TEACHING Piano Adventures®

The Whole Note

Lesson Book page 17

let's get started

  1. The whole note is a lo-o-o-ng note. (Point to it on the page.) It gets four counts!
  2. Let's tap and count whole notes. Now choose any key and let's play and count whole notes.
  3. (Play The Whole Note Song with the student keeping a whole-note beat on high Gs.) (Download duet)
  4. When we draw whole notes, we can sing our song: It's got a head but no stem and it's not colored in. (Download duet)
  5. Let's tap the Rhythm Drill on the page forte and piano! Now you play the rhythm on high Cs with my duet. (Download duet)
Making music should come before reading music.

explore and create

Most young children find it hard to wait four counts!

pedagogy pointers

For most young children it's hard to wait a long time. So feeling a whole note may be a challenge.

Once again, it's important to remember that experiencing a whole note—like tapping, clapping, or arm circles—should precede learning what it looks like, or how to draw it.

Note that basic rhythm values are learned before the student is asked to read staff notation, and there is ample reinforcement of rhythm patterns prior to that time, also.

This means that the student has many and varied musical experiences before staff notation is presented.

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see it in action

Teaching Video 17

Philip first taps, then plays notes that last four counts. The song that's used to draw notes is now familiar, so Philip can anticipate that "it's not colored in". The rhythm drill becomes musical when the fortes and pianos are combined with rich and evocative chords.

Imagine racing in whole notes! The story of the tortoise and the hare comes to life when played on the keyboard. Philip has some doubts that he can win, but that crazy rabbit scoots around sniffing for carrots. The story's true—the tortoise wins!

Ask Yourself

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