Thanks for a great round of lessons today everyone!
This week as a warmup, play all the triads on the white keys – start on C major and move up in steps. As a bonus, listen and try to figure out if the triads are major or minor.
Dinosaur Stomp – The LH rests are very important to the character of this song – please don’t forget them! In LH, finger 2 is the one doing double duty on the C and C#s; we tend to avoid putting our thumb on black keys if possible.
The Dreydl Song – This piece starts on beat 4, with a pickup bar. Notice how the 1 beat in this pickup bar plus the 3 beats in the final bar equal to 4 (our time signature). Please remember to hold half notes for 2 counts and dotted half notes for 3.
The Bubble – Last song in the book! Have some fun with this one, especially at the end. Note the “very slowly” and “quickly” in the final line – once notes and rhythms are learnt start adding these as well as the dynamics and accents for more character. In bar 29 we see a symbol called a fermata – this means hold the note or rest for slightly longer than is written – you can feel it out and release when it feels right.
For all songs please remember the new note low G, which is on the bottom line of the bass clef!
Mr. Brahms’ Famous Lullaby – This piece just needs a bit more time for the notes and rhythms to feel comfortable. Whenever you have to play Bbs, slide your hand further up into the keys so reaching them becomes easier. Almost every single Bb is is labeled, just watch out for the 2nd one in bar 6, since that carries over from the first flat.
Ice Cream and More Ice Cream – These are the same piece, just transposed. This means we take a song and move it to new position. RH please watch whether you’re moving in steps or skips. LH, you are playing intervals in a pattern: 5th, 4th, 3rd, then 2nd. Notice how these intervals sound and look on the keyboard and music.
Mr. Haydn’s Theme – Another short piece, let’s make sure the articulation is nice and distinct between legatos and staccatos. Again, RH please pay attention to whether we move in steps or skips, especially in bars 3-6.
Today we spent some more time going back and forth between major and minor triads – remember that the middle note is the one that changes, and it’s not always going to a black key. Play around with various bottom notes and find the major and minor versions of the triad. We also talked about intervals, which refers to the distance between only 2 notes. 5ths sound like the Star Wars theme, 4ths sound like Here Comes the Bride, and 3rds sound pretty and like a doorbell.
Canon in D – Before starting to play this song, remind yourself that we are always playing F# and C# because it’s in D major. Please do your best to play with both hands, not just RH.
Theme from Don Giovanni – This week let’s add sing the counting along while playing the RH melody. Keep the piece hands separately but do play the LH part as well this week. Next week we will try hands together.
Please complete pages 50-51 in your theory book for next class. We also added a scale warmup – G major 1 octave hands together. Your finger 3s should be lining up on B and E.
Climb up on an Elephant – Before jumping in and playing the whole piece, please play LH only in bars 9-12. This is an important melody, and I’d like you to really distinguish between your eighth note and quarter note timing. Remember, because we are in 6/8 time quarter notes actually get 2 counts. This piece needs just a little more reviewing to get it smooth and flowing from one bar to the next.
Andante in G minor – This is our new piece. Start off reading the whole thing hands separately, noting those few bars of 2. Don’t worry about the repeat signs when you practice. Because this is a Baroque era piece, we actually want to play all quarter notes detached for both LH and RH. Only connect eighth notes and wherever there is a slur.