Lesson Book page 7
- Playing 2-black-key groups in the higher keyboard range
- Using RH fingers 2 and 3
- Going up the keyboard = playing higher
- The hand should float from group to group, flexing at the wrist
let's get started
- Put your RH fingertips together, like a bubble. Touch all the 2-black-keys starting in the middle and going higher.
- These two blackbirds are going to fly up the keyboard, moving higher to the sky.
- Use RH fingers 2-3. (Try 2-3-together on the music rack or fallboard.)
- Let's play this pattern on each group of 2-black-keys going up the keyboard. (Begin in the middle)
- Make sure your hand floats up to the next group of 2-black-keys.
A creative change can transform drill into a musical experience.
explore and create
Flying DownThe birds could fly down the keyboard. Start at the top and play RH fingers 2-3-together down to the middle.
Ear Tunes!Keep fingers 2 and 3 over the 2-black-keys. Close your eyes! I'll play a little pattern. You play it back!
Test the Teacher!I'll close my eyes and you make up patterns for me to repeat.
Transposing!Turn the two blackbirds into two snowflakes. Slide RH fingers 2-3 down to the two white keys (C and D). Try it with a duet. (Download duet)
Improvising!Create a snow storm. You play any high white keys with my duet. (See video and download duet)
The student needs to internalize the feel of the physical gesture.
Technique & Artistry
pp. 4-5 Five Secrets for Piano Technique
- Two Blackbirds also uses Technique Secrets 1-3: Karate Pose, Blooming Flowers, and Making O's.
- Students can begin to explore graceful arm movement as the RH gently flies to higher black-key groups.
- A bird doesn't fly sideways—it flies up and then down to land gently. Demonstrate a gentle arc and ask the student to copy.
- Some students will also find this challenging. Touch lightly on it as an introduction. There will be many opportunities to explore graceful arm motion.
Now the right hand gets a chance to play a piece that moves up the keyboard. Similar offstaff notation shows directional reading that moves up the page. The fingering and rhythm patterns are the same as in the previous piece, making it easy for the student to focus on the single new concept—up the keyboard.
Take the necessary time to establish an easy wrist-arm-shoulder connection right at the start because it's the key to a fluid technique. Some children do this naturally. Others need specific physical guidance and time to judge for themselves whether they are moving gracefully from octave to octave.