This course was an experiment in which I tried guide beginning students to learn and practise some fundamental aspects of piano playing without the need to learn to read music notation. I can't say that I fully endorse this course any more. There are certain aspects of it that I think people have found confusing, and the progression of difficulty is probably not as well suited to a beginner as I would have liked. However, I have decided to keep it available for now on the off chance that someone finds it interesting of finds some value in it.
The final lesson in Step One is a piece for a large ensemble of orchestral instruments. The instruments used in this piece are: Oboe, Horns, Flute, Harp, Concert Tom, Triangle, Solo Violin, Strings, and Piano. In this lesson you will play and count in fours, just as in Lesson 4, but you will be playing with many more instruments.
Step 1. First, listen to the lesson music. This piece is a little longer than the music in the previous lessons and there are several distinct sections. Listen to it a few times and see if you can become familiar with when the music changes.
Step 2. Now listen to the pattern. In this piece you will play a single note throughout except for the final note. As you listen to the pattern, take note of whether the final note is higher or lower than the previous ones.
Step 3. Find the two notes used in the pattern on the keyboard now, then play along with the percussion accompaniment.
Step 4. Now listen to the pattern accompanied by Concert Tom and Triangle. These instruments and the rhythm they are playing you should recognise from the lesson music.
Step 5. Play along with this accompaniment now.
Step 6. Finally, play along with the lesson music. You may want to listen to the full lesson music again before you attempt to play along so you can be sure that you are coming in at the right time. There is also a brief moment in the middle of this piece where the tempo slows down slightly as the music transitions from one section to the next. Again, it’s not necessary to play perfectly in time here but with a little practice you should be able to get it quite close. If nothing else, this will teach you why conductors are necessary for an orchestra.
This concludes Step One of the First Steps in Piano course. Here you learnt how to keep time and count musically. In Step Two you will explore the layout of the keyboard. There is still much to learn about counting and keeping time in music but by completing this step you will have built a solid foundation on which to base any further development in this area.