Anna

We began the lesson with a warm-up using the chromatic scale page in her lesson book. I asked Anna to play one hand at a time and pay close attention to her pinky. She often has it point upwards as she plays. Once Anna was made aware of it, she was able to keep her finger down on the keys for longer than before, but still found it challenging.

Anna then played Stars and Stripes Forever for me. She did a great job! The end section is really strong. She expressed interest in memorizing it, and I agreed that it would be a good challenge. Afterwards, we began to work on Storm at Midnight, the next piece in her book. This piece uses the chromatic scale and has very helpful finger numbers written in it. I strongly suggested to Anna that she follow the fingerings written in the song. Lastly, we looked at the Chromatic Scale Etude. She showed me the first line nice and slowly. I suggested she try the next line of the etude and we worked on it hands separately.

This week at home

I suggest Anna continue to use the chromatic scale warm-ups in her lesson book. She can do two at a time and alternate which she does each day.

She should start to work on Storm at Midnight hands separately. It’s very important that she count out loud saying (one and two and…) to keep the eighth notes rhythmically precise. She can start to memorize Stars and Stripes Forever.

Chromatic Etude: Anna can review the first line hands separately and hands together. She can then work on the second line hands separately. She should make sure that she’s following the notes on the page and not assuming what the pattern would be. There may be  a few surprises!

Megane

We began by reviewing the songs from last week. Megane took time to name all the notes before playing them. She did a really great job! One thing we worked on especially is playing the notes using the proper hand. Megane has a tendency to use her right hand for everything in the piece, so I asked her to put her hand behind her back so she’d need to use her left hand to play the piece. This may take some time to be natural for her.

We then looked at the new songs: Ice Cream and Hot Cross Buns. Megane did a great job with this! She played Hot Cross Buns all alone without any help. She figured out all the notes and played the song, which was amazing to see!

Afterwards we did some ear training using the Coldplay song. We listened to the melody several times, and then we sang it. We then tried to play it on the piano, singing and assessing if the notes were higher and lower than the ones we played previously.

At home

Megane should review Hot Cross Buns and Ice Cream this week. It’s important that she try to play the lower staff with her left hand and the upper staff with her right hand. Mom: take some time once in a while to ask Megane about what hand she needs to use and what notes she needs to play. She can continue to work on the Coldplay song by listening to a small section several times, and then trying to play it on the piano.

Nelly

We started the lesson by doing some light stretches and body warm-ups. We then sat at the piano and reviewed the proper sitting position. Nelly showed me Rock It and Roll It and did a great job! She played all the rests and notes with confidence. We then started to look at Twinkle Twinkle. This song features something interesting: the left hand jumps over the right hand to play a note! It also features some hands together playing. We spent some time working on the hand jump and the hands together section as well.

We also took a look at one of my books A Dozen a Day. We practiced playing the line using the correct hand (left hand plays bottom staff, right hand plays upper half). Nelly also did really well naming the notes and asked lots of questions about the markings on the page. We also did some clapping and stomping out the rhythm in the book.

At home

I’d like Nelly to practice Twinkle Twinkle this week around 3 times each day. She should try to play for 5 minutes every day! If she finishes working on her song, she can spend the rest of her time doing whatever she wants on the keyboard. The most important thing is getting comfortable sitting at the piano on a regular basis.

Zoe

We began the lesson by doing some light stretches and body warm-ups. We then sat at the piano and reviewed the proper sitting position. We did some of the activities in the beginning of the book, like Sounds on the Piano and Will You Play? We reviewed short and long notes, and white and black keys. We also worked on the hand position using the Stone on the Mountain activity, which used some imagination!

We began to learn finger numbers this week too. The thumb is finger #1, and the subsequent fingers and 2-5. I asked Zoe to use a specific finger and point to something in the room, or tap the piano using the specific finger. She had a lot of fun doing this and it was a good start to learning finger numbers!

At home

Zoe can review the I’m Great Pose (the proper piano position) and can do the Sounds on the Piano activity with her mom or grandmother. She should try to play for 5 minutes every day! If she finishes working on the activities, she can spend the rest of her time doing whatever she wants on the keyboard. The most important thing is getting comfortable sitting at the piano on a regular basis.

The book we’re using is My First Piano Adventure Lesson Book A, and can be bought through this link

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