Who's at the Door?
and other mysteries ...
On the media player below, click on the 'time' listing for each item to open the link to the track page which contains more detail of each track.
This collection came about when I found myself with a small handful of young beginners who had each already had an introduction to note reading but were pretty confused about it all. Because they had already begun reading, I was reluctant to go the'rote route' but found myself with inadequate material to provide the amount of reinforcement needed to help these children feel comfortable and secure with the notes that they knew and were becoming familiar with. They all knew and understood middle C with the right hand - both on the piano and on the stave and I showed them how to find C an octave lower on the piano and on the bass stave. With these 'hitching posts' firmly established, we've been able to journey through the subsequent notes and piano keys to find and establish G as a secondary hitching post and to become comfortable with reading up and down on the staves as well as finding and playing those notes in other places on the piano keyboard.
Using these requirements as my basic premise, each week I wrote a new song for the children based on their stories, experiences and ideas. Children love to play with hands together and can usually manage this so long as the hands are moving either in the same direction on the same keys or in contrary motion with the same fingers. They also love noisy sounds like seconds and clusters and the beautiful sounds of consonant two-note chords. Three-note chords are more difficult for little fingers but after a solid introduction to clusters and two-note chords, triads can often be managed as well. Ultimately my aim was to reinforce the same notes over and over again until each child had a sound understanding of them and could find them from all different directions. The resultant confidence in being able to transfer the notes from the page to the piano keyboard brings a sense of achievement and knowing which is powerful for the child's esteem. And of course, a child with healthy self esteem is a gift for us as teachers to work with.
Oh yes, and don't forget to sing!