Anna

This week, we began the lesson by playing the D major scale as a warm-up. Anna’s fingers were quite high from the keys when they weren’t playing, so I asked Anna to play the scale one hand at a time so she could watch her fingers. Then, she was more conscious of what her hand was doing and played a little closer to the keyboard!

We then looked at the Stars and Stripes Forever. Anna’s doing a really good job with the first portion of the song. She can play it hands together really comfortably! The last three lines are where she’s less comfortable and where she should focus her practice this week. Afterwards, we looked at the Alberti Etude. Anna is very comfortable playing the right hand, but struggles with the left hand. The issue in the left hand is that it has little “surprises” that divert from the pattern.

We also looked at her theory book. Anna jumped around in the book with her previous teacher, but I thought it might be easier to start from the beginning and work through all the lessons she hasn’t had a chance to look at yet.

This week at home

Alberti Etude: Anna should start by practicing the left hand on this one, since it’s the hand she’s least comfortable with. Then, I’d like her to try and put the song hands together. I suggest she try one line per day hands together. For example, she might try the first line today, then try the next line tomorrow. She shouldn’t try to play the whole song hands together right away.

Stars and Stripes Forever: Anna should start by practicing the last three lines, since they’re the ones she feels the least comfortable with. I’d like her to start by playing the left hand by itself, and write in any notes she has trouble reading or often plays wrong. After, she should play the right hand. Finally, she can try to play the song hands together, breaking it into small sections.

Theory Book: Anna should work on the Boogie Bass exercise on the first page. She should also write all the note names in the exercise. I think this will help strengthen her note reading while she’s at the piano.

Anna should practice for 20 minutes every day!

Megane

This week, we reviewed C, D, and B on the keyboard. Even though I hadn’t seen Megane for a couple weeks, she showed me where all the notes were!

In the lesson we focused mostly on the hands. It’s very important that Megane plays the songs with the correct hands. This will become more and more important as she advances. But for now, it’s also important – it makes the songs easier to play! The finger numbers also help to make playing the notes smooth and easy.

I wrote in Megane’s book which line uses which hand and which finger numbers she should use. Megane shouldn’t need to move either hand on the keyboard if she follows them.

This week at home

Megane should review the “B” songs: “The Boat,” “The Drum,” and “In a Hammock.” She should try to keep both hands on the keyboard while she’s playing, even if one of the hands isn’t playing all the time. It’ll make the transition between the two hands a lot smoother!

Megane should be playing for 5 minutes every day. She’s welcome to play whatever she wants after she reviews her songs.

Sacha

This week, we started by reviewing the C major scale. We then reviewed the pattern of semitones and whole tones that makes up the major scale. Then, using that pattern Sacha figured out how to play the D major scale. Sacha had some questions about minor scales, so I showed him the difference between D major and D minor.

We then looked at Make Up Your Mind! The song is really coming together nicely and Sacha is much more comfortable playing it. The last two lines aren’t as comfortable as the first portion of the song, so Sacha will need to focus on them while practicing this week.

Afterwards we started to look at the Major and the Minor song! We also explored major and minor triads and noted what made them different and similar.

This week at home

Make Up Your Mind: Sacha should start by working on the last two lines hands separately. He should then try to put the two hands together, breaking it up into smaller sections. Afterwards he should review the whole piece hands together.

The Major and the Minor: As it’s a new song, Sacha just needs to practice this song hands separately this week and become familiar with the notes. If he needs to, I encourage him to write in the note names of notes he has trouble reading or frequently makes mistakes playing.

Sacha should continue to practice for 15 minutes every day.

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