TEACHING Piano Adventures®

The Pecking Rooster/Hen

Lesson Book page 5

let's get started

  1. Let's make a rooster peck for seeds going down the keyboard. We'll go low—to the left, with your left hand.
  2. (Show braced 3rd finger) Look at my hand. The rooster pecks right on the tip, his beak.
  3. When your rooster pecks down (lower), lean your body to the left.
  4. Your rooster shouldn't have a stiff neck. Keep your wrist loose!
  5. Your right hand is a little hen. She pecks up (higher) on the keyboard. Lean your body to the right. Keep your wrist loose!
Remember—you're the model!

explore and create

Push off the key, like springing off a trampoline!

partner pages


p. 3 Low and High

Technique & Artistry

p. 5 Making O's
Make an O using braced fingers.

pedagogy pointers

Establishing a natural, curved, flexible hand position is the basis of keyboard technique. Playing with a braced third finger is an effective approach. Both arch and fingertip are supported. Using a non-legato touch (like a sticky staccato) at the beginning helps direct the arm weight from the shoulder.

The left hand can be the first to try out the new technique. It won't play "second fiddle" to the right hand, which often gets the most attention. The student begins to associate "down" with going to the left and making low sounds. The right hand will then go "up" to make high sounds.

As the student moves from key to key with a braced third finger, guide the student to develop a flexible wrist. Your own example should be the ideal model. You may need to help some students with this technique—either by placing a finger under the wrist so the hand falls from the wrist, or by suggesting that the finger springs off the key like on a trampoline.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

see it in action

Teaching Video 5

The Pecking Rooster and Hen explore the entire keyboard range, at the same time teaching higher, up, and to the right (and the reverse). Olivia's hen and rooster release each "peck", and her wrists are loose and flexible—no stiff "necks".

Different accompaniments encourage steady rhythm within a musical context.

"Pecking" with alternating hands helps Vivian achieve a natural body balance. This is one musical barnyard!

Ask Yourself

Dial-up users: Click to play with RealPlayer (low quality)