We began the lesson with C major scale. I noticed Anna’s pinky finger has a tendency to raise when it’s not playing, so I asked her to try doing a five-finger C scale (playing up the G, then back down), with the focus being on keeping her fingers on the keys. I told her to imagine she was holding a tennis ball in her hand, and place that position onto the keyboard.
We then looked at Stars and Stripes Forever. I was happy to see Anna played the last three lines with more comfort than she had last week! Afterwards, we looked at Alberti Etude. Anna did a great job playing the first line hands together! She played it confidently and smoothly. The second line was a little more challenging to her, so we worked on it together by slowing down her speed and counting out loud. After doing this several times, I suggested we try to play both the first and second line using the same slower speed.
We also spent a few minutes doing some music theory and began to learn about key signatures. I will bring in a handout next week that will help her learn key signatures!
I suggest Anna begin with a warm-up of the C scale, followed by the C 5-finger scale with the focus being on keeping the fingers close to the piano.
Stars and Stripes Forever- I suggest Anna focus on the last three lines of the piece. They should be the first thing she practices when she opens her book! Here are the steps she can take to practice
- Play the last 3 lines once hands together.
- Play one line hands together and really focus on any problems it has
- Alternate which line to focus on each time she practices!
Alberti Etude – Anna should follow these steps while practicing this piece
- Always count out loud!
- She should continue to review the first two lines hands together.
- She should play both lines slow enough so that they’re both comfortable (go at whichever speed is the most comfortable for the 2nd line)
- It’s important to keep the tempo the same in both lines, so that when she plays the whole thing together, she won’t speed up and slow down in various places.
If Anna doesn’t have a lot of time during the day to practice, I suggest she could practice 10 minutes in the morning before school, and 10 minutes at night. She should try to practice 20 minutes every day.
We began the lesson by reviewing the songs assigned from last week. Megane did such a great job playing them! She was very confident in her playing, and even took the time before playing to tell me what all the notes were on the page, and what hand she needed to use to play them.
We then began to learn the A songs in the book. One thing I really stressed this lesson was finger numbers! The finger numbers above and below the notes help the student to make sure they can play the song without having to move their hand much. It makes it much easier to play smoothly. Megane was beginning to understand the concept, and even corrected herself when she made a mistake!
To help her further, I suggest Megane write out the finger numbers in her own book. For reference, here are the finger numbers she should use
Right hand: C (1), D (2), E (3)
Left hand: C (1), B (2), A (3)
Megane should work on the songs featuring A: Kitty Cat, In the Snow, Two Singing. She should try to practice 5-10 minutes every day!