Happy November friends! Hope everyone’s Halloween was awesome <3

You’re working on the first little bit of Amazing Grace in your book. Practice hands separate first to “get” the LH accompaniment pattern. The triplets in the melody should be nice and even. There are also lots of 6ths in the RH to get used to.

You’re also working on the chorus of the Avengers theme. The LH chord profession is pretty consistent, so look through it and get used to it. Like I said, you can play single bass notes in the LH while you learn the RH alternating pattern. The constant alternating pattern shouldn’t be too loud or it’ll drown out the beautiful chord progression. Don’t be overwhelmed, you’re gonna rock this!

Recommended practice time: 20-25 minutes a day

Your new piece is Sunset in Rio. The LH has a groovy bossa nova style line. Notice the staccato beat 4. This is a latin jazz inspired piece and latin jazz is not swung, it’s still straight 8ths. The syncopation will make it jazz and cool by itself, by playing accurate to the page. Practice hands separate to reallllllyyy secure the LH, and then you can draw lines connecting which notes line up to help with the syncopation.

Recommended practice time: 20-25 minutes a day

You’re working on the first 8 bars of Top Secret. All the notes are staccato Except for the C minor chord marked legato in the opening measure, be careful with this! Keep your hand in the C 5-finger position and use the written fingering, it will make each finger strong!

How parents can support: Draw attention to the “sneaky” sound created by the legato and staccato sounds being beside each other. Ensure this is noticed.

Recommended practice time: 20 minutes a day

You’re working on the Snake. Use beat to beat practice for the sections where the hands overlap a little. You can play all the phrases right already, now you need to get your hands in the habit of being prepared to play right as the other one ends instead of waiting their turn. Think of it as two people having an exciting conversation and slightly interrupting each other each time.

Your new song is The Spring Session – an arrangement based around Vivaldi’s Spring from “The Four Seasons”. First play LH thinking of the chord names or roman numerals until it’s very easy, then layer RH. For the repeated notes, I challenge you to not play any of them the same volume. Perhaps the first one is the quietest and the third is the loudest, or the reverse! Do what your ear likes and we’ll talk about it next week.

How parents can support: Encourage beat to beat practice in the overlapping sections. Have him stop when the other hand comes in, and repeat. Then do the next beat, then combine the two. Always stopping with the keys pressed down.

Recommended practice time: 20-25 minutes a day

You’re working on Sea Story. Next week we are going to play the duet together so play it nice and even. First the LH plays the top line, then the RH plays the next line. Keep your fingers nice and rounded and strong.
You can also use the string setting on your keyboard to play Ode to Joy on the previous page – I’m sure your family will recognize it and be impressed!

Recommended practice time: 10-15 minutes a day

You’re working on Scenic Train Ride. We have written in the starting note for each line, then look at each note after and determine if it’s the Same, Higher or Lower. Say the note names aloud or think them as you play. D D D C , D D D E for example. Keep your hand in the same spot and use the finger that is sitting on it for each note (C=1,D=2,E=3 etc). That way you will play it the same every time and muscle memory will learn.

You’re also working on your RH C Major scale. Use fingers 123 12345. So your thumb will tuck under to play F. Imagine your hand is sliding up the keyboard on a treadmill and is moving only side to side – the thumb under shouldn’t be a big clunky movement.

Recommended practice time: 15-20 minutes a day