TEACHING Piano Adventures®

All My Friends

Lesson Book page 58

let's get started

  1. Copy what I tap. (Tap the rhythm of Mm. 1-2 with strong syncopation). Tap it with your RH. Your LH. Now hands together.
  2. Let's play that rhythm pattern on C (or any key).
  3. This is what that rhythm looks like in the music. (Point to Mm. 1-2, then point to the tie.) What's this? The tie goes over the barline.
  4. You point to the notes while I play the piece. Point with whichever hand plays the part.
  5. Let's work at the piece in two-measure sections. Play Mm. 1-2 five times for the five letters in Jimmy. Then play Mm. 3-4 three times for Ben; Mm. 5-6 four times for Sara. (Sing the words.)
  6. Now let's gather all your friends together. Play the piece.
It's easier to feel a syncopation than to count it!

explore and create

A tie from a weak to a strong beat creates a syncopation.

partner pages

Technique & Artistry

p. 28 We Won the Game Today!

pedagogy pointers

Everyone likes to play music with a little "zip" in it. Ties are often used to create syncopated effects. In this second piece that uses ties, the ties are from weak beats to downbeats, not on ending notes where holding notes over the bar line is often expected. Here again, it's important that the student first feel the syncopation, then see that it is caused by the tie.

Each time, the skip is to the tied note, and the rhythm pattern that includes the tie is used three times in succession. It becomes a rhythmic motive that reinforces how the tie creates the syncopated effect.

accompaniments on disk

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see it in action

Teaching Video 55

Emily first copies the rhythm pattern before she learns what it looks like in note values. Pointing to the notes helps her see how the tie creates the syncopated feeling. Working in two-measure sections reinforces the rhythm and prepares her for reading the piece fluently.

The constant quarter notes in the duet part also help to highlight the syncopation. Using the pattern in an ear-training game completes the syncopated cycle. What zippy friends!

Ask Yourself

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