Rote Teaching Enhances Learning and Fun!
Each year as Halloween rolls around there are a few highly patterned pieces that I love to introduce to new students again and again. Students love the impressive sounds that become accessible to them even if some of the things printed on the page haven't been introduced to them in their method books.
Cat Prowl from Piano Adventures Gold Star 2B can easily be played by students who are a level or 2 below in the the method books if you introduce it as a rote piece. The expressive orchestrated audio sample has fun sound effects that entice students to want to learn this fun piece.
Zoom Zoom Witches Broom from Piano Adventures Gold Star Primer surprisingly only contains the 3 notes from the a minor chord, but sounds so expressive and exciting because of the added pedal, dynamics and leaps from octave to octave.
Spooky Town composed by Chris Owenby is full of hand over hand arpeggios so I prefer to introduce this piece by rote as well and then later point them to the written page.
Toccata in D Minor - Most students have heard are familiar with the introduction of this famous haunting melody and if they are not this cartoon is a fun way to introduce it. There are several free printable versions online, but I like to begin with this simple short version from gmajormusictheory.com by first having students identify the rhythm bugs they find in the piece. Because most of my students are Let's Play Music graduates, they are familiar with sixteenth/eighth note patterns and having them dictate the rhythm with bug cards really facilitates their learning of the piece partly by rote.
"Butterfly___Caterpillar Bug Slug, Butterfly______ Bug Bug Bug Slug."
Big Bad Goblin Blues Although this rhythmic piece is quite long, the repetitive bass line and repeating melodies allow students to learn it rather quickly and sometimes I have to issue a "speeding ticket" because they love to see how fast they can race through the half step passages at twice the speed like this!
Do you have any other fall favorite rote pieces that your students love?