The Pecking Rooster/Hen
Lesson Book page 5
- Up the keyboard = right/high
- Down the keyboard = left/low
- Firm fingertip and rounded hand shape
- Playing down/up entire keyboard
- "Pecking" with a sticky staccato and a flexible wrist
let's get started
- Let's make a rooster peck for seeds going down the keyboard. We'll go low—to the left, with your left hand.
- (Show braced 3rd finger) Look at my hand. The rooster pecks right on the tip, his beak.
- When your rooster pecks down (lower), lean your body to the left.
- Your rooster shouldn't have a stiff neck. Keep your wrist loose!
- 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
The Hen's DuetThe hen can peck up the keys quickly. (Play a quick accompaniment: download duet)
The Rooster's DuetThe rooster struts around in the dark. (Play a slow, mysterious accompaniment: download duet)
Rooster and Hen TogetherUse two hands. The rooster (LH) pecks in place on Middle C as the hen (RH) pecks up the white keys. Hands alternate as they play. Reverse. (See video)
Push off the key, like springing off a trampoline!
p. 3 Low and High
- Low/high and left/right are presented using a horizontal and vertical keyboard. Students shade the 2-black-key groups from lowest to highest.
Technique & Artistry
p. 5 Making O's
- See Finger Numbers, Partner Pages section on Making O's. Encourage students to notice that Making O's is at work for The Pecking Rooster/Hen!
Make an O using braced fingers.
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.