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A1. Lesson 2

Actualizado: 9 ago 2023

Welcome to the second practical lesson of the online piano and music theory course.

We will continue here what we worked on in lesson 1.

We will start this lesson with a piece to play on the piano. To do this, I suggest you watch the video below, with which you can learn to execute the work proposed by imitation.

Exercise 1: Playing

You can watch the video as many times as you need until you learn the piece. Pay attention to the keys that are played, the fingering used and the rhythm as shown in the video. Perform the work with right and left hands separately as many times as necessary until you achieve a correct execution, paying attention to the corresponding notes, fingering, and rhythm together with the video. Subsequently, I propose to make video recordings of your performance with separate hands. If you find an error in the recording, repeat the exercise until you reach the proposed goal.


Exercise 2: Playing and Singing or Counting

Next, I propose you execute the work with separate hands, simultaneously singing the melody with the name of the notes. This exercise will allow you to fix in memory the location of the notes on the keyboard and on the staff, as well as their relative pitch. If necessary, you can separately address the enunciation and intonation of the notes before integrating the execution. You can do this exercise first without rhythm, adjusting the intonation to the height of the played note, and then on the video. Finally, make an audio recording to evaluate the achievement of the proposed goal.

I also suggest you perform the work and count the times of the measure out loud. This exercise will allow you to exercise rhythm. The objective of this exercise is to obtain a correct instrumental execution, with rhythmic precision and enunciation of the beats of the bar. Make an audio recording to assess the achievement of the proposed objective.


Exercise 3: Dynamics

Indications of dynamics in music relate to the intensity with which it is played. These indications are written in Italian as follows:

The intensity obtained in the piano performance is directly proportional to the speed at which the keys descend. Therefore, to control dynamics, it is necessary to control the velocity of the keyboard action. Finger action corresponds to fine motor skills, which are more difficult to control. For this reason, I recommend that you first train the speed in the motor skills of the arm, then the forearm, then the palm of the hand, and finally the fingers, until the desired dynamics are obtained. For this, I propose you execute the proposed work with different dynamics: pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, using the mechanisms of the arm, forearm, palm, and finger. The goal is to achieve stable performance within these dynamic ranges and to achieve perceptible differences between each of them. Make audio recordings with these dynamics to evaluate the achievement of the proposed objective.


Exercise 4: Memory execution

Perform the works worked on in lessons 1 and 2 without the help of the score. If you don't remember everything, put the sheet music back on the music stand and play it again. Repeat this exercise until you have memorized the entire work. Then make an audio recording and compare it with the sheet music.


Exercise 5: Order of the notes

Next, I propose you name the notes in scales by ascending and descending conjunct motion starting at each one of them until reaching the initial note. This will make it easier for you to read music and improve your performance on the instrument. To begin with, I suggest you write down these scales and then continue practicing them mentally until you become fluent.


Exercise 6: Location of notes on the keyboard

In the previous lesson, we learned the location of the notes on the keyboard by referring to the layout of the black keys. We also learned its acoustic index. On this occasion, I suggest you continue exercising in the location of the notes on the keyboard. This will help you solve difficulties in instrumental performance. To do this, I propose to name the location of the notes in relation to the black keys and play the notes of the same name on the keyboard in ascending and descending octaves, stating their respective acoustic index.

I also suggest you print the document below and cut out the cards.

Notes
.pdf
Download PDF • 11KB

The exercise consists of mixing the cards, presenting them in random order and playing the notes on the piano. Repeat the exercise until you become fluent in recognizing and locating notes on the keyboard. Repeat the exercise until you become fluent in recognizing and locating notes on the keyboard.


Exercise 7: Notes in treble clef

In the previous lesson, we learned the position of the notes on the staff and their location in the treble clef. On this occasion, I propose to continue exercising in it. This will help you smooth out difficulties in music reading and instrumental playing. To do this, I suggest you print the document below and cut out the cards.

Notes in treble clef
.pdf
Download PDF • 84KB

Then write on the back of the cards the name of the note and the corresponding octave. Save the cards for future exercises.


Exercise 8: Rhythmic writing

In the previous lesson, we learned values, rests, time signatures, and other peculiarities of rhythmic writing. Here we will learn about the tie and the dot.

Ties join two values in a single value.

Other values by addition are obtained with the help of the dot. The dot adds a half in the value of the notes.

Next, I propose that you write a valid correspondence for the following values using ties or dots.

Exercise 9: Rhythmic reading

I propose you read the following rhythmic exercise with the metronome. You can beat the rhythm, sing it or play it on the piano on the same note (for instance C4) with the metronome or the video.


Repeat the exercise until you get a correct rhythm performance, adjusted to the metronome. Then make an audio recording using the metronome and listen to it to self-correct. If you find an error, repeat the exercise until you get a correct recording.


Exercise 10: Rhythmic sight-reading

After reaching the goal proposed in the previous exercise, I suggest you read the following rhythm at first sight.

The purpose of sight-reading exercises is to achieve fluency in resolving rhythmic, melodic, or piano-playing difficulties. Aiming at this, I propose as the goal of these exercises to achieve a correct and adjusted performance from the first reading. To do this, I recommend starting with the analysis of the elements that each exercise contains. This exercise consists of eight measures in 2/4 using quarter notes and half notes. To start reading, I suggest you mark the pulse and perform the exercise mentally until you can do it correctly. Once this mental reading has been achieved, I suggest you make an audio recording with your first reading of this exercise, whether it be drumming, singing, or playing on the piano with the help of the metronome. Finally, listen to the recording to self-correct yourself. If you find an error, repeat the exercise until you get a correct recording.


Exercise 11: Rhythmic Composition

Next, I propose you compose a rhythmic exercise of eight bars in 3/4 using quarter notes, half and dotted half notes, taking the previous rhythmic exercises as a model. The rhythmic composition exercises will allow you to consolidate the musical elements worked on, they will provide you with additional material to train rhythmic reading at first sight, and they will prepare you to work on musical composition. After writing the exercise, record a rhythmic sight-reading of your composition and listen to it. If necessary, repeat the exercise until you obtain a correct recording.

Exercise 12: Rhythmic dictation

Next, I propose you write the rhythm in the following video from listening:

Listen to the exercise as many times as you want. If you need to, you can pause it, rewind it, or fast-forward it. To facilitate the recognition of the beat and the note values, the marking of the beat and the accents of the measure are included. In the beginning, a complete measure is heard with this marking. Write the time signature and the corresponding note values until you complete the exercise. Don't forget to include the bar lines and the end bar line. Once written, listen to the audio again to check. Then do a sight-reading of the exercise.


Exercise 13: Rhythmic-melodic reading

I propose you read the notes and sing the melody of this exercise with its rhythm using the metronome or the video.



To address this topic, you can train four abilities separately: a) spoken notes without rhythm, b) spoken notes with rhythm, c) intoned notes without rhythm, and d) intoned notes with rhythm. Then repeat the exercise without instrumental accompaniment, paying attention to the correct enunciation and intonation of the notes as well as the execution of the rhythm. Finally, record audio using the metronome and listen to it to correct yourself. If you find an error, repeat the exercise until you get a correct recording.


Exercise 14: Rhythmic-melodic sight-reading

After reaching the goal proposed in the previous exercise, I suggest you read the following melody at first sight.

In order to achieve an execution without errors and adjusted from the first reading, I suggest starting with an analysis of its elements. Regarding its rhythmic aspect, this exercise consists of eight bars in 2/4 using quarter notes and half notes. Regarding its melodic aspect, it contains three notes (C, D, and E) approached by ascending or descending conjunct motion and repetition. To start reading, I suggest you read the notes mentally first without rhythm and then with a regular pulse to smooth out possible difficulties in these aspects. Then I propose you carry out a preparatory exercise of random intonation between the following notes, corroborating with the help of the piano if necessary.

Finally, make an audio recording with your first reading of this exercise. If you find an error, repeat the exercise until you get a correct recording.


Exercise 15: Rhythmic-melodic Composition

Next, I propose you compose a rhythmic-melodic exercise of eight bars in 3/4 using quarter, half, and dotted half notes, and the notes C, D, and E, with repeated notes and conjunct motion (without skips), taking the previous rhythmic-melodic exercises as a model. The rhythmic-melodic composition exercises will allow you to consolidate the musical elements worked on, they will provide you with additional material to train rhythmic-melodic reading at first sight, and they will prepare you to work on musical composition. After writing the exercise, record a rhythmic-melodic sight-reading of your composition and listen to it. If necessary, repeat the exercise until you obtain a correct recording.


Exercise 16: Rhythmic-melodic Dictation

Next, I propose you write the rhythm and melody in the following video from listening:

Listen to the exercise as many times as you want. If you need to, you can pause it, rewind it, or fast-forward it. To facilitate the recognition of rhythmic elements, the marking of the beat and the accents of the measure are included. In the beginning, a complete measure is heard with this marking. Regarding the melodic aspect, this exercise has two notes (C, D, and E), which you can identify by their relative pitch. Write the time signature, notes, values, bar lines, and the end bar line. Once written, perform a first-sight reading to corroborate. Finally, sing on the audio.


Exercise 17: Musical analysis

Next, we will analyze the musical form of the piece worked on in this lesson. This is a parallel period of eight bars. As in the musical sentence learned in the previous lesson, this period is binary, since it contains two parts, called antecedent and consequent, that consist of four bars each. In this period, the antecedent has a suspensive ending as its melody concludes on a note other than the tonic, while the consequent is more conclusive when ending on this note. In both endings, there is also a rhythmic stop, as it contains a relatively long note.

Unlike the musical sentence learned in the previous lesson, the motif (given here in the first two measures) is not immediately repeated to constitute the antecedent, but rather a suspensive ending (also two measures) is inserted between this repetition. Because of this, both the antecedent and the consequent begin with this motif. This structure is called a period. A period can be parallel or contrasting. When the initial motives of the antecedent and the consequent are the same, it is a parallel period. When these motifs are different, it is a contrasting period. The example analyzed corresponds to a parallel period.

In the graph below, you can see the similarities and differences in the structures of the sentences, parallel periods, and contrasting periods. Among the similarities, it stands out that they are divided into two 4-bars parts called antecedent and consequent, which tend to have a suspensive and conclusive ending, respectively. Among the differences, the organization of the motifs stands out: in the sentence the motif is repeated immediately, while in the period each part begins with a motif (which is the same in the parallel period and different in the contrasting period).

Next, I propose you carry out a morphological analysis of the following melody, pointing out the parts (antecedent and consequent), the endings (suspensive or conclusive), and the motifs (a, b...), and the form (sentence, parallel period or contrasting period). You can correct your analysis by going to the guide for solving the exercises at the end of this post.

Exercise 18: Musical composition

Based on what was worked on in the previous exercise, I invite you to compose a parallel period of 8 bars, taking the work in this lesson as a model. To do this, I recommend using the rhythmic and melodic elements exercised: that is 3/4 using quarter notes, half notes, and dotted half notes, and the notes C, D, and E. You can do it on paper or in music writing software. On a blank staff, write the treble clef and time signature. Then compose a two-bar motif choosing the notes and values you want. Then, to finish the antecedent, write a suspensive ending. To do this, write a note other than C at the end (ie D or E). Then repeat the initial motif. Finally, to close the consequent, write a conclusive ending on the tonic (C). It is also advisable that you make stops in measures 4 and 8.

Finally, play the composed work, make an audio recording, and self-correct your play.


Exercise 19: Improvisation

To train the elements worked on in this lesson in improvisation, I propose you improvise a parallel period of 8 bars, taking as a model, the works proposed up to here. To facilitate this task, I provide an 8-bar exercise, in 2/4, where bars 1, 2, 5, and 6 (which correspond to the motifs of the antecedent and consequent respectively) are empty, and bars 3, 4, 7, and 8 contain a proposed suspensive and concluding ending.

I propose to mentally compose a motif of 2 bars. State the notes and figures of your motif but do not write it down. The exercise consists of recording the improvisation of the parallel period with the help of the metronome, building the beginnings of the missing antecedent and consequent from the predefined motif, and executing the suspensive and conclusive endings as they are written. Then listen to the recording to self-correct and, if necessary, repeat the exercise with the same motif until you get a correct execution. I also invite you to continue improvising parallel periodes using new motifs with the proposed endings.


Exercise 20: Execution at first sight

Finally, I suggest you play the following work at first sight on the piano.

To do it, I recommend starting with a musical analysis, indicating the rhythmic, melodic, and morphological elements it exhibits. Then I propose to perform a mental execution with the help of the metronome. If you consider it necessary, you can address the rhythmic, melodic, and fingering elements separately in this mental preparation. Once prepared, I recommend making two video recordings of this exercise (one with the right hand and one with the left hand). The goal is to perform a correct and accurate execution from the first reading. If necessary, repeat the exercise. Finally, I invite you to compose and play new sight reading exercises using the elements worked on in this lesson.


Guidelines for self-correction:

Exercise 1

Analyze the recordings taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the notes.

  2. Rhythmic precision.

  3. Proper use of fingering

Exercise 2

Analyze the recording taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of notes and rhythmic adjustment.

  2. Proper enunciation of the notes.

  3. Accuracy in intonation.

In the execution with the count of the beats of the bar, keep in mind:

  1. The correct execution of the notes.

  2. The proper enunciation of the beats of the measure.

  3. Rhythmic precision.

Exercise 3

Analyze the recordings taking into account the following guidelines:

  • Correct execution and rhythmic adjustment.

  • Stability within the proposed dynamics (pp, p, mp, mf, f)

  • Perceivable difference between these dynamics.

  • Adequate use of the mechanics of the arm, forearm, hand, and fingers in obtaining the proposed dynamics.

Exercise 4

Analyze the recording taking into account the following guidelines

  • Memory execution.

  • Correction in the indications of the score.

  • Rhythmic precision.

Exercise 5

Compare the written scales with the following resolution of the exercise:

  • C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

  • C-B-A-G-F-E-D-C

  • D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D

  • D-C-B-A-G-F-E-D

  • E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E

  • E-D-C-B-A-G-F-E

  • F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F

  • F-E-D-C-B-A-G-F

  • G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G

  • G-F-E-D-C-B-A-G

  • A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A

  • A-G-F-E-D-C-B-A

  • B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B

  • B-A-G-F-E-D-C-B

Exercise 6

In stating the location of the notes on the keyboard in relation to the black keys:

  • C is located to the left of the group of two black keys.

  • F is located to the left of the group of three black keys.

  • E is located to the right of the group of two black keys.

  • B is located to the right of the group of three black keys.

  • D is located in the center of the group of two black keys.

  • G is located in the center to the left of the group of three black keys.

  • A is located in the center to the right of the group of three black keys.

In playing the notes of the same name on the keyboard in intervals of ascending and descending octaves, check:

  • Correct execution of the notes.

  • Correct enunciation of the notes.

  • Correct enunciation of the octaves.

Exercise 7

Check the back of the cards:

  1. Correct note.

  2. Correct octave.

Exercise 8

Compare the written values with the following graph:

Other solutions are possible. If you have used other values, check the equivalence between them.


Exercise 9

Analyze the recording of the rhythmic reading taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the rhythm (whether drumming, singing, or on the piano).

  2. Precision in synchronous adjustment with the metronome.

Exercise 10

Analyze the recording of the rhythmic sight-reading taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the rhythm (whether drumming, singing, or on the piano).

  2. Precision in synchronous adjustment with the metronome.

  3. Correct execution from the first attempt.

In case of not achieving the proposed goal in the first reading, compose new exercises to train the rhythmic reading at first sight until reaching it.


Exercise 11

Check in the exercise you composed:

  1. The correct writing of the key, the time signature, the values, and the bar lines.

  2. Following the guides: eight bars in 3/4 using quarter, half, and dotted half notes.

Analyze the sight-reading recording of your rhythmic composition, following the guidelines proposed in exercise 10.


Exercise 12

Compare the rhythm written to dictation with the following graph

In case you find an error, you can continue exercising rhythmic dictation with the elements worked on in this lesson using the audios of your readings, your sight readings, and your own compositions.


Exercise 13

Analyze the recording of the rhythmic-melodic reading taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the rhythm and precision in the synchronous adjustment with the metronome.

  2. Correct enunciation of the notes.

  3. Correct intonation of notes. To do this, listen to the recording playing simultaneously on the piano to self-correct yourself.

Exercise 14

Analyze the recording of the rhythmic-melodic reading at first sight taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the rhythm and precision in the synchronous adjustment with the metronome.

  2. Correct enunciation of the notes.

  3. Correct intonation of notes. To do this, listen to the recording playing simultaneously on the piano to self-correct yourself.

  4. Correct execution from the first attempt.

In case of not achieving the proposed goal, compose new exercises to train rhythmic-melodic reading at first sight until reaching it.


Exercise 15

Check in the exercise you composed:

  1. The correct writing of the key, the time signature, the values, and the bar lines.

  2. Following the guides: eight bars in 3/4 time using quarter, half, and dotted half notes and the notes C, D, and E, with repeated notes and conjunct motion (without skips).

Analyze the recording of the reading at first sight of your rhythmic-melodic composition, following the guidelines proposed in exercise 14.


Exercise 16

Compare the melody written to dictation with the following graph

In case you find an error, you can continue exercising rhythmic-melodic dictation with the elements worked on in this lesson using the audios of your readings, your sight readings, and your own compositions.


Exercise 17

Compare your analysis with the following graph and explanation

The work is in C Major and consists of a parallel period. It has two parts of four bars. The first part (antecedent) consists of a two-bar motif that is followed by a suspension ending. The second part (consequent) is made up of the initial motive, followed by a conclusive ending, produced by the resolution and stop in the tonic.


Exercise 18

Analyze the composition taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. The work has eight bars.

  2. Its antecedent is composed of a two-bars motif followed by a suspensive ending (on a note other than C).

  3. Its consequent is made up of the initial motif followed by a conclusive ending (in the tonic, C).

Then analyze the audio of the execution of your composition following the self-correction guides of exercise 1


Exercise 19

Analyze the recording of the improvisation taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. The motif executed corresponds to the stated rhythmic-melodic pattern.

  2. The repetition of the motif is exact.

  3. The consequent corresponds to the proposed model

  4. The overall execution is rhythmically and melodically accurate.

Exercise 20

Analyze recordings of sight-reading to self-correct. To do this, keep in mind:

  1. Correct execution of the notes.

  2. Precision and rhythmic adjustment with the metronome.

  3. Proper use of fingers

  4. Correct execution from the first attempt.

In case of not achieving the proposed goal, compose new exercises to train the execution at first sight until reaching it.

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