51. Triads, or “The Three Sisters and Three Brothers”
Triads teach the coordination of three fingers of the hand at the same time. At first this is very hard, and kids confuse the first, third, and fifth fingers with the second and fourth. By separating the fingers into ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ along the code of the keys, I was able to bring my kids’ attention to the difference between these two groups of fingers. At first, when the exercise is played by one hand at a time, the children watch to make sure that the ‘unwanted guests (2 and 4)’ don’t show up while playing with the group of 1, 3 and 5. In order to master the coordination of these fingers, they play the triads many times.
Later, when they can achieve this without difficulty, we play the triads in all of the octaves at a quickened tempo. This helps kids to comprehend the octaves at a tactical level. Later, the exercise can be played with both hands, and develops the coordination between them.