TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Old MacDonald Had a Song

Lesson Book pages 18-19

let's get started

  1. There's a piano on this farm! Instead of "moo, moo here", the farmer sings, "black key here".
  2. How many times do we use this pattern? (Student may circle.)
    quarter quarter half-note
  3. How many times do we use this pattern? (Student may circle.)
    quarter quarter quarter quarter
  4. Music uses some shorthand tricks. (Explain the repeat sign.)
  5. Let's follow the arrows to see where the melody goes. Be sure to have both hands ready!
Transposing a piece is fun—and important.

explore and create

Discovering patterns makes a piece easy to learn!

partner pages

Technique & Artistry

pp. 8-9 All the Stars Are Shining


p. 10 Rhythm Patterns


p. 5 The Shepherd's Flute

pedagogy pointers

This is the first piece that divides the melody between the hands. Because the melody shifts frequently from right to left hand, it's important that the hands are both in place at the beginning. There is no need to look down at the fingers. The whole note is reinforced amid quarter and half notes.

The repeat of the opening melody is anticipated, so it's natural to introduce the repeat sign as a shortcut to notate this. This is also the first long piece, but its familiarity and the many repeated patterns make it easy to learn.

accompaniments on disk

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see it in action

Teaching Video 18

This MacDonald has a piano on his farm, and he plays on the black keys! Discovering the repeated notes and rhythm patterns shows Philip how the piece is put together. Because his fingers are ready over all the keys, he can keep his eyes on the music. Subtle dynamic reminders encourage a musical performance.

Original "farm music" creates a free-for-all middle section of an ABA structure. When his fingers "whoosh" down to the white keys, Philip learns that following patterns makes it easy to play in a new place. E-I-E-I-O!

Ask Yourself

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