Lesson recap: singing and playing, continued

M was a little hyper after dinner. As we were heading toward our practice room, I said, “You seem a little all over the place. You’ll need to settle down, otherwise things aren’t going to go well.” (I think I said this mostly like an observation, not a threat. I really try to avoid threats — or, as M has called them, “threatens.”)

In fact, she did settle down, and we had a nice lesson. Afterwards we had some ice cream, and I said, “You did a nice job cooperating today. Thanks.” She responded, “I heard what you said.” Meaning (as I confirmed) that she took heed of my direction at the start of our lesson to settle down. This may have been an explanation in hindsight rather than a reflection of her thought process earlier, but I’ll take it!

Today, we sang and played each song that we practiced. We also went over the song structure before playing. We did:

  • Several A scales, saying & singing the notes as we played. This is our most-recent assignment and will lead us into the last song in Book 1, Meadow Minuet.
  • Allegretto, which went much better than yesterday. After one repetition, I asked M how it went, and she identified a number of things that weren’t quite right, including some subtle ones like a slight acceleration of tempo.
  • Steady Hands, which also went much better. We played it twice, maybe three times. She did an outstanding job watching her left hand and focusing on her playing, and even better, when I asked her what she did well, she immediately responded: “Looked at my hand.” She also did a great job with the half notes at the end of the A2 and B2 sections. Still need to improve:
    • Right-hand position. The outside of her hand falls toward the top of the guitar, and her wrist falls down. But she did a better job noticing this today.
    • Dynamic shape of sections.
    • Structure: she forgot to repeat the second half of the song (B1-B2-A1-A2).
  • All Twinkle variations, with a metronome (at 60), without Noteflight, and with counting out two measures of introduction in between each one. She still isn’t solid on when to play tosto in every variation, but she’s much improved.

In between practice items, M watched the computer’s screen saver (a Win 7 default one, with black-and-white pictures that gradually colorize), which she called a “movie,” as her break/reward. This probably took only 30 seconds to a minute, and she seemed to think it was a good deal for her.  Overall, practice took probably around 50 minutes.

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