Monday, December 18, 2017

RCM pieces for quasi-rote teaching

Tip: Rote pieces are often identified as "pattern pieces." Therefore, any piece that contains recurring patterns can be easily adapted for rote teaching. They are a great way for beginner and elementary students to experience full sonority and be familiar with the keyboard range.

Here are two of my favorite pieces from the RCM Celebration Series Repertoire level 1 that I used for quasi-rote teaching: 

"Robots" by A. Gaudet 
This energetic piece covers the full range of the piano and yet, it introduces patterns of perfect 5th, 3 black keys, chromatic scale and the 16th notes rhythm.

I teach this by quasi-rote to guide students familiarize with the patterns which, at the first glance, seems very difficult to read because they constantly moving and switching clefs:
  • playing the P5th patterns and its moving range
  • work on the rhythm taping of changing between 8th and 16th
  • working on the positions/moves between 3 black keys pattern on the 16th notes and the chromatic scale contrary motion (2nd line)

"Toy Solider's March" by D. Rahbee 
This is an effective performance piece with "patterns" centers on two black keys and C Major triadic notes. This piece appears "strange and confusing" to the students because of the overlapping hand position and two treble clefs, but it is not hard to read once the patterns are analyzed. Here is my lovely students Jessica's performance, it is the 2nd piece she played.

Music examples: The Royal Conservatory. Celebration Series Piano Repertoire level 1. Toronto: the Frederick Harris Music Co., 2015.

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