November 18, 2011 at 9:36 AMDrake and Phoebe don't just play the piano: they explore it. I have a hard time keeping their fingers still while directing them onto their next assignments, but I don't usually mind because we make such excellent discoveries along the way. Drake has been studying a series of marches by different composers in different time periods. "Don't be surprised if this particular march gets a little strange in the middle. Know anything about Shostakovich?" I asked. Drake shook his head. I elaborated, "He lived in a time and place where freedom of expression was severely limited, and the government systematically killed off a great number of people, including some of his friends. Since he wasn't allowed to outwardly object, he expressed himself rather sarcastically through his compositions. And, since there's no words to his music, he got away with it.
"What are marches written for? Who marches?"
With a smirk, I concluded, "Have fun with your march this week!"
I led his little seven-year-old sister back to the studio for her lesson with a question.
"What do we count to when we march?"
"Right. Know why?"
"Because we have two legs."
"One-two, one-two." I marched in place.
Phoebe pondered legs for a second while I leafed through her books: "What about an octopus? They would count to eight."
Hmm, I wonder what an octopus march would sound like. "There's eight notes from C to C..." I played then in a row, counting as I went.
"No, an octopus would march like this:" She rounded her fingers and spread them apart. Crawling from left to right, first with the left hand and then with the right, she skipped every other key in the scale with four fingers and then played the ones she skipped with the right hand.
I observed, "Hey, I like that. One of us could play that pattern, and the other could make up a song that goes on top of it."
We made an octopus march. What would you create to complete this octopus?
C E D F G B A C
but hey, what do I know about how an octopus would march :)
Just kidding. Again, another wonderful blog!
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