Saturday, July 13, 2019

Motivating Beginning Piano Technique Mastery with Wizard Challenges

Beginning Piano Technique Wizard Challenges, a organized piano teaching technique curriculum

In order to earn the "Technique Wizard Challenge" on my piano student leaderboard, students complete the following technique challenges that correspond with their current level.

Technique Wizard - Star
Caterpillar Crawl
Can you prepare to use proper piano technique motions by demonstrating these movements away from the keyboard while listening to Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca?
Bicycle Wrist Circles
Jump Rope Staccato Bounces
Swimming Pool Float Offs
Weight Lifting Finger O's
Balance Beam Thumb Tucks
Teeter Totter Wrist Rotation
Alternating Hands - Piano Safari Herbie Hippo

Technique Wizard - Hero
Piano Safari Animal Techniques
Can you demonstrate all of the animal techniques in Safari Friends after learning each of the other animal pieces? Links to Reminder, Instructional and Performance Animal Technique Videos are on .  By clicking the song titles below you can view the Reminder Videos for each rote  technique piece
Lion Paw - Are your arms heavy? Is your wrist flexible?
King of the African Drum
Zechariah Zebra - Are your fingers tall? Thumb on side tip? Bubble Hand?
Zebra on a Pogo Stick
Tall Giraffe  Does it sound non legato (slightly separated)?  Does your wrist float off the long notes?
A Day in the Life of Tall Giraffe
Kangaroo Are you playing with a bouncy arm?
Kristabel Kangaroo Visits Korea
Tree Frog Are you playing with sticky legato fingers? Is the sound smooth and connected?
Rain Forest Mystery
Soaring Bird Is your wrist doing a "mini-swoop? Does your arm follow your fingers?
Hawk on a Mountain Peak
Monkey Swinging Is your wrist rotating back and forth?
Monkey Blues
Safari Friends Review of all Safari Techniques

Technique Wizard Scholar
Can you do the Thumb Tuck Challenge and apply it to 5 1 octave scales?
Shaping Scales with Dynamics-Make the volume rise as you go up and fall on the way down.
Legato vs Staccato Scales- Can you play right hand legato while left is staccato, then switch?
Demo Secrets: Float off Phrase endings
Intro to Pedal Changes by Ear Video

The idea of having technique wizard was sparked by this post on the Colourful Keys blog.  I love Nicola's organized way of motivating students!

Related Posts:
Is Your Piano Teaching Curriculum Comprehensive?
Piano Technique and Artistry Group Lesson Activities

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