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 started by doing some stretches and playing Twinkle Twinkle as a warm-up. We then reviewed “Cuckoo Clock” together. Rachel felt like she finally understood how to play and read the song! It was awesome to see!
We then took a look at her writing book and reviewed C D and E on the keyboard. Then, we did a story activity where she played the notes depending on what the story asked.
This week at home: I’d like Rachel to review Cuckoo Clock, just to make sure it’s totally solid and she feels comfortable playing it.
I’d also like her to work on the composition activity in her writing book on page 29. This activity uses C D and E in both hands. Rachel’s encouraged to write what finger numbers (and notes) she wants to be played. Then, she can play it for me during her lesson!
Rachel should play at the piano for 5-10 minutes every day! Even if she doesn’t play her homework and just does her own thing, it’s important to establish the routine of sitting at the piano. Eventually, she will want to play her homework as well as her own creations.
This week, we began by stretching and playing My C Scale as a warm-up. I then listened to Chloe play “Oh I Love Snack Time.”
We worked quite a bit on the hand position during the lesson. The goal is to keep the fingers close to the keys, even when they’re not playing any notes. She can imagine the piano has tape on it, and it’s making her fingers stick to the keys! It will feel very strange for Chloe at first, but the more she does it, the easier it’ll become. In the lesson she was able to play with this hand position with some concentration.
This week at home: I’d like Chloe to practice My C Scale and Oh I Love Snack Time, making sure to play using the correct hand position. Now that she knows the notes of both of these, she can concentrate more on what her hands are doing.
Chloe should play at the piano for 5-10 minutes every day! Even if she doesn’t play her homework and just does her own thing, it’s important to establish the routine of sitting at the piano. Eventually, she will want to play her homework as well as her own creations.
This week, we began by reviewing the warm-ups in Dozen a Day Group V (#7 and #8). Chantal did a great job with these! She was a bit hesitant about how to play #8, but after we reviewed it she had a better understanding. This exercise in particular is one that needs strong fingers!
We then took a look at Dozen a Day Group V exercises #9 and #10.
Chantal played C’s Rock for me in her songbook and did really well! She was confident in her playing and it sounded great! We also took a look at Mozart’s Five Names, which uses a newer note on the treble staff: D!
This week at home: Chantal should review #8 from A Dozen a Day Group V and also work ahead on #9 and #10. She should remember to play with strong fingers and always count out loud!
I also want Chantal to practice Mozart’s Five Names hands separately!
Chantal should practice every day for 15 minutes.
Warm-Up: Double 3rds, legato and staccato. When playing staccato, always play with strength in your fingers, and play them nice and slowly!
Dragonfly Scherzo: Make sure to always sing out left hand melodic elements!
- In bar 10, try to keep the right hand crisp and quiet while the left hand is more loud and weighted.
- Keep the beginning nice and crisp!
- Focus on the bars with pedal using the solution you have planned out!
Menuet in E: In the 1st section, remember to keep your wrist up and your fingers curved to reach far notes.
- In the 2nd section, keep reviewing it hands together to make it feel more comfortable.
- In the 3rd section, first practice hands separately. Do each hand at least three times. Then, put them hands together. Always have strong fingers as you do this.
Ivean Polkka: Great dynamics! Work on making the dynamics even more contrasting! Write in dynamics in the 2nd section of the piece. Remember, you have the freedom to write these dynamics however you want!
This week, we started off with some stretches and playing through all of Dozen a Day Group V. Zoe did a great job with Group V!
Now that she’s learned all of the groups, we will start learning about key signatures through these exercises! I started to explain to Zoe the concept of key signatures by playing her a C scale and a G scale. She could hear that they sounded similar, although they didn’t have the same pitches. I explained how all major scales use the same pattern of half-steps and whole steps. I also showed her the Circle of 5ths, which shows all possible major keys!
We started to work on the first 3 exercises in Group I of A Dozen a Day. BUT this time, we played them in G major! I asked Zoe “if the exercise is written in C major and starts on C, what note would it start on in G major?” Zoe played the exercise by starting on G!
We also reviewed Wild Windy Day, which Zoe did a great job playing! We started to look on All the Rain Drops.
This week at home: Play exercises 1-3 in A Dozen a Day Group I in G major!
Zoe should also play Wild Windy Day as written! She can try to play it in G major as well!
Here is a copy of the Circle of 5ths that Zoe can have as reference
Warm-Ups: Double 3rds, legato and staccato.
B natural minor: Start by practicing this hands separately. Around the end of the week (Tuesday or so), try to play it hands together!
A new term we learned this week was relative minor key. This means the minor key shares a key signature with a major key, but it starts on a different note! Here’s a diagram that shows all the relative major and minor keys. It’s called the Circle of 5ths.
Dedication: Great work on this!
- This week, go through the piece carefully and try to connect the top right hand lines where there are slurs. Experiment with fingerings to achieve this!
- Feel where the “high point” is in phrases that don’t have dynamics. Even though there aren’t dynamics in those parts, they should still have a shape.
Sonatina: At home, isolate bar 30-40. Practice it once with really strong fingers, and then again with really light fingers. Go slower if you need to. We want to make the 16th notes here as consistent in tempo as possible (no jazzy rhythms here, unfortunately)!
Keep working on making the dynamics contrast even more!
Sunset in Rio: Practice this slowly at least 2 times per practice session. This will help warm you up to play it at the faster speed after!
Make sure you don’t get louder or quieter as soon as you see a crescendo or diminuendo. Make it more gradual!
Lied: Make sure the melody doesn’t get lost to the accompaniment. Make it sing out!
Continue to work on dynamics this week.