When my student, Sami, decided to take lessons this summer even though she’s going to take a break in the fall to study violin, it seemed like a good time to review the basics. We took her new piece, the Quadrille by Joseph Haydn, and started to examine each detail on the page.
“What’s the title of this piece? I asked.
“Um, K…wa…drial?” she sounded out.
“Close,” I reassured her.
“What about this word here, ‘Allegretto.’ Do you know what that means?”
“Nope,” she answered honestly.
Sami’s not one to try to fake it. If she can make a good guess, she will, otherwise she just fesses up.
We talked about Joseph Haydn, the composer of the piece. I told her how when I was a little girl I’d thought that he was related to me because his name sounded like mine.
“What about these numbers under his name? Do you know what they might be?”
“Um…his cell number?”
Whoa. That makes such complete sense when you’re 7-years-old in the 21st century. Everybody has a phone, and everybody has a cell phone. Why wouldn’t you put yours in the book?
Sometimes I forget that each and every student has to be taught each and every detail. Just because I taught Alex what a tempo marking is doesn’t mean that Sami will know it. Every child needs to learn to walk on their own. Every child learns to feed themselves and every piano student needs to learn the basics.
We continued through each and every mark and symbol on the page.
“Sami, do you know what these little dots over the notes are called?” I asked, pointing to the staccato dots.
“Something that rhymes with avocado,” she answered enthusiastically.
I’m going to miss Sami when she goes on her violin hiatus. I’m secretly hoping she doesn’t really like it so she’ll come back to piano.
I can’t wait to see what she rhymes with hemiola.