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Acculturation activities are fundamental for beginning piano students of any age, including transfer students, and are incorporated into Keyboard Games activities. The Keyboard Games Teachers book is full of ideas for a variety of activities.
The pieces in the Keyboard Games books provide a foundation for the beginning pianist. These pieces:
1) Develop coordinated movement, beginning with the large motor movement of
the forearm and using the 3rd finger for arm balance behind each piano key.
2) Provide familiarity with the whole keyboard, black and white keys.
3) Introduce duple and triple meters.
4) Introduce a variety of dynamics and tempo differences.
5) Acclimate the student to placement on the keyboard for a piece.
6) Show the student which fingers and hands to use to start the piece and
perform the piece.
7) Provide the student with different hand usage: playing together, crossing
hands, moving hands, one hand alone, for example.
8) Provide examples for students to use for improvisation.
9) Encourage ensemble performance and creating new duet parts.
10) Stress the development of coordinated playing skills such as: moving in and
out from white keys to black keys; moving slightly on a repeated key; using the
arm to take the hand/fingers to a new place; playing with a beautiful tone;
playing without stretching or reaching or keybedding; breathing; audiating
tempo and form before beginning to play; feeling the forearm/hand in one
piece with awareness of how the wrist is used; learning how to create a hand
shape for playing.
This 5 YO loves to improvise. All the Keyboard Games pieces provide ideas for improvisation. Students invariably improvise using rhythm patterns and form. Pieces are first played as originally notated and recorded.
An 8 YO student plays variations of triad tones for a 4 YO student to sing back.
Students learn how the damper pedal works with Keyboard Games pieces.
Students take ideas from pieces and play with other students
Students improvise on ideas from pieces after learning to play a piece as composed.
Many four YO children can complete Keyboard Games A in one year. However, this book is a good beginning for students who are older and some young children may take longer to complete this book. All the pieces in the Keyboard Games books should be used for improvisation activities after the student learns the piece as performed on the CD/Podcast. The Music Moves lesson includes a complete activity time, where students become acculturated to different tonalities and meters as well as hearing tonal and rhythm patterns. They also build keyboard geography and coordinated performing skills.
Ensemble playing is encouraged from the beginning. Large motor arm movements gradually get smaller as students learn to use individual fingers while keeping the arm balanced behind each finger and keeping a flexible wrist.
Kindergarten children move freely while they are being acculturated to chants and songs.
Three kindergarten children learn to understand and recognize duple meter while moving and chanting together.
Watch for spontaneous singing of Jingle Bells, very well in tune. A four-year old enjoys taking charge of her lesson with improvisation and creativity.
After learning a piece from Keyboard Games, this student improvises.
A 5 YO plays the first phrase of a song using the 3rd finger. This engages arm movement and a strong awareness of how the melody moves, avoiding kinesthetic memory.
An active boy focuses on form and a separated touch. Children learn through body movement and there are times when sitting still just isn't comfortable.
Emphasis on Mixolydian Tonality in class. After singing The Pug, and repeating the ending, this four-year old spontaneously went to the piano and played and sang. Internal learning happens.
9 YO student plays different orders of a major tonic pattern for 5 YO to sing back. Experimental fun.
Movement by a four-year old student to an original piano solo by a seven year-old student.
Age 4. Story improvisation while singing and playing. She plays KBG A pieces with great hand shape. Here she wanted more sounds. That’s ok.