TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Mister Bluebird

Lesson Book page 39

let's get started

  1. (If you can, use a staircase to introduce stepping up and down.)
  2. Lines and spaces on the staff are like stair steps for notes to go up and down.
  3. Let's trace the way the notes move in the piece. (Use the student's arm, an imitation bird, or actual stair steps.) (See Video)
  4. On which note does the Bluebird start his song? Now watch how he goes down and up. Eyes on the music! ((Download duet)
When notes move from line to space on the staff, they either step up or down.

explore and create

Playing music is like driving—directional signals are important!

partner pages


p. 25 Steps on the Staff

pedagogy pointers

Attention here is on recognizing step-wise motion (line-space-line) and note names on the staff from Middle C to Treble G. With the exception of measures 7 and 8, the directional movement is clearly down and up. Although the emphasis should be on reading directionally, the student should also be aware of the note names. All the notes in the C five-finger scale are played from top to bottom, but this position is not yet named as such—another example of the experience preceding the definition.

accompaniments on disk

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see it in action

Teaching Video 38

Patrick's Bluebird traces the direction of the notes in the piece—first vertically down and up, then as down, up, and repeat move across the keys. Playing the piece on a small set of tuned bars relates stepwise motion to keys. Stepping down and up from Treble G and Middle C reinforces these notes and uses all the right-hand fingers in turn.

When the Bluebird doesn't practice, he might get the last note wrong, and Patrick has fun exploring some possible "wrong" notes. What a crazy bird!

Ask Yourself

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