This song is for students who do not know how to read standard music notation yet. While reinforcing the letter names of the piano keys, your students can learn to play the traditional melody of the Christmas carol: “Away In A Manger”. (Please note that the rhythms will not be presented. Therefore, the students need to recognize the song well enough so they will know how short or how long to hold the keys.) A recording of the melody is also in the zip folder.
This song has a paper keyboard which is to help students know where to place their hands. The groups of 2 and 3 black keys visually help in finding which keys are to be played. To play the song, follow the words (lyrics) of the song which are under the keys that are to be played. Play the keys, following the lyrics starting from the top.
Using these graphic presentations, the students may visually compare the pitches (sounds that move up, down or stay the same). These comparisons may aid in the learning to “play by ear” and in the reading of pitches on a music staff.
I found my beginner students, from 5 years old to adult, enjoying the thrill of playing this tune while they were starting to familiarize themselves with the piano and the standard music notation. I hope yours will too!
Graphic Presentation©2004 Bernice Holeman
Background image on the cover page by: Sabine Sauermaul.
Image can be found here: Background 325