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Several of the "Space Songs" are available for free download; click here.
"Space Songs" are:
Nevertheless, these pieces can be considered "difficult" in that they introduce new concepts to the student, and perhaps to the teacher, and these are concepts that are not usually covered in the first few years of method-book study.
Teachers should break down the pieces into simple units--of perhaps one or two measures each--and show the student how to play one or two simple units a week for several weeks. The teacher can then explain (and perhaps diagram) to the student how all small units fit together to make a larger section. The teacher might explain: "This pattern repeats 6 times, moving up one octave each time. To help keep track of how many times you have repeated the pattern, you should count each repetition as you play, like this: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6."
When the pieces are presented in this manner, over a period of weeks, even very young students learn them quite easily.
This series of pieces was, in fact, brought about by this observation: things that are very simple to do at the keyboard are not always very simple to notate. Think, for instance, of how easy it is to play all the Cs on the piano from bottom to top, compared with how difficult it is to read the musical notation of those same eight Cs. Method books emphasize reading--and so, the things that can be easily notated--and ignore a vast repertoire of techniques and ideas that young musicians can learn quite easily.
The idea behind the pieces is that the teacher must first learn the piece, then show the student how to play it. If the teacher is a strong reader and performer, this will not be a difficulty. But if the teacher is only a few steps ahead of the student, this may be a great difficulty, and if such teachers choose to teach this repertoire, they will find that they must spend a great deal of preparation time.
The teacher must be prepared to demonstrate technical difficulties, illustrate musical ideas, break down difficulties into small steps, show the student how to practice, outline formal elements in a way the student can understand and use in practice and performance, explain the how and why of the music, and motivate the student to see the big picture and to put forward a significant amount of effort in order to learn a piece that is, for young students, of relatively substantial length and difficulty.
In short, in presenting these pieces to the student, the teacher must really teach, not just assign pages in a method book for the student to learn at home.
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