Hello everyone! Fall is upon us – I’m enjoying the cooler weather and getting to wear hoodies :)

Jadon

You’re working on My Heart Will Go On. Our focus is measures 19 to 33 hands seperate this week. The LH has this offbeat pattern for the first little bit before settling into a more familiar alternating pattern. Remember to consistently check the key signature – F#, C#, G#s are all present. We wrote in fingering for the big LH parts, be consistent with this. For the double octave melody in the RH, make sure you are not straining your hand/arm. Don’t stay locked in this claw position, relax your hand in between notes very quickly and keep a loose wrist. Nothing in piano playing should hurt!

Time to practice: 20-25 minutes daily

Grace

You’re working on Playful Snakelets. Let’s focus mainly on the first 8 bars, but if you explore further – amazing! Practice this hands seperate until very secure, this will help you to internalize the melody, and to notice the canon/imitative nature of it when eventually hands together. The phrasing that is marked in is very helpful for feeling the pulse, so lifting in between phrasing markings is highly encouraged in these early learning stages. Great sightreading today!

Time to practice: 20-25 minutes daily

Marco

You’re working on all of Haunted Harp. Be careful of your counting and ensure every measure gets its 6 beats. Keep your head up to ensure your memory isn’t tricking you and you’re actually playing each phrase as written. Add some shaping in to really make this a spooky tune! Awesome job with last week’s work by the way!

You’re also working on D Major and D minor pentascales. Play these hands seperate until they are nice and even. Play them staccato and legato, just be sure to keep them even. If you close your eyes and listen, do all the notes sound the same? Or can you tell that your finger 4 may be a little weaker? Even it out:)

Time to practice: 15-20 minutes daily

How parents can support: Haunted Harp can be felt in 2 (since it is in 6/4) so some clapping or dancing to a steady 2 pulse would ensure he is feeling all 6 beats consistently. Encourage dynamics often.

Daniel

You’re working on Morning Greeting. The tied note over the bar line adds an element of syncopation to this tune. When playing only the melody line hands seperate, you can vocalize the down beat/stomp/tap with your other hand to feel the downbeat and ensure you’re feeling the rhythm correctly. When it’s hands together it’s obvious, as the accompaniment plays on each downbeat. The accompaniment has clever fingering so you don’t ever need to move your hand – just pivot.

You’re also working on chromatic scales. Both hands use the same fingering, 1313131313 for white and black keys, and when you encounter two white keys beside each other – use finger 2 (this doesn’t interrupt your pattern of 131313). The golden rule is finger 3 on black keys. Play these evenly and hands seperate. They can be played hands together easily as well due to the same fingering.

Time to practice: 20-25 minutes daily

Isabella

You’re working on Owl in the Night. I taught you this by rote. Both hands are in C position (the Cat sits to the left of the garage – garages are the groups of two black keys). When you do the “Hoo-hoo” part, make sure you’re using fingers 4-5 in your RH. It feels awkward because your pinky is not used to doing such hard work, but soon it will become just as awesome as your other fingers if we use it often! Once your LH is used to being the “see the owl in the tree” player, you can switch the roles so the RH gets to play that melody part and the LH gets to do the “Hoo-hoo”. Great work today!

I love that you are exploring around the piano. Try and find some other songs you already know hiding in the notes and show me next time!

Time to practice: 10-15 minutes daily

How parents can support: She can continue to play last week’s I Like song while reading it off the paper because developing playing skills and reading skills at the same time is important. Owl in the Night demands more from all five fingers than anything we’ve done before, so encourage her to keep a proper comfortable hand shape while doing so. Proper hand shape is a nice supported wrist and a curve in the fingers so a hamster could live under the palm of her hand. Don’t collapse and squish the hamster!!

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