Day 3: The Backwards Alphabet

Do you practice the alphabet backwards with your students? Should you?

Some things in life should not be backwards. Pants, for example. I got to church a few weeks ago, and a friend was hurriedly running to the bathroom because she realized her pants were on backwards … thankfully she realized before she got up front to sing 😉 I laugh only because I’ve done this before. Dates are also not good to have backwards. You will likely miss one of the events on the calendar if you have them switched around!

But some things in life are good – even helpful – to have backwards. Driving backwards allows you to pull up to a building and then leave properly without crashing through the storefront. Walking backwards can allow you to go down the aisle in the grocery store when the arrows are pointing one way, and you just realized passed what you needed about 6 feet back (has this happened to anyone else since COVID?).

If you’ve tried starting at Z and walking the full alphabet backwards in your mind, you may discover that it takes quite a bit of effort! I certainly am not smart enough to be proficient with this skill. But I consistently challenge my students to learn the musical alphabet backwards.

Why? Because they do not play notes that only go up the keyboard! If I want my students to be proficient in recognizing notes going down on the piano (ex: The C 5-finger scale backwards. G-F-E-D-C), saying the notes backwards cannot be a foreign language.

Today I’m sharing a fun activity that can be used as early as a student’s first lesson, but can also be used to review far beyond the beginning!

Download, print, and have fun with the backwards alphabet in your studio this week 🙂 I’ve also included a worksheet that you can send home to solidify the concept further!

Pro tip: Is this a new concept for your studio? A fun way to introduce the backwards concept could be a backwards/opposite lesson week! You could have the lesson from finish to beginning, have students wear clothes wacky and inside out, have the student teach you for a time, and include backwards alphabet practice! Your students will love it and embrace the concept whole-heartedly 🙂 If you schedule it in advance, your students will eagerly look forward to something a little different!


6 thoughts on “Day 3: The Backwards Alphabet

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