TEACHING Piano Adventures®

The Half Note

Lesson Book page 14

let's get started

  1. Let's walk across the studio in slow steps. (Count 1-2, 1-2 as you walk.) Now let's cross the studio quickly. (Count 1, 1, 1, 1 … )
  2. I'll take a walk. Am I walking in half or quarter notes? (Demonstrate. Bend at the knees to pulse the half notes.)
  3. (Use the book to show how half notes look.)
  4. Let's draw some half notes. Use the book and chant: It's got a head and a stem but it's not colored in. (Download duet)
  5. Choose any key(s). Use one hand, or both. (Guide the student to play half notes, then quarter notes. Switch back and forth.)
Changing note values as part of a duet is a musical experience.

explore and create

Rhythm is an inner awareness, not a counting system.

partner pages


p. 7 The Half Note

Guide the student through the activities on the page. More activities might include

pedagogy pointers

The most important thing about rhythm is that it must be felt. Keeping a steady beat must be established in order to feel notes that are twice as long as the beat itself. It's a matter of kinesthetics, not mathematics.

Kinesthetics describes the awareness you have of motion, especially the motion, balance, position, and weight of your own body.

Helping a student achieve that awareness is at the heart of teaching rhythm.

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see it in action

Teaching Video 14

Drawing half notes helps Patrick see how half notes look. A new version of the song reminds him that half notes are "not colored in".

It's a lot of fun to play and feel rhythms together, making music with friends. Kai and Vivian switch between half and quarter notes with braced fingers and flexible wrists. And how musical it all becomes when they make a rhythm ensemble to Bach's Musette (see the second page of the downloadable duet). Bagpipes are in the air!

Ask Yourself

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