Make Your Own Scale Blocks

Inspired by this Bag O’ Blocks and several others like it that I’ve seen, I decided to try making my own scale blocks. I could have just bought this wonderful set from Music Educator’s Marketplace, but I wanted to have several octave sets and couldn’t afford to buy more than one.

So, I began my creative endeavor with the following supplies:

60 one-inch wooden blocks, matte finish craft paint, 4 one-inch paint sponges, small paint brush, a can of clear acrylic sealer (also matte finish)

Step 1:

Make sure I know what I’m doing. I drew up this little diagram so that I would know which blocks needed to be painted white-black-white-black and which ones needed to be painted white-white-white-black.

Step 2:

Start painting! I painted white first that way if there was overlap, the black would cover it up.

Step 4:

Keep painting! Since there were two sides that didn’t need key names, I decided to paint them in my studio colors: red and yellow. The longest part of this project was painting all the key names. It would have probably worked (and definitely been faster!) to use a paint pen, rather than a brush, but I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t feel like making a run to the store.

Step 5:

The paint dried very fast, so as soon as I finished the last key name I took them outside and sprayed them with the acrylic sealer. I left them out to dry for about 10 minutes, then turned them over and sprayed the other side. After about another 10-15 minutes, they were done. (I definitely advise using a sealer. It was amazing how much better the blocks looked and felt after they were sprayed with it. I can tell they will last longer this way!)

Step 6:

Bag them up, with two complete octaves per set, and think of lots of ways to use them! I’ve already used the scale blocks at least 5 times this week and hope to post some specific ideas in the future. They are such a blast!

Share and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Make Your Own Scale Blocks

  1. Pingback: Piano lessons and information - Blessed School Of Music

  2. This also works on bright colored legos, (the bigger pre-school size) and a black sharpie…if you already happen to have some of those. Thanks so much Natalie! I had been using these to make chords but had not thought of scales yet! I love the generous sharing of ideas.

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