Hi everyone! Hope the first full week of school has been treating you well <3

Fiona

You’re working on The Lonely Pine and Lil Liza Jane. In Lonely Pine, the position changes are the parts you should practice first. Count yourself a steady beat and practice getting from the RH C position to the RH F position in time. The Pine yells his first lyric Forte and then whispers the second lyric Piano. The LH is piano the whole time though so make sure you start nice and quiet. Lil Liza Jane taught us what “mp” means: mezzopiano. This is “medium soft”. Make sure you start medium soft so that you can get louder the next line. Great work today, I love how you sing the lyrics on pitch!

How much to practice: 15 minutes daily. Or 5 minutes a couple times a day is even better if it suits your schedule better!

How parents can support: Encourage her to sit at the piano and I know she’ll begin to sing and explore these pieces. She also said she’d draw a bird for The Lonely Pine so he’s less lonely so prompt her on that ;)

Marita

You’re working on Both Ways and the first 7 bars of Celebration. Both Ways just needs some dynamic shaping. Whatever the melody sounds like it should be when you sing it, sing it in your head etc = that’s how you should play it! Trust your musical instincts and shape the phrases To the more interesting notes, the higher notes, that kind of thing. No two notes should sound exactly the same, we don’t want to bore the listener! Grab their attention. For Celebration, you learnt what Major7th and Minor7th chords look and sound like. The first measure makes a CMajor7 = C E G B. The next measure shifts that pattern up a whole step to make a Dmin7 = D F A C. The first 7 bars, both hands are pretty much always playing perfect 5ths. You did an amazing job navigating this entire piece with me today!

How much to practice: 15 minutes daily. Or 5 minutes a couple times a day is even better if it suits your schedule better!

How parents can support: Encourage her to play Celebration, ask about “that new piece” she’s got going and ask to hear it. She could even teach you the opening rhythm, without the notes, just the rhythms and what hands do what.  L RR L RR L R and you guys can drum it together!

Sara

I gave you Everybody Wants to Rule the World to explore. I am working on finding the arrangement that is in the level 3 pop selection list, but for now have fun playing the melody with the bass notes underneath, or play the melody along with the real song. You also want to polish Arabesque. Don’t let your LH get so loud that it’s drowning out the melody (practice “ghosting” the LH). In the middle section, we drew bubbles of different sizes to represent where we want the crescendos. This week while playing, take it slower and try and jampack as many details as possible. Mr. Burgmuller gave us TONS of dynamics and descriptive words to help us bring this piece to life. Think of thick caramel at the dolce section, and a definitive king’s speech at the risoluto ending! Believe the story you’re shaping for the audience.

How much to practice: 30 minutes daily

How parents can support: Put on Everybody wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears and ask her to play the melody along with it. It’s super inspiring for her to see that this melody is not out of reach at all and totally achievable!

Julien

You’re working on Skip to My Lou. This piece shifts from C position down to RH thumb on B and back up again. We learnt about 8th notes today. Make sure they are still played in time by counting yourself in slow enough (you did a great job with this for our duet today) that you can play 1+2+3+4+ without it being messy. Only play as fast as you can do the 8th notes. The LH are staccato so they are not to be held down for the entire bar, they just punch in on beat 1. If you’re feeling like a challenge you can always explore the Popcorn song more too, but our main focus is Skip to My Lou. Great work!

How much to practice: 15-20 minutes daily.

How parents can support: Ask him to explain the difference between 8th notes and quarter notes. If he needs a prompt ask which one is “walk” and which one is “running”. You can also ask him what the name of the symbol is that cancels out sharps and flats, (natural) as we just learned it today.

Sina

You’re working on Music Box Rock. Your goal is the whole piece RH-only, comfortably. It is important to keep your eyes on the page so you end the phrases on the appropriate note, watch the ones that end in C. When you practice this, don’t always start from the beginning (true for any piece), go to the trickiest spot first (perhaps the last line) and practice that a few times first. However fast you can play the first measure of the last line fluently, is how fast the whole piece should be played. To truly get that music box sound, take it 8va like the book says and play it high on the piano so it sounds all twinkly and toy piano-like. Great work sightreading today!

How much to practice: 15-20 minutes daily.

How parents can support: Ask what key Music Box Rock is in (G Major). If he gets this RH super solid and consistently in time, encourage him to repeat it and then on the final round he can gradually slow down to the end where the book says ritarando. It’s meant to simulate a music box losing power and slowing down, could be super fun if done dramatically.

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