Hello everyone ! It was so lovely to meet you all. My name is Erin Plank and I use they/them or he/him pronouns.

Fiona 

You’re working on the Half Time Show piece in F position. Important things to remember are 1. Floating off the keys with our down-up wrist motion. 2. Paying attention to a steady beat, that includes rests! Don’t rush them. Another piece we worked on was Classic Dance. You can warm up with this piece – remember to make your legato triads very different sounding to your staccato notes that are going in towards each other. Great work on your scratchy staccatos today!

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

Parents can support by: Encourage Fiona to sing the lyrics along with her pieces on pitch, she agrees this is very helpful ! Can you see the Half Time Show as she plays? What about the swirly pretty dresses when she plays Classic Dance? Encourage this mental imagery.

Marita

You’re working on the first 8 bars of Infinity Session. Practice this hands seperate as much as you need until putting it hands together. Focus on making it dramatic and beautiful. Dotted quarter notes are worth 1.5 beats – we don’t want to hear any RH on beat 2 of measure 5! Don’t steal the LH’s thunder.

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

Parents can support by: I couldn’t see the entire side profile of her playing setup, but ensure that she is seated comfortably at the piano where her knees can create a right angle ideally and most importantly so can her elbows. The freedom to move her elbows laterally will make hand position and technique much easier. Thanks for printing the piece for her!

Sara

You’re working on Infinity Session. Practice hands seperate at first and then when confident in the melody, add in the LH softly. For the two-note slurs, ensure to drop onto them with a loose wrist and then float off of the second note. It is easiest to learn with the dynamics already built in, then to add them in later. Keep this in mind :)

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes a day

Parents can support by: Sara expressed interest in learning “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” so I am going to try and locate a suitable arrangement of that piece. Just a heads up/keep your eye out for it in any books you may have ;)

Julien

You’re working on When the Saints Go Marching In in the Lesson 2A book you have. Practice the RH first until you are very comfortable with it. Perhaps get your sister/mom to play the LH while you do so. A constant, steady rhythm is the most important part. How do you march without a steady beat?? Then when you are ready, add the LH in together. For the tricky C# at the top of page 2, make sure your hand is already “in” the black keys so you don’t have to slide and reach to play it.

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

Parents can support by: Quizzing him on musical terms in his pieces. When you walk by maybe you can ask, ‘what do the dots under the note mean? What’s it called? How does it change how you play it? What about the lines drawn over multiple notes? What do those do?”

Sina

You’re working on Concert Time in the Alfred Level 1B book. Great job with the steady pulse and crossing over hands of this piece. You are polishing it right now and I can’t wait to hear it next week. While you are playing, it would be helpful if you say the Letter Name (ex. G) of each note you play. For example, G-Bb-D as you go up the triads. You are very musical, now let’s connect it to the note names!

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

Parents can support by: Asking him questions about the terms/signs/notes on the page. Ask what note that is, what finger are you putting on that note, what do the lines over multiple notes mean? Anything to break away from the idea of “I know what order to play the notes in” and into more musical thinking will really help him flourish!

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