Slow down, you move too fast

We got home late, so we couldn’t practice until after dinner. While I got it ready, I did “fruit rhythm” music reading with M, which went well. She needed help with syncopated rhythms and sixteenth notes, but overall, she read the 50-measure exercise from her group teacher very reliably.

In our lesson, we only worked on two songs, May Song and the Führmann Tanz.

We picked up where we left off with May Song: M played it through several times focusing on getting good right-hand tone. She only made one real note mistake, and that was the result of not looking at the neck as she moved from natural position to tosto.

But the Führmann Tanz was in bad shape — she couldn’t even sing it, she missed the first repeat, and she mangled the notes in the B section.

So I had her practice the B section repeatedly, without stopping, until I counted 5 repetitions with good tone and no note mistakes. She probably played it a total of 9 times to get 5 good ones. I would have liked to do more, but we didn’t have time.

One aspect of our lesson was not successful: I noticed that she was starting the B section by playing “i-i” instead of “i-m.” I stopped her immediately and asked her if she knew what right-hand problem was my reason for stopping her. Unsurprisingly, the first time, she didn’t know. But it was surprising to me that even after I told her to pay careful attention to her right hand as she started the song, she made the same mistake four or five times in a row, and each time, she couldn’t tell me what about her right hand was incorrect.

But before I told her the problem, she fixed it, and she began the section by alternating i-m. Periodically as she played her alternating was not perfect, but overall it was pretty good.

As I was writing this, a review idea occurred to me: Perhaps we could sing every song each lesson. I can’t understand how anyone plays every song each lesson, unless those songs are at a level of development that is still remote for us. I don’t feel like we’re rushing through the repertoire, yet I keep finding that her review songs are less solid than I expect.

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