Nice to be back from China and to see everyone again! Just a quick note about the recital – there are three slots on Sunday December 3rd and the slots are at 12, 1 and 2, each lasting one hour. I think I have managed to get everyone to play at least one piece, which is great! Please let Barnaby which of the slots would work best for you.
We have so many pieces to choose from for the recital! Let’s focus on “The Juggler” – I think it would be a great piece for the recital but if you want to play some other ones, let me know too. I can already think of a couple other songs that you could do (like maybe “Half-Time Show”?) Work on getting rid of the hiccups in “The Juggler” – remember that the first line and second line are not exactly the same, so really look up at the music to make sure you’re playing the right notes. In your theory book, finish the exercises on Page 28-29.
I’m glad I got you down to play “Planets” at the recital! Polish the last two lines. Before you repeat the piece for a second time, don’t take too long in the first ending – it is 6 beats exactly! Also check the first note in the left hand on the second line.
Your new piece is “Carol in G Major”. This is more practice with the F-sharps. Also keep practicing the “G Major Piece” – I know it’s super easy but this will help you really get used to the F-sharps that you’re going to be seeing in a lot of your new pieces. I think there are only a couple more songs in the book, so let’s see if we can finish the book before the end of the year!
I’m very impressed with the work you did while I was gone! You look much more relaxed at the piano which means you are getting very comfortable with the instrument. “Playing in a New Position” is very good – you can keep practicing it a bit to make sure you don’t hold notes you’re not supposed to, and also to make sure it is as smooth as possible. You can practice by saying the note names at the same time, and also by counting 1-2-3-4 at the same time.
“Sailing”, “Skating”, and “Wishing Well” are your three pieces that have 3 beats per measure instead of four – so when you practice and count at the same time, you count to 1-2-3 instead of to 4. I know the rhythm in “Wishing Well” is still a bit tricky, but you got it quickly during the lesson! It will take a bit more time before you’re completely used to it – you can keep practicing by clapping or tapping the rhythm on the piano. Remember that beats 1 and 2 are together and long, and beat 3 is short.
If you have time for “Rain Rain”, you can keep practicing that as well, but I think you should be pretty busy with the others!
Let’s focus on “When the Saints Go Marching In” for the recital. It’s already very good. The last two lines could still use some hands separate practice. Don’t forget also that your right hand should be very legato in the third line (which you are already doing in the fourth line). Also remember that in the recital, if you make a mistake, you keep going – no one will care about the mistakes if you just keep going!
I also asked you to do “Join the Fun” and a new song, “Oom Papa”. “Join the Fun” also needs a bit of hands separate practice – one line at a time. This will help you play it more smoothly when you put both hands together. Also, there are dynamics in the third and fourth line of the piece that will help make it much more interesting. Try playing with the dynamics there after you get more comfortable with two hands.
For the recital, let’s focus on “The Clown” for sure. The first two lines are already great – I like your dynamics, accents and characters. Focus especially on the third and fourth line – practice those lines hands separately as well. Don’t forget the dynamics in that part, and to make a difference between “glad clown” and “sad clown”. I also gave you another new piece – “Waltz Time”. For this piece, you need to find Middle-C Position.
It was very ambitious of you to start “The Magic Man” already – you’re doing a great job with it. Just make sure your left hand rhythm is correct at the beginning. Practice practicing the right hand alone while counting 1-2-3-4. and also 1-et-2-et-3-et-4-et – it was really helping you play the correct rhythms, which can be tricky in this piece. If you want to, we can also play this piece for the recital, but you are not required – let’s see how it goes next week!