Use this week to get your left hand red-blue chord transition solidified before we add the yellow chord next week. We should be getting to the point where we can play this transition with our eyes closed and even hands together! (That's tricky because the fingering is different for the RH than the LH. Only try it hands together when the muscle memory is solid in each hand separately).
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!
Homework: pp. 8–9 Students trace and color notes to indicate baby steps, skips, and leaps.
WOW! Our caterpillars are getting smoother and steadier with this 5 finger pattern! As your child progresses playing this song, watch for these 4 things:
1. Bubble Hand — at beginning and end of playing, but eventually throughout. Visualize fingers stuck in bubble hand position with honey, caramel, glue, Velcro, etc. to keep them from flying away!
2. Strong Independent Fingers — strike the key and make sure that finger comes up when you strike another note. Sing finger numbers with hands together.
3. Smooth Sound — indicates finger strength and coordination. Remember SLOW is the way to GO!
4. Steady Rhythm — fingers 1, 2, and 3 are stronger and they like to go a little faster. Singing and emphasizing finger numbers 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5, Ca-Ter-Pill-Ar, and the lyrics out loud will help keep a steady caterpillar.
This week we focused playing the “Turtle Shell” intervals with the left hand. Everyone agrees that it’s harder than the right hand! Using fingers 4 & 5 is tougher than using 1 & 2. Before playing, warm up with “Where is 4? Where is 5?” then have your child play the interval (a 2nd) with fingers 4 & 5. Repeat for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. If he masters the intervals with the left hand, play hands together. Enjoy a little twist on the classic game Twister to reinforce and strengthen those finger numbers.
We LOVE when our parents play along with us! Share more love with your child by playing and singing the melody an octave higher or accompanying together with the chords using the CD. Ask your child to teach your family the ‘LOVELY’ game that accompanies this song!
I am Robin Hood
"I am Robin Hood" is used to introduce quarter rests and the dotted quarter-eighth note pattern. The philosophy that feeling a "pulling" feeling will promote correct performance of that particular rhythm pattern is brought to life in a playful way through the "pulling" of arrows. The open 5th in the left hand is a particularly satisfying sound to young children, resembling the sound of drums, and is easy to play!
Teaching our students to read music using steps and skips leads to more fluent playing and better sight-readers. Echo Edna helps our students in class be able to recognize steps and skips on the staff, sing them, AND play them. Simon Says to Step or Skip is a fun game to practice this concept at home. Print or make your own step, skip, up, and down cards and stack them in two different piles. ‘Simon’ chooses any note to start on, then chooses one card from each pile and invites the other person to follow those directions. After a few rounds, switch roles. Did you do as Simon Said? A fun way to add tactile and visual reinforcement is to use small pencil top erasers or any small toy as a starting note and then step or skip with another one. It’s So Fun!