“This is Not Jingle Bells” was much better this week. For next week, keep working on “Kites in the Sky”. Make sure your rhythm is perfect (all the half notes get two beats, dotted half notes get three beats, etc.). If you forget the notes in the right hand, you can use Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (for notes on the lines) and FACE (for notes in the spaces) to figure out what the notes are. We’re going to keep working on this until you don’t need me anymore to ask you how to find the notes!
Work on “Sonatina” for next week – hands together until the G Major Section. Practice one line at a time, hands separately and then put the hands together, before moving on to the next line. You can practice the left hand by saying the note names out loud. For notes in the left hand, use All Cows Eat Grass for the spaces and Good Burritos Don’t Fall Apart for the lines – we will keep working on that until reading bass clef is just as comfortable as treble.
For the second section in G Major, prepare hands separately for next week. You can also practice this part by clapping the rhythms.
We have a lot of pieces for next week; “Happy Song”, “See Saw”, “Just a Second” and “Balloon”. When you’re practicing, pay close attention to when the notes change directions. Also remember to keep a good hand position always. Here are a few tips in each piece.
“Happy Song” – be picky with yourself about if your playing is super smooth in the tricky parts or not. Practice slowly until it’s 100% smooth. The tricky parts are usually when the notes change directions, and the sections when you change hands. Pay super close attention to those parts.
“See Saw” – this is a good piece to practice your legato and also a good chance to practice seeing when the notes change directions!
“Just A Second” – another good piece to practice legato. It is also a good idea to practice by counting out loud while you play. Count to 4 in each measure, because there are 4 beats per measure.
“Balloon” – remember that in this piece, each measure gets 3 beats. The section in the left hand is another chance to pay attention to the direction of the notes. Remember what the tie means at the very end! (Tie means to hold the note and not to play the second note that is tied to the first note).
For next week, keep working on “Music Box Rock”, “A Cowboy Song”, and also “The Greatest Show On Earth”. When you practice, remember to keep a nice, healthy hand position. Your “mountains” should be high, but your wrist should not be too high! Here are some tips for each piece.
“Music Box Rock” – it will be really important to have a good hand position in this piece, because you will use the fourth finger a lot. If your hand position is not good, the fourth finger will be difficult to play. Practice each line hands separately, and make sure you are very comfortable before you put the hands together. You can do this one line at a time.
“A Cowboy Song” – also practice this piece hands separately. It will be very difficult to put the hands together before you can play each hand by itself perfectly.
“The Greatest Show On Earth” – prepare the left hand for next week. The special thing about this piece is that the left hand has the melody, unlike all of your other pieces. It is important that the left hand is really forte and that you can play it with a lot of confidence. Of course, you need to focus on having a good, strong hand position if you want to play your left hand loudly. We will work on the right hand next week, so make sure to learn the left hand really well.