I always enjoy January lessons so much. After the busy-ness of December, January feels like a dream. We are all ready for fresh new music and are usually quite motivated to buckle down into a daily practice routine. I feel like students generally improve their skills in these winter months quite a bit.
Here are some January studio happenings which made me smile:
- Student sight-reading through quite a bit of his method books over Christmas break
- New blinds and seating area means bright light and fresh feel
- Students jumping off the front steps after lessons – does this ever happen to you? I have a few students who I have recently observed hopping off the front porch steps as they leave the studio. I feel as though this is a happy expression of an enjoyed lesson and my heart jumps for joy when I observe this happiness. 🙂
- Teaching old pop songs to young students – “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey and “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. So much fun!
- Three new students! One seven year old beginner, one sixteen year old advanced student, and…
- New adult student who is returning to piano and is excited to practice and play again. Her enthusiasm has motivated her entire family to play again. 🙂
My January soundtrack (some of the pieces/composers I taught this month):
- Haydn, Sonata in E minor
- Dohnanyi, Rhapsody in C Major
- Pachelbel Canon
- Joplin, The Entertainer
- Satie, Gymnopedie No. 1
- Clementi, Sonatina in C
- Mozart, Minuet and Trio
- Chopin, Prelude in Db Major “Raindrop Prelude”
- Beethoven, Six Variations
- Willy Wonka, Pure Imagination
- Lord of the Rings, Concerning Hobbits
- Coldplay, Clocks
- Yiruma, River Flows in You
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Benjamin Calypso
- Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’
- Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline
Pieces I played this month:I picked up level ten of Essential Piano Repertoire and was reminded how a good layout makes such a difference when learning music. I have played both these pieces before but really enjoyed playing them from this edition.
Hexentanz (Witches’ Dance) Op. 17, No. 2 by MacDowell
What a fantastic piece! Full of fast finger work (more for RH than LH), chromatic double thirds and scales, large dynamic changes, and a wide range of expressive elements. This is an ideal piece for competitions, festivals and recitals.
Sonata L.23 by Domenico Scarlatti
This well-known sonata is cheerful and so fun to play. This colorful piece includes horn calls, Baroque trills, good finger work on repeated notes, and extensive playing at the piano or pianissimo level. Also an excellent choice for public performance.
Books I read this month:
The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum
Wow! This book was so good. I found myself underlining so many passages. I will be publishing a separate post on this book soon!