This week, we reviewed how to read the “Cuckoo Clock” song. The song uses quarter notes, and is written so that notes that share a stem are played at the same time. This is something that will carry through when she starts to read the musical staff. Notes that have the same stem are always played at the same time. We also reviewed how to read the piece by following the lines on the page.
In her writing book, we began to learn note names on the keyboard using the “Outer Space Friends” exercise. In this exercise, we practiced where to put C, D, and E on the keyboard. We then played the notes using our left or right hands based on the stem direction. Reminder: stems that go up are played with the right hand, and stems that go down are played with the left hand.
This week, I want Rachel to review the Cuckoo Clock song at home with the goal to play it all by herself at the lesson next week! She should play for 5 minutes every day and can also make up her own songs after she’s played the assigned song 2-3 times.
This week, we reviewed finger and hand position while looking at “This is My C Scale” in both hands. I want Chloe to try to always keep her fingers close to the keys in the claw-like position while she’s playing this. It’ll feel very strange at first, but the more she does it at home, the easier it will become. This position is designed to make sure her hands don’t hurt while she’s playing!
We also reviewed the song Bed on a Boat in the lesson. We reviewed the notes and fingerings.
This week: Chloe should start her practice session by playing her C scale in each hand.
I’d also like Chloe to review Bed on a Boat at home this week so that she feel totally confident in the notes! While playing this song, she should also be using the same claw-like hand position with the elevated wrist (think about making a tunnel for the imaginary train!)
Chloe should play for 5-10 minutes every day!
This week, we reviewed the first two exercises from Group V of a Dozen a Day! We then took a look at exercises #3 and #4. Exercise #4 has a surprise note in there! Instead of moving by skips like the previous bars, it moves by skip and step!
We then reviewed The Lonely Pine one more time. Chantal was having some trouble playing both hands at the same time, but she was able to play the whole piece slowly.
We also began to learn Lil Liza Jane hands separately. We assessed which parts of the song were similar and which were different. I also told Chantal how she could break the song up into small sections (1-2 measures) and practice those individually before trying to play the song all the way through.
This week, I want Chantal to practice Dozen a Day #3 and #4. I also want her to start learning the notes of Lil Liza Jane hands separately. The goal is to get the notes really comfortable in both hands before trying to put the hands together.
At home, Chantal can also review note names with her mom and dad by reviewing the phrases for remembering lines and spaces.
Treble clef lines – Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
Treble Clef spaces – spell the word FACE
Bass clef lines – Grandma Boogies Down Fifth Avenue
Bass clef spaces – All Cows Eat Grass
Chantal should practice for 10-15 minutes every day!
Warm-Ups: Dominant 7th in A major, double 3rds.
In doing your warm-ups, try to be conscientious of your hand and wrist. Every once in a while, stop and check if you’re tensing up in your hands. Always make sure to be playing with your shoulders back!
Ivan Polkka: Pencil in some dynamics you want to convey in playing this piece.
Currently, this piece just needs a little more slow practice. As soon as you spot an error as you run through the piece, stop and fix it before moving on.
Drangonfly Scherzo: This week, focus on getting this piece faster. Play it a few times slowly before trying to speed it up. Don’t go too much faster than your current tempo: try 2 or 3 metronome markings up.
Would you consider playing this at there recital?
Minuet: In the first section, work on eliminating the pauses in between bars. Isolate really small parts (like the last note of one bar and the first note of the next) and practice the transition between those two notes alone before trying the whole passage.
2nd section: keep practicing this nice and slowly. Start by playing it hands separately 3 times! When you do play hands together, break the passage into small 2 bar sections!
Try to practice for 30 minutes every day!
This week, we started by reviewing Dozen a Day Group V exercises #10-12. Zoe did a great job of playing with strong fingers and counting out loud!
We also looked at Mama’s Baking Apple Pie and reviewed musical form. We divided the song into sections A, A1, and B. Zoe had great reasons for assigning the names for the different sections.
This week, I want Zoe to review exercises 1-6 from Group V. I want her to remember to use her strong fingers and keep her claw-like hand position. She should try to keep her fingers on the keys even when they aren’t playing. Imagine there’s tape on the keyboard!
If Zoe wants to practice her hand position, she can use My C Scale as a starting-off point as it’s something she’s familiar with. She can focus more on her hands and less on the notes!
I also want Zoe to practice Mama’s Baking Apple Pie to get really comfortable with it!
This week, we reviewed how to read C, D, and B on the staff. We also reviewed note lengths and time signatures. Zoe remembered lots of the stuff we’d discussed the week before, which was awesome!
Zoe had some trouble differing D and B from each other. I suggested she could think of ways that would help her remember (ex: a phrase). I’d love to hear about whatever she comes up with!
We also reviewed the songs assigned last week.
Finally, we learned about a new note: E! E is on the first line of the treble (top) staff. We played some songs that incorporated E and reviewed notes again.
In learning about E, we also learned that there are five lines on the staff and four spaces. There’s also a brace that connects both staves together. These staves together are called The Grand Staff.
This week, I want Zoe to practice the songs that feature E (pages 5-7). I have scanned them in this document so Zoe can practice until the copy arrives! She should play for 5 minutes every day!
Warm-ups: Double 3rds legato and staccato! Try to keep fingers 4 and 5 closer to the keys as you play!
Lied: keep working on making the ornaments fit into the piece smoothly. Isolate them to get the transition between them and the notes really comfortable!
Add ornaments to the 2nd half of the piece.
Work on the starred passage a bit more without ornaments. Break it into really small sections and practice hands separately.
Sonatina: start to work on speeding up the 1st page. Keep playing the 2nd and 3rd page at the slower tempo to solidify the notes.
On the second page, play everything forte to help with muscle memory.
Sunset in Rio: don’t forget about the tied notes in the left hand!
Correct areas with errors that you come across when you run through the piece. Put a star or question mark to remind yourself in another practice session which sections need more love! Work on those parts individually by playing them hands separately and hands together!
If you have extra time during your break this week, try to speed it up a bit too!