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Lesson 18: Quarter Notes with Quarter Notes

As we dive into this new sight-reading section, I hope you’re excited to build upon the improvisation skills you’ve developed. This lesson is designed to add new tools to your repertoire and introduce several key musical concepts.

Approach to the Lesson:

  1. Watch the Video First: Begin by watching the demonstration video to see all the new concepts in action. This overview will help you understand what to expect.
  2. One Hand at a Time: As with previous lessons, start practicing one hand at a time. Particularly with the left hand, you’ll explore playing notes an octave lower towards the end of the piece. Focus on getting comfortable with this new range.
  3. Isolate Difficult Sections: If you find the octave transition challenging, isolate just that part of the piece. You might need to repeat the transition many times (10-20 times isn’t uncommon), but as it’s only a few notes, this process should be efficient.
  4. Adding Both Hands: Once you’re comfortable with each hand separately, combine them. Start slowly and aim for steady coordination.
  5. Introducing Staccato: When you feel ready, introduce staccato playing. Ensure you’re confident with this technique before moving on.
  6. Adding Accents: Next, incorporate accented notes. These will add emphasis and character to your playing.
  1. Crescendos: Gradually begin to include crescendos for dynamic variation. (For more information, switch to Materials Tab)
  2. Ritardando Ending: Implement a ritardando at the end of the piece, where you’ll gradually slow down the tempo.
  3. Adding the Pedal: The final step is to add the pedal. This should only be done once you’re comfortable with all other aspects of the piece.

Expressing Emotion: This piece is meant to convey feelings of power, confidence, or even anger. However, there’s a fine line between playing with intensity and simply banging on the piano. Find that balance where your playing is forceful yet controlled.

Patience in Practice: With so much happening in this piece, it will require dedicated and deliberate practice over several days or weeks to play it musically and flawlessly. Remember our rule of thumb for longer pieces:

if you can play it twice in a row without any mistakes, you’re ready for the next lesson.