Yellow Arrows Lesson 3

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Lesson #3

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Use this week to get your left hand red-blue chord transition solidified before we add the yellow chord next week. We should be getting to the point where we can play this transition with our eyes closed and maybe even hands together! (That's tricky because the fingering is different for the RH than the LH. Only try it hands together when the muscle memory is solid in each hand separately.) Remember to use 5-2-1 for Blue!!!

Here are some practice tips. The winter blues might be setting in!

Celebrate Connection
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!

  1. Play "Freeze ad Thaw" - Parent or child will say "start". Child will play until parent randomly says "freeze". Child will freeze until parent says "thaw". Then trade places.
  2. Play your chords with a small washcloth or towel over your hands. Can you do it without peeking? Use your ears to tell you if you are playing the right notes. Make sure you always use the right fingers for each chord!
  3. Name that tune! In how few of notes can you name a song?
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Caterpillar Song
WOW! Our caterpillars are getting smoother and steadier with this 5 finger pattern! As your child progresses playing this song, watch for these 4 things:

1. Bubble Hand- at beginning and end of playing, but eventually throughout. Visualize fingers stuck in bubble hand position with honey, caramel, glue, Velcro, etc. to keep them from flying away!


2. Strong Independent Fingers- strike the key and make sure that finger comes up when you strike another note. Sing finger numbers with hands together.


3. Smooth Sound- indicates finger strength and coordination. Remember SLOW is the way to GO!


4. Steady Rhythm- fingers 1, 2, 3 are stronger and they like to go a little faster. Singing and emphasizing finger numbers 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5, Ca-Ter-Pill-Ar, and the lyrics out loud will help keep a steady caterpillar.

Turtle Shells
This week we focused playing the “Turtle Shell” intervals with the left hand. Everyone agrees that it’s harder than the right hand! Using fingers 4 & 5 is tougher than using 1 & 2. Before playing, warm up with “Where is 4? Where is 5?” then have your child play the interval (a 2nd) with fingers 4 & 5. Repeat for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. If he masters the intervals with the left hand, play hands together. Enjoy a little twist on the classic game Twister to reinforce and strengthen those finger numbers.

Love Somebody
We LOVE when our parents play along with us! Share more love with your child by playing and singing the melody an octave higher or accompanying together with the chords using the CD. Ask your child to teach your family the ‘LOVELY’ game that accompanies this song!

I am Robin Hood
"I am Robin Hood" is used to introduce quarter rests and the dotted quarter - eighth note pattern. The philosophy that feeling a "pulling" feeling will promote correct performance of that particular rhythm pattern, is brought to life in a playful way through the "pulling" of arrows. The open 5th in the left hand is a particularly satisfying sound to young children, resembles the sound of drums and is easy to play!

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Teaching our students to read music using steps and skips leads to more fluent playing and better sight-readers. Echo Edna helps our students in class be able to recognize steps and skips on the staff, sing them, AND play them. Simon Says to Step or Skip is a fun game to practice this concept at home. Print or make your own step, skip, up, and down cards and stack them in two different piles. ‘Simon’ chooses any note to start on, then chooses one card from each pile and invites the other person to follow those directions. After a few rounds, switch roles. Did you do as Simon Said? A fun way to add tactile and visual reinforcement is to use small pencil top erasers or any small toy as a starting note and then step or skip with another one. It’s So Fun!