Crazy Steps

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crazy-steps-web-a4Introducing stave notation in a creative way

Crazy Steps is the second book in the DoReMi Piano series but can also be used as a creative supplement to any other method book without prior knowledge of solfa or the Kodály Approach. It can also be used as a starting point for older beginners. There’s also a free comprehensive Teacher Guide where Helen outlines her 7 year old student Emma’s journey through the first pieces in Crazy Steps.

Crazy Steps contains stepwise melodies in three different keys, F major, G major and C major plus a clef-less version. The tonesets include drm, drmfs and s,l,t,d.

This book is an excellent introduction to stave notation for students who have completed Sing and Play but can also be used as a creative supplement to any other method book or as a first book for older beginners.

cs-cover-for-web-a4Learning through play is the aim though. So we also have games cards and flashcards to make your lessons even more fun. Your students will love using the buns and raindrops to create their own pulse pictures and rhythms. There are three packs of cards: Musicianship Game CardsSing and Play Cards and Crazy Steps Cards.

Reading confidence using solfa or letter names
You can decide whether to use solfa, letter names or both with this book. The first pieces are ideal for introducing re or for older beginners you may decide to start with do-re-mi. Meanwhile because they are stepwise, it makes introducing the letter names easy.

Each piece is notated in C, F and G major which helps students understand transposition. It is up to the teacher whether they approach transposition via the notation, via the keyboard or a mixture of both.

Developing hands together confidence
Each piece can be played as written or you can “Go Crazy” by experimenting with different hands together activities. Depending on the level and confidence of the student you can play each piece with the opposite hand, both hands in unison, both hands in contrary motion, hold a tonic or tonic-dominant accompaniment. As the student develops in dexterity and confidence the options for accompaniment increase. As none are written in the book, the student and teacher have full control.

Composing and Exploring Tonality
Each piece is followed by a composition activity based on the structure of the piece played. This allows the student to explore minor tonalities without needing to explain the underlying theory. They can also explore dissonance, whole tone scales and weird and wonderful accompaniment options.

Writing Practice
The student can practise their handwriting by adding in the accompaniments (whole bar rests have not been printed so there is nothing to get in the way) and also notating their own compositions. You can decide whether to encourage the student to write the notation accurately or whether any representation of their creation is acceptable.

Understanding tones, semitones and key signatures
The last pieces in the book introduce fa and ti and so provide an excellent opportunity to explore tones and semitones, sharps and flats and can easily lead to the whole octave scale. Pieces can be transposed into any key for more of a challenge.

Crazy Steps is followed by Dippy Skips.