Lesson 4: Lesson 4: Contrary Motion I'm a Happy Doggie

In this lesson, we will play hands together for the first time, and all future lessons will have exercises involving both hands playing together. This is an important lesson psychologically to the children, because it raises their confidence when they realize that they are playing with two hands.

Understanding Contrary Motion

Parents who are already familiar with contrary motion and parallel motion may wish to skip this section.

When hands are playing a passage in contrary motion, every finger and motion on the right hand is matched by the same finger, same motion, on the left hand.  It is actually easier to play in contrary motion than parallel motion, to be introduced as an exercise in lesson 5. For the purposes of this course, parallel motion always involves playing the same notes in each hand, but in different octaves; contrary motion involves playing with the same fingers and direction in each hand.

Here is an example of a short passage played in parallel and contrary motion:

Parallel/contrary motion demo::


Preparing for the second lesson

By the time we get to this lesson, your child should already be playing the two exercises of the previous lesson without any difficulties. 

Your child should start with his left and right thumbs on G and C, respectively, and he should be able to play it pretty well from his previous practicing. Although contrary motion is easy to play, the music sounds more complex than parallel motion because the two movements are in opposite directions. Your child should enjoy playing this exercise as much as you will enjoy teaching it to him.

This lesson has only one exercise, which we will learn and teach without requiring correct hand posture. We will again require that the notes be legato, and not smeared.  Your child must be able to play this exercise before moving onto the next lesson.

Make sure the practice chart is set to lesson 4. Practice every day!


I'm a Happy Doggie, demo videos

Contrary motion





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