There are countless ways to use finger puppets to lightheartedly engage students. Here are some ways that we like to use them.
Have the puppets perform a skit to introduce a new song.
Example: “Who’s That”
Begin by hiding the puppets behind your back.
Princess comes forward and sings in a high voice: “Who’s that tapping at the window? Who’s that tapping at the door?”
Scuba Diver comes forward and sings in a low voice: “I am tapping at the window. I am tapping at the door.”
To help a student work on a postural or technical challenge, use a puppet as a silly “police.” The police watches hands and fingers very closely for the improved habit (such as keeping round fingers close to the keys). When the problem occurs, the puppet turns his or her back and shakes his head. When the problem is fixed, the puppet nods enthusiastically and dances around happily.
Of course, students love to switch roles with the adult and take on the role of “puppet police.”
For a tough solfege, rhythm, or singing pattern, try this game. The adult guide and student will each have a puppet. The guide sings parts of the pattern in a silly voice until the student mimics the pattern back correctly.
Create a story about a piece of music and use the puppets to embody different dramatic tones in the song. Use the sound of the puppet’s voice to demonstrate a musical concept, such as “piano” for a quiet suspenseful sound, or “forte” for a loud surprised sound.
If you don’t have finger puppets at home, you can create your own using our Paper Finger Puppet download, found with our Music Learning Resources. Princess and Scuba are free, and premium members can download additional characters. Small toys or figurines may also be used, depending on what will be most motivating to your child.