I decided to introduce two of my pupils to Tres Vite, the Telemann piece I wrote about in my last blog.
It was very interesting to observe how enthusiastic they both were about the piece! I told them initially that it was a piece to listen to rather than a piece to learn, however when we had done the Listening Cards together, both of them asked 'can I learn this?' Of course, the answer was 'yes!'
At the end of the the first lesson both went home with the Discovery Sheet and the two pupils agreed that they would do as much as they could for the following lesson.
The following week it transpired that the main problem they had both encountered with the Discovery Sheet was one of understanding the terminology (eg. Tempo, accidental). This reminded me once again just how much we expect pupils to absorb, understand and remember in piano lessons! Learning to play the piano is one of the most complex activities there is and yet, for most children, their involvement with the activity is very limited. Compare the 30 minute piano lesson and (being optimistic) the 90 minutes of practice time between lessons with the extensive amount of time spent on literacy each week - no wonder so many children struggle to learn the piano and ultimately give up!
Back in the 2nd lesson; one pupil had been keen to make a start and had worked out the first bit of the right hand. To help master the left hand part I created a separate Bass Line sheet and this is going to be the focus of the week's practice and the next lesson. I am hoping that by encouraging them to spot the octaves and the thirds before starting to play will help them to spot the patterns.
If you follow the link to the Bass Line sheet you will also read that I have given a couple of technical tips for dealing with the movement of the hand complete with an 'experimental' photo and video. Do let me know if you find this sort of thing useful.
Until next time, happy teaching!