Note to all parents: reports were passed out this past lesson. If you haven’t seen them yet, please ask your children for them! They have an overview of the things we have covered in lessons so far.

Anna

This week, we started by working on the C and D major scale. Anna did a great job with these! She played with strong fingers and her hand position had improved over the course of the week.

We then looked at the Alberti Etude. Anna was still having some trouble with this piece, especially in the right hand. I suggested she do only the first line hands separately a few times. Afterwards, we moved onto the next line and did the same thing.

We also looked at Stars and Stripes Forever. She did a great job playing the first part of the piece hands together! The second part of the piece isn’t as comfortable for her to play through. There are a lot of sharps and flats to pay attention to. So, I suggested she try one line of the challenging section hands separately. After repeating it several times, she was able to play the line more easily.

This week at home

Warm-Up: Anna should continue to review the C and D major scales hands together. She should always play with strong fingers and be aware of her hands as she plays. Every once in a while, she should stop and observe her hands to make sure they are in the “claw” position.

Alberti Etude: Anna should begin by practicing this hands separately in smaller sections (1-2 lines at a time). She should repeat each section at least three times every day.
When she feels more comfortable with the notes, she can try to play them hands together in the smaller sections (1-2 lines at a time).

Stars and Stripes Forever: The first thing Anna should do this week is look at the second part of the piece. She should first practice this second section hands separate one line at a time.
If she feels more comfortable with the notes, she can try to play them hands together in the smaller sections (1-2 lines at a time).

To prepare for the recital, Anna can also review “German Folk Song” and “Viennese Waltz.” We will look at this in detail next lesson.

Anna should practice for 20 minutes every day!

Megane

This week, we began by reviewing C and D on the staff. Megane had some trouble telling the difference, but I gave her a helpful hint: the note with the line through the middle is always middle C, whether it’s in the right or left hand. This helped her quite a bit!

We then reviewed songs that featured D: The Leaves and The Rain. I even played the teacher duet part, which was a lot of fun! Megane is doing well at remembering which hand to use for which staff. She even corrected herself a few times when she began to use the wrong hand.

To review: the top staff uses the right hand. The bottom staff uses the left.

Afterwards, we picked up where we left off last week and reviewed the newer note: B! I made sure to review with Megane the difference between B and D on the staff (B is played on the bottom staff) so that there should be minimal confusion at home.

This week at home: Megane should practice the “B” songs in her book (page 17). The songs are “The Boat,” “The Drum,” and “In a Hammock.”

Megane should be at the piano for 5-10 minutes every day. After reviewing her songs, she’s free to play what she wants. It’s important to establish the routine of sitting at the piano and helps for self-directed practicing as she gets older.

Sacha

This week, we reviewed the C major scale as a warm-up. Sacha is having some trouble playing the scale hands together as he descends. I suggested he try to play the scale descending first, instead of the usual ascending-descending pattern. Changing up the order of the scale may help solidify his confidence in playing the scale hands together.

We then took a look at Make Up Your Mind! Sacha was having trouble with the right hand, as there’s a lot of sharps, flats, and moving thirds all at once. It’s a lot to take in! I suggested he take the piece in small sections (1 line at a time) and play hands separately. I also reviewed the “Double Third” warm-up with him, which helped him play the moving thirds in the right hand with more ease.

This week, at home.

Sacha should play the C major scale, beginning with the descent and then ascending once more. He should always play with strong fingers and stop now and again to review his hands and make sure they’re still in the “claw” position.

Make Up Your Mind! – This week, Sacha should concentrate on the right hand of the piece, and always start by practicing it first. He should go as slowly as he needs to, to ensure all the notes are accurate and feel comfortable. He should play the piece one line at a time, repeating each line at least three times before moving onto the next one and doing the same thing.
He shouldn’t worry about hands together practicing yet. It’s more important the lines alone feel totally comfortable before trying to put them together.

Sacha should be practicing for 15-20 minutes every day!

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