Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day
What to practice: Come See the Parade, Hey, Hey, Look at Me
How to practice it most effectively: For Come See the Parade, we have a new LH note! G is the top space of the bass clef, right under A. RH is playing intervals of a 5th (C and G) together at the same time int his song. Be extra careful when you get to the endings of bar 8 and bar 12 – the pattern is not exactly the same. Hey, Hey Look at Me is all skips – skips move from line to line, and in this song we are playing them with fingers 1-3-5.
Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day
What to practice: Sailing in the Sun, “na na na” vocal warmup, and My Favourite Things
How to practice it most effectively: For Sailing in the Sun, you can play the whole song now! You can use the labelled finger numbers to help you figure out notes as well as the sayings, since when you’re in a position your fingers always remain on the same notes. In bars 9-12 think of see-saws as you connect between LH and RH. The main thing in this song is the legato playing – anytime there are notes under a slur they need to be played connected. The “na na na” warmup starts on C-E-G, G-E-C then continues up through D minor skips, E minor skips, etc. For My Favourite Things, as you continue to sing with the karaoke, listen closely to the instrument that also plays the “brown paper packages….” melody. Here are a couple of lyric videos for both Never Enough and Best Day of My Life: You can start listening and maybe singing along to these this week.
Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day
What to practice: The Lonely Pine, Li’l Liza Jane
How to practice it most effectively: For both of these songs we are using RH in all the 4 spaces (remember that they spell FACE from bottom to top!). In The Lonely Pine RH starts in high C position then has a shift to F position in bar 6. Do your best to observe the dynamics. In Li’l Liza Jane, both hands are in F position, but this time there are both skips and steps in the melody. You can start by playing this one with RH only, then trying it hands together. Once notes get comfy, try to speed it up!
Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day
What to practice: C major scale (one hand at a time going up), Copycat, and Little Do You Know
How to practice it most effectively: In the C major scale, LH’s fingerings are 5-4-3-2-1-3-2-1. RH’s fingerings are 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-5. Do your best to connect between the notes. In Copycat, LH is always repeating what RH plays before it, just down in the bass clef. Even though this song is long there are lots of patterns and repeated sections. Please watch out for your steps versus skips, especially when you get to the bar 5-6 and 13-14 sections (the pattern is a little different!). For Little Do You Know, try singing it with the karaoke track this week. You can of course still go back to the lyric video once in a while for support. For the karaoke, give yourself your first note (E above middle C) before starting, since all you get is 3 taps and then you’re in on the 4th beat (before the chord). Please make sure you’re really pronouncing your consonants in the chorus since with so many “ay” vowels the words can blur. Here is a good karaoke video:
Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes a day
What to practice: Distant Chimes, Calico Cat, Cry Me a River, rhythm tapping
How to practice it most effectively: Even though it’s in great shape, you can of course keep playing Distant Chimes since it’s a lovely piece and very soothing. The goal is to smoothly flow through the whole form top to bottom. The new piece from the RCM book is Calico Cat, which is quick and has lots of staccatos – quite the contrast! For Cry Me a River, besides playing through the chords, you may also try reading the melody with your right hand; just use whichever fingers seem logical/comfortable. It doesn’t have to be perfect! You can continue to try the rhythm clapping/tapping from the other RCM book using the one hand tapping quarter notes method while you either say or tap the written rhythm. I’m attaching a Google drive link for I’ve Got You Under My Skin, if you could print that off and we will look at it next week.
Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day
What to practice: C, F, and G minor triads (hands separately 1 octave), Tarantella, and Walk Don’t Run
How to practice it most effectively: When playing your triads, please be extra conscious of where each hands’ finger 2 plays – for RH it’s in first inversion, and for LH it’s in second inversion (wherever the 4th happens with your pinky). For Tarantella, the whole piece can be played hands together! You can still play RH by itself once in lines 4 and 6 just to practice the slurs (please make sure you’re connecting both between beats 3 and 4 and beats 6 and 1). Really be counting your “1-2-3-4-5-6” while playing these lines so you feel the rests. For Walk Don’t Run, you may play the whole piece hands together except for bars 9-12 and 17 to the end. In these sections I’d like RH to play by itself, paying extra attention to rhythms. Please double check the eighth-eighth-quarter rhythms in the intro, as well as LH’s octave.
Recommended minutes to practice: 25 minutes a day
What to practice: D, E, and A major triads (hands together, 1 octave), The Black Pony, and Dance of the Dragonflies
How to practice it most effectively: For your triads, go slowly and really make sure you’re on the right notes with the right fingers. For The Black Pony, you can absolutely play the whole piece hands together! Still double check LH’s notes in bars 11 and 19, they should be Db-Bb-Ab-Bb. For now you can still ignore the pedal markings in the middle section of the piece. Keep your staccatos bouncy – the middle section is a nice contrast from the pedal/dreamy intro and outro. RH please double check your octave for that last line. For Dance of the Dragonflies, the biggest thing is the light/bouncy touch on the staccatos. Something else to consider is that the dynamic for most of the piece is piano. Line 3 still could use a bit more attention, just to get it to the same speed as the rest of the piece. A good practice tip is to isolate this line 3x before playing the whole thing through.