Has anyone else had difficulty getting students to actually lift their hands off the keys when there is a rest written in the music? I’ve finally come upon an idea that seems to be working consistently with my students. A lot of my students use the Faber Piano Adventures series of method books. When we get to the song, “Sailing in the Sun” in Book 1, we follow these steps:
1. Say/sing the words in rhythm and deliberately breathe in on the rests.
2. Tap the corresponding hands on the piano fall board in rhythm while saying/singing the words and deliberately breathe in on the rests. Indicate the rests with hands by turning them upside down in the air.
3. Play the piece, still saying/singing the words and deliberately breathing in and lifting hands on rests.
This seems to be an effective way for students to internalize the concept of a rest. So far every student I’ve tried it with has caught on really quickly and come back the following lesson with all rests duly observed! Isn’t it exciting to have a breakthrough moment like that in teaching when you come across an approach to a concept that just works?! 🙂
Anyone else have a great approach to a musical concept that they could share? I could especially use some ideas for developing better dynamics. I’ve realized that’s an area where a lot of my students are kind of weak – playing with less contrast dynamically than I would like. I would love to have some better ideas for helping them in this area…