When learning to play the piano or keyboard it can be tricky for kids (and adults!) to remember the notes that correspond to the keys. To help my kids I used my craft cutter to create vinyl letter stickers to stick on to the keys of a keyboard. In our case it's a keyboard attachment for the iPad. I have a Silhouette Cameo but the newer and smaller Silhouette Portrait would work well for this project.
It's very simple project and it can be used with music written using the letter names or with a child who can read music but isn't yet familiar with the keyboard. The vinyl is thin and doesn't get in the way when you're playing.
You will need:
- A craft cutter machine and software
- A sheet of adhesive vinyl in a colour of your choice
- A keyboard to label
Note that some adhesive vinyl is permanent so think about whether you'll want to be able to remove the letters in the future.
Step 1: Design the Letters
The Silhouette Craft Cutters have their own software called Silhouette Studio. Studio offers a range of outline fonts designed to be used with cutters so you can choose one that you like, a chunky font works well for this. Add the letters that you'll need for the keyboard you have. Change the unit for the height of the font to mm to get a clear idea of the size of the letters and adjust to the height you want.
Step 2: Cut the Letter Shapes on the Silhouette
Load your vinyl into the craft cutter and set the blade the the recommended setting for vinyl (typically 1.) Cut out your letters.
I reused an adhesive vinyl sheet that I had used for another project. You don't need a lot for the letters.
Step 3: Stick the Letters Onto the Keys
To remove the letters from the vinyl you might find the Silhouette spatula tool helpful. Long nails work well too!
To get the letters straight you might want to use a guide. You could use masking tape to temporarily fix a piece of string or a metre ruler in place and the line up the tops of the letters with it.
Now you're ready to go. If your child can't read musical notation the you might want to start with some music written using letter names or annotated with letters.