55/100 The New Term Starts – PLANNING!

I’ve been notified of my school classes for this coming year, and am beginning to schedule where I go to teach what and when! Always a tricky one.

The school classes are sorts: Ukulele on Monday afternoons, Class Music on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, Samba on Wednesday mornings, and my extraordinary keyboard ensembles on Saturday mornings..

Two mornings of piano teaching at a local school to arrange, and then the tricky problem of scheduling my evening piano pupils. That all depends on gymnastics, karate, swimming, first aid, Duke of Edinburgh, basketball, ballet, extra coaching, and other activities. Hopefully everything will have dropped into place before I start teaching in earnest on 12th September!

Meanwhile, I have been planning and planning and planning…

I have gone through the piano books for several of my pupils who want to take piano exams later this academic year. I don’t usually plan piano lessons in such minute detail, but I have had too many uncomfortable “near squeaks” with these particular pupils. This time I am ready for them! I have chosen the pieces that I think will suit them, and actually written out, week by week for the whole year, exactly what their target for each week is. If they stick to, or exceed their target, then everyone can be reasonably certain that they WILL be more than ready for their exams. Plus I can discuss and agree the commitment before we embark upon the whole adventure. It feels a bit like planning a trek to the North Pole…

So here’s the whole year’s plan for her ABRSM Grade 5 in tiny, tiny detail. This pupil is easily overwhelmed, and will quickly become despondent if she can’t succeed within just one or two attempts.  At the end I’ve put some remarks about practising, which we can go over in the lessons.

A2 Allegro                 B2 Tarantella           C3 Cool

“A piece a week” sight reading every week 

Week Allegro Tarantella C 3 Cool Scales
1

12/9

Bars 1-3 sep Bars 1-6 and 40-46 sep Bar 1-4, RH only, count1a2a3a4a. Identify all times  phrase appears C major and minor (always sep tog, scales, arps, and chromatics)
2

19/9

Bars 1-3 sep Bars 1-6 and 40 – 46 tog Revise RH only all occurrences of 1-4. Learn LH 1-4 G major and minor
3

26/9

Bars 1-3 tog Bars 6-8 and 46-48 sep bar 5 hands sep all occurrences D major and minor
4

3/10

Bar 4 RH, Bar 4-5 LH Bars 6-11 and 46- 52 tog All occurrences of bars 1-5 tog A major and minor
5

7/10

Bar 4 tog, Bar 5 sep Bars 6-11 and 46- 52 tog Bars 6-8 sep

Count 1a2a3a4a

 E and E major and minor
6

14/10

Bar 5 RH

Bar 5-7 LH

Bars 1-11 and 40-52 together Revise 1-5, add 6-8 tog B major and minor
7

21/10

Bar 4-5 tog

Bar 6-7 RH

Bars 1-11 and 40-52 together Compare 14-16 with 6-8, learn hands sep Gb/F# major and minor
Half term
8

4/11

 

review review review review
9

11/11

Bar 6 tog, Bars 1-6 tog Bars 12-16 sep and tog Page 1 hands together review
10

18/11

Bar 7 sep and tog Bars 16-20 sep and tog Page 1 hands together with pedal F major and minor, start contrary
11

25/11

Bar 7 tog, bar 8 sep and tog  Bars 12-20 sep and tog Bar 45-47 compare with 5-7

Hands sep and tog

F major and minor, start contrary
12

2/12

Bar 1-8 together

Last 6 beats sep and together

Bars 21-32 LH

Bars 1-20 tog

Bar 33-45 together F major and minor, contrary, add B flat major
13

9/12

Bar 1-8 together

Last 6 beats sep and together

Bars  21-32 LH

Bars 20-32 RH

RH only 48 to end B flat major and minor
         

Spring Term 

14

2/1

Review Review

 

review review
15

9/1

Bars 9-10 sep Review, add bar 33 Revise,

Learn LH bar 48

E flat major and minor
16

16/1

Bars 9-10 tog Bars 34-36 sep Revise,

Learn LH 48-51

E flat major and minor
17

23/1

Bars 11-12 sep Bars 34-36 together Tog 48 to end A flat/ G# major and minor
18

30/1

Bars 11-12 tog Consolidate Tog 33-end A flat /G# major and minor
19

6/2

Play through first page Consolidate LH bar 17-20 D flat/ C# major and minor
20

13/2

Consolidate, start second page Consolidate Hands sep 17-20 D flat/ C# major and minor
Ski Break Half Term
21

27/2

Bars 14-16 sep and tog Review,

Bars 36-37 sep and together

Hands sep/tog 17-20 Add D flat/ C# contraries
22

6/3

Bar 17 sep and tog Bars 38-39 sep and together Revise 17-20 tog

LH 21-24

All learned – only polishing
23

13/3

Bar 18-19 sep and tog Play through 1-52 Hands sep 21-24

Revise 17-20 tog

 
24

20/3

Bar 20-21 sep and tog Hands sep 52 to end Bars 21-24 tog

Bars 17-24 tog

 
25

27/3

Bar 22-23 sep and tog Hands together 52 to end Bars 25-27 sep and tog  
26

3/4

Last bar Play through whole piece Bars 29-29-30 sep and tog  

 

 Summer Term 

27

24/4

Review Review Review review
28

1/5

Work on sticky places All learned – only polishing Bars 29-32 sep and tog  
29

8/5

    All learned, add pedal/dynamics  
30

15/5

       
31

22/5

       
Half Term
32

5/6

       
33

12/6

       
34

19/6

       
35

26/6

       
36

27/6

       
37

4/7

       
           

 Every practice:        Pieces as marked – 5-10 mins each piece

Scales as set – 5-10 mins until accurate and secure

Sight reading exercises – 5 mins

 How to Practice;     Work in small sections – make sure you understand what you are trying to achieve: fingering? Or rhythm? Or notes? Or hands together coordination? Or dynamics/articulation?

 Don’t gloss over mistakes, but focus in on sticky patches until you can play them cleanly. Award yourself points for good scales/arpeggios, or excellent sections, however small, in your pieces!

The exams will take place sometime after 12th June… that seems such a long way into the future…

birds on a branch divider

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