Practical Theory on C

THEORY

This week, we got to know each other and played a musical activity.

Much of the theory work we will do together is very practical, hands-on and active.

This week, your child needed to feel which shape they had in their hand without looking.

shapes

The shape was then matched to a rhythm flashcard, which we:

  1. Spoke aloud together (ta, ti-ti)
  2. Clapped together
  3. Played with percussion instruments

rhythm flashcard

percussionWe then took the flashcards to the piano, where we played the combined rhythms on one note.

We then allocated ‘ta’ to be played as one note, ‘ti-ti’ to be played as another. This proved to be a little tricky for some students, but everyone did really well!

Students then wrote their rhythm down into their new Inspiration Music Book One (see the back page). The notes they played were also recorded on the page. Each student gave their tune a name.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be writing your child’s composition down in correct musical notation on the five lines of a staff.

SONGS

We sang ‘Jack is Quiet’ with the actions many times to help consolidate the rhythm pattern. We then played the song on the note ‘C’.

jack in the box

To help remember where ‘C’ is on the piano, some students had their right hand traced (see the front of your new booklet). We then wrote in finger numbers they will need for their pieces, and the note each finger plays. We then found the notes on the keyboard drawn on the same page and matched the fingers to the notes.

Some students who have been playing for a while also showed me where they are up to in their books and played me some pieces they have been working on.

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt II

White Key Piano

Welcome to the magical world of piano at Easter time!

This little tune is based on the beautiful Bloomsbury book, ‘We’re Going on an Egg Hunt’, illustrated by Laura Hughes.

You may like to purchase your very own Egg Hunt book so you can play and sing along, once you get the hang of these two patterns.

we-re-going-on-an-egg-hunt

There are a few versions of this tune you can choose from, ranging from basic notation through to a lead sheet with challenging chords.

Any one of them can be played along with the video below.

Start at the easy level, and see how far through you can get!

PLEASE NOTE: You will need a working knowledge of chords and how to read Lead Sheets for the chorded versions of this piece.

Simply download one or more of these PDFs:

1 We’re Going on an Egg Hunt A Simple Piano

1 We’re Going on an Egg Hunt Basic Two Hands

2 We’re Going on an Egg Hunt Piano Easy Chords

3 We’re Going on an Egg Hunt Piano Challenge Chords

key concpets icon

KEY CONCEPTS

  • Visual pattern recognition on paper
  • Aural pattern recognition
  • Visual pattern recognition on the piano
  • Fluency in playing is helped by strong pattern use
  • Establishing a steady beat by using patterns
  • Recognising and performing rhythm patterns
  • Creating a sense of being able to play and tell stories on the instrument

LEARNING THE TUNE

This white note version of the piece is designed to be the next step in graduating from the simple Black Key for Beginners.

The steps listed below suggest a certain familiarity with the TWO MAIN PATTERNS this piece uses, which are summarized in writing below.

It is recommended to watch the instruction steps for the Black Key Beginners, to familiarise yourself with the concept of the two patterns involved, if you need further help.

FINGER & NOTE SET UP

We will be using the notes C, D and E.

The basic finger set up is:

  • Right Hand– finger 2 on C (pointer finger). Only this hand is needed for the Simple Piano version.
  • Left Hand– finger 4 on C (pointer finger). For the Basic Two Handed Piano version.

Egg Hunt hand set up

There will be TWO main patterns you need to learn to play & sing this tune.

PATTERN ONE

look icon

ACTION:

LOOK AT YOUR MUSIC

The first pattern is on page 1 of your music.

KEY LEARNINGS TIPS:

  • this pattern uses only the notes E, D and C
  • it is a DOWNWARDS pattern- you can see the notes start higher on the staff (E) and move downwards to the C.
  • it uses ONE hand only in the Simple version
  • it uses BOTH HANDS in all other versions
  • this is the pattern we use on the pages with FLAPS in the book.

piano icon

PRACTICE STEP

Read the music on line one, and play it multiple times before moving onto line 2, then line 3. Notice how they are the same, and any slight differences you find.

Notice that the last line has some notes that are not part of the usual pattern. See if you can recognise which notes they are the same as in the pattern before, or if you can sight read them.

Try playing this pattern until you have memorized it, and can play it smoothly.

 

PATTERN TWO

look icon

ACTION:

LOOK AT YOUR MUSIC

The second pattern is on page 2 of your music.

KEY LEARNINGS TIPS:

  • this pattern uses only the notes C, D and E
  • it is a UPWARDS pattern- you can see the notes start lower on the staff (C) and move upwards to the E.
  • it uses ONE hand only in the Simple version
  • it uses BOTH HANDS in all other versions
  • this is the pattern we use on PLAIN pages in the book.

piano icon

PRACTICE STEP

Read the music on line one, and play it multiple times before moving onto line 2, then line 3. Notice how they are the same, and any slight differences you find.

Notice that the last line has some notes that are not part of the usual pattern. See if you can recognise which notes they are the same as in the pattern before, or if you can sight read them.

Try playing this pattern until you have memorized it, and can play it smoothly.

PLAY AND READ ALONG

video icon

ACTION: WATCH THIS VIDEO & PLAY ALONG

In this video, you will use both of the patterns you have learned to go on an Easter adventure by playing along as I read the book.

I will be singing (reading) the words to the story, while you play the notes.

There is a simple version of the music in the background, to help guide your playing.

I will introduce each page, and let you know which pattern will be needed.

KEY LEARNING TIPS:

  • You will need BOTH of the patterns you have learned to play along with me
  • It is fine to have your music in front of you, if you find reading makes it easier to remember the patterns
  • It’s also fine to memorise the two patterns, and play them along with the book
  • There are a few slightly new sections in the video, right near the end. It’s fine to follow the instructions I give, or just stop and listen for those pages.

Before you watch: I’m very sorry, everyone- I completely mangled one of the pages where we have to go back through all the animals, due to the very limited vision I have on the screen (and it’s all backwards for me), so I had to redo the page. It’s a great reminder that music can help us know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that even the grown ups do! So, I’ve left it in for the time being. Please come back to enjoy the story again and again 🙂 

light bulb iconEXTRA IDEAS

This book and the activities we do with it in our lessons are absolute favourites with my piano students.

Here are some ideas to extend the learning, and the fun:

EGG HUNT

Take your students on a magical adventure as you read and play this beautiful book.

  • Hide 9 plastic Easter Eggs filled with items that start with the name of one of the piano notes, like Bunnies, Chicks, Carrots (you can often get little mini-ones at Easter, or make your own), Dinosaurs/ Dogs, Eggs etc.*
  • After playing & singing each ‘flap’ page, the student can take a basket to collect as many eggs as was under the flaps, until all 9 eggs are collected.
  • Once the book is completed, the student opens the eggs and places the items on the notes of the piano.

* I usually link the items to the start note/ root note/ often used note of the next piece we will be exploring. I will often use my Do the Bunny Hop! music (either version). These pages can be ‘marked up’ by highlighting the stems of the notes they have items on the piano. The ‘Do the Bunny Hop! Activity Pack has some step by step instructions.

  • You can use this for the Carrot Song Activity Pack, also.
  • The characters or items can be great to play Dinosaurs & Dragons, or any other magical creature names using the letter being focussed on. I’ve used ‘Clabberts and Chicks’ for our Harry Potter themed activities.

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt- Guitar

Welcome to the magical world of piano at Easter time!

This little tune is based on the beautiful Bloomsbury book, ‘We’re Going on an Egg Hunt’, illustrated by Laura Hughes.

You may like to purchase your very own Egg Hunt book so you can play and sing along, once you get the hang of these two patterns.

To play this simple version on the guitar, you will need this downloadable PDF:

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt Guitar Full

To add either basic or complex chords, you will need these two PDFs:

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt BASIC CHORDS

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt Challenge Chords

Simply play along with the video in Step 3 below, with a basic four beat strum.

key concpets icon

Key Concepts

  • Visual pattern recognition on paper
  • Aural pattern recognition
  • Visual pattern recognition on the guitar
  • Fluency in playing is helped by strong pattern use
  • Establishing a steady beat by using patterns
  • Recognising and performing rhythm patterns
  • Creating a sense of being able to play and tell stories on the instrument

Learning the Tune

We will be using only THREE notes for this tune.

There will be TWO main patterns you need to learn to play & sing this tune.

Step One

video icon

Action:

Watch this video and look at your page

This video will show you how to set up your fingers, and it will explain how to play the first pattern you will need.

Key Learnings Tips:

  • this pattern uses just THREE notes
  • it is a DOWNWARDS pattern
  • this is the pattern we use on the pages with FLAPS in the book.

 

piano icon

PRACTICE STEP

You might like to practice Pattern One until you can play it fluently.

 

 

Step 2

video iconAction:

Watch this video & look at your page

This next video show you the second pattern you will need to play along to the book.

This pattern can be found on pages 5-7 of your booklet.

Key Learning Tips:

  • your hands remain in the same position on groups of 3 black notes
  • this is an UPWARDS pattern
  • it uses BOTH HANDS
  • this is the pattern we use for the PLAIN pages in the book

Step 3

video icon

Action: Watch this video & play along

In this third video of our Egg Hunt series, you will use both of the patterns you have learned to go on an Easter adventure by playing along as I read the book.

I will be singing (reading) the words to the story, while you play the notes.

There is a simple beat along with the melody in the background, to help guide your playing.

I will introduce each page, and let you know which pattern will be needed.

Key Learning Tips:

  • You will need BOTH of the patterns you have learned to play along with me
  • It is fine to have your music in front of you, if you find reading makes it easier to remember the patterns
  • It’s also fine to memorise the two patterns, and play them along with the video
  • There are a few slightly new sections in the video, right near the end. It’s fine to follow the instructions I give, or just stop and listen for those pages.

Before you watch: I’m very sorry, everyone- I completely mangled one of the pages where we have to go back through all the animals, due to the very limited vision I have on the screen (and it’s all backwards for me), so I had to redo the page. It’s a great reminder that music can help us know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that even the grown ups do! So, I’ve left it in for the time being. Please come back to enjoy the story again and again 🙂

light bulb iconExtra Ideas

This book and the activities we do with it in our lessons are absolute favourites with my music students.

Here are some ideas to extend the learning, and the fun:

Egg Hunt

Take your students on a magical adventure as you read and play this beautiful book.

  • Hide 9 plastic Easter Eggs filled with items that start with the name of one of the guitar notes, like Bunnies, Chicks, Carrots (you can often get little mini-ones at Easter, or make your own), Dinosaurs/ Dogs, Eggs etc.*
  • After playing & singing each ‘flap’ page, the student can take a basket to collect as many eggs as was under the flaps, until all 9 eggs are collected.
  • Once the book is completed, the student opens the eggs and places the items on the notes of the piano.

* I usually link the items to the start note/ root note/ often used note of the next piece we will be exploring. I will often use my Do the Bunny Hop! music (either version), or The Carrot Song Activity Pack. These pages can be ‘marked up’ by highlighting the stems of the notes they find on the guitar. The ‘Do the Bunny Hop! Activity Pack has some step by step instructions.

  • You can use this for the Carrot Song Activity Pack, also.

We’re Going on an Egg Hunt

Black Note Beginners

Welcome to the magical world of piano at Easter time!

This little tune is based on the beautiful Bloomsbury book, ‘We’re Going on an Egg Hunt’, illustrated by Laura Hughes.

You may like to purchase your very own Egg Hunt book so you can play and sing along, once you get the hang of these two patterns.

To play this simple version on the piano, you will need this downloadable PDF:

Going on an Egg Hunt

key concpets icon

Key Concepts

  • Visual pattern recognition on paper
  • Aural pattern recognition
  • Visual pattern recognition on the piano
  • Fluency in playing is helped by strong pattern use
  • Establishing a steady beat by using patterns
  • Recognising and performing rhythm patterns
  • Creating a sense of being able to play and tell stories on the instrument

Learning the Tune

We will be using groups of 3 black notes for BOTH hands.

You will find the finger set up inside the booklet, and it is explained in the first video below.

There will be TWO main patterns you need to learn to play & sing this tune.

Step One

video icon

Action:

Watch this video & look in your book

This video will show you how to set up your fingers, and it will explain how to play the first pattern you will need.

The first pattern is on page 3 and 4 of your booklet.

Key Learnings Tips:

  • this pattern is on a group of 3 black notes
  • it is a DOWNWARDS pattern
  • it uses BOTH HANDS
  • this is the pattern we use on the pages with FLAPS in the book.

piano icon

PRACTICE STEP

You might like to practice Pattern One until you can play it fluently.

Step 2

video iconAction:

Watch this video & look in your book

This next video show you the second pattern you will need to play along to the book.

This pattern can be found on pages 5-7 of your booklet.

Key Learning Tips:

  • your hands remain in the same position on groups of 3 black notes
  • this is an UPWARDS pattern
  • it uses BOTH HANDS
  • this is the pattern we use for the PLAIN pages in the book

 

piano icon

PRACTICE STEP

Try playing this pattern until you have memorized it, and can play it smoothly.

 

Step 3

video icon

Action: Watch this video & play along

In this third video of our Egg Hunt series, you will use both of the patterns you have learned to go on an Easter adventure by playing along as I read the book.

I will be singing (reading) the words to the story, while you play the notes.

There is a simple version of the music in the background, to help guide your playing.

I will introduce each page, and let you know which pattern will be needed.

Key Learning Tips:

  • You will need BOTH of the patterns you have learned to play along with me
  • It is fine to have your music in front of you, if you find reading makes it easier to remember the patterns
  • It’s also fine to memorise the two patterns, and play them along with the book
  • There are a few slightly new sections in the video, right near the end. It’s fine to follow the instructions I give, or just stop and listen for those pages.

Before you watch: I’m very sorry, everyone- I completely mangled one of the pages where we have to go back through all the animals, due to the very limited vision I have on the screen (and it’s all backwards for me), so I had to redo the page. It’s a great reminder that music can help us know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that even the grown ups do! So, I’ve left it in for the time being. Please come back to enjoy the story again and again 🙂

 

light bulb iconExtra Ideas

This book and the activities we do with it in our lessons are absolute favourites with my piano students.

Here are some ideas to extend the learning, and the fun:

Egg Hunt

Take your students on a magical adventure as you read and play this beautiful book.

  • Hide 9 plastic Easter Eggs filled with items that start with the name of one of the piano notes, like Bunnies, Chicks, Carrots (you can often get little mini-ones at Easter, or make your own), Dinosaurs/ Dogs, Eggs etc.*
  • After playing & singing each ‘flap’ page, the student can take a basket to collect as many eggs as was under the flaps, until all 9 eggs are collected.
  • Once the book is completed, the student opens the eggs and places the items on the notes of the piano.

* I usually link the items to the start note/ root note/ often used note of the next piece we will be exploring. I will often use my Do the Bunny Hop! music (either version), or the ‘white note’ version of We’re Going on an Egg Hunt. These pages can be ‘marked up’ by highlighting the stems of the notes they have items on the piano. The ‘Do the Bunny Hop! Activity Pack has some step by step instructions.

  • You can use this for the Carrot Song Activity Pack, also.
  • The characters or items can be great to play Dinosaurs & Dragons, or any other magical creature names using the letter being focussed on. I’ve used ‘Clabberts and Chicks’ for our Harry Potter themed activities.

Easter Bunny Boogie

An Easter Themed Sequential Learning Series

This series of pieces introduces a few concepts and ideas through fun and engaging repetoire. The main focus is on playing, and using these playing skills to recognise patterns and concepts in written music.

The main concepts covered are:

  • introducing a genre of music (the Boogie Woogie Bass riff)
  • reading high and low notes on the musical staff
  • reinforcing stepping and skipping on both the musical staff AND instrument
  • creating a beat with the repetition of a left hand riff
  • music reading concepts of where notes are played in relation to each other in written music
  • fluency and competence in playing
  • progressively adding more challenging playing and reading concepts
  • giving examples of how musical patterns can be changed for effect

Introduction

As our lessons started to move online over the past week (hopefully not for too long!), we’ve all been enjoying the funky rhythm and jazzy notes of the ‘Boogie Woogie Bass’.

Even our youngest musical family members have been able to pick up the basics of this classic bass riff!

I created three simple versions of an Easter inspired Boogie Woogie Bass:

Level One: Beginners

This level is all about PLAYING ALONG with the Boogie Woogie Bass, as well as starting preliminary music reading activities. During our in person lessons, we used coloured foam Easter Bunnies to indicate whether a note was ‘high’ or ‘low’ on the sheet music.

I created this quick video to show you how we did it, so you can recreate these concrete learning strategies at home should you wish:

As an additional step, my in person students used corresponding colours for High and Low notes to mark which notes are which on the written music. We usually colour the stems for this.

Using the basic notes of G and E, this simple melody then finishes with a stepping run from G to C. (I introduced the descending C minor pentascale the piece finishes with by first having students run down the fingers from G to C on all the white notes, then asked them to switch out the white note E for E flat- the black note below it. Most students were easily able to do so).

These same steps can be taken for the next progression, Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie.

The sheet music for both can be found here:

Easter_Bunny_Boogie Beginner level 1

Easter_Bunny_Boogie Woogie Beginner level 1

Level Two

This piece was introduced successfully online by using the simple diagram in this video.

Every student picked it up super easily, and found it easy to add the right hand note G in the correct place in the music.

The music for both the original version, and the progressive version called Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie, can be found here:

Easter_Bunny_Boogie Level 2

Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie level 2

The Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie version simply divides up the left hand notes in a slightly different pattern. Instead of playing the C and G together, these two notes take turns, creating an alternating pattern. It’s a great way to add further challenge.

Level 3

This version of the song adds another note to the right hand, so students will be playing both G and E.

If needed, students can use the colour coding exercise from Level 1 to figure out which notes are High, which are Low.

Whether the right hand is playing an E or a G, it is played at the same time as the Gs were in the previous level- always on beats 1 and 2 (or when the left hand is playing the C & G together- the right hand NEVER plays on the E flat and E).

After creating the video, I would have liked to also have pointed out how this looks on the written music: that the two notes, be they G or E, are written DIRECTLY over the two notes of the left hand that are played together (C & G); and the E flat and E do not have any right hand notes written above them.

The two progressions of this piece can be found here:

Easter_Bunny_Boogie level 3

Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie the next level level 3

The Boogie Woogie version adds an upwards travelling C minor pentascale at the end of the piece for the left hand, as well as the broken up Boogie Woogie Bass.

A further variation can be found here:

Easter_Bunny_Boogie level 4

This version continues the left hand Boogie Woogie Bass right through to the very end.

Top 10 Pop Songs

This is the start of an instructional page to help you play the booklet you have been sent: Tim Topham’s Top 10 Pop Songs For Beginner Piano Students.

I’ve posted a YouTube video of each tune so you can hear what it sounds like.

Here’s how I’d approach learning these tunes:

  1. Print out your Top 10 booklet.
  2. Watch my instructional video to help you figure out HOW read the music in the booklet. I’ve included what I’d do for the first 3 songs.
  3. Listen to the YouTube song, or look it up on Spotify. Get a good feel of the song and how it sounds.
  4. Use the Instructional video to help you with the first songs. Do ONE at a time! Pause the video to practice each step.
  5. Play it through a few times, making sure you keep a STEADY BEAT. See if you and your family can sing along! If they don’t need to pause, it means you’re probably keeping a steady beat.

QUICK INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START

Each of these songs use CHORDS. I describe how to use chords for the first three tunes in the book. You can use the same principles to figure out the rest of the songs.

HOW TO PLAY THE CHORDS

Basically, I recommend using a SINGLE FINGER chord with your LEFT HAND. This means just play the root note of the chord. If it is a C chord, you play a C. If it’s an A minor chord, you play an A.

The RIGHT HAND plays the full chord, either all at once or broken up in different styles as we’ve explored before: https://cristycoates.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/creating-your-own-pop-tune-lesson-two/

Most of the chords use ALL WHITE KEYS.

READING THE CHORDS

If a chord has just one letter, like C, G or F, it means it is a MAJOR chord.

If a chord has an ‘m’ in it, like Am, Dm or Em, it means it is a MINOR chord.

If a chord has a ‘7’ at the end, it means play a flattened 7th note of the scale (look at your Finger Exercises & Scales book). It is fine to just play the normal major chord instead.

FIGURING OUT CHORDS

If you need help figuring out any tricky chords, use your Finger Exercises & Scales Booklet. A chord is made up of the FIRST, THIRD and FIFTH notes of each scale. You need to check if it’s a MAJOR or MINOR scale, and look at that one in your booklet (or it will sound wrong!).

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO

THE TUNES

LET IT BE- THE BEATLES

LEAN ON ME- BILL WITHERS

HALLELUJAH- LEONARD COHEN This is Jeff Buckley’s version Notice it’s 6 beats per bar.

HEY JUDE- THE BEATLES Starts at the 55 second mark.

CLOCKS- COLD PLAY

PIANO MAN- BILLY JOEL Note it’s 3 beats per bar.

SIMPSON’S THEME

JAMES BOND THEME

PINK PANTHER

HOTEL CALIFORNIA- THE EAGLES

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN- THE ANIMALS Notice the 6 beats per bar.

YOU RAISE ME UP- made famous by Josh Gorban

Halloween for Junior Primary

Welcome back to Term 4!

Our JP students have started the term with a game of Dinosaurs & Dragons.

We then clapped and played these rhythms on the note D:

Rhythm Cards

Rhythm Cards (2)

This turned into a rhyme, which we added notes to.

(Please note: in order for the rhythms to make sense, the second & forth lines should have the word ‘Yeah!’ at the end!).

Halloween HalloweenLet's go Trick or Treat!

Here’s how to play it, as demonstrated by Alex:

 

It’s Holiday Time!

Well, we made it to the end of another exciting term of music!

I wanted to do a bit of a ‘Round Up’ in pictures, so here goes….

GRADE 2-4s

We started a BRAND NEW Monster Munching Music Adventure, collecting coins for achieving certain practice goals:

  1. Sight Reading
  2. Scales & Finger Exercises
  3. Main Piece (extra coins given for every 30 minutes of practice)

Everyone seemed to love the new challenge, and I want to CONGRATULATE each and every person for their hard work and dedication. For some people, that has meant establishing a more consistent home practice. Other students have made sure they have practised ALL of the goals asked for. Others have upped their own ante!

I wanted to acknowledge some students who have worked EXTRA hard to ensure they had completed each task every week, and completed it to the absolute best of their ability. Some students have put in 90-120 minutes of practice each week, which I really want to celebrate! What an amazing effort!

To acknowledge their dedication, I’ve posted some of their extraordinary Monster Coin Collections below. This isn’t to discourage every child’s effort- I celebrate the success of each and every student!

And some students have been away with illness, holidays and all sorts of things. Others have practiced their main piece really well but consistently forgot the other components of their coin gathering tasks. Others got on board a little later in the term and have been SUPER consistent since then. Well done to all!

At the same time, I just wanted to acknowledge some students’ consistent, dedicated efforts which have shown in their Coin Collection. Well done, everyone!

Please note the photo collection below is randomly generated and not in any particular order.

Links to Important Tutorials

This has been a term of Pop Tunes!

Alongside songs of their own choice in preparation for our Pop Concert, most students have also been learning that Adele classic, ‘Someone Like You‘.

We’ve done this for a for reasons:

  1. It’s a fun piece to play!
  2. It uses musical patterns that can be memorised.
  3. It’s a great introduction to important musical concepts, such as keeping a steady beat and MOST importantly, CHORDS.
  4. We used the concept of chords to create our own Pop Song! It’s a great way to start to understand how music is created and structured.

To help people remember what they’re doing, I’ve created tutorial pages for each of these activities. Simply click on the images below!

Someone Like You    create your own pop song LESSON ONE   create your own pop song LESSON TWO   create your own pop song LESSON THREE

JUNIOR STUDENTS

Incy Wincy BookOur little ones have been having fun with Incy Wincy themed music and activities this term!

I created quite a few resources for you, which you can access by clicking the image of the Itsy Bitsy Spider book to the left.

I hope these resources have been fun and useful!

Here’s a few musical experiences we’ve been having of late…

Rhythm Matching Game

Students had to choose a number, flip the card and play the rhythm using ‘body percussion’. They then balanced their way down the string acting as the animal next to their card. They had to find the matching rhythm at the other end of the string and play it with their percussion instrument. This became the start of a tune for some students.

Match the Values

Students then had to sort out notes and rests into their beat values.

Spiders

They did the Match the Note Values game again in another lesson to help them play ‘Spiders’- a musical version of the good ‘ole dice game, ‘Beetles’.

They walked away with their very own Incy Wincy Spider!

And that wraps up another fabulous term of music!

Have a wonderful holiday break and I’ll see you bright and bubbly next term as we prepare for our Pop Concert in Week 4 🙂

Creating Your Own Pop Tune Lesson Three

create your own pop songOver the past weeks, we’ve been creating a Pop Tune of your very own!

To do this, we learned a little bit about something called the Circle of Fifths, which pretty much most modern and Classical music is based on. You can find Lesson One here. We created something called a Chord Progression for a Verse and a Chorus. The Right Hand played each chord four times in each bar, while the Left Hand held the Root Note.

In Lesson 2, we listened to a variety of music from popular artists to hear how chords can be played in all sorts of interesting ways. You were asked to try each style of playing with your chord progression, then choose one style for the Verses, and one for the Chorus.

LEARNING CHECK-OFF

There are TWO things that you should be able to do before moving on with this lesson.

You should have:

  1. A chord progression that you’re happy with, written on your ‘Creating Tunes’ print out, with the STYLE you have chosen to play the Verse & Chorus written on the sheet.
  2. Practiced enough to play the chord progression smoothly with a steady beat with both hands.

Once you have BOTH of these things down pat, you’re ready for today’s lesson!

PLAYING

This week, we’re hopefully making things a little easier for your fingers by exploring how to rearrange your chords. This is known as inverting chords.

Here’s what I mean….

YOUR NEXT STEPS ARE:

  1. Figure out the notes in your chords. Write them on a piece of paper or whiteboard.
  2. Watch the Tutorial about how to apply the style to your own piece below. In a Nutshell: Circle the notes that are the same in each chord, then experiment with where to place the notes that ARE NOT the same so your hand doesn’t need to move around so much. Often, you’ll find the notes that aren’t the same are quite close to each other.
  3. Try your OWN chord progression with the NEW chord positions, using the STYLE of chords you’ve chosen for the Verse & Chorus (e.g. ‘Someone Like You’ style, or ‘Talking to the Moon’ style).

That’s it for now!

Have a WONDERFUL holiday and I’ll see you again next term 🙂