Dvorah

Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Gorilla in the Tree (LH song), March on D-E-F, Mister Bluebird

How to practice it most effectively: LH please continue to play Gorilla in the Tree as a review piece – remember your F is below middle C. Middle C is always the note above the staff on the little line. March on D-E-F and Mister BlueBird are RH songs, using all the notes in C position. C, E, and G are line notes, and D and F are space notes. Always watch which direction the notes move in or whether they are repeating.

 

Diya

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Saying musical alphabet forwards and backwards, C 5-Finger Position Warmup (p.5), C position to B position 5-4-3-2-1 vocal warmup, and A Million Dreams

How to practice it most effectively: For the C 5-Finger Position Warmup, play one hand at a time, and say/sing the letters out loud while you play. A 5-finger position means that each finger has a home, and you don’t have to move from that spot. Notice what stepping vs. skipping looks like on the page and in your hand. You can always use the sayings for lines and spaces to help you find notes if you’re unsure. The vocal warmup starts with your hand on C position, playing fingers 5-4-3-2-1. The syllables are “ee-ee-ee-ee-ah”. First play the piano notes alone, then focus on finding your first note, and finally play and sing the exercise together. Please move up through all the positions! C through to B. For A Million Dreams, remember that verse guide note is C, prechorus guide note is A, and chorus guide note is D.

Here are youtube lyric videos for both Do, a Deer and My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music:

 

Marco

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Firefly (transposed), Little River, and Sailing in the Sun

How to practice it most effectively: For Firefly in G position, make sure you use the exact same finger numbers, and follow the steps and skips carefully – the song should still sound the same. Little River is a warmup song to help us practice playing legato, or connected. When playing legato, you have to hang on to the previous note until the next note plays – there will be a split second where both are playing at the same time! In Sailing in the Sun, there are slurs between the hands as well. Really count those quarter rests, since they add a lot to the fun character of the piece!

 

Oliver

Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Thumbs on C warmup, My First Waltz

How to practice it most effectively: Please always double check that your thumbs are on C and not accidentally on D! From there all the fingers have their spots. The warmup starts with both finger 1s on C and steps outwards first with finger 2s, then 3s, and so on, then steps back inwards. For My First Waltz, there are a lot of repeated notes and patterns – line 1 and line 3 are exactly the same, and the pattern in bar 2 comes back again and again. Please pay extra attention to whether notes are moving in steps or skips in lines 2 and 4.

 

Linda

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: Diminishes 7 chords and inversions (hands separately), Marching Trumpets, Playful Puppy, Pure Imagination

How to practice it most effectively: When playing the diminished 7 chords, start with the familiar C# diminished 7 shape then move up inverting it – notice how the intervals and quality of the chord stay exactly the same regardless of which note is on the bottom. For Marching Trumpets, the final piece of the puzzle will be to add dynamics in, especially making the p andsections stand out against all the medium levels. Playful Puppy can also see some dynamics added in, as well as a gradual speeding up to make it cute and, well, playful! For Pure Imagination, we crossed out any extensions that aren’t needed in the chord shapes. When there is the Bb diminished 7 chord, you can continue to play the C# diminished 7 shape in RH, just with LH taking the Bb as the root. Try adding in LH on single notes as you play through it this week.

 

Emet

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-25 minutes a day

What to practice: F major scale (hands separately), Scherzo, Piano Man

How to practice it most effectively: In the F major scale there is a Bb; LH fingering is regular, while RH plays 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4. For the Scherzo, please play through the three LH minor shapes back and forth a few times before starting the piece to really solidify them. LH plays eighth notes on beats 1 and 4, but has rests for the rest of the bar; make sure to lift once RH moves to beats 2 and 5. You can play the whole piece hands together now! In Piano Man, please isolate bars 53-54 with RH only first, then play bars 51-54 RH only, then finally play 51-54 with RH and LH. The idea here is to be very accurate with the RH rhythms. When we reach the ending, do a dramatic rit so it really feels finished.

 

Kollel

Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day

What to practice: Eb major scale (hands separately 2 octaves), Dance of the Dragonflies, Canon

How to practice it most effectively: In the Eb major scale we have 3 flats: Bb, Eb, and Ab. RH’s fingering rule will be like last time (finger 3 on Eb, finger 4 on Bb), but LH now will play finger 3 on Eb, finger 4 on Ab. For the new song, Dance of the Dragonflies, please go hands together up until bar 16. From the get go, be super aware of all articulation; keep your hand and wrist bouncy and light for the staccatos. Remember that for the first two lines the hands are never actually coming in together at the same time, they’re always taking turns. For Canon, really start the beginning nice and piano so you have somewhere to grow. In lines 4 and 5 we talked about eliminating the 4th note from each group of LH’s eighth notes so you’re only playing root-5th-root like in lines 6 etc. Please remember that on the F# chord it’s all black keys (F# and C#). I think you can try to play the whole song with pedal!

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