In the lesson, we started by doing some stretching, shaking, and running in place as a warm-up.
At the piano, we reviewed the “I’m Great Pose,” which can be found at the beginning of her Playing book. We also reviewed the exercise “Mitsy’s Cat Back,” which helps strengthen the playing hand position.
We also reviewed “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” In this song, the book asks you to use a “donut-shape” position. Rachel could play the song without using the hand position, but found it more challenging to play the notes and do the shape at the same time.
While Rachel does not have a keyboard, she can spend some time practicing the donut-shape position and Mitsy’s Cat Back at home.
In the lesson, we began by doing some stretching, shaking, and running in place as a warm-up.
When we sat at the piano, I reviewed the “I’m Great Pose” with Chloe, and we practiced doing it several times. The pose is described at the beginning of her book. I also asked Chloe to show me how to do it by herself.
Since it has been a while since Chloe had a lesson, we spent the lesson reviewing songs from earlier in her book. We took a look at “Wendy the Whale” (p. 32+33) and “Magic Tree House” (p. 34+35). I demonstrated how the piece would sound, and then Chloe showed me how to play the pieces by herself. This was awesome!
For next week, I want Chloe to review these songs. I want her to practice for five minutes each day. This will help establish a routine, and get her back into the habit of playing piano.
- 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!
Since it’s been a while since our last lesson, we did a lot of reviewing previous material to get back into the swing of things this week.
Warm-Up: This week, I want Chantal to review Dozen a Day Group IV, exercises 1-6. Remind her to play with strong fingers!
The Young Hunter – The song has suggested fingerings that are quite helpful and make playing the piece the smoothest experience possible. I reminded Chantal to use these fingerings and asked her to perform selected passages again using the fingerings on the page. If you see her using different fingerings from what’s shown, ask her to read to you the fingerings the page suggested. Then ask her to perform a short passage for you, but this time using the fingerings on the page.
This song uses the tie, which is a line between the same note (it essentially “ties” two of the same notes together). When playing a tie, you play the tie for the combined beats of both notes that are tied together. So, if a whole note and another whole note are tied together, the student has to hold the note for 4+4 beats.
If Chantal has extra time and wants to learn something new, she can take a look at “The Halftime Show.”
I suggest Chantal practices for 15 minutes each day. Consistent practicing is key in remembering concepts!
Since it’s been a while since Zoe had consistent lessons with me, we did a lot of reviewing previous material to get back into the swing of things this week.
Warm-Up: Dozen a Day Group IV, exercises 7-12. Remind Zoe to always use her strong fingers! We also have started working on keeping the fingers closer to the keyboard even when they’re not being used. I asked Zoe to imagine the keyboard is sticky and her fingers are stuck to it as she is playing. This seemed to help a lot, as she was able to play the exercises with her fingers closer to the keys!
These warm-ups use the tie, which means it’s a line that connects two notes of the same pitch together. When playing a tie, you play the tie for the combined beats of both notes that are tied together. So, if a whole note and another whole note are tied together, the student has to hold the note for 4+4 beats.
In “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie,” the book introduces the concept of variation, which is when a theme is changed up a bit the second time it’s played. I asked Zoe to come up with her own variation of the melody and to show it to me this week!
We also took a look at “Night of Stars.” In the lesson, we circled all the skips in the music, to help Zoe visualize when to play a skip vs. when to play something step-wise. Here, I want her to also use her strong fingers as she plays.
Zoe should practice for 10 minutes each day! Consistent practice is key!
Double 3rds: ascending and descending, legato and staccato. Play these slowly with strong fingers to help build up the muscle.
A major scale: play slowly with strong fingers.
Dragonfly Scherzo: Review this by practicing slowly and with strong fingers. Even though you are practicing it slowly, play with all the written dynamics. Remember how we worked on making the left-hand crossover melody “sing out” last spring? Try to make this part sing out, even though you are playing under-tempo. Think of it as though you were performing the piece, but in really slow motion. Do everything you’d do in a performance, just slower.
Sunset in Rio: Review this nice and slowly with strong fingers. Remember to practice with the dynamics at the slower speed. This is all about becoming reconnected with the piece in your brain and in your fingers.
This year, we will be working some more on interval recognition and playback melodies in the last few minutes of our lessons!
Things to think about
- Take a look at your book (and listen to your CD) and pick a few songs from list A or B you’d want to learn this year.
- Think about your goals for piano this year. Do you want to perform in a recital? Is there a piece you’re dying to learn?
- Think about a “fun piece” you might want to learn (ex: movie theme, pop song, folk song, etc) in your lessons!
Bienvenue! Je suis en train de chercher pour les pieces de musique qui seront au niveau approprié pour Julie. Pour cette semaine, je demande que Julie pratique les réchauffements et gammes.
Dans le leçon, j’ai montré comment jouer un de mes réchauffements préférés: les double 3iemes. Cette réchauffement est très bien pour les muscles dans les mains et les doigts quand elle est joué avec les doigts fortes. Je demande que pour cette semaine, Julie joue lentement. Mon philosophie est de jouer lentement avec précision et éventuellement vous seriez capable de la jouer plus vite naturellement.
Nous avons aussi regardé les gammes de La Majeure (A major en Anglais) et Fa Diaz Mineure (F# minor en Anglais). J’ai attaché une photo du page avec ces gammes écrites ici. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1CqaK9iJ5Y7dkJ5LTJDOGd6TFk