Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day
What to practice: 5-note major warmup (going up), 3rds sliding warmup (going down), Loyal Brave and True (karaoke), Half-time Show
How to practice it most effectively: This week for your 5-note major vocal warmup, try using just the vowel “ah” (no consonants) and go up and back down. Please keep your vowel and throat nice and open to avoid any strain. The new warmup starts on E and C, with the top note playing first. You’ll start on “ya” then slide down to the lower note on an “ah”. Each time, the two notes move down by a semitone to the next closest note. For the beginning of the verses in Loyal Brave and True, your starting note is an A flat below middle C (pretty low! Try your best). Please play yourself this note before those sections. A section to isolate is on the word “loyal”, since there are many notes on the same vowel. This starts on middle C; try to sing this word/phrase slowly a few times before singing the full karaoke. Anytime there is the “wa-ter” or “ar-mor” melody, make sure you flip from your chest voice to your head voice for the full effect. Our one piano piece will be Half-Time Show so we can get all the details like holding whole and half notes their full values, playing those 3 notes all together in bars 3 and 7, and doing the down-up staccato articulation in the last line.
Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day
What to practice: C 5-Finger Warmup (page 5), and Firefly
How to practice it most effectively: The C 5-Finger warmup uses both hands playing together in C position – see if you can look mostly at the music, trust that your hands and fingers are in the right spot! The first two bars are steps while the third starts skipping. As the week goes on, you can try to speed the warmup up little by little. For Firefly, the melody goes between the two hands in C position. Please be extra careful watching your steps versus skips. The bass clef saying we learned this lesson was: Good Birds Don’t Fly Away – these are the 5 lines from bottom to top (G, B, D, F, A). See if you can have this saying memorized for next week!
Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day
What to practice: Ferris Wheel (review song), and Young Hunter
How to practice it most effectively: For Ferris Wheel, the last detail to work on is really connecting between skips in bars 1-2, 5-6, and 13-14. There should be a split second where both notes/fingers are playing at the same time before the earlier one lets go. For the ending, see how it sounds when you hold the pedal down for the whole last line (the entire length of the bracket). For Young Hunter, start this piece hands separately – RH please use your Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE sayings to help; you are in a new position (E position). For this piece, let’s do the repeat. The middle line is a back and forth pattern for both hands, and the last line is just like the first! Once notes are feeling comfortable, please add in the bouncy staccatos.
Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day
What to practice: Minuet in A Minor, Bb major chords of the scale, and I’ll Be Seeing You (melody)
How to practice it most effectively: For the Minuet in A Minor, be on the lookout for recurring patterns with certain intervals and notes. This one just needs a bit more time to become fluid between bars. As a warmup, please play all the 4-note chords of the Bb major scale – a good way to do this is to think of the letters first (all white keys), then cross-reference with the key signature (Bb and Eb). The qualities of the chords will always be: Imaj7, II-7, III-7, IVmaj7, V7, VI-7, VII-7b5 (we prefer to use Roman numerals when labelling because too many numbers would get confusing!). Once you’ve played through these chords of the scale, go through I’ll Be Seeing You and mark which chords in this song are of the scale (diatonic) – you’ll notice a fair number of them are not, not because of the roots, but because of the qualities not aligning with the Bb major key signature. When playing the melody of this piece, don’t worry too much about fingerings or rhythms, it’s more about the notes and intervals.
Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day
What to practice: F major scale hands together, Interval warmup (page 19), 7th St. Blues, and Land of the Silver Birch
How to practice it most effectively: Keep it up with the F major scale hands together – please remind yourself of your key signature/accidentals before beginning the scale! On Bb, RH plays with finger 4 and LH plays with finger 2. For the Interval warmup, you can do the transposing into G and F major, as well as even try putting the hands together if you’d like! 7th St. Blues is a short song which you can slowly speed up throughout the week. Bar 2 and 6 have syncopations with accents on them. The main song this week is Land of the Silver Birch: please start this piece hands separately (especially for RH) paying close attention to the rhythms. The repeat sign takes us all the way back to the 2nd line of the piece. Towards the end of the week you can try this one with the pedal for a cool sound.