I’m overwhelmed with joy to nurse along this child’s musical growth. In truth, I’d never expected a 4-year old to be ready for private instruction. The undertaking was creative and experimental, falling into the iffy range of outcomes.
A fledgling who has ingested the physical connection between the singing tone and how to produce it, and grasps the cognitive side of music learning, is nothing short of dazzling!
Tales of a Musical Journey, Rina’s primer through her early months of study, had been a model for my tailor-made variation that suits this child’s individual needs. What remains at the core of the instruction, however, is Irina Gorin’s vision.
Rina has absorbed supple wrist motions; has a cohesive sense of regularly recurring beats; and can make create dynamic contrasts in her playing. (she knows “F” for Forte and “p” for piano) She has had considerable exposure to “echoes” and musically realizing them.
She can identify “short sounds” (the equivalent of quarters–black cardboard circles) and “long sounds” (half notes–white cardboard circles), as well as “very long sounds” –Whole Notes: “whole note hold down,” (cardboard ovals with thick black borders) and coordinates two hands together playing “Frere Jacques” (Happy and Sad versions, the latter enlisting “Eb” for the “minor”) and “Twinkle Twinkle.” (separate hands, and hands together) She has also ingested “running notes,” (or 8th notes) notated in “Frere Jacques.”
Rina knows her seven-letter music alphabet forward and in reverse, and understands step- and skip-wise motion up and down. (Derived from stair-case climbing in my home studio)
And she now “reads” floating notes, grouped with bar lines, with attached fingerings and letter names.
Here’s a sample of what we’ve devised in cooperation with Rina’s mom who receives a set of lesson plans each week and follows through with daily, supervised practice. We also schedule a telephone conference on the evening of Rina’s weekly lesson.
Rina’s dad brings her to my home weekly for a 30-minute lesson, and stays to observe.
I’ve also added some Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals listening assignments, followed up by having Rina play “The Lion” in my own contrived duet form. We just added “The Elephant.” I play a reduced version of these miniatures and teach Rina to add harmonic 5ths or single notes as accompaniment. I annotate these in the score, and say “long sounds” or ” short sounds” depending on the particular arrangement. My You Tube uploads of these pieces assist mom during the week.
Right now Rina is working on slurring two-note legato pairs to grow her technique.
Her learning is dynamic and growing in leaps and bounds!
Without further ado, here are today’s recorded videos of Rina playing a solo and duet.
Last week, Rina recorded “Frere Jacques” in the “sad” minor using Eb:
Rina is pictured with her French tutor, Denise, following today’s piano lesson: