TO ALL PARENTS AND STUDENTS OF SEVERINO'S PIANO LESSONS PLUS
I have been working on creating an online NoteBook for each of my students. I created these NoteBooks through Microsoft OneNote and they are stored on the “Cloud” (Microsoft’s OneDrive). I will be sending you a link where you can access the notebook.
I want to explain the content of the NoteBooks and how I think they will be a great help my students get the most out of their piano study. The first page is MACRO GOALS
MACRO GOALS is a page to remind me of important long-range goals I am working on together with the student. It could be anything that will take weeks or months to accomplish. This page is mostly to remind me of specific areas of pedagogy (piano teaching) that I need to focus my attention. Areas that are different for each individual student.
The second page is LESSONS
LESSONS is the backbone of each student’s notebook. This page will give a weekly record of the major points covered in each lesson. It could include little assignment for the students to do for the next lesson. It could include a recording of a composition the students is working on. This page will include the major points a student needs to give their attention when practicing the piece through the week. There will most often be a new page given for each lesson. Some lessons end out having more notes that others.
The third page is SCORE ANALYSIS
This page is very important. Students need to learn to analyze the music they are learning. Music notation is a very complex language and is too often neglected for lack of time in regular lessons because of time limitations. But it is very important for students to become good sight readers. I am going to use this page to make sure students get enough attention to become as excellent a music reader as possible. More information on the use of this page will be forthcoming.
The DEVELOPMENT PAGES
The DEVELOPMENT PAGES are five pages that are designed to help the student develop their skills, give them goals and broaden their knowledge of music and performance.
DEVELOPMENT PAGE 1 – TECHNIQUE
Students need a consistent plan (regimen) in developing their piano technique. Technique put most simply is “finger ability”. This page is going to give students their specific plan for developing their skills. Most lessons will have a portion of the time devoted to technique. Much of this information will be forwarded to this page so a student can quickly see their technical plan (regimen) as it develops from week to week and month to month.
DEVELOPMENT PAGE 2 – LISTENING
Often a student will be learning a music that is entirely new to them. It could be anything from a folk song to a popular song, to a orchestral arrangement, to a selection from a musical. It could be anything. This page is to give students a library of compositions they are studying where the whole world of music can emerge in front of them so they can grasp the wealth of art that is their heritage.
DEVELOPMENT PAGE 3 – 40 PIECE CHALLENGE This page is to challenge to learn a lot of music and play it well. Every piece need not be difficult for the student. Much of the music I’ve had to learn through the years was not at all difficult. Some music certainly was difficult but this was the exception. The 40 PIECE CHALLENGE PAGE is a chart where students can list all their compositions that they can play well.
Students will get extra credit for the ANALYSIS, MEMORY, RECORDING and PERFORMANCE of their Challenge Pieces. ANALYSIS – Each Challenge Piece needs to be analyzed.
MEMORY – Each Challenge Piece has the option to be memorized RECORDING - Each Challenge Piece has the option to be recorded
PERFORMANCE – Each Challenge Piece has the option to be performed in front of a live audience. That audience could and often should be for the parents, but also performing for friends, for school events, church, talent shows, in fact, any performance venue is encouraged. DEVELOPMENT PAGE 4 – RECORDING
RECORDING PIECES are pieces we record and post on my Piano Lessons PLUS Web Site. I ask students to give me a fictitious name to protect their identity and I post them on my web site so you can invite your out of town relatives to listen in on all the progress and talent that’s on display. DEVELOPMENT PAGE 5 – THEORY and ARRANGING
From almost the beginning of my music study I was taught to arrange my own music and I think it is important for students to involve themselves in their creative activity. This page is to track a student’s development in this important area of music study.
I am in the process of making ARRANGING a major section of all my instructional books and most of the arranging material will be found there. So, to a certain extent this page is still “under construction”. I think you will find that each student’s notebook will be filled with creative activity and will give an objective guide as to maximize their piano progress. I’m wishing everyone the best of success.
Best to all,