Dear Parents,
It was a challenging environment for the students this week with the new schedule and the storm as well. Thank-you to everyone for for being on time. The smaller groups will work well for the lessons once the routine is established. Please bring one book for them to read, or something to write/draw on by themselves that does not attract too much attention from the other students. I will always take time to look at the drawing or work that the students do while they are observing.

In group time we will continue rhythm study, and singing solfege. Please clap the rhythms at home and say the name “Twinkle A” etc.

The most important point for this week is to make sure there is no tension in the ready position. If we try to teach to much with words the result will be unnatural. The children need to feel balance over the keys with the correct finger touching the correct key. This is simple yet involves physical and mental stamina, as well as motivation and connection to something more interesting yet to come.

So, they need encouragement that this process will yield a result. Please let them know that their work is going to enable them to play the piano. Play the disc and videos and reinforce the concept that the practice they are doing is going to help them play well. This may seem obvious, but they need to hear encouragement often to keep working on holding a position at the piano without playing…

The ready position is both a beginning and a huge accomplishment. It takes time and care. It is the most difficult part of the process of playing, and a life lesson as well.

Please re-read this section from “How to Teach Beginners” by Dr. Kataoka:

Part 11: When the Lessons Begin

Here is a video of a 5 Piano Performance of Twinkle A and Twinkle D.  There are two students on four of the five pianos.  The student playing the accompaniment on the middle piano is Andrew:

Here is Andrew performing the Sonata #48, first movement by Haydn for his Level 5 graduation that same year:

Children keep us in the moment, whatever that may be
Leah Brammer