- This week, I want Vivienne to focus on learning exercises 11 and 12.
- I also would like for her to review exercises 8-10, just to make sure she feels comfortable playing them.
- Exercise 9 features triplets, which can be counted by saying “tri-po-let.” Ask Vivienne to take her time playing these notes, and play with her strong fingers. This will help her keep them steady and sure!
Sleigh Bells: In the lesson we reviewed all the notes used in the piece. I ask that Vivienne practice this piece slowly and carefully this week.
- Throughout the piece, the left hand pattern stays very similar, however it DOES change midway through. Ask Vivienne to show you where the left hand changes.
- In the piece, the right hand jumps from G up to C. Make sure Vivienne follows the suggested fingering of using the thumb to play C. It will make it much easier to reach all the notes, and makes everything nice and smooth.
- Make sure Vivienne counts out loud!
At the end of the lesson, Vivienne and I spent the last few minutes reviewing note names with her flashcards, which is something you can also do with Vivienne this week. These are the white ones in her pack. I asked Vivienne to tell me what note is on the card, and to show me where it is on the keyboard.
Vivienne is very good on knowing the note names, but she is still a little unclear about where the notes go on the keyboard when she sees them written out on the staff. This is something we are currently working on in her lessons.
This week, we reviewed “Wish I were a Fish” together. I sang all the notes in the song as Chloe played them. She did a really great job!
This week, I want Chloe to review “Oh I Love Snack Time.”
When Chloe practices at home, she needs someone to help her with the note names. Chloe is getting really good at knowing where the notes belong on the keyboard, but she still finds it difficult to read the note names and play at the same time. Having someone say the note names as she plays will help her learn the song!
This week, we also took a look at “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” In this song, the teacher plays the melody while Chloe plays the notes the song lyrics ask for. For example, the opening line is “If you’re happy and you know it, play two Cs.” This is where Chloe would play her two Cs on the keyboard. The rest of the song works in this way. We looked at the first two lines of this song this week, and will look at it again next week.
Warm Ups: Double 3rds in D major, legato and staccato. When practicing the staccato articulation, go nice and slowly. Use your strong fingers to build muscle. Also review A and F dominant 7 chords, as well as the A major arpeggio.
Dragonfly Scherzo: Continue to work on bringing out the left hand crossover melody. It’s a very different and unique part of the piece compared to the rhythmic chords. Even in “mp” sections, play this melody louder while the supporting chords are quieter. Keep your fingers close to the keys so that it comes out nice and clear, and use your strong fingers too!
Sunset in Rio: Let’s work on speeding this piece up! Here’s how I suggest doing it:
- Break the piece up into sections of two lines each.
- Start playing these two lines at a comfortable tempo
- Increase the speed by a metronome setting (or a few beats if your metronome is digital)
- Play the section at the new tempo until it feels comfortable.
- Increase the speed again.
- Repeat with other sections.
As with anything, steady and gradual practice will help keep the notes comfortable and precise.
Hakuna Matata: On page 8, go really slowly! Count out loud using “one and two and.” The rhythms are slightly different than before, so special attention is needed to make sure you’re playing them all right!
Page 9 – practice this hands separately while counting out loud! Really take your time! Everything will gradually get more comfortable and faster as time goes on. For now, slow and steady is more important than speed!
Warm Ups: Dozen a Day Group III, exercises 10-12. I want Zoe to practice with her strong fingers and to always count out loud!
This week, Zoe learned two new music terms!
The first is the ritardando, and it’s introduced in “Cinderella’s Waltz.” Ritardando means to gradually slow down. I told Zoe to think of a music box: how when you first wind it up, it plays fast, but it slowly winds down. Zoe can even listen to a music box at home to have a better idea of how the ritardando works. In “Cinderella’s Waltz,” the last two bars are ritardando. She can achieve this by putting a little space between one note, then putting a little more between another, etc.
The second term Zoe learned is the accent. The accent is a symbol that looks like a sideways V. It means to emphasize the note a little more than a normal note and to use strong fingers! The song that uses accents is “Beethoven’s Accent.”
This week, I want Zoe to practice Beethoven’s Accent and Cinderella’s Waltz.