Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day
What to practice: Best Friends, Gorilla in the Tree, and My Invention
How to practice it most effectively: Today we reviewed what middle C looks like on the keyboard, and how it can be played in either RH or LH. The three notes we know on the staff so far are: middle C for both hands, F for LH (on the 4th line of bass clef), and G for RH (on the 2nd line of treble clef). Remember that the staves move together in time, so in My Invention, you have to watch out which hand is playing first. Our positions in these songs are no longer just C position – the finger numbers are written beside each hand’s starting note.
Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day
What to practice: G major scale (hands together), labelling notes on the bottom of page 4, memorizing sayings for treble and bass clefs, sigh warmup, A Million Dreams
How to practice it most effectively: The G major scale when played hands together has RH and LH finger 3s lining up on E and B. Go slowly, and make sure the same note is being played in both hands. The sayings for treble and bass clef are Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE sayings for treble clef (RH) and Good Birds Don’t Fly Away and All Cows Eat Grass for bass clef (LH). I like to think of treble clef being humans, and bass clef being animals. For the sigh vocal warmup, start on “ah” around an E, and slide down to the bottom of your range smoothly. For the second sigh, start higher on an A. Finally, the third sigh you can do starting on a high D and sliding all the way down. In A Million Dreams, continue singing along to the lyric video on youtube (so not karaoke yet). Your verse starting note is middle C, pre-chorus starting note is A, and chorus starting note is D – play these when you get to that section in the lyric video to help you stay on track with the melody!
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day
What to practice: Firefly, finishing the composition, and labelling notes on bottom of page 7
How to practice it most effectively: In Firefly, there are lots of steps and skips using all the C position notes we’ve learned in our previous book. Use sayings Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE sayings for treble clef (RH) and Good Birds Don’t Fly Away and All Cows Eat Grass for bass clef (LH). Be extra careful with your steps versus skips. These sayings should be reviewed from time to time because they are very helpful and should eventually be memorized.
Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day
What to practice: C position warmup (hands together), Elephant Ride, “loo loo loo” vocal warmup, and Love You Like a Love Song
How to practice it most effectively: The piano C position warmup will have RH finger 1 on C and LH finger 5 on C. Walk the hands up and back down matching the letters and doing your best to connect between the notes. In Elephant Ride we have lots of skips, but these ones go from space to space instead of line to line. Steps will always move line-space-line-space in order. If you’re ever stuck on a note, use your Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE sayings for treble clef (RH) and Good Birds Don’t Fly Away and All Cows Eat Grass for bass clef (LH). For the “loo loo” vocal warmup, start on the C above middle C and give yourself your starting note. The warmup is 5 note steps going down. After C go down to B as a starting note, then A, etc. until it gets too low to sing. For Love You Like a Love Song, alternate singing with the original track and the Sing King karaoke. When singing with the karaoke, play the letter E above middle C on the piano during the chorus to keep you on track. Play on “I” and the first 2 “love song baby”s.
Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day
What to practice: B major scale (1 octave hands separately), Piano Man, and Scherzo (we will start with this one next week).
How to practice it most effectively: In the B major scale we use all the black keys (so 5 sharps). RH uses regular fingerings, but LH uses 4-3-2-1-4-3-2-1 (so finger 5 never plays). Piano Man can be played all hands together now! Just be extra careful in all the bars where we circled the eighth note rhythms. Also, in the “dah dah” section, go slowly and make sure the ties are holding through. Bars 5 to 8 could use some isolation time – RH specifically should play them through a few times with correct rhythm and holds, and then LH can be added in. Please continue to practice the Scherzo, even though we didn’t get to it this week.
Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day
What to practice: Bb major scale (hands separately 2 octaves), Prelude, Canon
How to practice it most effectively: In the Bb major scale, remember that RH always plays 4 on Bb and 3 on Eb, while for LH it’s the opposite – 3 on Bb and 4 on Eb. In the Prelude, please isolate RH in bars 14 and 16, and LH in bars 17-19 for correct articulation. RH should be legato all through its scale, and LH’s staccatos in bar 18 will help you get to where you need to be regardless of fingerings. After playing these sections a few times in just one hand, you may add in the other. Please also double check the notes for pickup to bar 9. For the Canon, bravo for getting it all hands together! Now we can start adding in dynamics. Do be thinking of the letters involved for each triad that LH’s chord progression is based on (of course, they will follow our D major key signature – using F# and C# where needed).