Rachel did really awesome in this week’s lesson! After doing some quick stretches and warm-ups, I started the lesson by reviewing the last song we looked at: Dinosaur Music Night. Rachel remembered a lot about how to read the music and the diagram in her book. I helped her play the song by reading out the finger numbers she should use and she played the song a couple times, finding the second time much easier than the first.
We also began to look at the next song in her book “Little Lost Kitty” as a preview for next week. One thing we will be working on in lessons during the coming weeks is Rachel’s hand position and finger independence.
At home, Rachel should review Dinosaur Music Night to ensure she feels really comfortable with it. The goal is for her to be able to play it all by herself at the lesson next week! She should play for 5-10 minutes every day.
Please make sure Chloe has her new book for next week’s lesson. Piano Adventures Lesson Book B can be bought at any music book store, or from Amazon here https://www.amazon.ca/My-First-Piano-Adventure-Lesson/dp/1616776218
This week, we began by playing warm-ups in Dozen a Day Group V. Chantal was a little hesitant about notes in some of the warm-ups, so I suggested she review them one more week to make sure she feels really comfortable playing them. The goal is to play each one after the other at a walking pace (just a little quicker than what she was playing this lesson).
We then took a look at Paper Airplane in her lesson book. In this song, two new notes are introduced on the staff: F and G. Chantal needed a refresher on where the notes were on the keyboard and how they were written on the staff. We took some time studying the piece without playing it and figuring out which notes were played and which hand played them.
At home: I suggest Chantal review Group V of a Dozen a Day. She should play with strong fingers and keep counting out loud! The goal is to play slightly faster and to feel confident in the notes and rhythm.
Chantal should review Paper Airplane to ensure she is fully comfortable playing it and reading the two new notes on the staff.
She can also begin to look at the next song in her book, The Juggler. She should work on this piece hands separately!
Chantal should try to play for 15 minutes every day
This week, we began the lesson by reviewing the Dozen a Day exercises in G major. Zoe did a really great job and played these smoothly and with confidence. We then looked at the next few exercises, #4-6, in G major. Zoe corrected herself when she forgot the F#, which was really awesome!
We also reviewed the song in her lesson book from last week, Firefly. Zoe played it comfortably in both C and G major, so we moved on to look at the next song, “Little Rover.” With this new song, I asked Zoe to focus on keeping her fingers close to the keys as she played.
We also had a chance to look at her technique book, which featured an exercise called “Sticky Fingers.” This exercise further encourages the student to keep their fingers close, like there was something sticky on the keys. Each exercise begins on a different finger number, so it’s important to be aware of what’s written on the page!
This week at home
Zoe should play Dozen a Day Group II exercises 4-6 in G major. As always strong fingers and counting out loud are essential. Zoe should also try to play these exercises with her fingers close to the keys at all times.
Lesson book: Zoe can look at “Little Rover,” making sure to count out loud and keep fingers close.
Technique book: Sticky Fingers exercise.
Zoe should play for 15 minutes every day!
Warm-Up: Double 3rds, B harmonic minor
First two rhythmic drills with metronome at 60.
Bach: Work on first section of piece hands together with a metronome. Here are the steps you should follow
- Practice right hand alone (2-3 times)
- Practice left hand alone (2-3 times)
- Use same speed for both hands! Even though one hand may be easier to play, if you speed through playing it, it may make hands together practice a lot more complicated.
- Run section hands together.
Lied: The main thing to focus on this week are the 16th notes in the left hand. It’s important to make them as rhythmically precise as possible. Here’s how to practice them.
- set metronome to 84
- Play left hand rhythm only for two bars
- Play the same section with the notes
- Play the right hand with it
To help yourself align with the metronome properly, you can emphasize the notes that are on the beat. This makes it easier to tell if you’re playing with the metronome or on your own tempo.
Sonatina: Before you play the piece, practice the first two 16th note groups several times hands separately and hands together. After doing this, play the opening hands together. The goal is to have a strong start to the piece, and hopefully this small exercise can achieve that.
You can also use the practice technique from the Lied to help refine any 16th note passages that need attention.
Try to practice for 30 minutes every day! Remember if there are places you find yourself constantly having trouble with, take the time to work on these small sections by playing hands separately, using a metronome, or slowing down your tempo.