Happy October 1st! 30 sleeps until Halloween!

Jadon

You’re continuing to work on My Heart Will Go On. Isolate measure 5 and practice it in time 5 times before going to work on other sections. Same with measure 25 on page 2 to get used to tucking the thumb under. I really like how you worked stuff out on your own and then came to me with questions – an excellent habit!

You’re also working on B Major scales. Practice these hands seperate with correct fingering. RH is 123 1234 5. LH is 4321 4321. Thumbs on the white keys (except to begin the LH). Play these legato (smooth) and staccato (detached). You can play these over any drumbeat on Youtube too, to make it more stimulating.

Daily practice: 20-25 minutes

How parents can support: Ask to hear his scales. Do they sound even, like every finger is just as strong as the others?

Grace

Missed you this week :) Excited to resume our work on Playful Snakelets next week. Take care.

Marco

You’re working on Choose Your Own Song. This song as written is in D minor, if you want it to be in D Major – add sharps to Every F note in the piece. Then circle the lyrics you’d like to use and practice it while singing along!

You’re also working on F Major and minor pentascales. The key of F has Bb in it always. When it’s minor you add Ab also, you could tell that with your ear! Keep your hand “in” the keys (closer to the board at the back of the keys) so that you don’t have to reach awkwardly whenever you encounter a black key. Play these hands separate, staccato and legato.

When you review through Haunted Harp, always play it with dynamics ! It’s not spooky if it’s monotone, the audience knows what to expect. Sneak up on them instead by starting very quietly!

Daily practice: 20-25 minutes

Ways parents can support: For the Choose Your Own song, if he chooses to make it major, remind him that he will have to add sharps to every F note!

Daniel

You’re working to compose “Jimmy the Toaster’s” Jig. Use any white notes you want with the written rhythms to create your own Irish-style jig. The first two bars that they wrote for us can be inspiration. I’m so excited to hear the jig!

You’re also continuing to work on Morning Greeting hands together. Great, great work on the consistent fingering and the syncopation!

You’re also working on B Major scales. The RH uses 123 1234 5 fingering. The LH uses 4321 4321. Thumbs on the white keys (except to begin the LH). Play these legato (smooth) and staccato (detached). You can play these over any drumbeat on Youtube too, to make it more stimulating.

Daily practice: 25-30 minutes

Ways parents can support: He may need some reminders about how the Jig worksheet works. The instructions explain themselves well, but he may need a refresher. Remind him that the note choosing process will be improv, but then you’ll write it down, and it will no longer be improv – but a composition!

Isabella

You’re working on I Won A Prize. Great job sight reading the notes today. The hollow notes with stems are worth 2 beats (they’re called half notes because they take up half the bar) and the big round one with no stem is 4 beats (a whole note). For these longer notes we imagine someone is singing and they’re continuing to sing the same note, so we don’t press the note again, we just hold it down. Play through this piece counting 1 2 3 4 so you can be sure you’re getting all 4 beats. Don’t forget to fill in the blanks of the lyrics and the title !

You also learnt what “magic finger circles” are. This is when you press the tip of each of your fingers into your thumb and make sure your last knuckle joint is staying strong and round – to make a circle! It shouldn’t collapse (and make a shadow puppet mouth) but it might for some fingers because they’re not used to having to be strong and tall! This is a workout for your fingers :) You can use these strong round fingers when doing the In and Out exercise I showed you.

Daily practice: 10-15 minutes

Ways parents can support: Encourage her to fill in the blanks on her I Won A Prize song and play it for you. You could also sing the words, or count 1234 along with her playing. Ask what magic finger circles could possibly be! If either parent has short fingernails, give it a try! Can you make circles with all 4 fingers and the thumb? Or do your little finger joints collapse?

Shelton

It was lovely to meet you today! Your homework is to teach your Mom how to sit at the piano properly. This looks like feet flat on the ground (strong tree roots in the ground) and nice proud posture. Our shoulders should be relaxed. Our forearms should be parallel to the ground, and our wrist relaxed and parallel to the ground. Our fingers curve nicely so our fingerTIPS touch the piano. There is a little hamster that lives underneath each of our hands, and we can’t have our fingers or wrist collapse because we’d squish him!

You’re also working on Charlie Chipmunk. Play this song on the black keys so you don’t forget it! I want to duet again with you next week.

Whenever you’re bored at school you can give your fingers a workout with the “magic finger circles”. This trains that tiny last finger joint to be nice and strong and stay rounded. Press each finger (including the pinky) into your thumb and make nice firm circles.

Here you can find a link to a backing track if you’d like to improvise on black keys.

Daily practice: 10-15 minutes

Ways parents can support: Look for a consistent hand shape: rounded fingers that are playing on their tips (except for the thumb, it is olaying on it’s “corner”). Encourage ANY piano playing as long as it’s with proper posture.

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