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This piano lesson plan is designed to introduce the whole note. For additional primer piano level lessons plans you can click here. I will use the Bastien Piano Method for my lesson plans but each lesson can be easily adapted to accommodate other methods.     


          


1.  Lesson Review 

Check your student's assignments from the week before and look for incomplete or incorrect areas. Have them point out the quarter notes and half notes in their songs and “perform” their songs for you. I tell my students that when they play their songs for me at the beginning of each lesson, they are not practicing and cannot go back to fix their mistakes. They need to treat this time as if they were performing.  Meaning, they need to continue playing after a mistake, without pausing, pulling faces, grunting or making any other sounds. This will help your students develop their performing abilities in a more relaxed environment. If they can’t “perform” a piece cleanly with you, then it isn’t ready to be passed off and you can work on it together and assign more practice time. I don’t expect perfection, we all make mistakes, but it is important that your students learn how to handle their mistakes while performing. Nerves make us do crazy things during performances and it is nice to know how to handle it. 

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  • Fun Piano Lesson Activity – Have your student close their eyes for an ear training activity. Using a percussion instrument, or even just clapping, beat out one or two of your student’s songs from the previous week and see if they recognize the rhythm and can identify the correct song. Switch roles and have your student beat out a rhythm while you close your eyes and try to guess the right song.  It can be fun to try different instruments with this activity – egg shaker, tambourine, maraca, etc. With younger children you can get silly by using a toy that squeaks or honks.

Once you feel your student has a good understanding of the previous week’s material, you can move on to the next lesson as follows:

2. Bastien Primer THEORY Book page 5 – Whole Notes

Explain that the whole note has no stem and is longer than other notes. During this phase in your student's learning, a whole notes is counted by saying "hold that whole note." You may have them complete this section during the lesson, or at home.
  • Fun Piano Lesson Activity - Treble Trouble
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I made this game as a fun and easy way to reinforce note values to my beginner students. They move ahead a space depending on the value of note they draw. If you have been following my lesson plans your student will not have learned the numerical value of the notes yet, but will have been “counting” by saying the type of note aloud. For example, “hold that whole note” has four syllables so they would repeat that as they moved ahead four spaces. Quarter is said in one syllable and half-note is said in two. See below at Three Little Pigs for an example of this type of counting.

Use only the quarter, half note, and whole note cards at this time. The other cards will be introduced in a later lesson. 

Download Treble Trouble game board
Download Treble Trouble cards and instructions

3. Bastien Primer PIANO Book page 10 – Three Little Pigs

Have your student "count" by saying  type of note out loud. It should sound like this:

“Quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, half note, half note, half note, half note, hold that whole note.”
 “Quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, half note, half note, half note, half note, hold that whole note.”

4. Bastien Primer PERFORMANCE Book pages 4-5 – At The Beach

Have your student "count" in their head by using the name of the note.

Your student may pause when switching hands. Encourage them to work on taking out the pauses by looking ahead while they are holding the whole note and by singing the melody so they can hear get used to how it sounds without the pause. You may need to clap or beat a percussion instrument to help them take out this pause if they are still unsuccessful after practicing. 

Assignments:
Bastien Primer THEORY page 5
complete the remainder of the page. 

Bastien Primer PIANO page 10 - Three Little Pigs
Count outloud using the name of the notes

Bastien Primer PERFOMANCE pages 4-5 - At the Beach
Count in your head using the name of the notes

 


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