Focus: Keyboard Pointers and Review
Week 41 immediately dives into a new sort of keyboard pointer; this time, you'll be working with a short piece to practice your staccato and legato phrasing. You'll practice both hands alone and hands together, analyzing the form and acquainting yourself with the broken chord accompaniment. Duane guides you through the exercise carefully, playing the piece slowly at first, then gradually increasing the speed. You'll then move on to another exercise that contains a melody in the left hand and a new position of the F chord; additionally, you'll be introduced to a new dynamic marking, the tenuto marking.
The first official song of the lesson (one of the most advanced songs in the course) includes an element not yet seen in this course's pieces: an introduction. You'll work through the introduction separately, hands alone and hands together, before beginning to analyze the remainder of the piece, which contains C7 arpeggios and four-part chords. It's a song to work through slowly; it includes a lot of jumping around and may take some time to truly master.
The next song is a classical opera piece that features a new position of the broken C chord and treble and bass tones combined to create a full chord. As usual, you'll work through this song slowly, taking each part separately before combining them. You won't, however, attempt any arrangement of this piece; the piece itself is practice enough.
This week's lesson comes to an ends with a keyboard quiz to test how quickly you can read and play a song. Duane reviews the process of analyzing a song to get a grasp of the piece before even placing your fingers on the keyboard. You'll be asked to identify the chord structure and to find the form and theme, all of which can be done before playing the song. The lesson then provides a brief, formal introduction to the western bass and shows you how the accompaniment technique looks on the musical staff.
Review by Mollie Wells