Christmas in July Piano Practice

Piano Practice Tips: Bunnies Playing The Piano

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."  -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The question I like to ask my students is... "When do you practice?" Pretty much their response is after school or in the evening. So, we work with that and for sure I can hear their progress with the ones who diligently practice. However, what I found with homeschoolers and older adult students is that early morning practice is the best!

Here are a few important reasons why morning practice works:

  • Sleep affects the learning of a fine motor skill in a very positive way.
  • Morning practice is not as forgotten as our busy day unfolds.
  • The discipline of morning practice establishes good proactive habits in other areas, too.
  • You're mentally alert, in a better mood and have peace.
  • Family members can hear you practice and make beautiful music.
What I have found to be true is doing a habit pattern over and over becomes built into the brain and you are more likely to keep up the new behavior... and that's a very good thing!

Here are a few approaches to practicing:

  • Make the quiet parts of the song as quiet as can be and the loud parts real loud.
  • Choose a song and count the rhythm quietly or aloud while you play.
  • Pick the hardest part of the song and play it at least three times in a row.
  • Play an easy song faster.
Some of my kiddos enjoy playing these chord progressions in their left hand:

FC /  GD /  AE /  CG

Perhaps you will combine notes from the D Minor 5 Finger Pattern with these L.H. Chords:

DA /  CG /  BbF /  CG

Another fun approach is having the right hand play a Pentascale while the left-hand plays the perfect octave interval as eighth notes. Start on C, move to F, back to C, then G to F. Try this in all the keys following the I - IV- V chords.

Congratulate yourself for having achieved what you set out to do! Now, let's take a look at an easy tutorial video on YouTube for Silent Night.

A great teaching video, Christmas Keys1, is a game changer. Here's what's inside:

Discover the power of "inversions" and how changing one note in your chord can totally alter the way a progression sounds!
 Beginners: How to play an entire song with only three-fingered major chords (...also known as "major triads").
 How to add fuel to your bass by understanding how "power" chords work in holiday music.
 Discover the power of "walk-downs" with basic primary chords ('ll learn this in "Silent Night")!
 How to sneak in "filler 13th chords" on your right hand to keep your holiday songs sounding full at all times.

Happy Playing!

~ LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Called To Significance

Called To Significance: LadyDpiano

Called To Significance

 Exodus 3-4

People often allow their lives to be marginalized and diminished when in reality our God, who is the God of the second chance, longs to give you a life of real significance and true impact.

LadyD Piano Recital

End of the Year Recital

As I reflect on another school year ending and having a very successful piano recital performance from all my students... I firmly believe music educators change lives one lesson at a time.

Student playing piano at an assisted living place

Living a Life of Significance

So, I continually ask myself this question... What am I doing with the gifts God has given me? I know that it is very rewarding for me to teach young ones how to play the piano and improvise. I also love leading worship at the ladies morning Bible study. How about you? Here's some encouragement coming your way.
Piano student at his first recital

There is so much more meaning and purpose beyond this life!

  • Remember that making an impact is accomplished by God's power not human power. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Remember that the living God will always equip those whom He has called. John 14:26

Girl at the piano

In conclusion, you may be in the process of discovering your Spirit-given spiritual gifts. I sincerely hope you will look for opportunities to use them! My students were willing to perform several of their favorite songs (from pop music to movie themes) and the elderly at the assisted living facility in our hometown were deeply touched!!

If you're interested in taking a closer look at a 30-day trial training center, visit Musician Transformation & Gospel Music Training Center.



 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King

Time and Sound

For group lessons, I went to the piano and played an interval of two notes. I asked my students to name the higher sounding pitch. They were accurate in determining whether the pitch moved up or down. I got to thinking about the basic components of music and so, here I am sharing on sound from a huge resource that I often refer to when teaching young students, Basic Materials in Music Theory. I hope you will be blessed by this short scientific study of sound.

Paul Harder says, "The sensation of sound is produced by compressive waves in the atmosphere emanating from a vibrating body. Because time is required for the transmission of even a single wave, sound cannot be experienced except within a period of time." So, time and sound are the basic materials of music. Let's talk about the properties of sound.

  1. SoundA vibrating body is the source of sound.
  2. Ear or Listener - Sound waves transmit energy from the vibrating body to the ear.
  3. Sound Waves - The atmosphere transmits vibrational disturbances called sound waves.
  4. Ears - Our perception of sound results from sound waves transmitted from the vibrating body to our ear.
  5. Highness or Lowness - Pitch is a technical term which expresses the highness or lowness of a sound.
  6. Pitch - Frequency of vibration determines the pitch of a sound.
  7. Lower - The slower the vibrating body is caused to vibrate, the lower the pitch.
  8. Frequency - The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of vibration.
  9.  Pitch or Frequency - High and Low are subjective descriptions of the pitch of a sound.
  10. Lower - When the frequency of a pitch is halved, the resulting tone will be an Octave lower.

I remember as a child what fun it was to take a large piece of wax paper and place it inside my old upright piano between the mallets and the strings. What a delight to change the pitch to sound like more of a kazoo rather than an acoustic piano... Fun times, for sure!

  • Intensity - Loud and soft are subjective and relative terms. They refer to the intensity of a sound.
  • Timbre - The ear is capable of distinguishing not only differences in pitch and intensity but also differences in the quality of sounds. This is called Timbre. The property of sound which enables us to tell one musical instrument from another is called Timbre.
  • Duration - Sounds not only have pitch, intensity, and timbre, but also duration. (The length of tones).
To wrap it up, just remember the 4 properties of sound, which are a vital concern for musicians. Pitch is the high or low sound and varies according to the frequency of vibration. Each time the frequency is doubled, the pitch is raised one octave. Intensity is a loud or soft sound and is the result of the amplitude of the sound wave. The quality of a sound is called timbre and results, in part, from the number, relative intensity, and distribution of the harmonics present. Duration is especially important for musicians because it is concerned with rhythm, one of the basic elements of music.

Remember to take a look at Paul Harder Course. You may be interested in this comprehensive ear training Pitch Software.

Happy Sounds and all the best to you!

-- LadyD

 "The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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