Top 10 things to know
Level 4 Concepts
- Sharp key signatures and writing the sharp pattern
- Pieces in D, A, and E major
- Two-octave major and harmonic minor scales: C-Am, G-Em, F-Dm, and D, A, and E major scales
- Scale Routines with a 16-note “turn-around” to link the major and relative minor scales
- Root position V7 chord
- The pattern
- Challenging pieces: gigue, mazurka, sonatina
- One-octave arpeggios and extended hand positions
- Terms: sforzando, trill, molto, poco a poco
- Four Level 4 Technique Secrets:
– Drop and Follow-Through
– Weighted Tone (and Empty Fingers)
– Half Circle—Full Circle
Top 5 things to do
Level 4 Teaching Actions
- As a regular lesson warm-up, have students play by memory the Power Scales Routine, with the one beat “turn-around.” (Lesson Bk. pp. 8, 20, 28, 39)
- Build the student’s repertoire with 5-8 pieces “in the fingers”— ready to play for family and friends. Hear a few each lesson. Hint: Sit away from the piano to create a performance atmosphere.
- Memorize a piece, a section of a piece, or an exercise in every unit.
- Can your students write the sharp pattern in less than 30 seconds? Consider a manuscript book!
- As pieces at Level 4 take longer to learn, consider using the Level 4 Sightreading Book to keep developing reading skills. The exercises may also be transposed to other keys. Consider letting the student decide the key!
The best advice
Explain to students that good practice involves a regimen, repetition, and a desire for results. Always practice the technique assignment! Follow a practice plan and identify areas for improvement each week.