UNIT 1 Lesson Book page 12

Into the Cave

  • Playing 3-black-key groups in the lower keyboard range
  • Finding 3-black-key groups
  • Using LH fingers 2-3-4
  • The LH should float down from group to group, flexing gently at the wrist.

let’s get started


If you were going into a cave, would you be going higher or lower?


Now touch all the 3-black-key groups. Start in the middle with your LH and go lower and lower.


As the boys explore the cave, we can explore the music. Point to the finger numbers on the page as I play. Say “2-3-4, together.” How many times did I play the pattern? (3) The student may circle each pattern.


Notice fingers 2-3-4 will step down, then play together. Hold and listen. (Demonstrate.)


Are you ready to explore the cave? Float down to each group of 3 black keys.

explore & create

  • Bold Explorers!
    These boys are brave and stomp down into the dark cave loudly. Explore this big sound!
  • Scared Explorers!
    It can be spooky in the cave with bats! These explorers tiptoe slowly and softly. Explore this small sound!
  • Ear Training on the 3 Black Keys
    Use LH fingers 2-3-4. Close your eyes! I’ll play a short pattern. You play it back!

    Now I’ll close my eyes. You make up short patterns for me to repeat.

  • Little Bat Student – Student Duet
    Another student may play this rhythm high on a 2-black-key group. Use the words: Lit-tle bat.
    see video

theory book

  • Into the Cave Improvisation (pp. 4-5)
    Students learn the word improvisation and create “into the cave” music with a Teacher Duet—all on the black keys. The keyboard range is explored from high to low as the explorers descend deep down into the cave!

performance book

  • In the Jungle (p. 2)
    This 3-black-key piece encourages s-l-o-w steady fingers to imitate the big, heavy elephant legs.

pedagogy pointers

Again, the LH is the leader to explore more of the keyboard—this time the 3-black-key groups. Using just the middle fingers keeps the hand in a natural position and directs the weight to the center of the hand. Playing from the middle to the bottom of the keyboard reinforces moving down the keyboard.

  • As students play fingers 2-3-4-together on the 3 black keys, individual fingers may tend to flatten. If this happens, coach the student to roll the flattened fingers in—balancing on the fingertips to form a rounded hand shape.
  • Try this technique tip to help round the hand. The student plays and says aloud, “2-3-4 together, ROLL OFF.”

    The black key cluster gives an opportunity to hold and re-balance on the fingertips.

Create a simple duet for two students.