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Piano Nanny - Free Piano Lessons
Starter Studies

Lesson 9 - Section 1

Notes and Rests

Rests, The Silent Note

To begin with, go to your music notebook and make yourself a table like the one shown in the image for this section.

In the table, to the left is each Note and to the right is its Rest partner. The Note value and the Rest value are the same.

To understand Rests, I think it helps to think of a Rest as a silent Note.

The count or beat for a quarter note is the same for a quarter note rest.

The count or beat for a half note is the same for a half note rest.

The count or beat for a whole note is the same for a whole note rest.

The count or beat for a eighth note is the same for a eighth note rest.

The count or beat for a sixteenth note is the same for a sixteenth note rest.

Rests are used by composers to show you where NOT to play in a song. The beat continues during a rest but no sound is made during the Rest.

Let’s look at and play some examples.

Lesson 9 - Section 2

Staff and Keyboard

Setting the Beat

In the image for this section is a typical example of using quarter note rests.

Let’s call this the “Kangaroo” song. Note that the time signature is 4/4. Play the mp3 audio file below the image to hear how the “Kangaroo” song sounds.

I’ve added something new as you might have already heard. There are now “clicks” that can be heard before the song starts playing. These “clicks” tell the player what tempo to use to start playing the song. This routine is called Setting the Beat. Every musician needs to know what the Tempo will be in order to start to playing a song. At the bottom of the page are more terms or phases that are used to describe the same routine of Setting the Beat.

Listen to the "Kangaroo" song and then play along with the mp3 file. Do this for 5 minutes. Then push stop on the player and play the song without the help of the mp3 file. Do this for 5 minutes. When you are done practicing, go to Section 3.

Other terms used to describe the routine of “Setting the Beat.”
Counting Off
Giving you one measure
Finding the beat
Finding the tempo
Determining the beat or rhythm
Ana 1 Ana 2 . . . Mr. Welk
ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR . . . Rock n Roll
Giving you 4
Begin counting or tapping

There are more of these, but these are the ones you’ll hear the most.

Lesson 9 - Section 3

Award Download


You are well on your way to becoming an accomplished piano player. And, you’ve navigated through these lessons to another Golden Star award. Yours to keep as a reminder that you’ve done well. Good Job. Just click on the image to download the PDF to print.

For the finishing touch to these lessons, you need to go to your local music store and purchase a book. Or, you may know someone who will lend you the kind of book I need you to get. I want you to find a small song book of very simple songs. The songs should not be any harder than the ones you have seen in these lessons. You are looking for a beginners song book. It only needs to have songs in it and nothing else.

I want you to set some time aside each day (30 minutes or so) to pick one song out of the book and practice playing it. If you have followed these lessons faithfully, you now have the skills to do this with confidence.

Look for a book that has 4/4 time signatures. It may have some songs that have 3/4, 2/4, and 6/8 time signatures. We will be learning these too so don’t worry if you see these in the book. However, most of the songs should be in 4/4 (have a 4/4 time signature).

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