Yesterday I wrote about focusing on Piano Practicing Tools with my Intermediate (Grade 5) students. Today I will look at teaching the first three tools on my list using repertoire from the RCM's Perspectives Series Piano Repertoire 5.
#2 "and" Counting
#3 Eight Reps for Success
"The Lake" is a beautiful piece by Alec Rowley. Students can find it visually challenging with the big key signature, accidentals and clef changes. But when they learn how to break it down and simplify, suddenly the piece becomes easy. Line 1 is just made up of four chords. Practice these four positions until they are memorized. Use the pedal, changing on each chord. Now take each chord, play it once then hop it up an octave. That's the pattern, just break it down and simplify to make it easy.
"Cha Cha" by Siegfried Merath is always a student pleaser. But the secret to success is learning it very slowly with "and" counting. My students start by reading through the right hand. We count in 1 + 2 + 3, then start playing on + 4 +. Yes, I insist on counting out loud.
Guaranteed every student will get a little mixed up at the end of the line. So we box the tricky part in m. 3-4 and do eight repetitions in a row. By the fourth or fifth repetition that spot is sounding polished. There are four tricky bits like this one in the piece, so we find them all, circle them and practice each one 8 times in a row. I doesn't take long for the right hand to sound perfectly polished.
Check out the next group of practice tools tomorrow. Don't forget to print your Practice Tool stickers. Just click here to download and print on Avery mailing labels 5160/8160.