Be sure to put blue stickers on your piano for the Left Hand. C-F-A. Stress correct fingering of 5-2-1.
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!
Homework: pp. 6–7 Students are filling in the crossword puzzle using the music alphabet. Remember, after G comes letter A!
“The first 3 notes just happen to be Do Re Mi!” Maria got it right teaching the von Trapp children the solfege before note names. Now that our students can sing, play, and sight read notes through solfege, and keyboard geography is solid, we are getting ready to label all of the white keys on the piano. This begins with the music alphabet! The music alphabet includes the 1st seven notes of the English Alphabet except that it starts on the Letter C and after G comes letter A. The first 7 notes just happen to be C D E F G A B!
Block and Broken
Playing music is like reading a book. We start at the left side of the page and move our eyes to the right. When the note changes, so do our fingers. Help guide this song while sitting on the left of your child and pointing to the notes in each measure. Once your child is comfortable playing the song, practice making sure each measure gets 3 steady beats. Feel free to sing, “RED-2-3; DO (count 1) MI (count 2) SOL (count 3). BLUE-2-3; DO FA LA,” etc…This will help your student understand how to read the music and work towards playing this song with a steady beat.
Snowflakes are Falling
Brrr ... it’s cold outside! Warm up inside your home by playing this ostinato on the tone bells. Sing starting on RE, “Snowflakes are falling, falling very gently”. Then play LA, SOL, FA, MI for “down, down, down, down”. Keep singing the lyrics then repeating this DOWN pattern until you’re feeling toasty inside and finish the song by playing a final DOWN on the RE bell. Try it in a round as a family around the fire with the music album!
Who Am I? I’m the SPIDEY BLUE CHORD!
Spin a chord of fun playing the Left Hand Blue Chord with fingers 5-2-1.
**There may be a typo in the "Play Piano" section of the practice this week. It says to play pg 4 of Turtle Shells, but it should say pg 5. Please mark that in your books.
-Place red Stickers on bass clef.
-You should have NO stickers for the right hand anymore, however, do keep checking up to be sure that the right hand skills are a solid foundation for your child. Goo Gone is great at getting sticky residue off the keys!
-A tidbit by LPM teacher Marie Guthrie via Facebook: A couple of my Yellow Arrows were concerned that the stickers for their RH were gone. I compared the stickers to training wheels on their bike. I asked, "Now that you know how to ride a bike, do you keep the training wheels on?" No. "Well, the stickers are like training wheels. You learned how to play them, so then we take your training wheels off." They got it. No more whining, because they wouldn't be caught dead riding a bike with training wheels!
Tuition is due. Please look for an invoice in your email if you haven't already paid.
A new semester and a fresh start! Focus on making practice time as fun and loving as possible — give your child warm, friendly eye contact, smile with your voice, be a little silly, show you are relaxed and happy to sit with your child, and look for the good in your child's effort. Notice the joy in your child's eyes. Verbalize the good you see and hug your child often. This is the beginning of the practice relationship that will be essential to your child's success in Let's Play Music. The more you invest your energy into positive interaction, the more solid and successful this habit will become.
After doing your assignment for class, allow your child to fool around and experiment if he wants to, and play a song you know -- no matter how simple. This can be done anytime or multiple times throughout the week. Model joy as you play the piano. If you make a mistake, smile and show that you are relaxed and enjoy trying again to fix the mistake. Celebrate your effort to give him the idea his efforts are something to enjoy and celebrate.
Homework: pp. 4–5 Students trace the clefs and fill in the chord notes.
Left Hand Finger Power through Bubble Hands & Turtle Shells
This semester we will focus on strengthening our left hand finger muscles! Playing Bubble Hands in numerical order on the keyboard is a great way to strengthen and reinforce finger numbers. Thumb is 1, Pointer is 2, Middle is 3, Ring-man is 4, and Pinky is 5. LH pinky is on C, the bottom red dot. After your child is confident with the finger numbers in order, mix it up to cement this concept with the Left Hand!
Playing Turtle Shells with the music album will ALSO help strengthen those fingers. Look closely at the music on the page and it will help you know what finger numbers to play. Hold each interval down the entire time you are singing until the next interval.
Do You Want To Build a Red Snowman?
The Left Hand Red Chord looks the very same on the staff: stacked up nice and neat with a 3rd on the bottom and a 3rd on the top in a snowman shape. We PLAY the red chord with our left hand finger numbers 5-3-1 (finger 5 on bass C, the bottom red dot). Invite your little musician to play Old Paint with the left hand this week! They’ll be thrilled to play a song they already know, PLUS they will be strengthening their fingers! Double bonus!
The proper hand position for this technique song is Middle C Position where both thumbs SHARE Middle C like a BUTTERFLY! This week work on coordinating both hands at once by singing finger numbers SLOWLY until they get the hang of this 5 finger pattern. Then add the lyrics.
Since both red chords are shaped like a snowman, how do we know which hand to play it with? By looking at which CLEF is on the staff.
Introducing Treble and Bass Clef! The TREBLE CLEF has a lot of curls, like "Girls Curly Hair, (say it in a high pitched voice because those are the high notes that we play with our right hand). The BASS CLEF looks like "Father's Strong Arm and some fathers like to play bass-ball!" (say it in a deep voice because those are the low notes that we play with our left hand).
You can download the Pirate Ships coloring book below. Enjoy coloring together while listening to the music!
Thank you for a FANTASTIC 1st year! I cannot wait for the next one! Look for a Welcome email in August! And if you have any friends interested, I am opening two Year 1 classes for the Fall. Share the music love!
Don't let summer strip away all of your child's skills and knowledge. Enroll now in Let's Play it Again! Fun, playful activities review skills and concepts taught in Year 2.
Parental attention is a powerful driving force of motivation. Choose to make your attention toward your child's developing musicianship overwhelmingly positive. Notice and cheer when they sing. Let them know you love to hear their voice. Allow your child to overhear you telling a friend or family member something positive about their hard work this year, or the happiness you see in them when they are playing, singing, or making music. ALL your positive reinforcements will pay dividends for years to come.
Turn out your toes and celebrate the conclusion of a REMARKABLE year of singing, playing, and learning how to play the piano! Hooray!
With summer vacation on the horizon it’s great to have a Practice Plan to keep your little musician's skills sharpened to be ready for Purple Magic in the fall!