Volume 1 Contents

Volume 1 Contents
PREFACE ...................................................................................................................................................... I
GENERAL INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... III
GETTING STARTED .................................................................................................................................. X
Selecting a Piano or Keyboard ................................................................................................................ x
Setting up your keyboard ....................................................................................................................... xi
Hand Placement .................................................................................................................................... xii
SIGNATURE SONGS.............................................................................................................................. XIII
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME 1 ........................................................................................................ XVII
UNIT 1: PRELIMINARIES ......................................................................................................................... 1
MEET THE KEYBOARD...................................................................................................................... 3
LEARNING C, D AND E .................................................................................................................... 11
FINDING THE NOTES ON THE PIANO........................................................................................... 22
Note Workout................................................................................................................................... 23
UNIT 2: THE FIRST SONGS .................................................................................................................... 25
REPEATED NOTES ............................................................................................................................ 26
YOUR FIRST SONG ........................................................................................................................... 27
Hot Cross Buns ....................................................................................................................... 27
Using Brackets ................................................................................................................................. 29
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
.......................................................................................................... 29
UP AND DOWN .................................................................................................................................. 31
F AND G ............................................................................................................................................... 34
Special Challenge: ........................................................................................................................... 34
Keyboard practice with all 5 notes ................................................................................................... 40
Note Workout................................................................................................................................... 43
Mary had Little Lamb ............................................................................................................ 44
Going Home ............................................................................................................................ 44
USING VARIOUS FORMATS TO REPRESENT A SONG .............................................................. 45
London Bridge
.............................................................................................................. 47
Mystery Song ................................................................................................................................... 49
LOW G .................................................................................................................................................. 50
Warmup for Low G: ......................................................................................................................... 50
Note Workout................................................................................................................................... 51
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Bridge of Avignon
Yankee Doodle
............................................................................. 53
................................................................................................ 55
........................................................................................................... 57
The Streets of Laredo ............................................................................................................58
Special challenge: .............................................................................................................................58
STEP AND SKIP ..................................................................................................................................60
INTRODUCTION TO MELODY DIAGRAMS ..................................................................................63
Frere Jaques............................................................................................................................66
MAKING A MELODY DIAGRAM.....................................................................................................67
London Bridge: Melody Answers
..........................................................69
Special challenge: .............................................................................................................................69
The Streets of Laredo ............................................................................................................70
UNIT 3: RHYTHM .....................................................................................................................................71
RESTS (STOP SIGNS) .........................................................................................................................72
A Little Night Music .................................................................................................................72
Skip to My Lou .........................................................................................................................73
Jingle Bells ...............................................................................................................................74
Longer Pauses...................................................................................................................................76
When the Saints Go Marching In
.............................................................................76
HOLDS ..................................................................................................................................................79
London Bridge
.......................................................................................79
More Rhythm .........................................................................................................................................81
Yankee Doodle
The Bridge of Avignon
.......................................................................................81
..........................................................................83
UNIT 4: DEVELOPING FLUENCY...........................................................................................................85
Seeing the Skips ....................................................................................................................................87
Frere Jacques (Brother John)
.........................................................................87
More Melody Diagramming ..................................................................................................................89
When the Saints Go Marching In
........................................................89
ANOTHER LOOK AT MIDDLE C .....................................................................................................90
When the Saints Go Marching
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
.............................................................91
.......................................................................93
The Muffin Man .......................................................................................................................94
REPEATED NOTES 2 ......................................................................................................................... 95
Bracketing Repeated Notes in Melody Diagrams ............................................................................ 95
The Farmer in the Dell ........................................................................................................... 95
Mary Had a Little Lamb ......................................................................................................... 96
TURNING NORMAL NOTATION INTO MELODY DIAGRAMS.................................................. 97
THE STAFF .......................................................................................................................................... 98
The G Clef ....................................................................................................................................... 99
Middle C on the Staff .............................................................................................................. 100
This Old Man ......................................................................................................................... 101
More practice "connecting the dots" .............................................................................................. 102
Deck the Halls ....................................................................................................................... 102
UNIT 5: FINGERING .............................................................................................................................. 105
FINGERING 1 .................................................................................................................................... 107
Finger Numbers.............................................................................................................................. 107
Root Position.................................................................................................................................. 109
When the Saints Go Marching In
Going Home
...................................................... 109
..................................................................................................... 110
Theme (Sonata in a) ............................................................................................................ 110
Ode to Joy ............................................................................................................................. 111
UNIT 6: NEW NOTES ............................................................................................................................. 113
HIGH A ............................................................................................................................................... 114
Special challenge: .......................................................................................................................... 114
Note Workout................................................................................................................................. 115
Warmup for O Christmas Tree ................................................................................................ 115
O Christmas Tree ................................................................................................................. 116
LOW A........................................................................................................................................... 118
Note Workout .......................................................................................................................... 118
Old McDonald ....................................................................................................................... 119
Home on the Range ............................................................................................................. 121
Mystery Song ................................................................................................................................. 122
FINGERING 3 .................................................................................................................................... 124
Thumb Crossing ............................................................................................................................. 124
Yankee Doodle
.................................................................................... 126
UNIT 7: TWO-HANDED PLAYING ...................................................................................................... 129
INTRODUCING CHORDS ............................................................................................................... 130
THE HOME CHORD ......................................................................................................................... 130
SONGS WITH ONE CHORD ............................................................................................................ 132
Frere Jacques (Brother John)
THe Farmer in the Dell
........................................................................ 132
.................................................................................. 133
Swing Low Sweet Chariot....................................................................................................133
PLAYING A CHORD BY ITSELF ....................................................................................................134
Swing low Sweet Chariot
...............................................................................134
TWO-CHORD SONGS ......................................................................................................................135
THE AWAY CHORD....................................................................................................................135
Fingering for the Chords ................................................................................................................137
Mary Had a Little Lamb
London Bridge
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
..................................................................................138
......................................................................................139
............................................................................141
APPENDIX A: ANSWERS TO "SPECIAL CHALLENGES" AND MYSTERY SONGS ....................143
APPENDIX B: ADDITIONAL SONG LYRICS .....................................................................................144
The RoadMap
Here are the symbols that will guide you along the way:
P/E [Parent/Educator]
Stuff for grownups. Kids, you don’t need to read this part! (if
you really like to read and are interested, you can; maybe you can
read it with your parent or teacher).
Every time you learn a new note, you can play more songs!
You might only learn part of a song at first, until you know all the
notes to complete it. Don’t worry; you’ll always get to go back
and finish up.
You’ve learned a new note or idea. Now it’s time to try it out!
Sometimes you want to look at a song a new way (i.e. melody
diagram instead of letter names).
Little “extras” to stretch your brain.
Special Challenge
Warmup
Just as in sports, it’s important to do some simple activities to
strengthen certain areas and focus on certain tasks. Each warmup
prepares you for a specific song, although they build skills that
can be used in other songs as well.
Just some jumbled-up notes to get you moving and build
confidence. Go through them several times and aim for speed≡
Note Workout
You're the detective: The notes and rhythms are your clues. The
case is "solved" when you identify the song.
Figure it out
Experiment:
A little brain strain to get you thinking.
Something different to try; maybe it will work and maybe it
won’t!
A Piano is a keyboard instrument.
There are also electronic pianos or digital pianos. Sometimes we
just call them "keyboards."
A piano doesn't usually have to be plugged in.
A keyboard can be plugged in or run on batteries.
They all have one thing in common – A pattern:
Two white notes
Two black notes
Two white notes
Three black notes
Two white notes
Two black notes....
The notes are called by letter names: A B C D E F G
Most of us have five fingers on each hand.
them.
Try to use all of
Unit 1: Preliminaries
Unit 1: Preliminaries
2
P/E: (Parent/Educator) Page
Our goal is to get the student playing songs as quickly as possible. Knowing the letter
names of at least a few notes would seem a fixed prerequisite. However, it is possible,
perhaps even desirable, to teach one or two songs completely by rote – that is, simply
by showing the student and having them copy and/or pick it out by ear. The student
may already be picking out his or her favorite songs; in fact, many special needs
students show tremendous determination to master a song by trial and error. If you, as
the parent or teacher, feel comfortable with simple ear-playing, perhaps you can just
encourage them to work out a couple of songs they enjoy and that seem easy. You
might want to look over the table of contents and pick a song that the student knows
and likes, outside the repertoire covered in the book. The songs used in the book are
chosen to fit certain criteria and to be well known enough that they can be picked out at
least partially by ear.
We make an occasional exception with a classical tune where the emphasis must by
design be placed on reading. A certain amount of rote imitation will happen at every
stage automatically. However, we do not want to encourage this as the primary means
of learning. In fact, if possible, when teaching by ear, it is highly advantageous to have
the student look away, perhaps having a second piano or keyboard turned at an angle,
or simply for the teacher to focus on singing rather than playing as the primary means
of demonstrating the song aurally.
For now, we will begin by learning the layout of the keyboard and developing basic
note identification. To make this process fun, use games such as flash cards and
quizzes. You can also say something like: "close your eyes, and on the count of three,
open them and find E." Flash cards are included in the Supplement Packet. There are
flash cards for the keyboard, as well as ones for later one, teaching notes on the staff,
plus concepts such as step vs. skip
Meet the Keyboard
Facts about the keyboard:
• White and black keys
• White keys use letter names A through G
• Black keys can also be used in songs; they are called sharps or flats.
We’ll learn about those in Book 2
• C is to the left of each group of two black notes
C is to the left of any group of two black notes.
C
this is C
Our songs don't always start on C, but they usually end on C.
Here’s the group of two black notes; write C to the left of them.
Circle each group of two black notes; write C to the left of them.
Circle each group of two black notes; then write C to the left of each.
Write in all the C’s below. The answers are on the next page.
P/E: If the diagram above is too small, use the reproducible actual-size keyboards provided in the supplemental packet.
You can also recreate the “copy the C’s” activity on the next page using the larger keyboards. You can even tape several sheets
together to make a longer keyboard.
Identify the Note
On the following pages, write the letter inside the circle. Choose C, D or E.
You can play a song without any notes on paper. Perhaps you
already do play.
If you figure out songs on your own, this is called playing by
ear.
You might also invent your own songs. That is a wonderful way
to make music. Learning songs other people have written will
also give you ideas for your own songs.
With two hands and five fingers each, you can play lots of notes
all at the same time, but you have to know what you’re doing.
Eventually you will learn which notes sound good together. For
now, we will play just one note at a time.
Play with your fingers, not your arms or any other part of your
hands.
Make sure you carefully check out the starting note of each
song, and each line within the song.
Now you know everything you need to play your first song!
Unit 2: The First Songs
Unit 2: The First Songs
7
Your First Song
ALWAYS PLAY WITH THE RIGHT HAND
Save the left hand for later
Left
Right
HOT CROSS BUNS
EDC
EDC
CCCC DDDD EDC
4
4
Congratulations on playing your first song!
Open the supplement packet to get your frameable, full-size
certificate
8
LONDON BRIDGE
P/E: You may want to point to the first note, and any note that is not approached by step (i.e. E–up–up
G – up – down – down – down – up – up
D – up – up ,
E – up – up
G – up – down – down – down – up – up
D –– G –– E C ––
Lyrics: London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down
London bridge is falling down, my fair lady
(See Appendix B for additional verses)
History note: There has been a bridge between London
and Southwark, England, for almost 2000 years. It started
to fall apart after the Romans left. It may later have been
pulled down by a Norwegian prince. In 1984 a ship hit the
bridge, causing it to “fall down” (partially) again.
London Bridge
––D–up–up). This will help orient the student on the page. Also, rests haven't been introduced yet
(they will be soon), so use the commas to indicate pauses in the music. You might first see if the
student incorporates them into the music naturally without your pointing them out.
9
You're the Detective: Follow the notes correctly and learn to play smoothly. You should
recognize the song if you do it right!
Mystery Song
See if you can recognize this popular tune
C ---- up - up ---- down ---- up- up ---- down-down ---- down
D - up ---- down - down ---- E - down
G ---- E - down ---- up ----- G - down ----- down - down ----- C
D - up ----- down - down -----
E - down
Answer: See Appendix A
P/E: In order to figure out the song, playing in the correct rhythm will be crucial. The dilemma becomes how to
indicate the long and short notes when no formal rhythmic elements have been taught to this point. The use of
long and short dashes between the letter names creates an approximation that can be helpful. However, we
refrain from using this as a formal notation. Later on will introduce rests and holds, indicated respectively by
stop signs and open notes (similar to a whole note in standard notation). For now, see if the student intuitively
responds to the informal visual cues. After the first few attempts, you can indicate a pause or lengthened note
by either playing or singing in proper rhythm.
10
Seeing the difference between Steps from Skips
Reminder: If two notes are not next-door to each other, they are a skip.
Are the two notes a Step or Skip apart?
D
F
Circle one: Step or Skip
B C
Circle one: Step or Skip
Circle one: Step or Skip
E
C D
Circle one: Step or Skip
Circle one: Step or Skip
G A
F G
Circle one: Step or Skip
D
A
Circle one: Step or Skip
F
B
D
11
Making a Melody Diagram
P/E: Drawing a melody diagram gets the student thinking about the music – ups/downs, steps/skips – and
prepares them to play completely by ear – a daunting proposition for some students but still worth pursuing in small
bites. Turn the page for a completed diagram. Even if the student already played and memorized "London Bridge"
back in the "up/down" section, the exercise may still be useful. Also try diagramming other songs, an excellent way
to hone the ear. Perhaps you can even make large diagrams on an easel or whiteboard.
Try drawing in the melody notes yourself. Answers are on the next page.
Guide to symbols:
Answers on the next page
→
12
LONDON BRIDGE: MELODY ANSWERS
P/E: Vocalizing the musical features as you sing can sometimes be amusing as well as helpful: "London
Special challenge:
Try to figure out the last three notes by ear. They are skips.
London Bridge
Bridge is falling down, D-ing down, E-ing down.... D–G–skip-skip." The special challenge of the last three
notes is the double-skip from D to G. You should only vocalize the G on “fair” after the student has tried to
figure it out.
13
Rests (stop signs)
P/E: While this is an excellent melody with long, stepwise lines, the words are somewhat grim. Yet because they do
teach a good lesson, if your student is older, once you have the notes learned, you may want to sing along, going
through all the verses. Rather than print the words here, they have been provided in Appendix B.
Sometimes you have to stop in the music. Just like a STOP sign in the road.
In musical words this is called a REST.
REST
P/E: You may want to mention that Mozart likely had Asperger
Syndrome or some other special need/disability
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
C
REST
F
REST
C
DF
REST
REST
C
CEG
DFDBD
REST
REST
14
Holds
Sometimes you want to hold a note a little bit longer. We have an easy way of showing this:
Hold the open notes
Open note –
•
London Bridge
Filled-in note –
– regular
– HOLD
First, sing the song, holding out the notes like this:
Lon-don Bridge is fall-ing down –––––, fall-ing down –––––, fall-ing down.
Lon-don Bridge is fall-ing down –––––, my –––– fair ––––– la-dy –––––
LONDON BRIDGE
P/E: Try saying the word
“hold” as every open note is
played; if that is not enough,
you may want to have the
student write in the word
“hold” in additional places.
15
The Staff
Let’s look at one of our melody diagrams again. Only this time, we will put some lines
behind it. The lines help you identify the notes.
P/E: We begin by simply putting lines behind the familiar melody diagram – still no barlines or the many other
format changes that will come with bona fide staff reading. The dots will seem too small in proportion to their new
staff. This will be corrected momentarily as we move to noteheads of the regular size and shape, without the stems
or connecting beams (as in paired eighth-notes). For now, we simply have dark notes and open notes (hollow), just
as before.
16
Root Position
We can learn a song by keeping our hand in one place and thinking of the numbers.
For the next song, remember:
• Thumb on C
• Pinky on G
• One finger for each note
WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN
Put your hand in position, and just think about the fingers!
1345
1345
1345 3
13
345 3 1
5554
2 1
When the Saints
321
1 3 2
17
Songs with One Chord
Remember:
Left
CHORDS
S
Right
MELODY
FRERE JACQUES (BROTHER JOHN)
With Chords
Congratulations on playing your first song with two
hands!
Your full-size certificate is found in the Supplement Pack
18
Two-Chord Songs
The Away Chord
B
F
Pay attention to the FINGERING!
P/E: This chord, in its stark bare-minimum form as shown above, can sometimes sound harsh, especially if played in
the lowest registers of the keyboard. It is recommended that you continually remind the student to play in the middle
octaves. Keep the chords in the octave below middle C. Playing one octave higher can produce a pleasant, if somewhat
thin, sound. If the student is “on a roll” and interrupting might jeopardize their concentration or peaceful moment, leave it
alone. However, in the long run, since we want to encourage the student to hear where the chords belong and which ones
are appropriate at certain spots, the proper chord choices will stand out more readily if played in the proper region of the
keyboard.
To further the picking out of chords by ear, if you can think of other songs that might work with these two chords, by all
means, use them. Here is a short list of possible tunes. Feel free to use ones from your ethnic or religious tradition:
Michael Finnegan
“A Ram Sam Sam”
Skip to My Lou (See page 74)
Dreidel Song
The Wheels on the Bus (also seen in Volume 2)
Bluebird Through My Window
19
Our second chord is easy to get to – just move the notes away from each other.
P/E: If you desire to try other songs, it will be useful to know the standard names of these chords.
“Home” corresponds to C (C major), and “Away” corresponds to G7. You might want to write in the names
“Home” and “Away” in the music.
20
MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
With Chords
Congratulations on playing a song with two chords!
Experiment:
Switch the chords and see how it sounds:
`