This week, David was subbing for me. Here are his notes below!
Chloe enthusiastically did her opening exercises, and I followed along.
We played the 5-finger scale, and I relayed to her the importance of keeping your fingers close to the keys, and not wasting energy. I gave her the metaphor of the fingers being glued to the keys, and she found that amusing, and it seemed to help. I also gave her a way to practice finger independence while away from the piano, by wiggling each finger and only that finger.
We played Graduation Party a couple times, and then she insisted on doing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I had her figure out some of the notes to Twinkle Twinkle as a way to exercise her ears.
She is very excited about moving onto the next book, which is great motivation for finishing and perfecting the last song. I’d suggest having a little concert for her mom or aunt, so she can literally have a sort of graduation party.
Abigail’s note: I will listen to Chloe’s rendition of Graduation Party – she is welcome to bring family into the lesson to hear her progress! If Chloe has the new book, we may begin working on it next week.
I found Chantal’s staccato needed some work, so we talked about sharp/short articulation in terms of getting off the key as fast as possible (imagine the keys are burning hot). We also worked on playing even tempo and not playing groups of 2 with hesitations/pauses in between.
We played through some of her repertoire. Nothing surprising came up, a few issues with rhythm, to be expected at that age.
Abigail’s note: Chantal should continue to work on Mozart’s Five Names and Paper Airplane. I will listen to them next week. She should continue to practice for 15 minutes every day.
With the double 3rds, I found Tanishq has a problem with sustaining notes that don’t need to be sustained. He also has a minor problem with rolling chords that aren’t asking to be rolled. His scales have a slight problem with dynamic accuracy (although the rhythmic accuracy is fine). Some notes are unnecessarily accented. I am being nitpicky, of course, but that’s because he’s a good player and is capable of paying attention to these things. I pointed them out, and he self-corrected pretty quickly.
We worked on the Bach piece, but did not include ornaments, we decided to save it for next week.
He played his piece Dragonfly Scherzo, and we worked on rhythmic accuracy. We worked on counting groups of 3 and 2 in hybrid times, and applying that to the piece. I recommended counting while playing.
Abigail’s note: continue to practice Clair de Lune with the direction from last week, and make sure to pick out a new etude you may want to learn over Christmas! Try to find 30 minutes every day to practice.
Just as Chloe did, Zoe led the stretches and exercises enthusiastically. As ynoted in the book, Zoe played F natural while transposing to G major. Instead of simply correcting her, I demonstrated to her the difference between a tone and a semitone, and showed her how that works within a major scale and how it applies to transposition. She understood and self-corrected.
I also gave her a little primer on key signatures and the circle of 5ths. It may have been a touch advanced for her, but I stressed that she doesn’t have to worry about remembering it, and she was definitely following along and seemed to find it interesting
She played ‘Let’s Go Play’ three times, and there was a bit of an issue with rhythm, so I had her clap through the piece. In the last five minutes of the lesson, I decided to test out my hypothesis that she has a strong ear, so I sang some pentatonic melodies for her to play back on the black keys. She did excellently. We also did some clap back. She did not so well on that, but that’s okay!
Abigail’s note: Zoe should bring her new book to the next lesson. I’ll also listen to her rendition of Let’s Go Play. She should play for 10 minutes every day!
I had Julie play through her double 3rds in the key of C, and her B natural minor scale. She was uncomfortable with the harmonic minor, so we didn’t go there yet.
We worked on the Mendelssohn piece, and I had a few recommendations for her:
1. Bring out the top voice and bury the inner voice, by shifting your weight onto the right side of your right hand. For extra awareness of multiple voices, I recommended taking different coloured highlighters and following the different voices. I started highlighting the ‘alto’ voice in the piece for the first system. It serves as a good preparation for the introduction of polyphonic works by Bach.
2. Make sure the decorations aren’t interrupting the rhythm/flow of the left hand. Practice to a metronome.
We also worked on the Clementi. We worked on evenness in 16th note lines. I STRONGLY recommend counting while playing and using a metronome.
Abigail’s note: Continue to work on the Springer with the direction from last week. Make sure to find 30 minutes to practice every day!