Oct 21, 2022

Sep 6

Tuesday, 2:45 pm (45 min) - blue schedule (biweekly)

🎄☃️Happy December! ☃️ 🎄

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🎵 Announcements 🎵

Happy and Healthy Holidays! This December, regular lessons are scheduled through the local school calendar through Thursday, December 22nd and resuming Monday, January 9th! If you will be absent during this period, please let me know!

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🎹 🎶 General Notes/Reminders 🎶🎹 


Today we experiment with CHORD SHAPES and CHORD FAMILIES including the I (root) chord, the IV chord, and the V chord (made from the 4th note and 5th note of the root.

e.g. in the Key of C Major, C D E F G A B C, we see that the 1st note of the scale is C which forms the I chord
the 4th note of the scale is F which forms the IV chord
the 5th note of the scale is G which forms the V chord

We also learned that we can use finger shifts to play different versions of these chords rather than jump our hand to the skip-skip-skip root positions. To form the IV chord, raise the top two notes from the root. To form the V chord, lower the bottom two notes from the root.

I C-E-G with fingers 135 (RH), 531 (LH) - C Major
IV C-F-A 135 (RH), 521 (LH) - F Major
V B-D-G 125 (RH), 531 (LH) - G Major

We also talked about finding relative minors which share notes. The relative minor to C Major is A minor which can be found by moving down 3 half steps from the Major ROOT, C.

A minor uses the same notes as the C Major scale, plus 1 accidental G#

A minor = A C E

Good job connecting your melody notes and maintaining a good piano posture and elevated wrists. You can add your syncopated pedaling to your Pop Staff pieces.

Today we learned syncopated pedaling with our 3 note chords (TRIADS) progressing from C to C, remembering to flip the pedal from the ankle and making sure that you are pressing down the chord all the way before the pedal flips. We then used this as the basis for improvisation by progressing C->C in the Bass: C Major, D minor, E minor, F Major, G Major, A minor, B diminished to C Major again with the C pentascale C-G.

Try the same thing starting from A minor to A using the A pentascale in the R.H. Experiment with rhythms and notes and notice which notes sound well with which chords. We will build on this.

Remember the posture and relaxed hand position, pressing all the way down into the keys and the curve in the fingers so that the knuckles don't collapse. The thumb and 5th finger rest more on the side (but the 5th finger keeps the curve).

Oct 3, 2022

Spooky Chord - The Minor Major Seventh Chord (Hitchcock)


A minor major seventh chord, or minor/major seventh chord (also known as the Hitchcock Chord or Detective/Mystery Chord) is a seventh chord composed of a root, minor third, perfect fifth, and major seventh (1, ♭3, 5, and 7). It can be viewed as a minor triad with an additional major seventh. Common notations include mM7, m/M7, m⑦, m♮7, and others.

For example, the minor major seventh chord built on C, written as CmM7, has pitches C–E♭–G–B.

A famous example of this chord is from the Alfred Hitchcock's movie Vertigo with a score by Bernard Herrmann. Click the jukebox to listen.

- Play with octaves or a single note in the left hand created from the chord notes - block the chord in the right hand.
- Play with octaves or a single note in the left hand, but use a broken chord in the right hand, progress up the piano.
- Change the order of the left hand octaves.

Improvise with this chord in the RIGHT HAND - blocked or broken and use the left hand to walk up the chord note names with OCTAVES. Experiment and improvise, try adding pedal.

Jan 12, 2023

Radically Joyful (Orchestration)


Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" - this time on the staff with a modern left hand accompaniment.

Jan 16, 2023



Play and count with a steady rhythm 1-2-3. Add the dynamic markings - remember that these last until the next one. f=FORTE (loud), p=PIANO (soft).

Transpose to A minor - adjust the V chord to leave out the B if you don't care for the sound.

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