whole wall sounds just as impractical as painting a piano, then using a traditional freestanding chalkboard might be the answer.

Chalkboard Table

I love the way Sara uses a chalkboard table in lessons. Check out her post on this note naming game that looks like a lot of fun!


Using a whiteboard can be a good alternative to a chalkboard, plus it has the added benefit of being magnetic.

Large Window

If you have a large window or glass door in your studio then grab some liquid chalk markers. I love using these in group lessons when we need more writing surfaces.

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