Fourth Of July

Fourth Of July

I have a preschool beginning student who is very enthused about taking piano. He’s only had a couple of lessons,  but each week I write  an easy little piece for him to play and he really likes them. We put them in a 3-ring binder that has a cute cover with his name on it that I made and printed out for him.  I print these  on 32 pound paper so they will hold up well.

This week I’m giving him this Fourth of July chant. It’s kind of hard to sing since the melody note is just a repeating E flat. If you are familiar with the beginning of the newer method books, this is the same kind of thing.  Teach your student to chant or sing the words in the correct rhythm keeping a steady beat.  Have your student “play” and chant on his lap until he memorizes the words before he tries to play it.  I hope the American flags will help the students’ eyes  track the finger numbers getting higher on the page.

If you don’t understand this page, here is how it works. The student plays right hand fingers 2 and 3 together on the black keys starting on D flat and E flat going up 3 octaves. The rhythm is 3 quarter notes and a dotted half note and repeats. At the end the student can improvise on the black keys while you play some sort of ostinato in the bass.

Triple meter can be challenging for young students. The more they beat these rhythms out on their knees or the fall board, the better they will be down the road. For those of you who may wonder why teach young children, the answer for me is that when they get older they have no rhythm problems, among other benefits.

One thing I wanted to do was encourage my student to improvise at the end. I don’t know if he’s ever seen fireworks, but I hope he has so we can play some shimmery sounds on the black keys. Of course, being a boy he might want to go down to the bass keys and play booms and crashes, and that’s ok, too. You never know who will turn out to be a composer!

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3 thoughts to “Fourth of July for beginners

  • Alice

    These are delightful, Susan! Would love to see more of what you’re doing with this level. Thanks for all you share!

  • Melissa

    Thank you so much! This is absolutely perfect for my beginner who is doing similar music in My First Piano Adventures right now. Your example inspires me to create my own.

  • Emily

    Thanks Susan this is great! I have lots of preschoolers right now and I know they’ll love it.


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