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January 15th 2015

Elementary Student First Lesson/Interview

Name: Brooke
Age: 13
Grade: 8
Music Level: 3
Method: Hal Leonard Student Piano Library Level 3/4

Performance: Have the student play (preferably) two short contrasting pieces for
you that show different sides of her skill.
-These should be favourite pieces that she feels very comfortable with and show
some of the best of her abilities.
-Take note in the performance of attention to detail to basic elements of the music
such as notes, rhythm, articulation, musicianship, etc.
-Dont make too many comments about the performance but say something about
what specifically they did well in each piece.

Listening Activity: Try a short melodic dictation activity to test the students aural
skills. Start with some easy three or four note dictations that they could play back to
-This will hopefully help them build confidence before you could try a couple more
challenging ones. Dont do anything that would be too overwhelming for her and
read the situation.

Sight reading Activity: Bring a couple of short excerpts of music from a book one
or two levels lower than the level that she is currently studying at.
-Have her study them for a bit and play them whenever she feels ready.

*It is important to move through these activities without making too many
comments on how well she is doing. You are mostly observing not only her skills, but
her ability to adapt to these musical tasks.

*From these tasks you will be able to glean at least some information as to what her
personality type is. Make notes about how she reacts and handles these situations
and where you think her strengths and weaknesses are. Record your answers on the
audition form found in the Appendix of the Baker-Jordan text. Ask her some
questions that might give you more insight such as:
-What are your favourite subjects in school?
-What do you like to do for extra-curricular activities?
-Do you have a favourite type of music to play at the piano?
-What is your favourite kind of music to listen to?
Choosing Repertoire:
- Have a few pieces pre-selected and play all of them for her.
- Have her choose one piece to work on over the week The other piece will be
chosen next week.

Choose one from Classical Themes:

The Elephant (Saint-Saens) or Penguin Heat Wave or Setting Sun

*Make sure that the piece you assign for her in the first week do not have any
difficult concepts that she would not have already come across at some point in her
studies. In the first lesson you would not have proper time to teach the concept.

*Give her pertinent instruction on what to watch out for in the pieces, especially
based on what you gleaned from her approach in her playing.

*Maybe ask a couple of questions such as:

-What will be the first thing you do when you practise this piece at home?
-How will you count it?
-Will you start HS or HT?

*She will not have much to do in the first week besides work on a review piece. The
justification for this is that you need the interview time to discern what her
weaknesses are to plan the next lesson and piece accordingly. If you were to assign
a piece in which she has technical weaknesses in the first week, she would go home
and struggle with it. Another option to give her more to do in the first week may be
some theory review games on note reading and rhythm.
January 22nd 2015

Lesson 2
Student: Brooke (13 years)
Issue observed (Hypothetical): Difficulty in executing staccatos playing them
more as detached notes. This is the students second lesson and although the
student has a good grasp on the theoretical basis, some of her physical tendencies
are tense and thus allowing her not to execute certain articulations with ease.
Affective Goal: For the student to understand that it is the teachers intention to
teach this skill not because what she is doing is wrong, but because the skill will
make staccatos easier for her.
Cognitive Goal: For her to understand the difference between detached notes and
staccato notes.
Pshychomotor Goal: For the student, through ample demonstration and use of
other examples of similar motion, be able to understand the motion and execute it
Materials: Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, Book 3.
Piece: In the Hall of the Mountain King (Grieg)
State Objective: I will inform the student that this lesson we will primarily be
working on the execution of staccatos in preparation for the new piece that will be
assigned this week.
Technique: Based on the students level of technique discerned from the first
lesson/interview, a technique book will have been chosen accordingly and
assignments given.
-If none are available in the book, the teacher could make up an exercise
emphasizing staccatos. This would be presented to the student after the teaching of
the motor skill and offered as a means for warm up before working on the new
staccato piece.
(Insert steps for teaching motor skills)
New Piece: We will then discuss the new piece which involves almost entirely
*It will be easy when you are at home this week to get so caught up in reading the
new notes at home, you may lose focus on the feeling of the staccato and they will
become less sharp for this reason I will advise you to learn and practise this piece
in small chunks, mastering the notes of a phrase and then practising this phrase
with the staccatos at the forefront of your attention. Pay special attention to how
your hands feel when you are executing this motion. Do they feel like a diver diving
off of a diving board?
Review Piece
-Give instructions on what to fix for the review piece.
-Present staccato exercise as complimentary to the new piece
-Reiterate methods to use for practising staccatos in new piece.