Lesson Book page 50
- Space-to-space skips on the staff
- 4-2-2-4 finger combinations are used to play thirds
- Reading space-to-space thirds on the staff
- Playing thirds with fingers 2 and 4
let's get started
- (On the keyboard cover) Let's test how it feels to skip from (LH) 4-2 to (RH) 2-4. Those are the four legs of this elephant.
- Notes can also skip from space to space. Look at measure 1. Those are the four legs! Try them out.
- Can you see any other measures that are just like that one?
- After those four legs skip up, they step down to E, for elephant.
- In which measure do the notes step up and down from E?
- Let's start the elephant slowly and keep him moving steadily.
Prepare the fingers with a warm-up drill.
explore and create
Baby ElephantPlay the piece in a higher octave at a relatively quick tempo. (Make the duet sound sprightly.)
Mama ElephantPlay the piece in the middle of the keyboard at a tempo a bit slower than the Baby Elephant. (Make the duet sound rich.)
Daddy ElephantPlay the piece very low and slow. (Play the duet higher and fuller sounding.)
p. 38 More About Skips
- Line-to-line and space-to-space skips are integrated with sightreading, note naming, and drawing skips.
Technique & Artistry
pp. 22-23 Skipping with Checkers
- This sequential skipping pattern is quickly memorized so students may carefully watch their hand shape and feel the skips.
- Repeat with fingers 2-4 to build finger coordination.
p. 24 I Like Roller Skating
- Would you point out the skip(s) in each measure and tell me whether it is line-line or space-space?
- If you looked at your feet rollerskating, you may run into something! Can you play this piece without ever looking at your hands?
Now it's time to concentrate on space-to-space skips. G-B-D-F is split between the hands to develop the student's experience with skips and to cover the wider distance (a seventh) from bottom to top. The 4-2 and 2-4 finger combinations are more challenging since the fourth finger is the least independent within the hand. Priming the finger skips as a warm-up drill prepares the hands to read the piece with greater ease.
Spinning off on the imagery from titles and lyrics will continue to be an invaluable teaching tool. Here, the idea of a family of elephants offers imaginative reinforcement of playing skips, feeling tempo, producing a variety of dynamics, and ensemble experience.
accompaniments on disk
- CD Tracks 66-67
- MIDI File 33