Here’s a little gem I made back in 2011. After making another music game, I had some white and black foam left over. The white foam piece was just about the size of piano keys, and so after seeing a few other examples of “Silent Keyboards,” I set to work. See below for directions.
Foam Keyboard Materials and Directions:
- White foam sheet
- Black sticky foam sheet
- Wooden craft discs
- Fine tip Sharpie Marker
- Patience and a calculator
I wanted two full sets of keys on my Silent Keyboard – so I measured lengthwise to the middle of the foam, and then did a little math to split those two sections into 7 equal keys. After carefully marking them with a pencil, I used a ruler and a fine tip Sharpie to finish the white keys. For the black keys, I experimented with width and length until I made a key that looks “just right.” Then I used that key to make 9 other black keys, and placed them on the white foam. The black foam was already self adhesive, which came in really handy! (You could easily do this with regular black foam and glue.)
I’ve seen teachers use pretty glass gems as place markers for the keys, but I also wanted some markers with letter names on them. I found VERY cheap wooden discs at the local craft store. (About $0.50 for a pack of 8.) Each disc was then marked with a letter on one side and a music note on the other – you can use them on either side to create chords, scales, intervals, etc…
We use this keyboard ALL the time. It’s very handy to have around when you’re playing a game away from the piano bench! Click on the link for a printer-friendly version of the directions: DIY Foam Keyboard Printer Version.
Here are a couple other DIY keyboard links from ColorInMyPiano.com.
DIY: Silent Mini Keyboards – Here’s one made out of wood with directions to make multiple sets. This is the post that originally inspired me to use the foam items I already had on hand. Someday I’d like to make these wooden versions – they’re so nice!
Piano Keyboard Printable – Here’s another version made out of paper that you can laminate. I’m planning on making some of these for my summer music camps. This could also be great to make as a take-away for young beginners. Parents could even use them for music alphabet practice when they’re away from the piano.