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so you made it through your introduction to music reading in lesson three and you’re still here that’s a great sign as you continue your piano journey it’s helpful to keep reviewing the things you’ve learned through piano practice obviously writing things out like your music worksheets and listening to music all of these things your technique musical understanding and musicianship skills will work together to create the best pianist you can be if you’re here for the first time welcome and please make sure you know the very basics of note reading if you don’t no worries just go back to the previous lesson which is lesson three and you can catch up [Music] i’m going to play the beginning of two different pieces for you and i want you to listen for the biggest difference between them aside from tempo [Music] so what do you think you might have said that the dynamics were quite different and that’s a really good guess but honestly there wasn’t much difference between the dynamics it was the touch that made them sound completely opposite the chopin melody is smooth and warm sounding while the hide in is very energetic and crisp the way we strike a key is called articulation so if i play very smoothly and connected this is called legato an italian term and it’s notated in this score with a curved line called a slur the slur can be written above or below the note heads all the notes within the slur should be played nice and legato so to play legato make sure that you always have at least one key pressed down watch as i play your c position warm up from last week i press the first key then i play the next key and lift the first key at the same time and again compare that with letting my first key lift before i play the next key here how the notes are separated and not connected when i play really short and separated like i did in the hide in this is called staccato another italian term and it’s notated with a dot on either the bottom or top of the note head depending on what direction the stem is facing so the staccato dot will always be on the opposite side of the stem now let’s take a quick detour and talk about the stem direction rule if the note head is written on line three or above the stem should point down if the note head is written on line 3 or below the stem should face up so notice that on line 3 the stem direction can go either way this rule is in place just because we don’t want a stem sticking way up or down past the staff also don’t get the staccato dot confused with the dotted half note where the dot is to the side of the note when you play staccato you’ve got to quickly lift your finger off the key right after you play it kind of like you’re touching a hot stove and your wrist is going to be your little helper so put your hand flat on a table or desk and what i want you to do is stand up on your fingertips so that your wrist comes up first and your fingers are pointing down and then lift off the table when you first stand up on your tips go ahead and really stand all the way up so that your wrist springs up first this is one of the ways you play a staccato note on the piano but this motion that i’m doing is magnified a lot so let’s make the movement a little smaller and even smaller so it’s like a little flick and then even smaller there are other ways that we play staccato notes but i love teaching this way first because then we’re really focusing on and training our wrists to be flexible and loose let’s check out your warm up for this week it’s called step skip finger dance and it’s focused on articulation so why is it called step skip finger dance well a step on the piano is when we go from one key to the very next key so we can step up or we can step down you might remember from last week that when we step up or down on the grand staff the notes go from a line to space note or a space to a line note a skip is just when we skip over one note so i can skip up or skip down and on the grand staff skips are really easy to recognize because they go from a line to a line note or a space to a space note let’s look at the score to our warm up knowing what we know about the way steps and skips look on the grand staff let’s get a general idea of when we’ll be stepping skipping and repeating notes we’ll go line by line and i want you to say whether they’re stepping skipping or repeating and then tell me the direction they’re going up or down i’ll give you about three seconds to pause the video if you want to try to figure it out before i give you the answers for each line ready here we go [Music] [Music] doing things like this really help you develop your sight reading and music reading skills because we’re teaching our brain to recognize patterns when i read music i don’t focus in on every single note my eyes never linger on any one thing on the page for more than a split second they’re usually darting ahead of where i am and looking at larger chunks of notes so when i see this i’m not thinking c d e i’m quickly noting that the first note is middle c and then i instantly recognize that these are just steps going up i’m not exaggerating when i say that i can glance at it for a split second then quickly look away and i know exactly what notes to play because i’ve seen this stepping up patterns hundreds probably thousands of times and you can get to that point as well by doing things like we just did with our warm-up score so you begin to recognize those patterns so we’ve been using the words step and skip now that we easily understand those concepts let’s start using the technical musical term whenever we’re talking about the distance between two notes we’re talking about intervals intervals are measured using ordinal numbers so the proper word for a step is a second because these notes are two notes apart and skips are three notes apart so they’re called thirds and as you might have guessed we can keep going with fourths fifth sixth seventh and eighths which are commonly known as octaves [Music] we’ll focus on the higher intervals later so for now get used to recognizing seconds and thirds on the grand staff and on the piano now let’s finally get to playing this step skip finger dance i’m going to play it through once so you can hear it and make sure to listen for legato and staccato notes we’ve already talked about how to play legato and staccato notes so i just want to quickly talk about these measures here with the two note slurs the motion for these is down up down up down up down up with the up starting with your loose wrist the second note of the two note slur is played by that same upward motion we practiced to play staccato notes that’s the same thing so it’s down lift down lift and then finally note the dynamic mark mezzo forte or otherwise known as medium loud and your goal tempo of 120 beats per minute the other part of your assignment for this week is playing an upgraded version of landmark landscape this was the piece you practiced in lesson three i’ve revised the score to give you more opportunities to play with musical expression so i took out the repeat sign and instead just wrote the notes a second time through so the first half is played nice and smoothly in the right hand while the last half has the staccato right hand the other things i added were dynamic variation and at the end there’s a writ now the rit is an abbreviation for the italian word ritardando which means to gradually slow down so it’s not a slam the break slow down but a nice gradual decrease of tempo you’ll often find a writ at the end of pieces or sections because it helps feel like the piece is coming to an end and finally in the last section i added an 8 va this is an abbreviation for the italian phrase alatawa which literally means at the octave and if you remember when we were talking about intervals we talked about the interval of the eighth more commonly known as the octave so when you see this 8va symbol written above notes it means to play those notes that are written within the dotted line one octave higher you’ll also often see 8vb and it means to play an octave lower than written and you’ll see it written below the notes so treble g is what’s written when i see an 8v a then i know i have to move my right hand up an octave the tricky part will be coming from measure eight to measure nine without missing a beat because you’ve got that big leap there so here’s our upgraded landmark landscape feel free to play this a little faster than you did last week to have a nice flow to it and you can even go a little bit faster than what the metronome mark suggests just experiment with different tempos and see how that affects the overall musical feeling do [Music] okay and that’s gonna wrap it up for us today for your practice assignment you’ve got the step skip finger dance as your warm up and then keep practicing landmark landscape but now the updated version then in your worksheets you’ll have some music theory to do there’s a note naming exercise as well as an interval exercise also make sure to check out the updated musical terms dictionary and of course all these things are in the download below linked for these assignments i also want you to self-correct your work in the downloads i’ll have a separate folder that’s named answers and here’s where your self-discipline and self-teaching come in after you fill out the worksheets i want you to check your work if you found that you missed something go through it again and see if you can figure out what went wrong and don’t forget to join our free private facebook group piano roadmap community join say hi and ask questions i’d love to see you over there so have a great week and i’ll see you next time [Music] you …

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