47/100 Learning to Play Slurring Patterns

The Paul Harris Practice Starter Cards I mentioned a while back are proving a great way to begin lessons.

Today I was teaching a piano lesson to a beginner, and she pulled a card which suggested you try playing a phrase in different ways. For example, alternating bars of piano and forte, or of legato and staccato, playing it as slowly as you can (that’s what she chose to do; a bit of emergency practice going on there, I suspect!) and so forth.

One of the ideas was to try different slurring patterns. Aha! A chance to re-visit what slurs are, and how to interpret them!

There was a little exercise along these lines her her tutor book. I copied these few bars into her practice notebook

slurs removed


and added these slurs, and the fingering. And also the words: by grouping the fingering patterns into numbers, she very quickly understood how to group the notes into the different slurring patterns, joining the notes over the slurs, and detaching the other notes.



When I put £ signs before the numbers like this: £24  £24:    £242 £2:     £2 £42 £2:     £2  £424:   it made even more sense to her!

When tackling the next piece on the page, her attention was immediately caught by the slurs; two three-note phrases (£531 each), a five note phrase (£54323), and then, joy of joys, an eleven note phrase (£53153154321) I left her to work out how that one would be worth for next week.

Snake keyboard divider

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