Sunday, December 28, 2014

Haydn Sonata in C major

     It is the end of 2014, so why not listen to one of the masters and be inspired? I decided to listen to the great pianist, Sviatoslav Richter, for inspiration in my piano practicing today. Always listen to great artists to be motivated. For some reason, there are students and even older musicians who neglect listening to great recordings. As a result, they struggle to expand their musical horizons and limit their opportunities to grow their understanding of music. Do not fall into this trap, keep expanding your understanding of music by listening to great performances.

Here is Richter play the Sonata in C Major Hob XVI n. 35 (I), which Suzuki students will study in book 5. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Louisville Philharmonia Christmas Concert!

     Ready for Christmas! Here is a great way to have fun with the family, enjoy some music, inspire your children in their musicCome join us Friday, December 5th at 730 p.m. & Saturday, December 6th at Beargrass Christian Church. It is located at 4100 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY  40207. And yes, it's free!
We will be featuring guest conductor Jason Hart Raff and, some of my friends, The Misty Mountain String Band. So come enjoy some of your musical holiday favorites!

Some of the selections includes:

Music from the movie Frozen, The Night Before Christmas (narrated by Helen Starr Jones),  Sleigh Ride, Overture on French Carols, Evening Prayer and Dream Pantomime from Hansel and Gretel, Rejoice from Messiah (featuring soprano Darlene Welch), O Holy Night, The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and The Bells of Paradise

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Practice Strategies for Minuet No. 1 in Suzuki Book 1

     You are a 3/4 of the way through the book and are now going to embark on the 3 Minuets of J.S. Bach! You are now playing Bach, this a good step up! Bach wrote these minuets originally for his wife to play on the harpsichord. Here are some tips to get started:
Structure. The piece is organized in two main sections, but we can think of the song in 3 parts (more why below). Here’s how they are played: part 1 mezzo forte (line 1-2), part 2 piano then mezzo forte (line 3-4), part 3 piano then mezzo forte (line 5-6).

New Skills. 
1. Hook Bows. This bow stroke is also called portato and is played down-down or up-up. You will recognize this in the music where there is a curved line over two notes and dots above them in measures 1 and 3. The best way to work your hook bow for now it to play with a smooth bow and stopping between the two notes. Another way of saying this is don't play hook bows with crunches and squeezing, since it will not give you a good tone.
2. Low-High Two. In the previous piece, Etude, low 2 on A and E string was introduced. But now, in part 1 and 3 we have low 2 on the A string and high 2 in part 2. This is why I break the piece up in three parts, so that it is easier to remember where the high 2 is played.
3. Artistry. Since the Minuet is a dance in 3/4 time, once the song is flowing we can emphasize the first note of every measure with more bow. The emphasis of the first beat in a Minuet is a way to make it more professional and expressive. 

1. Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on hook bows.
2. Play the finger concerto with low 2 and high 2. Play on every string once with low 2 then with high 2 and that will make it easier to switch between them. 
3. Play through the piece with all low 2s then bring the high 2 back in part 2. You can also do it the other way, play everything high 2 and then add the low 2s where they belong. 
4. Play along with the Youtube video above and other recordings.
5. Be creative with your playing this week, add hook bows to all the songs you know.

What do you think? Do you have any tips? Any questions, suggestions or concerns? Let me hear from you. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven: Storm and Stress, Part 3

          In our first and second posts on Ludwig van Beethoven we looked at his early life and music. We will now look at the big changes that would await him in his later years as well as some of his most famous works.

Big Changes
          In April 1800, Ludwig rented a concert hall and performed some of Mozart’s and Haydn’s pieces. He also played a few of his own newly composed. The concert didn’t really turn out well, mostly because the orchestra didn't follow the soloist.
          Around this time, Ludwig began giving music lessons to the daughters of Countess Anna Brunsvik. He fell in love with the younger daughter, Josephine. But since she was the daughter of a countess, and he was only a poor composer, she married off to someone else soon after he began giving her lessons. Beethoven was  very picky about the students that he took on and, at the same time, very dedicated to those he accepted. One of the most famous were Carl Czerny who later taught Franz Lizst.

           The next few years were a bit more prosperous for Ludwig mostly due to the fact that his brother came and helped him manage his money and sell his music.

           But, at age 26, Ludwig tragically began to lose his hearing. He suffered from a ringing in his ears that eventually made him completely deaf. So little by little he could not hear the music he composed. Ludwig also suffered from stomach pain all his life. He moved to a small country town outside Vienna hoping that it  would help his health, which led him to become very depressed during this time. He didn’t want to keep on living, but he wrote a letter to his brothers saying that he would continue to live for and through music.

           When Ludwig returned to Vienna, he began composing more heroic, grand pieces, like his Fifth Symphony. He was very ill at different times during this period. He was also nursing his brother through tuberculosis and taking care of his family, which took a great deal of his money.

His Final Years           

          When his brother died, he fought his nephew’s mother for guardianship of his nephew, because Ludwig thought he could take better care of him. (This nephew’s mother was, among other things, a convicted thief, so it’s no wonder Ludwig didn’t trust her.) During the last years of his life, he tried to control his nephew’s life, but it didn’t turn out very well.

          He wrote his Ninth Symphony in those last years. At the time, he had begun studying older pieces of music in depth – mostly music by Handel and J. S. Bach. But his health was getting worse and worse, and on March 26, 1827, Ludwig died at age 56. The story goes that there was a huge clap of thunder, and the dying man sat up in bed and shook his fist at the thunder, defying nature even as he died.

          Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most famous composers of all time. Some of his well-known pieces include the MoonlightSonata, the Ninth Symphony, Fur Elise, and the Pathetique sonata. He also wrote one opera, called Fidelio

          Beethoven is an important composer because he helped usher music into its next stage, the Romantic era, by writing powerful, grand pieces. So, he is famous as both a classical and a romantic composer. His life was full of trouble and sickness, but he refused to let that stop him from writing his music. His music is sometimes grand and exciting, and at other times it is soft and sensitive. No one can deny that he is one of the best composers that has ever lived.

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Child's Recital is Tomrrow, What Do I Do?

     Your child's recital is tomorrow and you are unsure what to do. Maybe you can say that you are anxious because you do not want your child to mess up. Here are some quick tips that will help in preparation for the recital:

1. Pack. Check your bag and instrument twice the night before and the day of the recital; you want to make sure you have everything you need.
2. Early is on time. Get there 20-30 minutes early to get settled in, unpack, use the bathroom, warm-up, and not feel rushed.
3. Encourage. Tell your child how good they are doing, reassure them that you enjoy their music, and give them some specific compliments. This is not the time to ask them, "Are you ready?" or "Did you practice enough?" or "Are you nervous?" These kinds of questions will just raise the anxiety level of your child and will not help anyone perform their best. They are already nervous, so be there for them to bolster their confidence.
4. Remember. Talk through what to do when it's their turn to perform, like you discussed in lessons with your teacher.
5. Enjoy. Look forward to the recital, enjoy yourself, socialize, video record what your child is playing, bring snacks for the reception and enjoy them with people. Your attitude will affect others around you, so make the most of the recital. 

Are these tips helpful? What have you been doing to make recitals a good experience?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven: Storm and Stress, Part 2

In our first post on Ludwig van Beethoven, we looked at his beginnings in music. He was first taught music by his father and performed regularly, then got the opportunity to study under and work for Christian Neefe. 

Rise to Fame

After the death of his mother, Beethoven's father Johann turned to alcohol to find comfort in his sadness over his wife’s death. So eighteen-year-old Ludwig not only had to deal with his mother’s death and his father’s drinking problems, but he also took charge of his two younger brothers. As a result, Ludwig stayed in Bonn for the next five years, playing the viola in the court orchestra to earn money to support himself and his brothers.
          A few years pass and in March 1792, at the age of 22 Ludwig left for Vienna to study and work on his counterpoint under Franz Josef Haydn and a few other teachers. It was around this time that he composed the Piano Trios. Soon after he arrived, he heard that his father had died. It was at this time that Ludwig started becoming popular and making a name for himself in Vienna over the next few years by improvising music for parties he was hired to play, performing many Bach pieces which he had memorized. During this time, Ludwig wrote pieces of music in the Classical style, like Mozart and Haydn. Soon, not only was Beethoven becoming popular for his extraordinary performance skills, but he was also slowly becoming famous for his compositions. Many rich and famous people paid him money for his musical work, even though he was known around Vienna as a rude and short-tempered man with a disdain for authority and high rank. He stopped playing if the audience whispered among themselves or made any noise and refused to perform if someone asked him to play without giving him previous warning. However, his rude behavior was always overlooked because of his great talent and passion.

Guest author: Rachel Holbrook

Come back next week for Part 3!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pactice Tips for Allegro, No. 8 Suzuki Book 1

     Welcome to the 1st piece out of 5 that Dr. Suzuki composed for this book. Students typically enjoy Allegro because it’s fast and staccato, here are some tips to make it worthwhile:
Playing Position. Go to playing position a few times with your eyes closed. This will help challenge you to get ready to play.

Structure. The piece is laid out in 2 parts. Here’s how they are played: part 1 forte (first line), part 1 forte (second line), part 2 dolce (third line), part 1 forte  (fourth line).

New Skills.
1. Theory. Allegro means fast, live, with energy. Ritardando means to gradually slow down. A Tempo means play at the original speed. Fermata means to hold it out at least 2 times the worth of the note. Tenuto means to play the notes with big bow to have a sustained sound.
2. Speed. At the beginning of part 2 (the third line) you will notice that it has the word dolce, which means sweetly, underneath the notes. To play sweetly musicians usually play with a long and smooth bow at a slower tempo. That is why we see the dashes on top of the notes (tenuto). This is a great opportunity for us to try part 2 at different speeds. Not only that, but at the end of part 2 we have a rit. so we slow down in different ways. I challenge students to hold out the last note of part 2 as long as possible.
3. Always Down. If you look at the beginning of each line, it starts down. So, after the last note of line 1-3 you need to lift the bow and place it back at the middle.

1. Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on long and smooth bows.
2. Play and say the fingerings to focus your mind on the notes that you are playing.
3. Practice making the last note of each line very long and then pause to place the bow at the middle. This way, the bow will be silent as you prepare to start the next line. Over time you will be able to do it quicker and quicker, do not rush yourself because it will prevent you from playing your best.
4. Play along with the Youtube video above and other recordings.
5. Be creative with your playing this week, add dolce to all the songs you know.

What do you think? Do you have any tips? Any questions, suggestions or concerns? Let me hear from you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven: Storm and Stress, Part 1

Historical Period: Late Classical – Early Romantic
Nationality: German
Born: December 16, 1770, Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827, Vienna, Austria
Contemporaries: Franz Josef Haydn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

What’s Happening in History?
In America, the colonists are fighting for liberty from Britain. Jane Austen publishes her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, in 1811. Napoleon Bonaparte conquers much of Europe. In France, the peasants revolt against King Louis, and thousands of people are murdered on the guillotine. Mozart is still giving concerts as a young man.

Early Life
     Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December 16, 1770 to Johann and Maria van Beethoven. (Maria’s father was a chef at the court of an archbishop.) Little Ludwig was first taught music by his father. Some people say that Ludwig’s father was a harsh teacher, but we don’t know that for a fact. What is true is that Johann van Beethoven tried to exploit his son’s talent perhaps for money, and make him famous like Mozart. Johann even pretended that Ludwig was six instead of seven in the advertisements for Ludwig’s concerts. Around that time, Ludwig was also taught by friends of the family and relatives.

     Soon after, Ludwig had the opportunity to study composition with an important teacher in Bonn named Christian Gottleb Neefe. Even though Ludwig did not get much education besides music, he became very interested in philosophy and literature. His interest was spurred on by the fact that Bonn was a place where people discussed new ideas constantly.

     In March 1783, Ludwig had one of his compositions published and began working for Christian Neefe as an assistant organist. The Variations in C Minor on a march by Earnst Christoph Dressler is the first works he composed and published. Around this time, Ludwig was introduced to several important people who liked his music and some of them became his patrons later. A few years later, in March 1787, Ludwig traveled to Vienna to take lessons with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We do not know if they actually met, because after just two months in Vienna, Ludwig received the news that his mother was dying, so he rushed back to Bonn. 

    Come back next week for Part 2!

    Guest author: Rachel Holbrook


Friday, October 31, 2014

Practice Tips for Long, Long Ago Suzuki Book 1

   Get ready for a dynamics roller-coaster in your new piece, Long, Long Ago. Here are some tips to go along on the ride with this folk song:
Playing Position. Go to playing position a few times with your eyes closed. This will help challenge you to get ready to play.

Structure. The piece is laid out in 3 parts. The order in the songs is the following: part 1 (first line) mf, part 2 (second line), part 3, and part 2 mf (third line).

New Skills.
1. Theory: Moderato means medium speed, decrescendo means get gradually quieter.
2. Rhythms: half rest equals 2 beats and looks like a small box sitting on the third line of the staff.
3. Dynamics: crescendo. The crescendo was introduced in O, Come Little Children, where in part 2 and 3 we get louder and louder. Towards the end of the song we have a decrescendo, which means to get softer and softer
4. Three Strings: We now have the opportunity to play a song that uses the E, A and D string. In part 3 we hop the first finger from the A to D string.

1. Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on crescendos and decrescendos.
2. After you listen to the song one time and follow the notes, listen again and clap the notes along with the song to starting learning the rhythm of the song.
3. Practice hopping each finger 3 times from the A to the D string.
4. Play along with the Youtube video above.
5. Add crescendos and decrescendos to numbers 1-6.

     If you want a quick way to boost the speed of your progress, challenge yourself to do a 2-minute Theory Flaschard Challenge. This means that you push yourself to see how many flashcards you can get in 2 minutes. Let me know how it went and were my tips helpful?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Prctice Tips for May Song, Suzuki Book 1

     You have started songs on the A string, on the E string, down bow, up bow, and with 2 fingers on the A string. So now you are ready for May Song, here are some tips:
  • Playing Position: go to playing position a few times with your eyes closed. This will help challenge you to get ready to play.
  • Structure: The order is part 1 (first line) f, part 2 mf, part 2 p (second line), and part 1 f (third line).
  • New Skills: 
    • rhythms - the dotted-half note. This note is worth 1.5 beats, it is easy to make it too short (1 beat) or too long (2 beats). Listen to how I play the first four notes on the video get an idea how to play it.
    • dynamics - there is now forte, mezzo forte, and piano. May a distinct difference between these three levels of volume with the amount of bow that you use.
  • Strategies:  
    • Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on alternating between forte, mf, p and dotted-quarter notes.
    • After you listen to the song one time and follow the notes, listen again and clap the notes along with the song to starting learning the rhythm of the song.
    • Play along with the Youtube video above.
    • Add f, mf and p to the songs you already know.
This week, practice songs and exercises in a different order than usual. Spend one minute on something then go to something else, do this until you practice 5 minutes more than usual. Parents, let your child choose what to switch to next and have fun with it. You can put a timer so that it is easily seen, enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Antonio Vivaldi: The Finale, Part 3

     In our first post and second post we talked Vivaldi's start in music, which came from his father, and then his career move to teach at the Ospedale della Pieta (the Devout Hospital of Mercy). Where did he take himself towards the end of his life?        

  The Finale

          Vivaldi was loved and very much appreciated but was “beat out” of his music by other more modern composers. Longing for popularity he moved to Vienna, Austria. But instead of what he was looking for, he found himself in poverty because his patron Charles VI died, leaving Vivaldi with nothing to look forward to in Vienna. Sadly, Vivaldi died in poverty on July 28, 1741. Many people had buried him in a simple grave but did so without music in the procession.

          A short time after his death, musicians and scholars including Alfredo Casella, worked to make the Vivaldi revival week in 1939. It was a success and Vivaldi's music, from then on, was played by more and more people. One of his compositions, Gloria, was revived and became widely popular, usually played around Christmas. With over 500 pieces and millions of international fans, Vivaldi ended up having a good profession and life. He influenced and inspired many composers in his lifetime such as Johann SebastianBach. We will always remember the one and only Antonio Lucio Vivaldi as a great man. 

By guest student author: Isha, Suzuki Violin Book 2

 The Baroque Period – an article

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When Should My Child Do Their First Recital?

     This week I am having each of my students do a recital during our lesson time. Students range from around 4 years old to high school at a variety of ability levels. Many teachers and parents wonder, "When should a student do their first recital?"

Short answer: In the first session of lessons, which for me is 10 weeks longEvery student first learns all the Twinkles and then we play them together for the family; that tends to be the first recital. Then every session students play a mini-recital of songs they have learned and are mastering.

     The recital usually consists of the student playing all the songs he or she has memorized for family and friends. This goes hand-in-hand with Dr. Suzuki's idea of home recitals being performed regularly for the family. This is an easy way to introduce students and parents to public performances. It also motivates students because they not only have a long-term goal, but also short-term goals in mind. It is very rewarding as a teacher to see students start to have the confidence to invite friends and others outside the family.

     For newer students, I have some surprised parents that I would do a recital in this way and so soon in part because they are used to recitals being once in a while, each student plays one piece and it is a very serious occasion. So I understand the reluctance to do a recital if all you've known is once in a while, serious and stressful. But I do not look at recitals in that way. I think of them as a time of fun and celebration; as a way to show others what you have learned. Students get to dress nice, bring snacks, take a picture together, and have a great time celebrating their progress and accomplishments along with their family. Plus, the family can record the recitals so they can go back to see where their child started. Parents do see the benefits of these recitals after the second and third recital, because they see the progress themselves and see how much their child has accomplished. 

    Yes, students do still get nervous and still make mistakes. But this is part of the process of becoming a musician and you can still have a nice recital. Some teachers, out of good intentions, push really hard that everything be done "perfect," so they wait and wait before having their students play. Some teachers have students play only once a semester, but students need to gain experience playing in front of people as much as gaining proficiency on their instrument. 

    What have you experienced in recitals? What do you think of doing mini-recitals for the family and friends? Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Antonio Vivaldi: The Red-Haired Priest, Part 2

     In our first post, we talked about how our red-haired priest was taught the violin by his father at a young age and how he joined the priesthood of the Catholic church briefly. After leaving the priesthood because of poor health, Vivaldi dedicated himself to his music.

It’s Music Time
     At the age of 25 Vivaldi started working with mostly orphaned girls at the Ospedale della Pieta (the Devout Hospital of Mercy). He helped instruct the orphaned children in the area to become great musicians. After starting his teaching career, Vivaldi took the next step bringing the most talented musicians together to form an orchestra. Vivaldi helped the orchestra gain international attention by performing many types of music, like his famous concertos and even religious choral music. 

Alongside all of his teaching and orchestra directing, Vivaldi started composing operas in 1715. In the Baroque era, operas were new and they were considered a big deal. He performed and made several major operas. Two famous operas that still remain are the works La constanza trionfante and Farnace. In the year 1716 he was appointed musical director and took the lead role finally reaching the height of his musical profession.

Vivaldi started searching for a better job and in his search found many short-term jobs funded by patrons (a patron is someone that gives financial support or just support to a person, organization or an activity). These helpful patrons came from Mantua (a city in Italy) and Rome (capital of Italy). It took Vivaldi about 4 years (from 1717 to 1721) to make his most famous composition, The Four Seasons. He put these pieces together with sonnets (sonnets are poems consisting of fourteen lines of any number or rhyme). But, it is said that Vivaldi either may or may not have written the sonnets used in his piece.

Many famous monarchies adored him. For one, King Louis XV liked Vivaldi because one of Vivaldi’s compositions,  Gloria e Imeneo, was written especially for the king’s wedding. Emperor Charles named him a knight after his beautiful music and many great compositions.

Guest Author: Isha, Suzuki Violin Book I student

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Practice Tips for Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Suzuki Book 1

Believe it or not, but you are 1/4th through the book, a few more songs and you are half way! I have posted some tips in a previous post (check them out), but there's more! Here are some more strategies to Go Tell Aunt Rhody:
  • Playing Position: Prepare the playing position before starting the song, remember that these few seconds of preparation will make it so much easier to play the piece.
  • Structure: The order is part 1 (first line) mf, part 2, part 2 piano (second line), part 1 mf (third line)
  • New Skills: 
    • rhythms - you now have a mix of quarter, eighth, and half notes in the song.
    • dynamics - for the first time in the book you switch from mf (medium strong) to p (softly), so after you get comfortable with the notes and rhythms you can add this interesting aspect to the song. 

  • Strategies:  
    • Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on playing one string mf, the next p and so forth.
    • After you listen to the song one time and follow the notes, say the notes in rhythm as best as you can (parents this is a good opportunity to sing along with your child).
    • Learn part 2 first so that you can start trying out the dynamics.
    • Play along with the Youtube video above.
    • Add mf and p to the songs you already know.
    • Perform a Quarter-Book Recital for family and friends.
      Parents and students alike are looking for getting everything right as quick as possible all the time. Take the time to focus on the progress that was made, point it out to yourself or parents make sure to point it out to your child. We all need encouragement, give it to yourself and to others throughout the week it will make a difference in your practicing and others aspects of your life.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, The Red-Haired Priest, Part 1

Historical Period: Baroque
Nationality: Italian
Born: March 4, 1678 in Italy
Died: July 28, 1741 in Austria
Contemporaries: J.S. Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Francois Couperin, G.F. Handel, Henry Purcell, Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti, G.P. Teleman. 
Works: The Four Seasons, Gloria, Stabat mater, cello concertos

 At The Start

     Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4th, 1678 in Venice, Italy. He was a priest for a short period and then focused on composing and teaching music. He was known to people as “the red haired priest” (il Prete Rosso). Later on, he decided to pursue his passion for music. He created many works and was known for making his music in Baroque style (The Baroque time period was from the 17th and 18th centuries, more here). Vivaldi wrote operas including Bajazet, Motezuma and Orlando Furioso, but was especially known for his concertos.

Vivaldi was very talented from a very young age. His father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, taught him to play the violin very well, as his father was a professional violinist himself. At the age of 15 Vivaldi wanted to become a priest in the Catholic church, so he studied to become a priest. He eventually was ordained in 1703
, but he quit the priesthood after health problems got in the way of his duties. So Vivaldi focused on his love of the violin. 

Come back for Part 2 next week!

Guest author: Isha, Suzuki Violin Book 1 student

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Louisville Philharmonia' Symphonic Smorgasbord!

"Free Fall Concert on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7:30PM. Come join us and enjoy this FREE musical evening. The concert program is a virtual Symphonic Smorgasbord with a sampling of selections from Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. 

The musicians of the Louisville Philharmonia are very excited to be members of an orchestra which is operated and managed by the musicians and its conductor, Daniel Spurlock. The orchestra is made up of local part-time and full-time musicians who have come together to perform great music and share their passion for and love of music with the community."

Talk about a practice strategy. You want to make your practicing at home more smooth, fun, effective and efficient, go to free concerts. Many parents and students maintain their passion for their music through concerts such as these. I know I do!

WHEN:  Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7:30PM  
WHERE: Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church

"Symphonic Smorgasbord"
Brahms  Symphony No. 4   III. Allegro
Beethoven  Symphony No. 7   II. Allegretto
Sibelius  Symphony No. 3   II. Andantino con moto
Berlioz  Symphonie Fantastique   IV. March to the Scaffold
Mozart  Symphony No. 35 ("Hafner")   III. Menuetto
Schubert  Symphony No. 8 ("Unfinished")   I. Allegro moderato
Tchaikovsky  Symphony No. 4   IV. Allegro con fuoco

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Practice Tips for Sailing in the Sun, Faber Book 1

     You now can play Firefly and Little River. Here are some tips and focus points that will help you master this piece:
  • Prepare your hands: Right hand is in C position just like Firefly, but now the left hand puts the 1st finger (thumb) next door to the right hand on the white key, which is B.
  • Two Notes: In this song, you get to play two notes at a time with the right hand (1st and 3rd, 2nd and 4th). To make this easy, press the 1st finger down, hold it down while you press the third finger. Do that a few times, then it will be easier to press the first and third finger down at the same time. Next, do the same with the second and fourth finger.
  • Dynamics: where it is written p, play the notes quietly and make the mf medium strong. You want to hear a big difference between p and mf.
  • Medley: play Firefly, Little River and Sailing in the Sun all in a row.