T-Ball

T_Ball

When I found out one of my beginning students has signed up for T-Ball, I wrote this. If you don’t live in the US and are not familiar with T-Ball, tell your students it is a beginning baseball game for 4-6 year old children where the ball is placed on a stand rather than using a pitcher.

You will notice I only used 3 notes in this piece. At this point these are the only fingers he is using. This will help him learn a good hand position because as soon as they use the thumb their hand may fall down and there goes their beautiful knuckle arch. Also, try to have your student drop into the keys rather than try to play legato. Even worse is lifting each finger individually.  If they drop into the keys with strong finger tips, it will really help strengthen the fingers and avoid the dreaded spaghetti (straight) fingers, the last finger joint caving out,  a puny little sound, and even hand injuries in the future.  A lot of future hand problems start right at this level.

I have started adding teacher duets to my pieces. I usually improvise a teacher duet to easy pieces. Sometimes I play one that I really like and then promptly forget it the next time. I have decided  that if I write one down I can use it over and over.

Well,  writing a teacher duet is more difficult than I expected. I’m not a professional composer, just a teacher who composes on the side. I want something easy that a teacher can sight read while she watches her student play, and yet still sounds half way decent. Then there is the problem of writing it in Finale and importing it into the student part. If you use these my pre-reading pieces, is it worth it for you? Please let me know what you think.

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5 thoughts to “T-Ball

  • Joy Morin

    I have found teacher duets to be very helpful for students who have difficulty keeping a steady beat. In addition, I use the teacher duet as an incentive: I tell the student that s/he learns their piece well enough by their next lesson, we get to play the duet together!

    • susanparadis

      Thanks for the comment, Joy. As teachers we need to use the duets as you suggest and make sure they are always a part of the lesson.

  • Jenifer Cook

    Thanks for sharing this creative piece called “T ball”.
    I plan to use this for my beginning piano students.

  • Heidi N

    My son is going to love this. He is 4 & starts TBall soon too. I especially like the duet. It makes it so much more enjoyable for them to play when there is a duet at this level. Thanks for a great post!
    Heidi N

    • susanparadis

      Thanks, Heidi. Writing a teacher duet is not as easy as I thought it would be, but I think it adds a lot.

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