Away in a Manger Rote and Reading is composed especially for mid-elementary piano students of all ages.
Get a full sound in this Away in a Manger Rote and Reading piece
The right hand in this piece stays in the same position the entire time. Students read it as middle C position, but just move 8va. However, the left hand playing fifths in the deep registers of the piano will activate the harmonics with the aid of the pedal. This gives the piece a very deep and full sound.
Don’t be afraid of the dotted quarter note
Most early to mid-elementary students don’t understand what a dotted quarter note is. But they don’t need to understand to know how to play it! It’s the main rhythm in the main motive of Away in a Manger, so it’s easy to play. The introduction in this Away in a Manger Rote and Reading piece is based on that rhythm, so don’t be afraid to introduce it to your students before they actually know what it is.
If they know the tune to Away in a Manger, they’ll get it. I promise!
The trick is to show them, not tell them! Don’t explain what a dotted quarter note is. They don’t need to know that yet, because it’s a very abstract concept that’s way too complicated to explain. But they can play it. Just show them and let them play!
Moving the LH in an easy way
Many mid-elementary students can do much more moving than we think! Here’s a way to introduce the concept of moving.
I don’t usually make my kids play something hands separate when they begin a piece. But this piece is a good one for hands separate practice.
Ask your student to depress the damper pedal and keep it down. Then, ask them to play the low and first C fifth. Then ask them to play it and then to find the low F fifth. Show them that there is a pattern where they find the C, the F, the next C up, and the next F up. Allow them plenty of time between the fifths to find the next one. The music gives them two whole measures!
Then, show them the RH main motive in the introduction. Show them though, don’t tell them and make them count it out loud! Play the first two measures and ask the to repeat it back to you. Repeat this until they are able to do it easily with good technique.
BONUS: 2 versions included!
Young students are often very satisfied to play a short piece. Plus, a longer piece is often daunting to them. But, we know that older students who are at this level, like teens and adults, may very well want to play a longer version of this. Of course, you could tell them how and where to repeat this, but we’ve included a second version of the piece with first and second endings so they know exactly what to do and when to repeat it.
So you get both! You get the simple version without the distractions of first and second endings AND the one with first and second endings that allows Away in a Manger Rote and Reading to be longer.
Other pieces in the Holiday Rote and Reading Series
Don’t forget to look at the other popular pieces in the Reading and Rote series. The African Adventure Bundle is one of the most popular things in the ComposeCreate store. Kids, teens, and adults love the BIG sounds they make with this music!