TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Russian Sailor Dance

Lesson Book page 45

let's get started

  1. Let's circle all the repeated notes in this piece. There are lots of them!
  2. Try out measures 1-3. Compare these with measures 4-6. Another repeat—of a whole section!
  3. B and A in the left hand are the only slow notes in the piece. What kind of rhythm is it?
  4. Compare measures 10-12 with measures 7-9. More repeats!
  5. What's different about these last two repeats? (Mm. 10-12 are an echo.)
Directional reading is the key to success!

explore and create

To play fast repeated notes, stay close to the keys.

partner pages


p. 19 The Opposite Song

pedagogy pointers

Good readers always watch the directions in which notes move, and they catch which parts are the same or different. In this dance, the player must be very careful of the repeats and steps. Even though the left hand plays only a few notes, it must always be ready. The echoing phrases make this a good piece in which to emphasize the importance of dynamics.

Pieces such as this are also an opportunity to model notching up the tempo bit by bit with the teacher duet. In addition, teaching with imagery from the piece keeps the lesson alive, promotes repetition, and generates a higher level of performance.

accompaniments on disk

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see it in action

Teaching Video 44

By circling the repeated notes, then comparing the measures and sections, Ingrid is forming good reading habits. And it's really easy to play when you're ready after having looked through the whole piece.

Those Russian sailors like to change their fingers. This keeps them from being locked into set positions, or thinking that certain fingers play only certain keys.

If the right-hand fifth finger begins, Ingrid discovers that she can play the piece with only one hand! It's no wonder those Russian sailors can stomp and dance up a storm—and end with such a gentlemanly bow.

Ask Yourself

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