Dvorah

Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: Middle C March, Ten-Second Song, and Driving on the G Clef

How to practice it most effectively: This week we introduced reading on the staff. RH reads in treble clef which is the top staff, and LH reads in bass clef, which is the bottom staff. In Middle C March, make sure you change finger numbers when there is a circled number for that bar. Try adding the dynamics – getting louder every bar of the line (mf means medium loud). Ten-Second Song and Driving on the G Clef are RH only, playing middle Cs with finger 1 as well as Gs with finger 5. G is on the 2nd line of the treble clef. In the second song, the C and G will play together whenever they are stacked!

 

Diya

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: G major scale, triads stepping up from C major, “mee may ma mo moo” vocal warmup on the 5-note scale going up, 3-note up and down vocal warmup on “oh”, A Million Dreams

How to practice it most effectively: When playing the G major scale, we use all white keys except for our F, which becomes and F sharp (black key directly up from F). For the triads, name them as you move up (bottom letter is the first part of the name, then the quality (major or minor) is the last part of the name). For the vocal warmups, the “mee, may, ma, mo, moo” uses the 5-note scale going up (so on the piano RH would play fingers 1-2-3-4-5). Move this up a step every time, and play the piano notes first so you can hear it once. Take your time finding your starting note. The second vocal warmup was the 3-note scale going up then back down on “oh”. Start this around an E (so E-F-G on the piano), and take it down all the way to B or perhaps A carefully – the goal is to really match those low notes. For A Million Dreams, the starting/guide note for the “They can say, they can say…” part is an A above middle C, and for the chorus “Every night….” is a D above middle C. Use these notes on the piano to help you stay in the right key. This week please sing along with the official version (not the karaoke).

The Piano Adventures Lesson Book 1 can be found here: https://www.amazon.ca/Level-Lesson-Book-Piano-Adventures/dp/1616770783

 

Marco

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Warmup on page 5 of the new book, Princess or Monster, The Bugle Boys, and the C-E-G composition. Please also fill in the blanks for the review on pages 4-5 of the new book

How to practice it most effectively: In Princess or Monster, play the piece with the repeat, going down for the “monster” part – remember that the lower part is also slower. Have fun with this one! For The Bugle Boys be careful with the RH skips in bars 5, 7, and 9; these all go from line to line. With the quarter note – quarter rest – quarter note – quarter rest bars, make sure you are lifting on the 2 and 4 or else it will sound like half note – half note. With the C-E-G composition, be creative in how you choose to arrange the three notes, using both LH and RH and different rhythms – try to include a few rests too!

 

Oliver

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: All notes scavenger hunt, thumbs sharing middle C warmup, Thumbs on C

How to practice it most effectively: For the scavenger hunt, start by finding all the Cs on your piano, and move up though all the letters, noticing exactly what each note looks like. The warmup is in your thumbs sharing C position: start with thumbs then go outwards using both finger 2s, 3s, etc. until you get to the 5s, then come back in to the 1s on C. Try to connect between the notes, just like our other warmups. For the song Thumbs on C, use the lyrics to help you say each note name out loud while you play – this will solidify our knowledge of all the letters on the keyboard.

 

Alice

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Allegro, Love You Like a Love Song

How to practice it most effectively: In Allegro, first practice just repeating the first bar a few times to get comfortable with LH holding through the whole note while RH plays its quarter and half notes. Always be double checking if notes are moving in steps (line-space) or skips (line-line). For Love You Like a Love Song, please keep singing along with the lyrics video (so no karaoke yet), focusing on the verse lyrics, as well as solidifying the bridge; your starting/guide note for the bridge is the B above middle C. Keep being strong in your chorus melody, even when Selena does her little decorative riffs.

 

Linda

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes every other day

What to practice: G major 4-note chords (RH and LH), Marching Trumpet (hands together), Playful Puppy (hands separately), and a preliminary look at the Pure Imagination chords

How to practice it most effectively: For the 4-note chords, continue playing the scale first, then using those notes to build 4 note chords off of every scale degree. Notice the quality (major 7, minor 7, 7 etc.) of each chord. In Marching Trumpets, go slowly and carefully when putting the hands together in bars where articulation for RH is legato and LH is staccato – what can be helpful in building the muscle memory is repeating just the first beat where one hand grounds and the other lifts until it feels more natural. There are 4 phrases in this piece – isolate phrase by phrase hands together first, then try top to bottom. For Playful Puppy, LH is mainly playing either D major triads, or Dsus triads. Remember that RH’s highest ledger line note is a D (and of course, remember your F# and C#s!). For Pure Imagination, play through the chords that look familiar, and circle any that are confusing or you cannot figure out from the chord symbol/by ear. We will start with this one next week.

 

Emet

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: E major scale (hands separately, one octave), Scherzo, and Piano Man

How to practice it most effectively: The E major scale uses the same fingers as other scales, and has F#, C#, G#, and D#. For the Scherzo, play hands separately until the double bar line on the 2nd line of page 47. For LH, there is always a common note between two chords – use this to help you when you go back and forth. Bb is in our key signature for both D minor and F major (which is why we call them relative). For Piano Man, add bar 47 to the end to your practicing. Play hand separately until the arpeggio part which we’ve played before on pages 1-2. Please isolate bars 53-54 a few times in the RH – essentially what we are playing here are D major and G major triads. Soon we will have the whole song learned!

 

Kollel

Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day

What to practice: Bb major scale, Canon, Prelude

How to practice it most effectively: In the Bb major scale, RH always plays with finger 4 on Bb, finger 3 on Eb, while for LH it’s the opposite  (finger 3 on Bb, 4 on Eb). In the Canon, start adding dynamics in the first few lines since they are the most comfortable. You can read until the end of the piece now! Take bars 29-36 hands separately for now, but throughout the week you may find you can play them together slowly. Please just remember to use scale fingers in the right hand for all those 16th note lines. For Prelude, make sure you are practicing by isolating the trickier lines (line 4 especially and also line 5). Isolating bar 14 and 16 for notes and articulation is a good idea, since this is the first time RH is the one playing legato and LH staccato. Please pay extra attention to the written finger numbers in line 4! In line 5, even though the rhythms are not identical, the hands are still playing the same letters at the same time (in unison).

 

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