Anna

This week, we started the lesson by reviewing the C and D major scale. I noticed Anna was playing with her pinky finger sticking up in the air, so I asked Anna to try and play one octave of the scale, paying special attention to her pinky. While she kept it a bit closer to the keyboard, it’s still something we will need to work on in the coming weeks.

We then reviewed the two recital pieces. The Viennese Waltz is sounding really great! Anna had a few stumbles as she played the beginning, but once she got into the piece she was fine. I suggested she try playing the first line hands separately a few times, and then hands together a few times. After trying this, she played the beginning with more ease!

The German Folk Song also sounds really good! There’s a specific bar in her music that I wrote in pencil “practice this first,” since it was the area she had the most difficulty with. We tried this part of the piece several times, playing both hands together and separately. Once she was playing the passage more easily, I asked her to approach the passage from a few bars before it begins to make sure the transition between the two would be smooth.

This week at home

Anna should continue to practice the C and D major scales hands together. She should pay close attention to her fingers and watch out for that pinky!

Viennese Waltz: Anna should practice the beginning of the piece several times every day. She should practice both with hands separately and together. After she’s done this, she should play the whole piece from beginning to end.

German Folk Song: Anna should focus on the bar I wrote in her music book first before anything else. She should practice the part alone, and then try to approach it from a few bars before. Afterwards, she should run the piece from beginning to end.

After the recital, Anna can review her work in “Alberti Etude” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” We will look at those next lesson.

Anna should practice for 20 minutes every day!

Sacha

This week, we started the lesson by reviewing the C major scale. Sacha found starting at the top and descending helpful, and even practiced the scale in contrary motion!

We then looked at “Make Up Your Mind!” Sacha took great initiative and practiced the songs with both hands together this past week! It was really exciting to see. I also taught him a new way to practice the left hand part that may prove to be more comfortable for him. Since the left hand uses a lot of fifths, I suggested he keep his hand in the same position (like it’s “locked in place” in a way) so that his hand can jump around the keyboard and play the fifth interval with ease.

Sacha brought in a ukulele part from his music class of “What a Wonderful World,” as he asked me what a “lead sheet” meant. I explained it was a song that had the melody written out, but the chord accompaniment written above it. Once Sacha has a better understanding of major and minor chords, he would be able to play piano from a lead sheet!

This week at home

Sacha should continue to review the C major scale as a warm-up. He can play it in contrary motion, and ascending and descending.

Make Up Your Mind: This week, Sacha should continue to practice this slowly hands together. He should always use strong fingers. If he can, he should try to keep his left hand in the same position and see if that helps him find the fifths in the accompaniment quicker.

Sacha should practice for 15-20 minutes every day.

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