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This piano lesson plan is designed to introduce bar lines. 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 play their assigned songs for you, reminding them to “perform” each song – meaning they need to continue playing after a mistake, without pausing, pulling faces, grunting or making any other sounds.

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 6 – Bar Lines.

Explain that bar lines divide music into measures and that a double bar line is used to indicate the end of a piece.  Have them complete #15 with you. may have them complete this section during the lesson, or at home.
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  • Fun Piano Lesson Activity – I like to start using rhythm blocks at this point. I use these a lot, so even though there is a lot of work cutting all the little notes out, there are many fun and educational ways to use them.  Using pipe cleaners and Susan Paradis’ rhythm blocks*, have your students recreate #15 in their Theory book. This not only gives them hands on learning with bar lines, but also reinforces the different type of notes as they search for the correct notes. 

3.        Bastien Primer PIANO Book page 11-13 – Lamb at School and Old MacDonald

Have your students find the quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. Ask them what kind of sign is at the end of the song. Have them practice “counting” the songs before playing, by clapping and saying the name of the note. The second line of Lamb at school will sound like this:

                    quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, 
                    quarter, quarter, half note, 
                    quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, 
                    hold that whole note

Your students will start using their firsts fingers in this lesson. It is important that they not bend/twist their wrists so their thumbs can reach the black notes. Rather, they should slide their hands up until the first finger can reach easily. See below for examples:
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This is a picture of a student who has twisted their wrists so that their first fingers (thumbs) can reach the black keys. Not good!

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Have them move their 2nd and 3rd fingers up the black keys until the 1st finger can reach without their wrist having to twist. 

4. Bastien Primer PERFORMANCE Book pages 6-7 – At School Days

For performance songs, have them say type of note in their head while they play. 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.
  • Fun Piano Lesson Activity - Point out the teacher’s duet part for this song. You can have a lot of fun with this. Tell your students to have the song learned well enough for their next lesson so that they can listen to your duet part and follow you. This is great practice for ensemble work. When they return the next week, you can go faster, slower, louder, quieter, etc. and see if they follow your lead. 
5.        Assignments

Bastien Primer THEORY page 6 – Bar Lines
#16 – My Spotted Cat

Bastien Primer PIANO page 11 – Lamb at School
Count out loud using the name of the note

Bastien Primer PIANO page 12 - 13 – Old MacDonald
Count out loud using the name of the notes
Tell them to watch out for which hand plays. It can get tricky!

Bastien Primer PERFORMANCE page 6-7 – School Days
Count in your head using the name of the notes

6.       Credits

I use many online resources for my lessons. I have gathered these resources into easy to follow lesson plans to save new teachers time and energy.

*This lesson includes materials from Susan Paradis.

Please contact me if any of the links are not working or if you have any questions and/or suggestions.


 


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