Saturday, July 9, 2011

Free Resource for Teaching Skips and More

One of my favorite pieces for reinforcing the concept of skips is a simplified version of “Scripture Power” (by Clive Romney) on the Layton Primary site. This energetic song is a familiar favorite for most of the children in our church congregation to sing during Primary singing time, so they get pretty excited when they get the chance to play this version fairly early on in their piano studies.

As a piano teacher I appreciate several elements of this piece.

-The first page is full of a catchy repetitive stepping pattern that gives students extra reinforcement reading “across the staff” (Bass, G, A,B – Treble CDE) and switching hands with fluency. I usually assign students just the first page for starters.

-The chorus on the second page which I assign them the following week has a great repeating theme including plenty of line to line skips.

- The rhythm is fairly simple, yet catchy and motivating to play.

- The lyrics are personally my favorite element of the song. As a piano teacher and parent my motivation for teaching is more than training great pianists. I’m hoping the skills and qualities involved in learning piano will be the means of character building for my own children and my other students. So I love the reminder of these words…

“Because I want to be like the Savior and I can,

I’m reading his instructions, I’m following his plan.

Because I want the power his words will give to me,

I’m changing how I live I’m changing what I’ll be.

Scripture power, Keeps me safe from sin.

Scripture power is the power is the power to win.

Scripture power, everyday I need the power that I get each time I read.”

Click here to hear a recording of this song.

The 2 most influential sources of inspiration in daily living for me have been inspirational music and daily scripture study/prayer. I feel indebted to both those who compose inspirational music and heroes like William Tyndale who paved the way for me to have daily access to God’s word. As I read about Tyndale in the following excerpt from an article by Boyd K. Packer my hope is that my children will come to appreciate both the power of inspiring music and inspiring scripture in daily living and pattern their lives after the heroes in the scriptures.

“It has been 400 years since the publication of the King James Bible, with significant contributions from William Tyndale, a great hero in my eyes.

The clergy did not want the Bible published in common English. They hounded Tyndale from place to place. He said to them, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou.”

Tyndale was betrayed and confined to a dark, freezing prison in Brussels for over a year. His clothing was in rags. He begged his captors for his coat and cap and candle, saying, “It is indeed wearisome sitting alone in the dark.” These were denied him. Eventually he was taken from prison and before a large crowd was strangled and burned at the stake. But William Tyndale’s work and martyr’s death were not in vain.

I am thankful for the privilege to live in an era of freedom and knowledge where I have daily access to God's word and music inspired by those who strive to follow him.