By Dr. Julie Knerr
At the beginning of the new school year, I realized that some of my students who are in Piano Safari Level 3 were a bit rusty after the summer with their technical patterns. Level 3 works through the keys of C, Am, G, Em, F, and Dm. But since students can spend a year or longer in Piano Safari Level 3, it is easy to forget the earlier keys as they progress through Technique Book 3 if they are not reviewed. I devised a beginning of the year technical review that worked really well for my students who are nearing the middle to end of Piano Safari Level 3 that I thought I would share with you.
It is simple, but something about gray blobs you fill with cat stickers is really exciting. Here is what the review pages look like.
I assigned a page to the student for the week. They practiced it and played all the technical patterns for me. As they played each item correctly, I put a cat sticker (or dog) in the gray blobs. For some students, I gave them a small piece of chocolate for completing each page. This was highly motivating for many of my students, who practiced furiously to get a chocolate each week. I was shocked when one of my students who has some learning challenges and tends to have his mind wandering off to thinking about airplanes and helicopters at multiple times during the lesson turned out to be the fastest one to play through his technique. He was completely focused as I dispensed cats as he played each technical skill!
You may notice that Chord Inversions are listed blocked and broken. Although we do not explicitly state this as an option in the Technique Book 3, I have added this, because I have found, strangely enough, that students absolutely love playing their chord inversions broken. It also is a required component for the early levels of the Royal Conservatory Exam curriculum here in the U.S., so has the extra benefit of preparing students to take exams if they desire.
After the the student reviews the keys learned last year using these review sheets, which are in all the keys found in their Technique Book 3 (C, Am, G, Em, F, Dm), we continue where we left off in Technique Book 3.
Perhaps your students would like to use these pages for review? Feel free to download, duplicate, and distribute the Technique 3 Review pages as you desire.