Dvorah

Recommended minutes to practice: 10 minutes a day

What to practice: Petit Minuet, Rodeo

How to practice it most effectively: In Petit Minuet we have a new time signature, 3/4, as well as a new RH position (finger 1 on D). When we are in a new position like this, it helps to say/sing the letters out loud while you play. In 3/4 there are only 3 beats per bar – still hang on to half notes for 2 counts, and dotted halves for the full 3. Rodeo has a new LH note: A! Please make sure your counting is nice and even, even when there are lots of repeated notes like in the second line.

 

Diya

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: “loo loo loo/woo woo woo” warmup, do-re-mi up and down the scale, Do a Deer, My Favourite Things, Firefly

How to practice it most effectively: For the first warmup, start on a middle C and go up 3 notes then back down. From there, you can play your starting note on piano (up 1 semitone every time), as you sing on “loo loo loo”. Once you get to around an F#, change to “woo woo woo”. You may take this exercise up to around a B. For our scale, think of saying “sofa” on your way down to help with the sol-fa order! It also helps to write down the syllables and visually follow along left to right on the way up, and right to left on the way down. Please continue singing Do a Deer with the karaoke. For My Favourite Things, there are lots of lovely lyrics in the verses – sing along with the lyric video and make sure you’re enunciating all the consonants. The verses are lighter and a bit softer while the chorus “When the dog bites…” is bold and louder. For the big note “Feel” at the end of the chorus, see if you can still let your jaw be relaxed and long instead of spread so your sound can ring out. For Firefly, please continue to practice from top to bottom – your reading is improving every day! Watch out for when there are skips, and hold longer notes (half notes and whole notes) for their full value.

 

Marco

Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Haunted Mouse, Classic Dance

How to practice it most effectively: Haunted Mouse can be our review piece this week. Play around with the cool sound effects on your keyboard and try to find the spookiest! In Classic Dance there is a lot going on – there are lots of dynamic instructions and legato into staccato articulations. Even when playing a p dynamic, make sure your fingers are pressing all the way into the keys please. Bars 3 and 11 have the hands playing 4-3-2 together on staccatos; when playing staccatos, make sure your wrist is bouncy and  light (especially when trying to make them quiet).

 

Oliver

Recommended minutes to practice: 10-15 minutes a day

What to practice: Amazing Grace

How to practice it most effectively: Today we spoke about eighth notes, and how we count with “ands” whenever they are in our songs. Eighth notes only get half a beat (o.5!). For Amazing Grace, please count “one, two, three and” for bars that have eighth notes in them. As always, please double check where we are stepping versus where we are skipping. LH also has a cheeky little cross at the end to a C above middle C!

 

Alice

Recommended minutes to practice: 15 minutes a day

What to practice: Football Game, Octavius the Octopus, Attention, Little Do You Know

How to practice it most effectively: In Football Game, LH is in C position on the bass clef. Please watch your steps versus skips (and that one 5th that RH plays!). Octavius the Octopus is a LH only song – we are doing octaves from middle C down to low C, as well as a C major scale in the bottom line. Please use the written finger numbers. For Attention, the spots to give a little extra attention to – no pun intended – are the second half of verse 2 “now that we’re, now that we’re…standing face to face” where his melody goes up, and the “what are you doing to me, what are you doing now” bridge, where we chose to sing the higher harmony. Please continue singing Little Do You Know with the Alex & Sierra version.

 

Linda

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

What to practice: G, D, A, E major scales, New Shoes, Distant Chimes, and Cry Me a River

How to practice it most effectively: For the scales, you may alternate playing one in the RH, then the next in the LH, etc. since we are doing them hands separately. Remember the sharps always stack on top of the old ones, and new sharps go on the 7th degree. For New Shoes, let’s work on getting bars 9 to the end feeling just as peppy as bars 1-8. Distant Chimes uses a lot of 5ths in patterns – in spots were these patterns are comfortable, experiment with adding the pedals so we really get that chime sound. Please be careful with the eighth notes going into quarter notes rhythm in the first line. For Cry Me a River, continue playing through the chords, maybe adding the LH bass notes in as well. In the B section we talked about using inversions for F-7b5 to B7 (bottom two notes would stay, top two would move down a semitone).

 

Emet

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes a day

What to practice: D, E, and A minor triads (hands separately, 1 octave), Tarantella, and you may start looking at Walk, Don’t Run.

How to practice it most effectively: For the triads, always confirm the 3 letters involved before going through all the inversions. Remember that RH plays with finger 2 in first inversion, while LH plays with finger 2 in second inversion. For Tarantella, you can put the first 2 lines hands together, and later in the week potentially lines 3 and 5. RH’s rhythm in bars 2 and 6 is an eighth note on beat one, then a rest, then another eighth note on beat 3 – make sure to have that beat of silence. The rhythms are very important in this song, as well as the articulation between legato and detached parts (for example in lines 4 and 6). Please double check that you’ve got a Bb in all your shapes and intervals since it’s in the key signature.

 

Kollel

Recommended minutes to practice: 20 minutes a day

What to practice: C, F, and G major triads (hands together, 1 octave), Dance of the Dragonflies, The Black Pony

How to practice it most effectively: For the triads, always confirm the 3 letters involved before going through all the inversions. Remember that RH plays with finger 2 in first inversion, while LH plays with finger 2 in second inversion. In Dance of the Dragonflies, isolate bars 29-32 a few times, noticing the patterns. This line (29-35) could use a bit more attention to get it up to speed with the rest of the piece. Continue to make articulation a priority. In The Black Pony, we actually only play with black keys this entire song! Go hands separately, once again prioritizing staccatos and also correct 16th note rhythms. LH is the melody in this piece, and hops around a lot between octaves and sometimes clefs.

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