Lessons cancelled for Thursday, February 2nd. They will resume the following week on February 8th.


Warm Up: Review “Climbing up a ladder” and “Climbing down a ladder.” Vivienne should always follow the suggested fingerings.

Skating at Twilight: Vivienne did great with this piece this week! I would like for her to review it this week to ensure she is totally comfortable playing it. The suggested fingerings here are really important and help to make her finger movements comfortable and connected.

The Calliope: Vivienne expressed interest in learning this duet for the spring concert, and I think this is a great goal! She would like to play the “secondo” part. I’d like for her to work on the first line only of this piece. She can begin by learning the line hands separately and if she feels totally comfortable, can try the line hands together.

Make sure she remembers that both staves are written in the bass clef. I encourage her to write in any notes she may struggle with remembering. She can refer to her bass clef theory worksheets to help her out if she has trouble identifying a note!


Warm Up: “Sitting Down” and “Skipping”

Song to practice: “Copy Cat”

In the song “Copy Cat,” the book further explores the concept of a “step” and a “skip.” In case Chantal forgets:

A “step” means the note following is directly before or after the previous note. A step moves from space to line, or line to space. Pictured is an example of notes moving in step-wise motion (down).


A “skip” means the note following goes from line to line, or space to space, as pictured below.

Image 1

If she gets stuck while practicing her piece and isn’t sure which note comes next, try asking her if the next note is a step or skip away, and if the melody line is moving upwards or downwards. Over time, she will be able to identify this independently.

This week, I showed Chantal an exercise I call “petting the cat.” Remind Chantal to do this exercise in her left and right hand. This will help relax her wrist and maintain a good position as she plays. It is also important she continue to count out loud while practicing!


Warm Up: Double thirds, ascending and descending, legato and staccato. Feel free to mix and match the articulations sometimes (ex: legato going up, staccato going down).
Bb melodic minor formula pattern. Play the scale once through without the formula to make sure all the notes are correct. A hint to success: try to visualize the key signature, stating all the notes that will have accidentals, before playing.

Sunset in Rio: Review bars 1-16, hands together. Practice with strong fingers (deliberate and slow motion). This will help establish the notes in your brain (and your hands, too!).
Bars 17-32: Practice hands together, counting out loud. Practice this section with the same deliberate motion. Always double check the rhythms, as they change throughout the piece. One section may have the same notes, but a variation on the rhythm!

Hakuna Matata: Review page 4, hands together. Repetition is key to playing this part with ease. The more you repeat, the more your brain and fingers remember where to go each time! Try and play page 4 three times every day. Review this page hands separately before playing hands together. Write in any notes you notice you consistently play wrong. When you perform, no one will see your music, so mark it as much as you need to make sure you play everything the best you can!
Isolate any problem areas and practice them at least three times.
Continue to review pages 1-3, hands together. If you find any areas here that need special attention, isolate those parts and practice them at least three times as well.


Warm Up: “Hammering with the Right Hand” and “Hammering with the Left Hand.”

For this warm up, I suggest Zoe alternate which she practices each day. This warm up in particular may take a few tries, as it requires pressing down the C key without making a sound.

Songs to practice: Wolfgang’s Theme and Ludwig’s Theme

In Ludwig’s Theme, the melody switches more rapidly between the left and right hand. Make sure Zoe keeps both her hands on the keyboard and is ready to play. Remind her to look at both staves before playing the song, so that she is aware of where the melody switches from the left to right hand.

Before playing her songs, Zoe and I revisited the “cat” hand exercise from her yellow book. Remind Zoe to do this exercise before practicing every song! This will help her relax and feel the correct hand and wrist position to have while playing.