Please read the post “Concentrate on one thing” and also the post from the previous Twinkle class –Twinkle Lessons #5 . (While the previous blog is super useful for you, please keep in mind that all of the children in that group were already 4 years old.)
I want to thank you all for following through on the assignment so well.
The children are comfortable with me and with each other. I noticed that this week they were very aware of what the other children are doing and they know each other’s names. For the next couple weeks, I will keep the group time only at the beginning of the class and it will be shorter. I will not introduce new activities and as I want to be sure that they can do every activity easily and know exactly what to do. This will develop their ability to be present in the group and participate fully. It’s ok if they are not sitting criss-cross all the time, but they should not lay down or leave the group. It is best if the parent can nurture their child to stay seated in the group without my instruction. It is best to make the decision to go outside if they are unable to stay seated. Please also know if you do take your child outside it is best to walk away from the front door as everything can be heard inside and is a distraction to the class. In that case stay calm, tell your child you are going to walk down the driveway and back so that he/she can move around and when he/she is ready you can go back inside. Then after walking ask them if they are ready to sit in the group. This makes the decision to come back in the child’s decision and will develop their motivation to sit in the group.
I will focus more time on the individual lessons. It is best if you go sit in the parent spot across from the piano as soon as you as you set up. This way your child will begin to take instruction directly from me. Take out a notepad and take notes. Of course its not that hard for you to remember what I have said, and also I’m writing this post as a review. However, this sends a strong message to the child that the lessons are important. I’m hopeful every student can do a ready position and will take some pictures of the ready positions. The children may enjoy these pictures of ready position:
Lala Clara Sophia
For the practice this week please use this order:
- Bow first. Focus on eyes at the end of the bow.
- Adjust the bench and footstool – right now it is good to do this everyday as part of getting ready after the bow. Have them wait until you set up the bench and footstool and put the extra footstools for them to use to get up on the bench.
- Practice your ready while they count in the way I did at their lessons kneeling behind the bench. If the ready was presented to them at the lesson you can then say “your turn” and help them find their thumb on the first note. Count to 5. It is ok right now if the position is approximate. We will be working on posture and position in the next few weeks.
- Make some sounds on the piano. Be sure to help them keep their balance when playing the high and low notes in the way that I did on the video of Zora’s lesson below.
- Put a sticker on the assignment sheet
Group time activities on the floor:
- Bow – our group bow – perhaps include a stuffed animal in this. Bow holding the animals hand, and then bow without the animal. The more practice on the bow, the better.
- Sing “Do a deer” with the motions.
- Find the Do’s on the piano. Have them play the Do’s starting on the bottom do and you play the other notes singing the solfege. Use your second finger only. Move your finger to make a good sound. Then each time have them play the Do as you go up the piano. Notice when they make a good sound.
- Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with words and then with the solfege and accompanying solfege motions.
- Spend some time on making the hand circle and tapping the fingers together. This still seems somewhat hard for them. The main focus is the feeling of the fingers touching each other. Also petting their favorite stuffed animal with the individual fingers.
- Some Clapping – Twinkle A while singing, copycat rhythms, steady beat clapping,
“Whatever man learns, the beginning will be slow until the ‘bud of ability’ takes hold. The procedure requires time, but gradually a high ability will develop. It is therefore a matter of patience and repetition. Watching splendid training, we can understand that ability breeds ability.”
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki