Hello everyone! Any students I saw in person today, you have received your fall report cards. Online people (that are always online) you will receive your report card in the mail shortly – Julian I will give you yours next week when I see you. Let me know if you have any questions or comments :)


You’re focusing on the second page of Top Secret this week. Where there are lots of rests for one hand, you can use that time to  make sure to get your hand into it’s position long before it needs to play. Choreograph your hands so they always move in the same place and position changes will seem lots easier. Remember to keep your staccato notes light and detached!

I will send the other version of Away In A Manger home with Daniel on Saturday. Upon doing some research I learnt that the melody I gave you last week is the one more popular in the USA, whereas the melody found in your Mom’s book is most popular in the UK and Ireland. This article summarizes it well and includes videos of both.


You’re focusing on Jingle Bells this week. I would like you to practice the whole piece. Go from the beginning of each page equally, so page 2 is developed just as much as the page 1 is. For the “Jingle Bells” chords at the top of page 2 keep a nice loose wrist that bounces on each note.

Next week we’re going to play the Kite piece in your lesson book together.


You’re focusing on all of Jingle Bells this week. You can play the second page hands seperate until the fun bouncy LH part is secure, then put it hands together. You know all the notes as proved today in this lesson so just a little repetition will get this under your fingers!! You correctly identified the most interesting note in the fun LH part of the 2nd page, and it always falls on beat 3, so we can make this F# special note a bit louder than the rest.

You’re also working on playing all of Song of the Dark Woods hands separate. Start from the 3rd line (measure 9) often because you have played the first two lines a lot more often. The LH fingering in the 3rd line is super important in order to keep it legato, so be picky with it. This piece is perfect for dramatic swells where the melody gets louder the higher the pitches go, and quieter as it lowers back down.


You’re working on Jingle Bell Rock. Focus more on the middle of piece with the walking LH bass line to gain familiarity and think of the chord you’re outlining (first F7, then D7 later). I’m so proud of what you did with this in one week! Keep it up! You can play the melody hand a bit louder.

Your new piece is Lemon Sherbet Rag. ***DOWNLOAD IT HERE*** On YouTube, I found this piece played by the composer herself. Give it a listen, as there is no better source to look to for answers than the composer directly! Please practice hands seperate first, and be very picky with the counting so we don’t learn any bad habits. Don’t feel compelled to play the entire piece immediately, the details are more important than quantity right now. The very specific articulation is there to help us and super important to this kind of piece, to give it character!


You’re focusing on the new parts of Rudolph we learnt today. They are measures 11-18. Continue to practice the opening part too, but begin each practice section focusing on this new area to gain familiarity. You can count along with yourself, or lightly step your feet to the beat to keep a steady pulse. Good job reading this today, and awesome job with the F major melody playback we did!

Next week we will look at the next piece in your lesson book after Elf’s Silver Hammer. You could even get a headstart!


You’re working on Sonatina. You have played every component of this piece correct for me in lesson, now it’s time to put it all together! Be sure to play the LH opening 8th note pattern legato, which means smooth and connected. You should not hear “holes” in the sound between each note. In the G Major section (after the blue text bubble) be sure to play all your F#s. Good work today!