Lesson 10

Frog in the Middle

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Hello and welcome back. I'm Joseph Hoffman.
Today we're learning a new song called "Frog in the Middle."
Hence, the friends I brought today. So let's meet these three friends I brought.
We've got Mommy Frog. We've got Baby Frog. Cute, huh?
And we've got Grandpa Frog. Hey Grandpa!
So today, the song we're learning is "Frog in the Middle."
I'm going to ask Grandpa Frog to help me out with this song.

♫ Frog in the middle, frog in the sea. ♫
♫ Frog in the middle, can't catch me. ♫

Now will you try singing that song along with me while I play the frog?
Here we go:

♫ Frog in the middle, frog in the sea. ♫
♫ Frog in the middle, can't catch me. ♫

Great job. Thank you, Grandpa Frog. [Croak]
This time, what I'd like you to do is go on a little hunt with me
for the three lowest notes of this song. This song is made up of three notes:
A high one called SO, a middle one called MI, and a low one called DO.
So I'll sing the song one more time for you. This time without words,
and I want you to listen for those three low notes that sound like this,
and when you hear them I want you to touch your knees or touch your feet.
It's up to you. You choose. Okay, you ready?
Here we go. Listen for the low notes that sound like this.
Did you hear the low notes?
If you touched three times at the end of the song,

♫ can't catch me ♫

those were the three low notes. We call that DO DO DO. Good listening.
Now, this time, let's sing the whole thing again. We're going to touch our shoulders
when you hear the high notes, and this song happens to start on SO up here,
and then you'll go to your middle, or your waist, and then we'll touch knees or feet
for the low notes at the end. Ready, can you sing "Frog in the Middle" with me,
and help me find those high middle or low notes? Ready, go:

♫ Frog in the middle, frog in the sea. ♫
♫ Frog in the middle, can't catch me. ♫

Good job. Now, the next thing I'd like to do is try singing it
in our special musical language called solfège.
Remember, this one we call SO, this one MI, and the low one DO,
and this time let's use our hand signs. Remember we have SO, MI, and DO.
We'll make this for DO. Ready, here we go. Try it with me:
DO DO DO. Great job.

Now we're ready to try and figure out how to play this song on the piano.
This song is made up of skipping notes.
You'll remember that when we did "Hot Cross Buns", we started out
with three notes stepping down, and when we did 'Five Woodpeckers,"
one note at a time, we're stepping higher and higher,
and then we end up stepping down.
Now in 'Frog in the Middle" we're going to skip notes.
So we're only going to need SO and MI and DO,
and we're never going to use RE or FA. So these two fingers,
your finger here and here, won't actually get used in this song.
That's okay, they'll get a turn on another song.
So let's practice moving our fingers for 'Frog in the Middle."
All right, for "Frog in the Middle," let's use our left hand this time.
For "Hot Cross Buns" and "Five Woodpeckers" we start with our right hand,
so let's give that left hand a turn. All right, now, in the left hand,
your pinky is DO. That will be the lowest note, and then it will go up from there:
DO RE MI FA SO. Remember, in "Frog in the Middle" we're skipping notes,
so we have SO, MI and DO. So would you hold up your left hand with me,
and let's practice finding those solfège notes? SO, wiggle your thumb,
MI, wiggle your middle finger, DO, wiggle your pinky.
Good, now let's try the notes from "Frog in the Middle."
I'll sing first and move my fingers and then you copy what I do when it's your turn.
My turn. SO SO SO MI MI, your turn.
Good, now my turn. SO SO SO MI. Your turn.
My turn. SO SO SO MI MI, your turn.
DO DO DO, your turn.

Good job. Now let's try it with words,
and this time let's do it together at the same time.
We're going to sing the words of the song and use SO MI and DO fingers,
but we'll sing the real words "frog in the middle." Ready, go:

♫ Frog in the middle, frog in the sea. ♫
♫ Frog in the middle, can't catch me. ♫

Good. Now here's a little hint:
Whenever the words of the song say middle, it's your middle finger.
How about that? So, if you can't remember when to switch to your middle finger,
just think about the words "Frog in the," and then, on "middle,"
it's your middle finger.

Alright let's come to the piano keys and try it on the piano.
Can you point to a C nearest the middle of your screen?
If you're pointing right here, you're correct. So l ...