Level 1, Technique and Artistry, Pg. 6, Wrist Float-Offs Ending a phrase with a gentle lift is a technical “secret” that will last a lifetime. Suggesting that a balloon lifts the wrist and guides it to float up and off captures the idea of flexibility and relaxation. Trying the “wrist float-off” on the closed piano […]
Level 1, Technique and Artistry, Pg. 12 Vivian’s popcorn is crisp and bouncy. The white keys are a “stovetop” sure to produce “super” staccatos, whether loud or soft. A simple F-A-C accompaniment keeps the beat steady and reinforces the staccato. It also leads to an improvised exchange between “talking” popcorn pans. Vivian happily jumps into […]
Level 1, Technique and Artistry, Pg. 8 The difference between legato and staccato is not just a matter of technique. Playing each touch also involves listening. Quick changes between staccato and legato and phrases in which the touches vary prepare the hand and the ear to respond in different settings. A change of tempo keeps […]
Level 1, Lesson Book, Pg. 33, Russian Sailor Dance Playing in different ranges sounds different and feels different. “Old,” “Young Adult,” and “Child” sailors have separate moods, dynamics, and speeds. The accompaniment varies, too, in keeping with the “age” and tempo. At slower tempos there is time and need for a full-arm staccato, but at […]
Level 1, Lesson Book, Pg. 38, Two-Note March Talk about bringing tonic and dominant to life! What begins as a simple piece expands into ear training and harmonization. All these activities sharpen Emily’s attention, listening skills, and imagination in the most natural, musical way. Changing ranges and tempos shows Emily that tonic and dominant function […]
Theory Book, Level 1, Pg. 4, Ferris Wheel In this video, Nancy Faber and Charlotte create an exciting Ferris Wheel Ride duet. Charlotte must listen for tempo changes as she improvises in this activity that incorporates both ear-training and improvisation.
An essential concept of Level 1 is beginning articulation, specifically legato and staccato. These terms are so familiar to us as music teachers that we might overlook the importance of these touches in developing technique and musical expression. Perhaps you have noticed that there are no articulation marks at the Primer Level—no slurs and no […]