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A1. Lesson 8

Actualizado: 6 sept 2023

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

We will continue here what we worked on in lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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 first with right and left hands separately and then with hands together 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 Counting

Next, I 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: Playing and Singing

Next, I propose you execute the work with separate hands, simultaneously singing the melody with the name of the notes. Then I suggest you perform the work with hands together and sing the right hand and then the left hand. This exercise will allow you to train the harmonic ear. Finally, make an audio recording to assess the achievement of the proposed objective.


Exercise 4: Memory execution

Perform the pieces 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: Location of notes

In the previous lessons, we learned and practiced the location of the notes on the keyboard and in the treble clef with their respective acoustic index. 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 use the cards from exercise 7 of lesson A1.2. For this exercise, we will take a maximum of 5 new notes to exercise. That is why I propose you select the cards of the notes from C5 to C6. Shuffle the cards and present them in random order. Say the note and play it on the piano in its corresponding octave. Repeat the exercise until you become fluent in identifying these notes and their location on the keyboard.


Exercise 6: Parallel Octaves, sixths, and thirds

Next, I propose you write parallel octaves, sixths, and tenths (compound thirds) on the following melody, within the limits of a closed and fixed position from C5 to G5. Within this position, it is not possible to write the requested intervals on some notes of the proposed melody. In these cases, write rests.

Exercise 7: Variation. arallel sixths

Next, I propose you write the following melody with parallel sixths and play them with hands together. I also recommend performing the repertoire of lesson 2 in parallel sixths.

Exercise 8: Study method

When starting to learn a new work, I recommend you follow a study method, ordering the tasks that are put into play in the execution from the simplest to the most complex. Simple tasks involve the execution of a single activity, such as reading the notes or reading the rhythm. Complex tasks involve the overlapping of two or more activities, such as rhythmic-melodic reading, or execution from reading. In turn, the execution can be divided into three stages: without rhythm, with rhythm at a comfortable study speed, and in tempo. Finally, I recommend dividing each stage into three phases: right hand alone, left hand alone, and hands together. In the graph below, the stages and phases of the proposed method are summarized:

When starting to study a new work, I suggest you mark the correct resolution of each of the phases of this method in the margins of the score (1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c, 5a, 5b, 5c, 6a, 6b, 6c). In this way, you will be able to solve separately the difficulties in learning from reading and observe your progress.


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 3/4 using quarter, half, and dotted half notes and rests. 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, half and dotted half notes and rests, 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 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 and half notes. Regarding its melodic aspect, it contains four notes (C, D, E, and F) approached by repeated note, conjunct motion, and descending third. 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 with these 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 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4 using quarter, half, dotted half, or whole notes, and the notes C, D, E, and F, with repeated notes, conjunct motion, and descending third, 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, E, and F), 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, I propose you carry out a morphological analysis of the work proposed in this lesson. You can correct your analysis by going to the guide for solving the exercises at the end of this post.

Exercise 18: Musical composition

Next, I invite you to compose an 8-bar binary sentence using parallel octaves. To do this, I recommend using the rhythmic and melodic elements that have been practiced.

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


Exercise 19: Improvisation

Next, I suggest you improvise an 8-bar binary sentence with parallel octaves using the following consequent.

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 a video recording of this exercise with hands together (if you want, you can start making two recordings, 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 recording taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct execution of the notes.

  2. Rhythmic precision.

  3. Correct use of fingering.

  4. Adequate execution of the dynamics.

  5. Correct execution of the articulations.

  6. Correct position of the body and hand.

  7. Correct execution technique.

Exercise 2

In the execution with the count of the beats, 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 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.

Exercise 4

Analyze the recording taking into account the following guidelines

  • Memory execution.

  • Correction in the indications of the score.

  • Rhythmic precision.

Exercise 5

Verify the correct recognition, enunciation, and execution of notes and eighths.


Exercise 6

Compare your exercise with the graph below.

Exercise 7

Compare the variation written with the graph below.

Exercise 8

Analyze the recordings taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. Correct enunciation and/or execution of the notes.

  2. Rhythmic precision.

  3. Proper use of fingering.

  4. Correction in dynamics and articulation.

Exercise 9

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

  1. Correct execution of the rhythm.

  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.

  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 and rests.

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 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4 time using quarter, half, dotted half, or whole notes, and the notes C, D, E, and F, with repeated notes, conjunct motion, and ascending thirds.

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 an 8-bar parallel period with a 4-bar introduction. The initial motif of the antecedent (a) is slightly varied in the consequent (a'). The melody is presented in parallel sixths.


Exercise 18

Analyze the composition taking into account the following guidelines:

  1. The work corresponds to a binary sentence of 8 bars.

  2. The melody is presented in parallel octaves.

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 motifs executed correspond to the stated rhythmic-melodic patterns.

  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.


After completing the exercises in this lesson, I invite you to continue with lesson 9.

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