This week, we started by doing some basic stretches to loosen up the arms and shake out some of the tension from sitting all day in school.

Warm Up: We reviewed the 5-finger C scale first. Anna began the scales strong, but forgot to continue using her “strong fingers.” We worked through the scale a few times, reviewing the concept. We also reviewed the proper hand position to have while playing.

To review, the hand position means

  • to have fingers curved over the keys
  • to keep fingers close to the keys, even when they are not playing any notes
  • to keep the wrist curved a little higher than the level of the keyboard, like it’s a tunnel

In her Technic Book, we took a look at “Gypsy Dance.” We reviewed using the strong fingers, as well as ways to isolate problem areas and break them down. If she ever runs into problems while practicing, one good way to work through these areas is to practice them hands separately and counting out loud.

This week, Anna should practice this piece by

  • playing nice and slowly: it’s better to play the piece with 100% accuracy and confidence at a slower pace than to play it at a faster pace with uncertainty and mistakes.
  • playing with strong fingers
  • thinking about the hand position

We then looked at the “Viennese Waltz” in her repertoire book. Anna made a lot of really good progress on this! It was very confident and she maintained the same tempo throughout. Excellent work! We then started to think about dynamics for this piece and learned what “crescendo” and “decrescendo” meant. This week, Anna should practice adding in dynamics, as well as continuing to solidify the notes of the piece through repetition.

This week, Anna should try to practice for 20 minutes every day.


First lessons are always very exciting!

We started by talking about the right way to sit at the piano bench. To review Megane should:

  • Sit at the edge of the bench (but not so close to the edge you’ll fall off)
  • Keep shoulders rolled back
  • Keep back straight

We also learned about the hand position. The most important thing to remember is to keep the fingers curved, and the wrists arched.

Then we started to look at the book I like to use to teach beginner piano: Step by Step by Edna Mae Burnam.

  • We learned how to find C on the keyboard, and where middle C is on the keyboard and the musical staff.
  • We learned about quarter notes (which are black notes, and are worth one beat), half notes (which are white notes with stems and are worth two beats), and whole notes (which are white notes without stems and are worth four beats).
  • We learned about
  • We also learned about the treble clef, which is used by the right hand and is for notes from middle C up to the highest note on the keyboard.
  • We learned about the bass clef, which is used by the left hand and is for notes from middle C down to the lowest note on the keyboard.

We also took a look at the first song in the book “Hop and Stop”, which is written with just middle C. What’s important is remembering which hand to use, depending on which clef C is written on.

This week, I want Megane to review “Hop and Stop.” She is welcome to try the next song on the page “Popcorn” if she wants an extra challenge. We will review both in the lesson next week.

There is a lot of information at first with this book, and we will be reviewing it a lot for the next few weeks. This book introduces a lot of concepts all at once so that the student can start reading the staff right away. After that, the book slows the pace down quite a bit and introduces new notes and concepts more slowly (step by step).

The book can be found here