Warm Up: Vivienne should review Group II exercises 1-6 every day, aiming to make them smooth, steady, and at a comfortable speed.
Riddles – Vivienne should continue working on this piece. Repeating it often will help her feel more confident playing it. I want her to continue practicing it one bar at a time, hands together. She should repeat each bar three times before playing it all the way through every time she practices.
The Haunted Mouse – Vivienne should take a look at the first line of this piece hands separately. She should count out loud saying “one two three four.” The piece is from my book, so I have attached a scan of it here.
Vivienne has a lot of activities every week, so I suggest she practice piano in the morning before school for fifteen minutes. Repetition is essential in practicing for a student to learn and hone in their piano skills. The lesson is meant to briefly review the past week’s assignment, and learn something new.
This lesson, Chloe and I reviewed the bass and treble clef. The explanation for these clefs is on pages 52-53. The bass clef is played by the left hand and the treble clef is played by the right.
We looked at the song “Mary’s Rockin Pets” and I asked her to practice it this week, so that next week she can play it for me all by herself!
- You can ask her “what hand does this song start on?” If there’s a bass clef at the beginning of the song, that means she should start playing with her left hand!
- It would be helpful for someone to say the names of the notes as she practices the song. Because Chloe is new to playing music, she still finds it difficult to look at the page and play the notes at the same time. However, she does know where the notes are on the keyboard, so having someone guiding her will really help boost her confidence and excitement in learning the song.
- Chloe should try to practice 5-10 minutes every day! Repetition is really important in learning music, and establishing a routine will help build good habits as she progresses in piano.
Warm Up: This week, Chantal should review all of Group II in A Dozen a Day! The goal is to be able to play every warm-up one after the other at a comfortable speed. The more days she practices, the more quickly she will move through each exercise and the better she will know all the notes!
“Come on Tigers!” – The Song has a quarter rest in it. That means that when she sees the rest, she doesn’t play for one beat. I suggest she whisper “rest” at every instance where she sees a rest while she is playing to solidify the concept.
If Chantal has extra time and feels really confident in “Come on Tigers” she can start to look at “Princess or Monster?”
- Ask Chantal what the starting note is for both of her hands. She should keep her hands in that general area on the keyboard, even when they are resting.
- Chantal should continue to count out loud while playing, especially when she has to hold notes for a long time!
- Chantal’s fingers should be curved over the keys, ready to play. Her fingers should always remain close to the keyboard, even when they’re not playing any notes.
Warm Up: Double 3rds, ascending and descending.
A major dominant 7th chord, solid and broken. You can download the file below to see suggested fingerings. Play with strong, steady fingers as slowly as you need.
Sunset in Rio: Great job with m 13-22! It sounds a lot more confident and smooth now.
Focus on the dynamics this week. Really exaggerate the fortes and pianos so that there is a contrast between them and the mezzo fortes and mezzo pianos.
Continue to alternate between playing with strong, slow, and steady fingers and playing at a faster tempo. A suggestion: play it twice slow and twice fast per session.
Dragonfly Scherzo: Great work! Continue to work on the first three lines with slow and strong fingers. Work on keeping the tempo consistent throughout. The best way to achieve this is by using a metronome!
Start working on the last two lines. Continue counting eighth notes as the pulse and practice very slowly and carefully.
Think about where you may add cresc and dim and write them in.
Hakuna Matata: Focus on page five this week, working on playing it hands together. Count out loud and don’t be afraid to play slowly.
For the quarter note triplet: Try singing the notes with a metronome beating to hear how they should be spread out over the two beats.
This week, we worked on recognizing the ascending major 6th and perfect octave. Here are some songs you can use to recognize the notes!
Major 6th – My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, “Dashing through the snow” (the beginning of Jingle Bells)
Octave: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Warm Up: Zoe has successfully completed Group I in A Dozen a Day! This week, we start learning Group II by working on the first two exercises.
This is My C Scale: Since Zoe was able to quickly learn the notes of this piece in the lesson, I want her to focus especially on her wrist and fingers while playing this song.
Pet Dragon: This song is also based on the five-finger C scale. If Zoe finds the notes are easy to play, she can also start to pay more attention to her fingers and wrists as she plays it.
Hand position tips!
- The fingers should be curved and resting on the keys, even if they aren’t playing any notes. Many new students have a tendency to leave the fingers up in the air when they’re not hitting notes, but it’s important to keep everything close by so that the performance is smooth and even.
- The wrist needs to be elevated. One way to think about it is to imagine the wrist is a tunnel, and the other hand is a train trying to pass underneath. If the hand can glide along the edge of the piano and under the wrist, it’s the right height!