Color-Coded Piano Keyboard

Inclusive Music

  • Traditional music notation has a high barrier to entry because it requires students to relate the shape and position of symbols on a staff to finger placement on their instrument, as well as tempo and note lettering.
  • For students with different cognitive processing abilities, this barrier can exclude them from learning an instrument even when they are fully capable of playing and excelling at music.
  • One method for making music more inclusive is by adapting notation so notes may be read as colors, rather than as symbols.
  • Inclusive color-coded notation makes music literacy more inclusive, and acknowledges that Euro-centric staff notation has no bearing on musical ability, proficiency or potential.
  • This color-coded piano keyboard facilitates distance learning for those students without access to a piano who are studying music using adapted notation.

You can use this color-coded piano with complimentary follow-along songs at Sarah Fard Music Education, including:

  • Chords
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • Hot Crossed Buns
  • Au Claire de la Lune
  • Ode to Joy
  • Allouette
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Spring! by Vivaldi
  • Frere Jacques
  • The Can Can
  • Fight Song (Chorus)

Source Code

You can view and adapt the open-source code used to produce this color-coded piano keyboard here on Github.

Potential Future Work

Allow users to select different color schemes, to account for different types of color-blindness.


Sarah Fard

Use Case

The use case was identified and designed by Sarah Fard, an educational consultant at Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, and H.S. music teacher at Medford Public Schools.

Check out Sarah's portfolio!

Kirsten Moreau


The piano keyboard you see above was adapted by Kirsten Moreau, owner and data scientist of Redefining Default LLC.

Source Code

Joe Liang  |

Keith William Horwood  |