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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chopin Waltz Pedaling

Encountering the pedaling in the Chopin Waltz in Suzuki Book 5 might be a little difficult at first. It is similar to the pedaling used in the Beethoven at the beginning of the book. However, there is more clarity if the cadence pedaling is not the same as what is used previously. I like to wait and pedal LATE on the downbeat of the cadence.

See below:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Finding your Tempo

One of the hardest things to practice at home by yourself is keeping a steady tempo.  You slow down for the hard parts, you rush through the easy parts.  I get it!  However, your first step to playing a piece at one tempo, is to find the tempo of your hardest passage.  Figure out how fast you're able to comfortably play that, and then start the piece in that tempo.

Here is an example of Adrian playing her toughest passage, and then starting her piece in that tempo. I bet her Sonatina is going to sound so steady in lesson next week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Counting at the end of Hungarian Folk Song - Suzuki Book 2

If you have mastered the down-ups - the slurred chords, the accents and the coordination needed to play this piece, congratulations!  There's just one more thing - the counting in the last line of the piece!

Here is the last line - it looks easy!  But make sure you count.  (The beats are written in for you here.)

And here is a student practicing it:

Staccato Practice for Beginners

Many students have trouble acquiring the crisp sound of a good staccato.  Usually it is because they are playing down towards the keys instead of up and away from the keys.  Here is a brief example of a child just learning how to play a bouncy staccato:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Body Staff Overview

By now, your children have been working all year on using the Body Staff to understand pre-reading Suzuki pieces.  Below is a quick overview of the beginnings of each of the pieces.  This is a good way to practice how to start each piece and understanding the differences between then when we finally start reading on the staff.

Basic Music Concepts

Here is a quick review with a few of my students of some of the basic concepts they learn at the beginning of piano study.

Piano, Forte, Largo, Presto, Bass and Treble.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Beethoven Sonatina LH, Suzuki Book 2

At this point in music study, the melody of a new piece is very easy for a student to pick up.  I always get them started with the LH so that they feel comfortable moving on with the piece.  After the slide up into the black keys in m. 1-2 of this Sonatina, it is measures 3-4 that pose the bigger difficulty.

The top line of the LH chords is going to be legato, while the bottom line needs to lift in order to repeat the same note.  Here is how it is done: