NOTE TO ALL PARENTS
ABC Academy’s fall recital is on Sunday, December 3rd. All students are encouraged to perform and attend the recital! Even if they don’t perform, it’s a great opportunity to see how other students in the school are progressing and listen to all kinds of music at all kinds of levels.
This week, we began the lesson by reviewing the C major scale. Anna had some trouble playing the scale hands together, but felt very comfortable playing hands separately. I then asked Anna to play both hands separate, and then try to play them together. After doing this exercise, Anna felt much more comfortable playing with both hands at the same time!
We also began to look at the D major scale, establishing the key signature (F# and C#).
We then took a look at “Stars and Stripes Forever” in her songbook. Anna is doing a great job with this! The first section of the piece is coming along nicely hands together. We worked on playing the last part of the piece hands separately. I noticed Anna keeps her fingers nice and curved while playing, but the palm of her hand remains flat, making it awkward to play some of the notes comfortably. I reviewed the “claw-like” hand position with Anna.
Finally, we looked at the “Alberti Etude” in her technic book. We reviewed the piece is in F major, which has one flat (Bb) in the key signature. Anna is becoming more comfortable with the notes, but she needs a little more practice hands separate so that the notes are nice and solid before she should play hands together.
This week at home:
Warm-Up: I want Anna to practice the C major scale as a warm-up. She should start by playing the scale hands separately, then play them together. Anna can also start the D major scale hands separately.
For both scales, she should always play with strong fingers!
Stars and Stripes Forever:Anna should focus on the 2nd half of the piece, learning the notes hands separately. She should always play with strong fingers. She can review the 1st part of the piece hands together, just so she keeps it in her brain.
Alberti Etude: Anna should always remember the key signature, which has a Bb! If she keeps forgetting the Bb anywhere in the piece, she’s welcome to write the flat sign in pencil to help her remember. For most of the week, she should play the piece hands separately. If she feels more comfortable around Sunday, she can try to play hands together.
I’ve attached a picture of a keyboard that Anna can print out and practice filling in the note names. She’s still a little rusty on where each note goes, so writing them down on paper several times may help!
Anna should be practicing for 20 minutes every day!
This week, we began the lesson by reviewing material from our last lesson. We reviewed note lengths, clefs, and note names. We also reviewed the three songs that use D: Sleep, and On the Bus. Megane was a little rusty on how to differentiate between C and D, but after a little more reviewing, she was very comfortable in reading the two notes.
Hint for home: Middle C has a line through the middle of it! That’s the easiest way to tell it apart from the other notes!
We also took a look at two more songs that use D: Sleep and The Rain.
We also began to look at a new note: B! The note B is written in the bass clef (the bottom clef) and is right on top of the staff.
This week at home: Megane should review “The Rain” and “Leaves.” It’s very important Megane always play these songs using the correct hands. You can tell which hands to use based on which clef the notes are written in. The top clef (treble clef) is to be played with the right hand. The bottom clef (bass clef) is to be played with the left hand.
If she feels adventurous, she can start to look at the songs that use B! We will also look at them in the lesson next week.
Megane should be practicing for 5-10 minutes every day!
This week, we started the lesson by doing a warm-up of C major. Sacha had some trouble playing the scale hands together, but did very well playing it hands separately. I suggested he play the scale hands separately and then afterwards put the hands back together. He found it much easier!
We reviewed Enchanted City, which Sacha did very well with. He felt very comfortable playing it and his notes were nice and clear!
This week, we learned about intervals. An interval is the space from one note to the next. The intervals were learned about were major 3rds, minor 3rds, and perfect 5ths. The page in his method book explained the intervals very well, and has lots of examples of the different intervals.
We then started looking at “Make Up Your Mind!” I suggested that Sacha count out loud saying “one and two and…” so that all the eighth notes are even and the quarter notes aren’t rushed through.
To help Sacha with this song, which features a lot of moving from different 3rds, I introduced him to a warm-up called “double thirds.” This warm-up works by playing C and E, then playing D and F, then playing E and G, and then descending again. The goal is to play the transition between these 3rds as smooth as possible.
This week at home:
Sacha should continue to practice the C major scale, always playing hands separately first before hands together. He should be on the lookout for his hands to maintain the claw-like position at all times!
Sacha can start to practice Make Up Your Mind! He can warm up using the double 3rd warm-up. He should then practice the song hands separately, counting out loud. Strong fingers are essential to help solidify the notes in his fingers and his brain!
He can also review the lesson on 3rds and 5ths at home and familiarize himself with the sounds of the intervals by playing some of them. He can even try to write his own!
Sacha should be practicing for 15-20 minutes every day!