TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Ode to Joy

Lesson Book page 26

let's get started

  1. (Play measure 1-4 of the piece piano, then forte, each time asking the student to identify the dynamic level.) What if we wanted to play somewhere in between? (Introduce mezzo forte.)
  2. Circle all the repeated notes.
  3. Let's compare the RH and LH melodies. Which measure is different?
  4. Almost every note is a quarter note. Where does that change?
  5. Play the first line of the piece piano, then forte, then mezzo forte.
Make sure the student hears the difference between loud and soft.

explore and create

partner pages

Technique & Artistry

p. 14 Going to the North Pole


p. 9 Train's A-Comin'

pedagogy pointers

Music gains interest with a variety of dynamics. Forte and piano provide a good contrast, and it's easy for a young player to exaggerate these differences. But much music is played in between these levels—mezzo forte.

At the piano, dynamics are created by using more or less energy and speed when pressing down the keys, so it's a technical challenge for the student to play medium loud.

Playing mezzo forte is also a matter of ear-training. It takes more careful listening to judge when sounds are between loud and soft. Play at different dynamic levels for students and ask them to report what they hear.

accompaniments on disk

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

see it in action

Teaching Video 25

With this piece, Patrick begins to refine his sense of dynamics by hearing and feeling what it means to play medium-loud sounds. This famous melody requires rich, but not forceful, tone. By first playing soft, then loud, Patrick learns to gauge how much energy to use when playing mezzo forte. He proves his new skill by changing dynamics on call, by hearing differences, and by creating his own sounds.

Ask Yourself

Dial-up users: Click to play with RealPlayer (low quality)