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Old 01-11-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
3D Piper
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,129
Default Re: Over thinking the movements

In my limited experience, 'visual' learners (ie watching others) are usually not strong in reading music.

Get back to these building-blocks-basics:

- are they relaxed when playing?

Don't tense up! no 'creeper' hands! don't watch your fingers!

- can they correctly recognize the 9 melody notes?

This seems so simple, but make sure they can quickly and correctly identify each melody note. Look for pausing while trying to think of what note it is on the page and how to finger it. Try some flash cards, or I have a whole page of random notes and I see how many they can correctly identify in 1 minute. If you can't correctly recognize the note on the page, you certainly won't play the right note either melody or embellishment.

- can they correctly identify and play a single gracenote?

Again, this seems so simple, but make sure they can correctly identify the three single gracenotes (G, D, E) and play them correctly. Most of our other embellishments are based on properly knowing how to play these core single gracenotes.

etc.. When I run into a problem with a student, I always start going backwards until I find where the solution is and then work forward from there. Building-blocks are based on making sure you can properly perform the task before moving on. I know other instructors do not do that, but it has worked well for me. If the player is older, there may be years (decades?) of improper playing you may have to treat.

Good luck!

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