Thank you for another great week of lessons – I can hear lots of progress already!


For warmup this week, continue playing the D minor triads hands separately. The main focus here is connecting between the inversions when playing broken. Remember that RH uses finger 2 instead of 3 in the first inversion, and LH uses 2 instead of 3 in the second inversion.

Hound Dog – Before playing the full song hands together, isolate just RH in bars 13-14 a few times, and then again in 15-16 to nail the counting. Count out loud using “ands” while you play. Note that in bars 9 and 21 LH plays an F on beat 4, not a G. Do your best to follow the articulation (specifically in bars 11 and 23, try your best to connect under the slurs – using finger 5 to 4 will help).

Raisins and Almonds – Again in this piece we will do a couple of bars isolated a few times before hopping in and playing the entire piece. It will be where the lyrics say “Oh, that dear memory” in the second last line; note that LH plays the exact same notes in both bars. Do be careful that LH does the Bbs as well as RH, and that you’re playing in the correct octave. You can try adding pedal to this piece this week!


We have moved on to a new key for our warmup! This week play G major triads, hands separately solid and broken. This is the 3rd key in this “family” – C, F, and G all have 3 white keys and all the same shapes, just different letters. Remember that in RH we use finger 2 instead of 3 for first inversion, and in LH we use 2 instead of 3 in second inversion.

Bye Bye, Love – This week please play up until bar 18 hands separately – this is essentially the whole “verse” of the song, and bar 18 begins the chorus. LH, watch your staccatos at the end of each phrase – that little dot under the note means we play it nice and short. In both hands, pay close attention to following the finger numbers – they are there to help you! Try going back and forth between RH’s triads in bar 16-17 – notice the relationship between the two (which note stays, which notes move, etc.). At the end of class we discussed intervals, which are the distance between two notes. RH plays a lot of sixths. When calculating what an interval is, always count the bottom note as “1”.


Our warmup this week has changed – it’s the D major scale (2 octaves HT) and triads (1 octave HS for now).

In Church – “Largo” at the top of the page means “slow” – if you play your keyboards metronome, that is around the speed your eighth notes should be. You don’t need to play the piece with the metronome, but do listen to the beat for a few bars so you get a sense of the correct speed. For the most part your notes and rhythms are solid, but there are some bars/phrases in the first half to isolate. Just like we did in lesson, play bars 1-5 a few times to really nail the dotted quarter – eighth note rhythm. Then try 6-8. The trickiest of all is the beginning of the 2nd line – here I suggest taking 1 bar at a time and playing only until the 1st beat of the next bar. So for instance, bar 9 into the 1st beat of bar 10 a few times. Then, take bar 10 into the first beat of bar 11. This will help you get comfortable with the transitions and shapes, and most importantly the counting.

Etude in G Major – This is our new piece – you can definitely play the entire thing, just hands separately. It’s very important to follow all the articulation markings accurately since it’s easier to learn them correctly alongside the notes rather than unlearning any incorrect articulation down the road. RH is not too tricky, having just either legato or staccato notes, but LH has an interesting pattern of holding a dotted half note while beats 2 and 3 are staccatos. It’s very important that both 2 and 3 are equally short, since it’s easy to accidentally play beat 3 as a long note. Notice that there are a few clef changes in LH. This piece is in a waltz style – a waltz is a type of dance that is always in 3/4 time, and the emphasis is on beat 1 – LH try to incorporate this emphasis when you play.