Week 24 marks another lesson in arrangement, helping you to hone a few essential arrangement skills while dramatically improving your reading and playing abilities. You'll begin in the supplementary book with a new form, the polka, that focuses heavily on staccato notes in the melody and legato in the bass; this polka represents another crucial lesson in left and right hand independence. After playing the song as written, both hands alone and hands together, Duane discusses a few arrangement possibilities but also explains why arranging certain songs, such as this one, can be difficult. Still, he covers the few possibilities available and allows you to brush up on a few techniques not used for a few lessons.
The lesson then moves on to a classical piece that houses lots of notes and lots of techniques; it's definitely a more advanced piece than you've worked with and will inevitably seem a bit scary at first. Because of that factor, Duane slowly guides you through the song as written, showing you how to break a complicated piece into parts to make its reading and playing easier to digest. After gaining some comfort with the written piece, you'll look at the possible arrangements, again focusing on why such a technique-heavy, stylized piece is often difficult to arrange.
The last song in this lesson, "My Darling Clementine," isn't nearly as difficult to arrange as the previous two, and after working with it as written, you'll explore the myriad of available arrangement opportunities. As Duane explains, the songs is a playful one and therefore very conducive to arrangement, especially in a few specific styles. You'll end this week's lesson by adding upward inversion, grace notes and syncopation to the well-known piece.
Review by Mollie Wells