by Dr. Julie Knerr

Katherine and I are constantly amazed at how closely the tie is between technical patterns and composition. Children truly use the patterns they have in their hands in their compositions.

In Piano Safari Level 1, the patterns they use are found in their Rote Pieces and Animal Techniques.

In Piano Safari Level 2, the patterns they use are found in their Rote Pieces, pentascales, and triads.

In Piano Safari Level 3, we have seen that learning scales, chord progressions, chord inversions, and accompaniment patterns causes an explosion in composition, as students master these basic musical building blocks.

Last week one of my 9-year-old students came in and told me about the new piece she created, called Tiger Rising. I knew right away to expect the patterns she used to connect somehow with the pieces she is currently playing. See if you can guess what Rote Piece at the end of Piano Safari Level 2 she is using…


She is studying Stormy Seas. She combined the LH D and the rhythm of the opening


with the 2nds from the Lightning section, and added the Thunder arm cluster at the end.


Did I tell her to use elements from Rote Pieces in her compositions? Nope. I never have. They just naturally compose with the patterns in their hands, which is why it is very important to provide natural pianistic patterns for them to use.