UNIT 1 Lesson Book page 13

Three Little Kittens

  • Playing 3-black-key groups in the higher keyboard range
  • Finding 3-black-key groups
  • Using RH fingers 2-3-4
  • The RH should float up from group to group, flexing gently at the wrist

let’s get started


Let’s touch all the 3-black-key groups. Start in the middle with your RH and go higher and higher.


When you reach the top, stay on the high 3-black-key group. The kittens will give a final MEOW all together and spring off the keys. (Model the MEOW and let the student imitate the springing motion several times.)


Watch me play the piece. Demonstrate, saying for each musical pattern: “2-3-4, together, lift off.” Spring off the black keys for the final MEOW!


How many times did I play the “2-3-4, together” pattern? (3) The student may circle.


Your turn! Play on each group of 3 black keys going up. Start in the middle.


Make sure your hand floats up to the next group of 3 black keys. Remember to spring off for the last MEOW!

explore & create

  • How Old Are You?
    Play the piece and, to end, “meow” as many times as your age! Spring off the black keys for each “meow.”
  • Ear Training (on the 3 Black Keys)
    Use RH fingers 2-3-4. Close your eyes! I’ll play a short pattern. You copy it back!

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

  • Play with a Friend!
    Have a little older student play an F# with the LH and a 2-black-key group with the RH. Use this repeating pattern: Left-right-right.

    see video see duet appendix

  • Compose a Kitty Tune for RH
    Create your own pattern for RH fingers 2-3-4 on the 3 black keys. Then play it going high, up the keyboard. Another kitty composition!

theory book

EYE TRAINING and EAR TRAINING are presented as two distinct activities in the Theory Books. The two icons below alert the teacher:

  • Inspect the Notes! (p. 6)
    Students circle UP, DOWN, or both UP and DOWN for note direction.
  • Be All Ears! (p. 7)
    Students circle if the sound is going higher or lower, then make up their own examples.

pedagogy pointers

A RH piece on the 3 black keys explores the black-key groups over the entire keyboard range. It also reinforces moving “up” the keyboard. The student is acquainted with keyboard “geography” with the pieces Two Black Ants/Two Blackbirds and Into the Cave/Three Little Kittens. Right from the start, these partner pieces introduce the idea of rhythm patterns.

Visual, tactile, and aural experiences prepare the student for concepts that will be identified and named in the units to come.

Ending a piece with a partner is just as important as beginning together.