However, the real point of the video is to teach kids about theme and variation. In my district, theme and variation is something that we try and teach all our students when we talk about form (but is honestly hard for them to understand at first). Lots of kids know chopsticks but I play the basic version anyway and talk about how many people learn that as their first (or sometimes only) song on the piano. It’s easy and fun to play. I show them how some people hunt and peck the few notes using only their index fingers (this sets them up for a funny part of the video later) and poke out those two notes at a time. Even if I think they all know the melody I play the basic version a couple times anyway because you have to really know the theme to understand the variation.
Then we watch the video and spend some time talking through it. If they start a new variation that’s hard to hear I might sing along a little bit to help them aurally pick out the melody from their playing. The video is pretty fun to watch and sometimes the kids just like to see the pianists’ hands. I do too! It’s really fun to see when they use their literal chopsticks halfway through.
See the video below or follow THIS LINK to get to the YouTube page.
Check out Hanks and Bullock HERE
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