TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Elephant Ride

Lesson Book page 50

let's get started

  1. (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.
  2. Notes can also skip from space to space. Look at measure 1. Those are the four legs! Try them out.
  3. Can you see any other measures that are just like that one?
  4. After those four legs skip up, they step down to E, for elephant.
  5. In which measure do the notes step up and down from E?
  6. Let's start the elephant slowly and keep him moving steadily.
Prepare the fingers with a warm-up drill.

explore and create

partner pages


p. 38 More About Skips

Technique & Artistry

pp. 22-23 Skipping with Checkers


p. 24 I Like Roller Skating

pedagogy pointers

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

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see it in action

Teaching Video 48

This elephant needs four sturdy legs. Philip gets those fingers ready to move by trying out the 4-2-2-4 combination on the keyboard cover. From there, it's easy to see how those fingers fit the skips in the piece and become the elephant's four legs.

Those four legs get a good workout! After the skips, the elephant first swings his trunk down a bit, then he rests it by sitting quietly, and finally he swings it up and down to finish the ride.

A parakeet decides to accompany the heavy, stomping elephant. That elephant must weigh a ton! No wonder the parakeet twitters with excitement when the ride ends.

Ask Yourself

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