TEACHING Piano Adventures®

The Quarter Note

Lesson Book page 10

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  1. Music must have a steady beat. The beat can be fast or slow, but it must be steady.
  2. (Get a steady beat going. Clap, tap, march, or use a drum.)
  3. Can you keep a steady beat with me? Let's count "1" (or "ta" or "walk") for each beat.
  4. A quarter note can be a picture for one beat. It's got a head and a stem, and it's all colored in. (See video and download duet)
A steady pulse must become a kinesthetic experience!

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Theory

p. 5 The Quarter Note

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pedagogy pointers

Keeping a steady pulse is fundamental to good musicianship—at all levels, and at all times. At the beginning, therefore, it's important that the concept of pulse is internalized. All rhythm patterns build on that single principle.

Pulse must become a kinesthetic experience, something felt internally. Using different physical gestures—like tapping, walking, clapping, or drumming—to establish a sense of pulse is more important than "counting".

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see it in action

Teaching Video 10

Although it's necessary to "see" how quarter notes look, and to "know" that each quarter note gets one count, feeling a steady pulse is the heart of the matter. A little song guides Olivia to draw notes and add stems. But playing quarter notes within a musical context is the real achievement. Olivia is taking those first, big steady steps!

Ask Yourself

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