TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Men From Mars

Lesson Book page 25

let's get started

  1. Perhaps your kitchen dishes are organized in certain piles, or the shoes are lined up in your closet. In music we organize notes into measures.
  2. (Lead the student through the text at the top of the page, teaching measure and bar line.)
  3. Let's add up the beats in each measure of the piece.
  4. Now let's circle all the repeated notes for the Martians.
  5. Where do the notes step down? Step up?
  6. Put both hands over the C five-finger scale. You're ready to go!
Kids love outer space sounds!

explore and create

First the experience—then the definition.

partner pages

Technique & Artistry

pp. 12-13 Basketball Dribble


p. 14 The Measure, Bar Line Boogie


p. 25 Banana Split

pedagogy pointers

Playing a C five-finger scale is combined with repeating many of the notes. The way the notes step up or deown is also more subtle than in previous pieces. Thus, reinforcement of several learned concepts is fused in a new context.

Measures and bar lines are introduced. Since the student has been playing many pieces combining quarter and half notes in repeated rhythm patterns, it is not difficult to explain how rhythms and rhythm patterns are organized. Once again, experiencing a concept precedes defining it.

accompaniments on disk

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see it in action

Teaching Video 24

These aliens walk carefully, often repeating before they continue up or down. Checking to see where the notes repeat prepares Patrick to play the piece. Imagining tiny Martians under his palms reminds him to play with a rounded hand position. Because his hands are in place before he begins, he can keep his eyes on the music.

Finding outer space notes for "three green men" creates a musical Martian language. Patrick's "men" really shoot high and low. Maybe they're on their way to the moon!

Ask Yourself

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