Anna

Warm-Up: Anna should begin every practice session by playing an E major scale, hands separately. She should play the scale both connected and detached and should make sure to keep her fingers curved and her wrists up.

Entry of the Gladiators: Anna should first learn section B of the piece hands separately. I suggest she count out loud saying “one and two and…” to keep the eighth notes the same consistent speed. When she practices the first section, she should also count out loud so that the speed remains the same throughout.

Workout in Db: we spent most of the lesson working on eighth note rhythms in the previous piece, so we didn’t have a chance to work on this etude. We spent the rest of the lesson reviewing the key of Db and the notes that are flat. I suggest Anna work on playing the D major scale this week to become familiar with the sound of the key. She should begin to learn the first line of the etude hands together.

Anna should practice for 20 minutes every day.

Megane

Remind Megane to bring in her sheet of music paper with her original song! She can also write a new song this week, like the ones we developed in the lesson. If she doesn’t know how to notate some of the notes, I’d like her to try to express them in the best way she can and we will review how to write the notes in the next lesson.

This week, Megane can also review the songs that feature F: Rockabye Dolly, The Night, Corn on the Cob. I strongly encouraged Megane to not hesitate as she plays the songs, and to play with confidence. I also suggest she review the note names and where to place the hands before she begins to play. It will help eliminate some uncertainty.

Megane should play for 5 minutes every day.

Sacha

Warm-Up: Sacha should begin with the double third warm-up and play them hands together. As he plays he should pay close attention to his fingers, making sure they’re curved over the keys. He begins the exercise with curved fingers, but they flatten out as he goes. It’s very important he’s always watching what’s going on with his hands, especially during warm-ups when they’re no music to look at.

Intermezzo: Sacha should practice the first section (section A) slowly hands together. He should start to work on the section section (Allegro) slowly with both hands together. I suggest he also count aloud.

Sacha likes to improvise and make up his own melodies and harmonies, so I suggested he write them down! Here’s a link to some blank sheet music paper he can use.

This week’s music to listen to is Les Reves de Columbine by Amy Beach.

Sacha should practice for 15 minutes every day, or as much as he possibly can on days where he can’t practice for a full 15 minutes.

Nelly

In the lesson, Nelly showed me her work on Baby Owl in her Piano Adventures book. We worked a bit on how to play with the pedal.

We then looked at her song Jazz Blast. We reviewed how to count eighth notes. I had her say “one and two and” (the and representing the second eighth note in the beat). We also clapped eighth notes quite a bit. In Jazz Blast, there’s a part where her second finger needs to cross over her thumb in order to reach the note. We reviewed how to do this several times as well.

I strongly encouraged Nelly to continue playing after making a mistake. She has a tendency to start over as soon as she makes the mistake. The best thing to do is to work on the area that is causing trouble a few times before starting over again so that the same mistakes aren’t being repeated over and over again.

At home, I’d like Nelly to work on the right hand of Jazz Blast for the whole piece. If she can’t reach the whole piece, that’s okay, but I wanted to give her a challenge. She should try to avoid starting over when she makes a mistake. She should be playing for 5 minutes every day!

Zoe

We began the lesson by reviewing the song from last week Dinosaur Music Night. I then introduced the concept of the musical alphabet to Zoe and we learned about the position of C D and E on the keyboard. Zoe was understanding the idea, but some at-home review will be very helpful in totally solidifying the concept in her mind.

At home, I’d like Zoe to review the activity Paw Prints with Mom or Nelly. She should play or be doing music for five minutes every day.

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