Category Archives: Keyboards

Issue 146: Hot Cross Buns save the day again

Actually Hot Mince Pies, to be seasonal, but you can do this with Hot Cross Buns later this term if you like! The lesson works with ukuleles, chime bars, recorders, keyboards, any instrument where you’ve got three notes. Teach the … Continue reading

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Issue 144: Once a man fell in a well

This is one of the first songs I learned to teach when I started teaching the Wider Opportunities Programme. Many of my colleagues will now scroll straight onto the next post as they have been teaching this to a dozen … Continue reading

Posted in Clarinets, Class Teaching, Keyboards, Piano, Recorders, Songs, Theory, Ukulele | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Issue 136: Reading Music

So, having just mentioned that from now on primary school children are expected to learn staff notation, here’s a really, really quick introduction to reading pitch notation… Have a look at this little piece, which I “composed”, if I can dignify … Continue reading

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Issue 133: Improvisation for learning piano scales

How can you make learning scales interesting? Here is my favourite version of “Pianists” from “Carnival of the Animals” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGv933Mnru0 and here’s a little improvisation activity to enjoy, based on knowing your scales; With your left hand, just play the first and … Continue reading

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Issue 132: Music Writing

I came across this article recently: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?referrer= I was fascinated to read how important handwriting appears to be for children as part of process of learning to read. I’ve always felt that writing music notation is a really helpful way of … Continue reading

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Issue 124: Topic; Spies and Secrets

This class topic has been a gift for me. Now the entire year 3 keyboard class is able to read and play from notation with almost zero input from me! How? We had been playing simple music for a term, building up from … Continue reading

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Issue 124: First Steps in piano (or keyboard)

I’ve been trying out different ways of introducing notation to young keyboard/piano students. This worked surprisingly well in the year 3 Wider Opportunities Keyboard class I started teaching back in September: I taught “D” as the first note, and each key … Continue reading

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Issue 119: Carnival of the Animals – Pianists

After the success of “Aquarium” in calming a “lively” Wider Opportunities Keyboard class last week, I was planning to play them “The Swan”. However, the children seemed much more settled, and I thought I would save “The Swan” for a … Continue reading

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