Recommended minutes to practice: 15 mins a day

What to practice: C major scale (up and down) warmup, Life is an Adventure (with piano letters)

How to practice it most effectively: When doing the warmup, first sing on the syllable “dah”, making sure your jaw/mouth is quite open and you take a big belly breath before. After doing it on “dah” once or twice, stick to singing the letter names in the scale – pay extra attention on your way down since singing the alphabet backwards is tricky! In Life is an Adventure, a reminder that G above middle C is our starting note and the highest note in the song. The lyrics we have put piano letters to are in the chorus:

  • “Life is an adventure” x2 the notes are G-G-F-Eb-Eb-F
  • “What’s going to happen next?” notes are G-F-Eb-F-F-Eb
  • “Life is like walking through the jungle” Bb-Bb-Bb-G-G-F-Eb-F-Eb
  • “Life is like climbing a tree” Bb-Bb-Bb-G-F-Eb-F
  • “You never know what is going to happen next” Bb-Bb-C-Bb-GG-F-Eb-F-F-Eb

Try playing the piano letters as you sing! Also, see if you can try using these notes (and maybe a couple of others) to make melodies for the parts of the song we haven’t done in class yet!


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 mins a day

What to practice: D major scale (hands separately), The Clock Strikes Thirteen, The Elf’s Silver Hammer, Ode to Joy

How to practice it most effectively: The D major scale has the same fingering as our other scales, but uses F# and C#. In The Clock Strikes Thirteen, please pay extra attention to bars 3 and 7 where RH has eighth notes. These should be twice as fast as quarter notes! In general the rhythm of this piece is what I’d like you to focus on this week. In the crescendo, see if you can be more gradual and have a section where the volume passes through medium. Remember, f just means loud, not super duper loud! For The Elf’s Silver Hammer, please do the legatos the few times they come up. Use the saying FACE in the space to help find treble clef space notes. Once notes become more comfortable, play with all the written dynamics! For Ode to Joy, please pay extra attention to those eighth notes! Use the counting with “ands” to help you. RH watch out for the times you switch octaves.


Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 mins a day

What to practice: The Elf’s Silver Hammer, Ode to Joy

How to practice it most effectively: In The Elf’s Silver Hammer, try adding the dynamics in now that notes and rhythms are more comfortable. The two lines that need a bit more attention are the 2nd and last lines; play these once isolated before playing through the whole piece. Line 2 make sure those two quarter notes in bar 7 are held for the full amounts. For Ode to Joy, we will do everything hands together except bars 17-24. Watch out for all the repeated notes in the RH melody, and please pay extra attention to the eighth note rhythms in bars 17 and 21 – these need to be counted “1+2+”.


Recommended minutes of practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Theme from Don Giovanni, Canon (from the RCM book)

How to practice it most effectively: In Theme from Don Giovanni, please spend some time isolating bars 7, 15, and 17 for the rhythm – beat 3 has a full quarter note (D) on which you should count “3+”. Since we have played this piece for a few weeks now, you are ready to add in the dynamics. Make sure to start the beginning of the first and second pages piano; then from there you’ll have room to grow. Our new piece is the Canon from the RCM repertoire book. This new Canon is also in D major, so we have F# and C#. Play this piece hands separately, paying extra attention to the rhythm/counting. It helps to go 2 bars at a time.


Recommended minutes of practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Andante in G minor, Early One Morning (also p. 60 from the theory book!)

How to practice it most effectively: You may start playing Early One Morning hands together, but first do bar 9 to the end, and then the beginning to bar 8. This is because the second half is a little easier and will warm you up for more involved hands together playing for the first half. Tonight we spoke about a trick for recognizing odd intervals on the staff: as with a skip (a 3rd), 5ths and 7ths will also be either space to space or line to line. For Andante in G Minor, break the song down into 2 chunks: bars 1-4, then 5 to the first half of 8, and finally second half of 8 to the end. With each of these sections, play each hand separately once, exaggerating the detached quarter notes, and then put it hands together.