Thank you for all your hard work this summer! Good luck to everyone in the fall :)
Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day
What to practice: Mozart’s Five Names, Paper Airplane, vocal warmups, start to listen to Tomorrow
How to practice it most effectively: For piano practice, please continue practicing Mozart’s Five Names: notice when the melody is stepping vs. skipping, and use FACE in the space to help RH find notes. The line sayings are Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge for RH, and Good Birds Don’t Fly Away for LH. Note how bars 1-2 and 5-6 are the same pattern, just one step higher. Keep up the great counting! For Paper Airplane, we now have RH in high C position. The F of this position is “Fudge” in your saying – the G is the space above that. Have fun with the pedal in the last line of this piece. Please feel free to look back and review any of the songs you enjoyed in this book so far! For your vocal warmups, try to use all 5 vowels, and remember to only go as far up or down as you can without straining – warmups should feel gentle and good. A song I’d recommend for you to perhaps learn in the fall is Tomorrow from Annie – here is a lyric video for that:
Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day
What to practice: Ferris Wheel, Mexican Jumping Beans (feel free to try looking ahead in the book too!)
How to practice it most effectively: For Ferris Wheel, keep it nice and sticky, and make sure you’re still counting to 2 on all half notes. In bar 10, notice how the melody is all skips (space to space to space). Mexican Jumping Beans has the opposite of legato – staccato! When playing staccatos, we want our wrist (not whole arm) to be bouncy, like the piano is a trampoline. We also want the notes to be really short, like the piano is really hot! This song has both hands in C position, and the melody goes between the hands. You can try singing along to this one if you’d like!
Recommended minutes to practice: 20-25 minutes a day
What to practice: Early One Morning, Tired Turtle Express, More
How to practice it most effectively: For new song Early One Morning, keep practicing hands separately for a bit before trying together. For the RH, you can try thinking in scale degree numbers (with G being 1, since we are in the key of G major). Also, RH should try to follow all fingering guidelines except for the repeated Gs – you can do those all with the same finger. For Tired Turtle Express, the counting for the recurring rhythm in bar 3 must have the first LH quarter note holding for a full “1 and”, or “long-short”. Take your time with this one when putting it hands together – it’s meant to be a pretty slow song! For More, a good thing to do before playing is to play the Eb major scale (Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-Eb; notice how there’s one of each letter name in order) and then build the diatonic chords of this scale. More essentially has two sections – the cheeky I-VI-II-V and then the minor cliche line with the slash chords. In the minor cadence D-7b5 to G7b9, try to do the single note movement in the RH – from C to B and every other note stays the same. Good luck and have fun with it!
Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day
What to practice: Scarborough Fair, Sleigh Ride Holiday, Campbells are Coming, look ahead in your book if you’d like!
How to practice it most effectively: Scarborough Fair can be a review/warmup song this week. You can add pedal now! Just remember to count to three for each bar, and notice how for the most part the dynamics ask you to play softly. For Sleigh Ride Holiday we are now in 6/8 time! Notes are worth the same as in 3/8 time, just that now there are 6 beats a bar. Keep up your good counting, and play HS for now. We circled all the finger/position switches. LH please double check all notes in your chords. For Campbells are Coming, you can play hands together from the get go! LH do your best to do the staccatos, and RH use the written fingers – they will help you with this spread out melody. RH, please double check your chords in bars 17-23. Good luck and feel free to look ahead to a new piece or two before the fall!