The PianoTrain Method: Teaching how music works


Thanks for visiting Key Route Music's PianoTrain website!

The PianoTrain was developed by Margo and Robert Shafer in 2005 as a learning aid for the young or novice musician.

By placing the PianoTrain behind the black keys of the piano as shown below, it becomes a very effective

learning aid in helping students understand the concept of movable "DO."   Move the PianoTrain to any location, and

have your students follow the yellow boxes to play major scales in any key.

For vocal or instrumental music studios, the PianoTrain can be used with the PianoTrack to illustrate

all of the same musical principles." width="400"/>

PianoTrain & Track on a music stand illustrating D major

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The PianoTrain shows how a tune or scale can be moved from place to place or, musically speaking, key to key.

It illustrates how scales and tunes are relative, and not absolute combinations of sounds.

The PianoTrain can be used to teach scales, intervals, solfege, chords, inversions, key signatures, modes, voice leading, etc.

The PianoTrain helps vocal and instrumental students understand whole steps, half steps, and other intervals.

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Two examples of how the PianoTrain can be used to teach musical concepts:

I.  Whole and half steps:

    A. Have the student line up one of the yellow boxes marked  "DO" with a piano key of their choice.   Suggesting somewhere in the  middle of the keyboard is probably a good way to begin.

    B. Have the student play one- or two-ocatve scales in various keys, as they place “DO” in different “locations.”

    C. Explain whole steps and half steps using the PianoTrain boxes.

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II.  Movable "DO" or transposition; general music reading:

A. Print the Twinkle pdf  or notate a melody of the student’s choice using solfege syllables.  Placing the syllables at appropriate heights will most likely enhance a  student's understanding of regular music notation.

    B. Have the student slowly read and play the melody in various keys using the PianoTrain as a guide.   

C. Explain "movable DO" and transposition.

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To order:

PianoTrain...........$9.95   " target="_blank">"/>  

PianoTrack.....................$13.95    " target="_blank">"/>  

PianoTrain/PianoTrack Set.......$21.95  " target="_blank">"/>  

The PianoTrain Beginning Songbook.........$17.95   " target="_blank">"/>  

Make your own PianoTrain!  To download a free PianoTrain PDF .......... Click Here!

If you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason just return it in the same packaging for a refund or exchange.

We offer substantial quantity discounts to dealers, teachers, or schools. 

For more information please call (510) 548-6659 between 10am and 6pm PDT. Or email us at: krm at krmusic dot com


Thanks for trying the PianoTrain and Track!

PianoTrain on piano illustrating F major

PianoTrain on piano illustrating F major