Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day
What to practice: D major triads (hands separately, solid and broken), Hunting Song (full form), and Piano Man (hands separately until bar 34).
How to practice it most effectively: For the triads keep your hands fairly high into the keys for every inversion fo you can easily reach the F#. Remember that RH uses finger 2 in first inversion, and LH uses finger 2 in second inversion. For Hunting Song, make sure to count and feel the pulse during longer holds. LH eighth notes in the first half of the piece should be all connected. Make sure to use the labeled finger numbers on the “hunting we will go” phrases so legato playing is possible. As well as playing through the full form, try to play with dynamics – the bigger the contrast between your f and p sections, the better! For Piano Man, isolate RH in bars 7-8 and 25-26 a few times and really ground through your finger 5 – the D should hold all the way through the bar. Please note the slight note change in bars 16-17 for RH. If you’d like you can try playing the very first line hands together, slowly.
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day
What to practice: G major scale (hands together), Bye, Bye Love (verse hands together, chorus and endings hands separately).
How to practice it most effectively: You may try gradually speeding up your scale; just make sure the notes remain all even. For Bye, Bye Love, please isolate bars 9-12 (hands together) a few times, paying extra attention to the finger numbers and notes (RH is stepping up with fingers 2-3-4-5 both times). When reading intervals, always start with your top note and place finger 5 on it before figuring out the bottom note. The 2nd ending is new, so go slow and really watch the direction the melody moves in. If you feel comfortable you may try the first few bars of the chorus hands together!
Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes a day
What to practice: B major scale (2 octaves hands together), Canon (lines 1-4 hands together, lines 5-6 hands separately), Prelude (LH full song, RH first couple of lines).
How to practice it most effectively: For our scale, RH’s fingering is as usual but LH must start on 4. For Canon, see if in the first 2 lines you can slow down your eighth notes within a chord, giving you time to look ahead and prep for the next one – this will help eliminate the pauses between each chord. As you feel more comfortable, try this with lines 3-4 as well. In lines 5-6 we crossed out some of RH’s lower notes, but kept most of the 6ths and 3rds. Go slowly and follow our labelled fingering – where there are no finger labels just use whatever’s most comfortable even if you have to lift (playing with pedal will help mask this). For Prelude, LH is mainly going up and down the 5 note scale, but watch out for the few times the pattern changes! The trickiest part of this piece is noticing all the accidentals (Bb and Eb are in our key signature, but there are also other flats and naturals as well) as well as all the finger numbers (because there are so many eighth notes in a row these fingerings are very important). RH observe the staccatos even when sight reading as it’ll instil the good habit early – if you have to go slower to make this happen then please do!