15Questions and Answers for ShowTime Piano
- Why is this level called ShowTime Piano?
- When could a student start a ShowTime Book?
- Which is the easiest ShowTime Book to teach first?
- Which concepts are included in ShowTime books?
- How can I maximize the pedagogical value of ShowTime?
- Could I use a ShowTime Book instead of the method?
- How is the damper pedal used in ShowTime Books?
- How many ShowTime Books should a student do before moving up to ChordTime Piano (Level 2B)?
- Why are there so many styles in ShowTime Piano?
- Do ShowTime Books have audio orchestrations? Do they promote the style being studied?
- Is it okay to add extra notes or chords to an arrangement if the student is able to do this?
- Could a ShowTime piece be used for a recital?
1. Why is this level called ShowTime Piano?
“ShowTime” gives students a chance to “show what they know.” Perhaps even “show off” a bit with:
ShowTime Disney Book
He’s a Pirate (p. 14)
ShowTime Classics Book
Egyptian Ballet Dance (p. 12)
ShowTime Christmas Book
Frosty the Snowman (p. 10)
Lots to show! Lots of fun!
2. When could a student start a ShowTime Book?
A student could begin ShowTime Books at the end of UNIT 1 in the Level 2A Lesson Book. The three basic 8th-note patterns are introduced in UNIT 1 and prepare the student to launch into the many appealing songs in the ShowTime series.
Lesson Book 2A: UNIT 1 sample page
8th Notes (p. 10)
3. Which is the easiest ShowTime Book to teach first?
The best ShowTime Book to start with is the one that appeals most to the student.
4. Which concepts are included in ShowTime Books?
- Songs that span the grand staff with changing hand positions.
- Harmonic intervals (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) to provide simple accompaniments.
- Simple triads and two-note V7 chords.
- Abundant use of 8th-note rhythm patterns.
- Teacher Duets that give ensemble experience and add harmonic color.
5. How can I maximize the pedagogical value of ShowTime?
ShowTime Books can be used to:
- Have students find and point out measures that repeat, before or after playing the piece. This builds pattern recognition.
- Go through the entire book and have the student find the starting position for each piece as a note-reading exercise. This builds independent learning.
- Have students scan the page and find the loudest dynamic mark. The softest. This builds the ability to quickly scan the score.
- Have the student find and name the highest note in the music. The lowest. This reinforces reading vertically across the grand staff.
- To reinforce metric counting (1-2-3-4). Choose 2 measures to tap and count aloud. The teacher may model with the student imitating. This prepares students for the more challenging metric counting in Level 2B.
- Have the student do the count-off when playing with the teacher duet.
- Use the dictionary at the end to strengthen understanding of musical terms.
6. Could I use a ShowTime Book instead of the method?
ShowTime Books are designed as supplementary repertoire to use with the Piano Adventures Level 2A Books. They offer a variety of pieces that appeal to elementary students while enhancing musicianship skills.ShowTime Books might be used at the end of Level 2A to consolidate skills before moving up to Level 2B.
A ShowTime Book could be used to slow down the pace of instruction when the student is working in Level 2B.
A teacher could assign a ShowTime song independently to check how students apply what they know.
7. How is the damper pedal used in ShowTime Books?
Pedaling is used in ShowTime pieces to give touches of musical color. Several measures of a piece may be pedaled to give a more fluid, sustained sound—an introduction or an ending, for example. This gives the student experience using the damper pedal before learning the more advanced skill of connected pedaling introduced in Level 2B.
Explore the use of pedaling with these examples:
ShowTime Disney Book
A Whole New World (p. 8)
He’s a Pirate (p. 14)
ShowTime Rock ‘n Roll Book
Lava Lamp (p. 18)
8. How many ShowTime Books should a student do before moving up to ChordTime Piano (Level 2B)?
This is entirely up to the teacher. Many teachers and students enjoy learning several ShowTime Piano Books to explore musical styles while reinforcing rhythm and reading.
ShowTime Piano Books may also be sightreading material for higher-level (2B or 3A) students. This can be done during a lesson with access to the Teacher Atlas. To do this you’ll need a subscription to the Teacher Atlas and an iPad to place on the piano.
About the Styles
9. Why are there so many styles in ShowTime Piano?
Having lots of songs to choose from is part of the fun of learning piano.
There are 12 styles from which to choose!
The variety of styles allows students to choose the book that’s most appealing to them. Multiple books make it possible and easy to hone skills, build independent learning, and enjoy being able to make choices!
10. Do ShowTime Books have audio orchestrations? Do they promote the style being studied?
Play-along backing tracks for select ShowTime piano publications are available inside the Piano Adventures Player App.Enjoy interactive accompaniments for Popular, Classics, Christmas, and Hits collections. These accompaniments give students a feel for various stylistic sounds: classical orchestral sound, rhythmically-driven pop sounds, and beautiful Christmas orchestration.
Keep watching for more support in this growing collection!
11. Is it okay to add extra notes or chords to an arrangement if the student is able to do this?
Yes, feel free to do so!
- Add a LH 5th or triad.
- Create a hands-together passage with LH notes played an octave lower for a fuller sound.
- Repeat a last line an octave higher.
- Play a final low note or high note.
- Have a little adventure. Add your own touch to the song!
12. Could a ShowTime piece be used for a recital?
ShowTime pieces can be great choices for recitals! They often find a place on “themed” recitals with the variety of repertoire. The duets give added flourish and flair.
A student might play a piece from the method book or a Preparatory Piano Literature piece by memory. Then use the book for a ShowTime finale and bring on the applause with a student-teacher or student-parent duet!
About the Rhythm
13. Are 8th notes used throughout the ShowTime Books?
Yes, 8th notes are used liberally throughout ShowTime Books.
Teachers may use a “combo approach” of descriptive words and imitation.
- Teacher and student chant “ta” for quarter notes and “ti-ti” for 8th notes.
Or, “run-ning walk, run-ning walk”
- Teacher demonstrates on the piano. Student imitates.
14. Should students count the rhythm as they play?
Feeling the pulse and counting rhythm correctly is one of the most important goals of early piano lessons.
For the Primer (PreTime) and Level 1 (PlayTime) teachers often use durational counting (1-1-1-2) in contrast to metric counting (1-2-3-4).
To feel the pulse internally and to recognize rhythm patterns, with no need to count or chant aloud, is the ideal. In general, this is a gradual process.
- Take turns for a rhythm game. The teacher taps and chants the first measure using durational or metric counting. Without pause, the student picks up the second measure and continues to count. Go back and forth.
- A teacher could tap and chant a measure, asking the student to find that rhythm “3 times” (for example) in the music.
- Sometimes a certain measure needs a little extra attention. Circle the note(s), then write in either a “rhythm word” or the metric counts.
It’s effective to use a familiar phrase that expresses the rhythm, like
pep – per – on – i PIZ – ZA for
15. Some ShowTime pieces use swing rhythm. How do you teach this?
Swing rhythm is a fun concept to teach. A student’s rhythmic awareness expands with the distinct change in sound that swing rhythm brings.
- Begin with a 5-finger scale, ascending and descending. The teacher demonstrates chanting a long-short pattern:
JAZ -zy JAZ – zy JAZ- zy JAZ – zy (hold 2 – 3 – 4)
The student imitates hands separately, then hands together.
- As a follow-up, point out the word “swing” in the tempo mark of the piece. “All 8th notes will be played in swing.”
- Ask a student to listen as you play the piece (or part of the piece), using straight 8th notes, then swinging the 8th notes. Can the student hear the difference?
- Challenge a student with an ear-training activity. Have the student listen with eyes closed. Play/improvise a short melody using straight or swing rhythm. Can the student hear the difference?
The ShowTime Book that uses the most swing rhythm is Jazz & Blues. Other books have just a few pieces in swing rhythm: “The Hokey Pokey” in Kids Songs, “The Old Gray Mare” in Favorites, “Rock-a My Soul” in Hymns, and “Almost There” in Disney.