Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: “ma, me, mi, mo, mu” warmup, C major scale warmup, Life is an Adventure, Billie Jean (beginning until end of first chorus).

How to practice it most effectively: For the vowel warmup, remember that “ah” = a, “eh” = e, “ee” = i, “oh” = o, and “ooh” = u (think alphabetical order). These are our pure vowels when singing. Try to go up the C 5-note scale singing each of these vowels with an m in front. The C major scale warmup is just like last week – sing using the letter names both forwards (up) and backwards (down). In Life is an Adventure, we added melody notes to the beginning of the song as well as the last line. These are:

  • “The music’s playing, my head is shaking” Bb-Bb-Ab-Ab-Bb (x2)
  • “What is going to happen next?” G-G-F-Eb-F-F-Eb
  • “You never know what’s going to hit you or me” Bb-Bb-C-Bb-G-F-Eb-F-Eb-F-Eb

Remember to line up all your syllables with the written notes! Ab is a new note, it’s the black key just below your Bb. For Billie Jean, really focus on learning the lyrics in the first few sections by singing along to a lyric video. You absolutely can also do this with the other pop songs we spoke about!


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: D major scale hands together, Ode to Joy, I am the King, Moonlight Melody

How to practice it most effectively: For the D major scale, play each hand once by itself to remember the fingering, then play them together. Remember finger 3s line up on F# and B. The most important thing for all our pieces this week is counting and rhythms. A piece loses its character if all the notes are the same length. For Ode to Joy, make sure the ends of your phrases don’t speed up and run away from you! In I am the King, think of the lyrics “I am the king” when playing the quarter-eighth-eighth-half rhythms. There are many different note lengths in this piece and they all need to sound distinct. In Moonlight Melody, again counting is the focus. This song is more of a lullaby compared to the other pieces, so don’t rush!


Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Ode to Joy, I am the King

How to practice it most effectively: In Ode to Joy, we can now put those two lines (from 17-24) hands together. Remember to make the eighth notes in those bars twice as fast as the quarter notes. Making all quarter notes slower and even – don’t let ends of phrases rush and get away from you – will help with this difference. RH don’t forget you jump octaves a couple of times on the second page! For I am the King, there are many different note lengths in this piece which should all sound distinct. The quarter-eighth-eighth-half rhythm in bars 3-4, 7-8, and 11-12 is very important and gets played by both RH and LH.


Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

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

How to practice it most effectively: The last piece of the puzzle for Don Giovanni is adding the dynamics. Please play the beginning and the top of page 2 very soft so there is contrast with the mf. Continue counting out loud in bars 7, 15, and 17 since the “and” counting helped straighten out the rhythms. For Canon, sing your counting whenever there are eighth notes. Continue to play hands separately for now, but perhaps in the second week you can play line 1 hands together.


Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day

What to practice: Early One Morning, Andante in G Minor, and pages 62-63 from your theory book

How to practice it most effectively: In Early One Morning, please use the written fingers (especially in bar 9, RH should use 5-3-1-2 to avoid thumb on the F#). In line three make the distinction between quarter and eighth notes very clear. This song is almost finished! Work on smoothing out transitions between sections. For Andante in G Minor, do your best not to rush through the eighth notes – play evenly so there is time to look ahead and prepare for the next bar. Especially on held notes (like half notes) you should be looking ahead to avoid hesitations between bars/sections. As always, quarter notes should all be detached! After the March break we will choose 2 new songs.