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Friday, October 14, 2016

Bug Dance: Teaching Left and Right Through Movement

Young piano students often have difficulty remembering how to distinguish Left from Right. This dance/rote piece combines the concepts of left/right, up/down, steps/skips and feeling the beat all into fun activity. When I checked out "Bug Dance"  (by Stuart J Murphy) from my local library for my preschooler this week, my piano teacher wheels started churning.  This engaging MathStart Book introduces the concept of left and right as coach caterpillar teaches his gym class of bugs a new dance with these simple steps (which you can see in the preview on amazon.com):
Two steps to the Left.
(E,             D,      C, )
(Step-        ping   Down)



Two steps to the Right. 
(C,             D,       E)
(Step-        ping,   up)

One hop forward. 
(E,     E,      G)
(Skip-ping   up)

One hop backward. 

(E,     E,      C)
(Skip-ping down)

Turn right. 
(D,     C)
(The end.)
I made up a melody to sing that kind of matches the melodic direction of keys on the piano and then discovered that at the end of the book the author includes his own version of sheet music for the song.
As I read the book, we pause to practice the dance steps.  At the end it would be great to review by having a toy bug do the bug dance on the piano or tone bells and then teach the melody by rote on the piano. 

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