Category: Level 1

Stovetop Staccatos

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 […]


A Family of Sailors

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 […]


Imagination, Harmonization, and Tonicization

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 […]


Level 1: Articulation and the Wrist

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 […]