5. Donkey Ride Practice

Let’s Get Started

Let’s Chant

At-Home Activity

Practice echoing short rhythm patterns back and forth with awareness of taking good (not necessarily loud) breaths before responding. You can also create your own patterns or use the Rhythm Patterns you’ve heard in the chants of each home lesson (Ex: “Child Song” Rhythm Patterns above).

Let’s Sing

“Donkey Ride”

From Keyboard Games Book A, pg. 5


  • Dynamics: Loud
  • Tempo: Slow
  • Meter: Duple (Du-de Du-de)
  • Piano Keys Used: Two sets of two black keys
  • Keyboard Register: Low and bass
  • Hands: Two hands play separately
  • Technique: Arm movement with middle fingers

Note: The ideal hand shape is rounded, but not squeezed with the pointer, middle, ring, and pinky fingers staying together in a row and not isolating any finger away from the finger group. The hands and fingers at this age do not naturally form to an ideal hand shape (or “puppy/kitty hands” as we call them). This takes time and plenty of patience. Gently remind them by saying “puppy hands” or “let’s softly pet our puppy hand before we start.”


Review any piece(s) learned so far.

From the Author

Physical Movements at the Keyboard. Playing the piano is often a “come and go” affair for the young child. Standing is permitted, and walking from one end of the keyboard to the other can be exploratory fun. Encourage large-motor arm movement and freedom in the joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, knuckles). [The teacher will] guide toward arm balance over each finger. [The teacher will] show children how to keep the hand straight with the arm and how to keep the fingers together, not isolated. [The teacher will] have children use a separated touch. The pieces in this book were created to help students learn these physical movements.”

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