Friday, March 11, 2011

Waltz like Cinderella

In the Primer Level book of Piano Adventures, one of the first concepts is the feeling of 4 beats per measure and 3 beats per measure. This feeling is demonstrated even before the concept of a measure, bar lines or even a staff has been taught. Many times, I have had students that have difficulty in grasping the 3/4 feel.

The first song that this is demonstrated in the book is Mr. Half Note Dot. The lyrics are:

Hey Mr. Half Note Dot, hey Mr. Half Note Dot
You sound like you've just been dancing
When we go 1-2-3, dance up to middle C
We sound like we've just been dancing

These lyrics inspired me to introduce songs written in 3/4 as a Cinderella Waltz song. First, I ask the student if they have seen the Disney movie Cinderella. Then I ask if they remember the scene when the Prince and Cinderella are dancing around the ballroom.  If the student is a little girl, they usually get up from the piano bench and begin demonstrating. :) 
Then we go on to talk about how the piece of music in the book that we are talking about, should feel just like a Cinderella Waltz song.

The students always like it when I make watching the movie Cinderella, part of their homework!

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