Hello everyone! Thank you for being so prepared this week.
As a warmup this week, play around with starting the 5-finger scale (hands together) on different roots – use your ear and try getting both the major and minor sounds.
Song for a Scarecrow – When playing the staccatos in this song, make sure that beat 2 and beat 3 are nice and short. Use the saying “FACE in the Space” to find the space notes in treble clef.
“London” Symphony – This song is short and the notes are not too tricky, so the focus really is on the counting and articulation (staccatos and legatos). Especially bars 3-4 lets be super distinct with the quarter note vs. half note length.
Jazzy Joe – Whenever we play a piece we ideally want one tempo for the entire time – work on making the first half and second half sound unified by picking a starting speed that can work for both.
Ken is flying through the pieces in this book and will be ready in the next couple of weeks to move onto level 2 in the Piano Adventures series. We can discuss getting new books next class.
For our warmup this week, I think it would be more comfortable if we play our G (or C) major scale one hand at a time, really paying attention to the crosses. For RH the fingers are: 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5 going up, and 5-4-3-2-1-3-2-1 going down. For LH it’s: 5-4-3-2-1-3-2-1 going up, and 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5 going down. I’ve bolded the moments where we cross (either tucking the thumb under, or finger going over).
Skip to My Lou – Start this song just a bit slower so you can do your eighth notes comfortably, instead of them feeling rushed. When there are eighth notes in a piece we like to count 1+2+3+4+ (one “and” two “and” three “and” four “and”), where the “and”s are the half beats.
Leftover Popcorn – A circled finger number means your hand must lift and go to a new position. In bar 7, do your best to connect between the G and F# – moving your hand up into the keys will help with this. Beat four of bar 7 has a natural sign, which cancels out the F#.
Minuet – Please don’t get confused with the lyrics being numbers! Finger numbers are written above the staff for RH, and below the staff for LH. LH G (top space) is an important note this song and we keep coming back to it, so let’s try to memorize where it is on the staff. It’s not necessarily marked on the piece, but it should be played legato; please connect as much as possible including between the hands.
I think it would be a good idea to play the Canon (in C) from your 2A book first, and then reading through the new Canon (in D). That way you can hear what the arrangement sounds like and it will serve as an aural guideline for the new key. Remember that in D major we have F# and C# in the key signature. Do pay attention to the finger numbers written since they will help you reach the right notes easily.
This week try to also practice the Theme From Don Giovanni alongside the songs from the earlier pages in the 2A book. Again, the finger numbers are there to help you so please use them! You can always start – especially less familiar songs – a little slower so you have more time to read the notes and counts.
Please remember to do your 2 theory pages! (48-49). We also have a new song this week since we’ve moved on from Morning Greeting
Climb up on an Elephant – Before hopping in and playing the whole song through, isolate bar 19 hands together a few times so it gets more comfortable. Then, try playing the whole song hands together! Note where the hands play together, and when they are doing a call and response pattern. As always please watch your octaves – RH especially has a big range. Use Good Birds Don’t Fly Away to help you find the bass clef line notes.
Frere Jacques Stands on his Head – This piece is a round, meaning one hand starts the melody then continues on as the other hand plays the initial melody underneath. Each melodic idea is 2 bars, with RH leading. Feel free to play the song hands separately once before trying it hands together. Start a bit slower than you might want to so that you’ll be able to keep up when the eighth notes start in line 2. Most of the piece is legato but there are a few important staccatos to watch for!