Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Love Somebody Piano Teaching Activities

With Valentine's Day coming up this week I wanted to incorporate a few love themed activities into piano lessons.  The traditional melody of Love Somebody is perfect for teaching multiple music concepts because it uses only notes from the pentascale with a simple chord progression and plenty of repeating patterns.  Here are just a few ideas of activities plus a free printable to boost ear training, keyboard skills and transposition in piano lessons.

Love Somebody Ear Training Challenge

Play the melody and chords of Love Somebody while the piano student listens for the chord changes and arranges the pattern they hear with manipulatives. Students could arrange cards with I and V in the order they hear them, or if you teach chords in color, red and yellow bingo chips also make great manipulatives for this activity.

Love Somebody Chord Progressions

After the student is familiar with the melody and structure of the song have them play a student/teacher duet using this lyric sheet. They play the chord progressions as you play the melody line in different keys they are familiar with.

I              V              

Love Somebody, Yes I Do


I              V      

Love Somebody, Yes I Do


I              V           

Love Somebody, Yes I Do


I        V           I

Love Somebody, But I Won’t Tell Who.

Love Somebody Melodic Dictation

Invite the student to map out the melodic contour of the song using magnets and a magnetic whiteboard. Beginners could just try the second half of each phrase while more experienced students could actually map out the steps and skips using mini magnets on a paper staff.

Love Somebody Solfa

Incorporating Solfa into piano lessons has so many benefits! I encourage students to sing solfa as they play scales from the start and this step makes a smoother transition into the transposition process later. Start by singing and signing off the bench and then invite the student to play to melodic pattern on the piano in several keys they are familiar with. Adding the left hand chords is like the icing on the cake!

I            V              

Do-Mi-So-So, Re-Mi-Fa


I            V      

Do-Mi-So-So, Fa-Mi-Re


I            V           

Do-Mi-So-So, Re-Mi-Fa


I          V             I

Mi-Mi,     Re-Re-Re-Re,  Do-Do-Do.

This chart is helpful in relating the scale degrees to solfa for this particular song also indicates the right hand finger #s needed for each pitch.

Scale Degree Chart











Love Somebody Rhythmic Dictation

If you completed the chord, melodic dictation and ear training challenges above, the rhythm of the melody should be well ingrained in your student's mind. I love to use heart beat boards and bingo chips so students can have a hands on experience figuring out the rhythmic patterns in a visually appealing way that reinforces the concepts of counting. Of course the students also love silly putty or conversation hearts for their rhythm dictation tools as well! Jen Fink at Pianimation.com has an excellent explanation of the process as well as some free printables for this activity.

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