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Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement

February 27, 2014

“Successful teaching at the early levels means three stages: Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement “ – Marvin Blickenstaff


Below is a list of  phrases or activities that might be seen or heard in a lesson.  See if you can decide which item belongs in each of these three categories:  Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement.

“Let’s sight-read a piece that uses eighth notes”

“I am going to play a new piece called “Faraway Chimes.”  What do you think the dynamic of this piece will be?”

Clapbacks using ties

Swinging to feel the pulse of a piece that uses eighth notes

Reviewing key signatures with flashcards

Refinement of the two-note slur gesture

“Now we will play a piece using eighth notes”

“Write a two-measure rhythm that uses 6/8 time.”

“Stomp your feet when you hear me playing loud sounds and tip-toe when I play quiet sounds.”

Clapping rhythms that use eighth notes

Pointing and saying intervals before playing a piece

Writing in the counting below an eighth note rhythm

“Now that you know 6ths well, let’s make a five finger pattern warm up that uses 5ths and 6ths.”

Playbacks using eighth notes

Feeling the difference between seconds and thirds in the hand

“Does this new piece have a major sound or a minor sound?”

“What do you notice is the difference between seconds and thirds?”

“What is the form of this piece?”

“Now try this bracketed section with your hands together first”

“Look!  We have found the warm up you practiced last week in your new piece!”

Circuit Training: Drilling new landmarks in a fast-paced circuit around the room




In the table below, you can see how we have divided these statements into the three categories.


How many did you guess correctly? Can you think of other examples of Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement?



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This site is created by the faculty of the New School for Music Study, a division of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.

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