Enjoy the last week of school and we’ll have some fun next week to finish 2023 with a bang! I’m very proud of you all.
Walk the Talk – hands together slowly. We colour coded the 4 different repeating LH phrases, be sure you are playing the right one. Listen to the recording to ensure you have counting accurate. Don’t rush the HT dotted quarter note part!
*New* Russian Medley – Find some cool recordings of this pieces/ask your parents what they know and report back to me! Watch the tied notes in Polvetsian and use the written fingering. The first is in 4/4 and the second is in 3/4 but they share the same key signature.
Silent Night – Remember to use F power chord at the very beginning in the RH. Great work on the middle part of the piece, tricky putting that hands together! You identified the ending part as being tricky, so start there when you practice! The LH pinky stays rooted around bass C for almost this entire ending part, so keep that in mind.
Up on the Housetop lead sheet – Great job! Play it more to get more comfy with it and maybe even vary how/when you play the LH chords.
Rudolph – texture shift for the bridge (“then one foggy”) is a great idea. You don’t need to keep the same rhythm or feel going for that part, but return to the same vibe when the A section comes back to create unity. The bridge begins at 0:39 in the video. I figured out why the person in the recording uses a C# on “Christmas Eve” in the bridge, because sometimes when people add more chords to add to the jazziness, an A chord is placed there (m21 below). A major has C#.
Bring your book next week and I’ll also be prepared with Avengers Endgame :)
We had a fun time in lesson together! You are starting to remember note names consistently! I’m proud of you :D
This week when you are reunited with your Wunderkeys book (see here) you can do the “Practice on the Pathway” and “Catch the Catfish“. Those were what we had assigned for homework. ALL of the pieces on these two pages with many little pieces use the same notes and are the same level of difficulty, so I encourage you to practice another one too for fun!
C Major scale – LH and RH seperately. RH fingering is 123 12345, you know this one well. LH fingering from the bottom going up goes 54321 321. Here is a video to watch.
Maple Leaf Rag – so exciting as always. On the final page, in the passage I circled, “bring out” those top notes so we can hear what the melody is. This can be achieved by a combo of things = 1. you mentally trying to make it stand out will make it stand out 2. you lining up your right arm more with your pinky to give it the power it needs to be loud enough 3. LH being even quieter so the melody can float over top.
*New* Cloud Dance – Listen here. The 2 note slurs are very important to this piece, as is the rhythmic groove. It only needs a bit of hands seperate work I think, it comes to life mainly hands together. Take your time and really “place” the notes on the keys with care and beauty.
Sonatina in C – You’re doing all the right stuff! Continue to ensure you are doing 2 note slurs when notated and with accurate wrist movement. I can hear the phrases start to come to life. Great job with the trills and their rhythmic placement.
Holly and the Ivy lead sheet – I really like what you did with this!!! Here is a beautiful version on piano and you can see how he doesn’t play it the same every repetition and varies both the melody and the accompaniment to keep interest.
Up on the Housetop lead sheet – Great start. Continue to add in the chords on the latter half. Use finger 4 to start on C because most of this piece is in F position (with a D on top that your pinky will play).
Joy to the World – let’s do it hands together until the C major section ends. A lot of power chords or triads you recognize, so you’ve got this. Arrangements like this create listener interest by changing which part of the piano/hand has the melody so it sounds different and exciting. Make sure you are paying attention to *where* on the piano you are meant to be playing, because you’ve got the notes right.
By My Side – YEAH! Sounded really beatiful and mature today. I would start your practice on page 2 a lot of the time to build up comfort on that page. Really great work.
Winterstorm – Great dynamics, now that I know you can play with this beautiful of variety of sound, you can never escape it !! Fix the RH fingering on page 1, it will help. Do some practice at a slightly slower tempo than you “perform” it at and you’ll make some big fluency progress.
Waltz that Floated Away – whole page. Let’s divide this into two halves, which I’ve labelled with a circled 1 and 2. Section 1 is what you’ve been working on, fix the F# in line 1 and the LH goes down to E in line 2 (written on sticky note). Section 2 is the new part that has Linkin Park vibes, it uses this same phrase 2.5 times different places around the piano with a simple bass line that also repeats. Start from both parts equally this week.
O Christmas Tree lead sheet – since it’s in 3/4, some chords last 2 beats, some only 1, and some the whole bar. Play this hands together this week,
Sending love and good vibes! Next week I’d love to hear a little Prelude V and some Bird in the Bebop and we’ll have fun holiday stuff to do too! I look forward to seeing you, my friend.
*New* Wild West – this piece is in D minor. Staccato is very important. Notice the accents as well. At the beginning there are 2 different endings – play from the beginning through the 1st ending, go back to the beginning and then play the 2nd ending and continue on throughout the piece. If you wanted to shorten the piece, you would just play the 2nd ending and keep going.
C Major scale RH – the fingering is 123 12345. Your thumb tucks under your hand quickly, but evenly. The hand should move smoothly and without tension. Here is a video to watch. If you feel confident, learn the LH one too. You may notice that if you started both hands at middle C and went in opposite directions (RH ascending, LH descending) the same fingers would be playing in both hands at the same time, and the thumb under motion would also be synchronized.
Up on the Housetop lead sheet – very very good job! You can experiment with different rhythms to play the LH or you could try playing the accompaniment one note at a time if you wished. What if it was a lullaby, or a rock song… something to think about.