Dear Students and Parents,
Here is the music studio newsletter for November 2016.
Composers of the Month
The composers of the month for November are Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann. Listen and read together with your child at Classics for Kids, here: http://www.classicsforkids.com/thisweek.asp You can also listen to the Classics for Kids shows via podcast. Do this activity sheet together: http://www.classicsforkids.com/activitysheets/November2016.pdf
Holiday Music and Happy Birthdays
Next week I will start assigning Christmas carols and The Birthday song – essentials for every pianist. Check out Forrest Kinney’s “Beethoven in F Major” variation of the Birthday Song here: https://youtu.be/XdEOkf6k-BU . Forrest Kinney wrote multiple variations of the birthday song, and you might be assigned one of them!
Practice Makes Perfect
Most of your child’s learning happens in between lessons through regular practice at home. At least, that is the intent. It’s probably not the reality all the time! If you need help developing a practice plan for in between lessons, let me know. Life is busy but a regular routine can help.
Practice doesn’t mean doing all the tasks every day. Choose 2 to 3 items from the list. Perform a piece for Grandma, or play a game naming each note on the piano. Every bit counts, and builds confidence. Here is one way to structure your practice time:
Weekly Practice Plan for Beginner Students – Example
Day 1 – Lesson day
Day 2 – Choose one technical exercise, one piece from your book, and one theory (written) activity. Follow the notes in your lesson book for practicing.
Day 3 – Review note naming (use flash cards, a game or app). Practice clapping and counting rhythms. Warm up with a technical exercise, then play a favourite piece from earlier in the year.
Day 4 – Sight read a brand new piece from your book. Clap and count the rhythms in the piece. Practice another piece from your lesson book.
Day 5 – Listen to the composer of the month podcast and complete the worksheet. Practice two of your pieces from the lesson notes.
Day 6 – Say the musical alphabet forwards and backwards three times. Make and use an alphabet die to choose keys to find at random, using this template from Colourful Keys: http://colourfulkeys.ie/musical-alphabet-dice/
Play one of your pieces and sing the melody while you play. Make up your own melody and write it down.
Day 7 – Relax!