We began the lesson by doing some stretching, jumping, and shaking to help loosen the body and focus the brain.

At the piano, we reviewed “Twinkle Twinkle” as a piano warm-up. Rachel is very creative in which register on the keyboard she wishes to play the song, which is very fun.

We also took a look at “Katie Scores.” In this song, the student learns about moving the hand up the keyboard, while also keeping the wrist relaxed and loose. The song uses only finger 2 and 3. It  uses a pattern of playing finger 2 three times, then playing finger 2 and three together. The student repeats the pattern up the keyboard to the next octave.

Rachel had some difficulty in understanding where to place the fingers to play the piece. I demonstrated where on the keyboard they should be placed, and then also asked Rachel if I could guide her hand to the correct position. After this, she had a better idea where her fingers needed to go to play the song, but may need some further reminders to solidify the concept in future lessons.

At home, Rachel can work on the Buckle My Shoe exercise, which we reviewed in the lesson. This exercise shows the student what a quarter note is. A quarter note is one beat. It can have a stem that points upwards or downwards. Stems that point upwards are played by the right hand and stems that point downwards are played by the left hand. The exercise asks the student two draw quarter notes.


In the lesson, we began by doing some stretching, jumping, and shaking to help loosen the body and focus the brain.

At the piano, we reviewed the songs I’d assigned the week before. Chloe demonstrated how to play Wendy the Whale and Magic Tree House for me. She played with confidence and with strong fingers, which is awesome to see!

In the lesson, we reviewed the musical alphabet and where the notes are on the keyboard. We also reviewed the treble clef (which is played with the right hand) and bass clef (which is played by the left hand).

We then took a look at Mary’s Rocking Pets. Chloe was very enthusiastic in learning the song and sang along as we learned the notes! The book has a picture to show which notes will need to be used, and the notes are all labelled. I’d like her to practice this song this week for 5 minutes each day.

Practice Tips

  • Make sure someone is sitting with Chloe as she practices. She may get distracted while sitting at the piano alone.
  • Ask Chloe which hand she needs to use for the song.
  • Ask Chloe to teach you how to play the song. Teaching is a really awesome learning tool!
  • If Chloe is having trouble reading the note names and playing at the same time, read the note names aloud as she plays. This will help speed up the learning process and reduce frustration!


In the lesson, we started by warming up with the Dozen a Day group IV, exercises 1-6. One thing I want to focus on with Chantal this year is keeping her fingers close to the keys, even when they are not playing any notes. I asked Chantal to imagine the piano had tape on it, making her fingers stick to the keys. Then I asked her to try and play exercise 1 while keeping that in mind. This week, I want Chantal to review the same exercises, but this time with the “tape technique.”

We also reviewed Young Hunter from her Piano Adventures song book. Chantal played the song with confidence and even remembered to hold the ties!

We then took a look at Half-Time Show. The song is all about the spaces on the staff. I reviewed with Chantal how to remember the spaces for the treble and bass clef. In the treble clef, the spaces spell out the word FACE. In the bass clef, the sentence to remember them is All Cows Eat Grass. The song also covers different registers on the piano (low vs. high). Where the note is written on the staff determines where it will be played on the keyboard!

For next week, I want Chantal to practice Half-Time Show and play it with strong fingers! She should practice for fifteen minutes every day.


Warm-Ups: Double 3rds in C and D major. Keep playing these at a slow tempo to build back muscle memory. Continue to practice A major at a slow tempo using strong fingers.

Menuet in E major – practice without the ornaments for now. Before playing anything, take a look at the key signature. Think about which notes will have accidentals and repeat this to yourself a few times to solidify it in your brain.
Try to keep your eyes glued to the music. Don’t look at your hands, no matter how tempting it may be!
Practice this hands separately from bar 1-15. If you feel confident towards the end of the week, start to put the two hands together. Always go slowly and carefully!

Ivean Polkka – Don’t look down at your hands while playing this!
Since the left hand jumps around a lot, practice these jumps by themselves. For example, repeat one jump at least 10 times on its own, just to get more familiar with how it feels to play. This will also help solidify the muscle memory so you don’t need to watch your hands while playing.
Practice this very slowly! Pay close attention to what’s written on the page. Stop yourself periodically and break down the notes in the chords to make sure you are playing the correct ones. Just because it sounds right doesn’t mean it will be what’s written.

Review Dragonfly Scherzo and Sunset in Rio. Try to practice every day for thirty minutes!


In the lesson, we began by doing some stretching, jumping, and shaking to help loosen the body and focus the brain.

We then played through exercises 7-12 in Dozen a Day Group IV. Zoe played with nice strong fingers! This week, I want her to review all of Group IV, playing with strong fingers. Something I really want to focus on this year with Zoe is her finger and hand position.

I asked her to imagine her fingers are stuck to the keyboard, and she can’t move her fingers as much as she plays. She was able to keep her fingers close while playing a C scale. I then asked her to play one of the exercises using that same mentality. My hope is she will practice the exercises this week while thinking about that technique.

If Zoe wants to, she can create a variation on Go Tell Aunt Rhodie and bring it in to the next lesson. She doesn’t need to write it down. She can just play it from memory!

The exercise “Falling Elephant” is a good exercise for hand position and also for adding weight to performance. We tried the exercise a few times before moving on to the song Surprise Symphony Theme. In this song, arm weight is very important in playing the “surprise” note. I asked Zoe to practice this with her strong fingers, and to always count out loud!

Zoe should practice for fifteen minutes every day.


Réchauffement – double 3iemes en ascendant, mains séparés. Essaie de garder les doigts proche au clés du piano quand tue joues ceci. Imagine qu’il y a une substance collant sur les clés qui prévient tes doigts de bouger!

Sonatina in C Major – pratiquer ceci avec les doigts fortes et délibérés.
Commencer cette semaine par jouer la première page avec les mains séparés, mais si tu trouves ceci trop facile vers la fin de la semaine, essaie de jouer avec les mains ensembles.
Toujours pratiquer lentement pour renforcer la mémoire musculaire.
Voici une copie du pièce pour vous! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1CqaK9iJ5Y7Y3lmSldKdWxDRms

Sunset in Rio – pratiquer avec les mains séparés.
Essaie de compter à voix haute “un et deux et…” Dans cette piece, il y a beaucoup de rythmes qui son pas avec la pulse. La meilleur façon de les apprendre correctement est de compter a voix haute. C’est aussi utile d’écrire les pulses sur la page pour indiquer ou les notes devaient être placés. Un exemple de cette technique: https://photos.app.goo.gl/rHU9qVBu1j6cidCe2
Il y a des notes qui sonnerait mals, mais le compositeur avait prévu ceci. Vérifier toujours les notes, des fois ces notes “mals” seront corrects.
Voici une copie du pièce pour vous! https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1CqaK9iJ5Y7STBuZHpFQ0REZWc

Lied – indiquer les endroits que tu penses ont besoin de soin! Continuer à pratiquer lentement.