An Easter Themed Sequential Learning Series
This series of pieces introduces a few concepts and ideas through fun and engaging repetoire. The main focus is on playing, and using these playing skills to recognise patterns and concepts in written music.
The main concepts covered are:
- introducing a genre of music (the Boogie Woogie Bass riff)
- reading high and low notes on the musical staff
- reinforcing stepping and skipping on both the musical staff AND instrument
- creating a beat with the repetition of a left hand riff
- music reading concepts of where notes are played in relation to each other in written music
- fluency and competence in playing
- progressively adding more challenging playing and reading concepts
- giving examples of how musical patterns can be changed for effect
As our lessons started to move online over the past week (hopefully not for too long!), we’ve all been enjoying the funky rhythm and jazzy notes of the ‘Boogie Woogie Bass’.
Even our youngest musical family members have been able to pick up the basics of this classic bass riff!
I created three simple versions of an Easter inspired Boogie Woogie Bass:
Level One: Beginners
This level is all about PLAYING ALONG with the Boogie Woogie Bass, as well as starting preliminary music reading activities. During our in person lessons, we used coloured foam Easter Bunnies to indicate whether a note was ‘high’ or ‘low’ on the sheet music.
I created this quick video to show you how we did it, so you can recreate these concrete learning strategies at home should you wish:
As an additional step, my in person students used corresponding colours for High and Low notes to mark which notes are which on the written music. We usually colour the stems for this.
Using the basic notes of G and E, this simple melody then finishes with a stepping run from G to C. (I introduced the descending C minor pentascale the piece finishes with by first having students run down the fingers from G to C on all the white notes, then asked them to switch out the white note E for E flat- the black note below it. Most students were easily able to do so).
These same steps can be taken for the next progression, Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie.
The sheet music for both can be found here:
This piece was introduced successfully online by using the simple diagram in this video.
Every student picked it up super easily, and found it easy to add the right hand note G in the correct place in the music.
The music for both the original version, and the progressive version called Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie, can be found here:
The Easter Bunny Boogie Woogie version simply divides up the left hand notes in a slightly different pattern. Instead of playing the C and G together, these two notes take turns, creating an alternating pattern. It’s a great way to add further challenge.
This version of the song adds another note to the right hand, so students will be playing both G and E.
If needed, students can use the colour coding exercise from Level 1 to figure out which notes are High, which are Low.
Whether the right hand is playing an E or a G, it is played at the same time as the Gs were in the previous level- always on beats 1 and 2 (or when the left hand is playing the C & G together- the right hand NEVER plays on the E flat and E).
After creating the video, I would have liked to also have pointed out how this looks on the written music: that the two notes, be they G or E, are written DIRECTLY over the two notes of the left hand that are played together (C & G); and the E flat and E do not have any right hand notes written above them.
The two progressions of this piece can be found here:
The Boogie Woogie version adds an upwards travelling C minor pentascale at the end of the piece for the left hand, as well as the broken up Boogie Woogie Bass.
A further variation can be found here:
This version continues the left hand Boogie Woogie Bass right through to the very end.