This week we began by doing some stretches and playing Twinkle Twinkle as a warm-up. We then took a look at Little Lost Kitty. Rachel did a great job reading all the note names and playing the correct ones on the keyboard! I asked Rachel to try and play the song using the suggested fingerings in the book, and Rachel was able to do the first little bit in this way before she switched back to playing each note with the same finger. It will take time for the position to feel totally comfortable and intuitive for Rachel, but it was nice to see she is progressing! We also did a few exercises to help encourage finger independence on the closed lid of the piano.
We also looked at the exercise that goes with Little Lost Kitty in the writing book, although we didn’t have a chance to begin working on it. I explained how to do it to Rachel and asked her to work on it at home for next week!
At home, Rachel should review Little Lost Kitty and try to play using the fingerings suggested in the book. She should also try to complete the exercise in the writing book (page 28). A parent can also help Rachel with the exercise and re-read the instructions to her this week. She should try to play the piano for 5 minutes every day!
We started to look at the new book, which Chloe needs to have for next week. To purchase it, follow this link.
We began with a review of the material in the first book. Chloe was very enthusiastic in doing the review and answered each question correctly! We then began to look at the first song in the book. Before we played the notes, I asked Chloe to clap out the rhythm of the song as I played the teacher duet part. She had some trouble to hold the half notes for a whole two beats, but she clapped out the quarter notes perfectly! Chloe is also getting better every week at playing the fingerings that are written in the book! It’s awesome to see this progress! At the end of the lesson we did a few exercises for finger independence on the lid of the piano.
At home, Chloe should continue to play for 5 minutes every day, even if she doesn’t have the new book yet. It’s extremely important she have the book as soon as possible.
We began the lesson by reviewing the warm-ups from last week. Chantal needed a refresher on the G major key, but once she had that, she played the warm-ups really well!
We then took a look at The Juggler. Chantal is still a bit hesitant in note-naming, so we took some time to review the phrases to help remember them. It’s very important Chantal have a parent help her reviewing note-naming by using flashcards or even pointing to a random note on the page and asking Chantal to tell them what note it is.
This week, I’d like Chantal to review the warm-ups #1 and #2 in G major. I want her to also review The Juggler. This is just to cement the notes into her head and to ensure she understands both fully. As always, she should play with strong fingers and count out loud. She should try to play for 10 minutes every day (5 minutes on warm-ups, and 5 minutes on the song as a general rule).
Warm-Up: Double 3rds.
E major scale – since we want to aim for an RCM exam, I suggest you practice this with a metronome at 76. Aim for an even sound and try to keep your hand position with curled fingers. Watch out for finger 4 and 5 especially! I suggest practicing the 5-finger scale (on C or Eb) to get used to this hand position.
Prelude: Play a Bb major scale before playing this. Focus on playing hands separately, one line at a time. Don’t try to play the whole piece from start to finish hands separately. Concentrate on making the first two lines really smooth and confident this week.
Bach: Practice the mordent individually, then with the notes that come before and after. Practice the whole piece with the metronome at 80.
Listen to your CD and find a list B piece you’d want to play. Look for the Technical Requirements for Piano book. You can find it on amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/Technical-Requirements-Piano-2015-Level/dp/1554407354/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517007084&sr=1-1&keywords=technical+requirements+for+piano+5
I made a playlist on youtube of some different types of pieces in art music! We can explore different genres of music as well, but hopefully this will be a good jumping-off point in music-making.
We began the lesson by doing some stretches and then reviewing the exercises from A Dozen a Day. Zoe did such a great job playing with strong fingers! She had a few times she played F natural instead of F sharp, but she always corrected herself after playing the note. I suggested she try to play the G major scale first and then play the warm-ups.
We then looked at her Technique Book. The exercise is called “Wrist Float-Off,” and it calls for the player to gently lift their hand off the piano. I showed Zoe how to exaggerate the movement, and she was able to do the motion most of the time. It will take some time to get used to!
Afterwards, we looked at the lesson book. The song “Little River” also uses the wrist float-off technique. I asked Zoe to be sure to play with strong fingers. We worked a bit on playing legato, and making sure to connect every note in the line! There shouldn’t be any silence between notes in this song!
We quickly looked at the Performance Book. I suggested Zoe try this week to work on connecting the slur that spanned over the left and right hand.
At home: Zoe should begin with the warm-ups #10-12 in group II of Dozen a Day and the Technique Book exercise every time she practices. She should focus on Little River, and work on floating the wrist off the keys. If she has extra time she can look at Showboat as well. She can try to play for 15 minutes every day!
Warm-ups: Double 3rds. Review B harmonic minor scale. Start to work on B melodic minor. Make sure to keep your fingers close to the keys, especially your pinky finger!
Menuet: Work on keeping the tempo consistent by playing with a metronome at 76. Practice the ornament by itself, before adding the notes before and after. Focus with the metronome especially on bar 7-8 and 16-17.
Lied: watch out for accelerations in the left hand. Continue to work with the metronome and stop and correct yourself as soon as you hear yourself going off of the metronome’s beat. To do this, rewind a few bars to a place that’s comfortable to start, then try again. You can also isolate specific bars (or parts of bars) to correct.
Sonatina: Work on bar 3 with a metronome. Split it in half and work on one half at a time. Then play the whole bar after you feel confident and stable in both parts. Set metronome to beat 8th note=100. This will make it easier to stay with the metronome. Towards the end of the week try to play with a quarter note = 50.
Rhythm drills: review 1 and 2 this week with a metronome.