Module One – Sample

These two lessons are provided as a sample of the full Music Logic Online course. Feel free to click on the tab for Lesson 1 or Lesson 5 and spend some time watching the videos and reviewing the content. If you like what you see you can sign up for the Modules via the “Shop” tab at the top of the page. Let us know what you think!

Throughout this Module we will be using a keyboard/piano as the demonstration instrument simply because most people find it easier to translate the written musical notation to the wide range of the piano. As you progress you will be able to use your new understanding of musical notation to play other instruments.

Lesson one is the most complex – it involves getting started – getting to know your instructor – getting comfortable with the system – etc.

For this Module and Module 2 you will need a copy of the Music Logic Book 1.
You can download in PDF format here. Print off a copy
or order a hard copy here.

We are going to start with a composition called ‘Falling Leaves’ this is a ‘hands on’ piece. We then follow with some nitty gritty basic theory of reading music notation, finishing with some finger exercises.

1.1  Layout of the Piano

Video 1.1 Sustaining Pedal

                        Figure 1-1

Notice that the keys are white & black

Also notice that the black keys come in groups of twos & threes

A piano usually has 3 pedals at its base. Electronic keyboards usually only have one. This is called the “sustaining pedal” on a keyboard. The right pedal on a piano is the sustaining pedal.

Right from the start with first performance piece “Falling Leaves” you will be getting to use the sustaining pedal.

Exercise: Play a number of keys across the entire range of the keyboard and notice the difference between the sound and the length of the note both with and without the sustaining pedal being depressed.


1.2  PERFORMANCE PIECE

Let’s get started on your first hands on piece “Falling Leaves”

Video 1.2 Falling Leaves (hands on piece)


1.3  READING MUSIC NOTATION

Video 1.3 Nine Notes

Getting started with reading music notation>
These notes should be used to clarify the video 1.3 Nine Notes below

Stave

Stave is a set of 5 lines and 4 spaces

Each line and each space represents a white key

It follows that the stave can accommodate 9 notes

(5 lines + 4 spaces = 9 notes)

9 notes going up

9 notes going down

Exercise 1.3:  Practice playing the keys as demonstrated in the video clip


1.4  INTERVAL

Video 1.4 Intervals on a keyboard

Interval’ is the distance (space) between a lower sound and a higher sound

Let’s look at the five smallest intervals


1.5  FIVE FINGER EXERCISE

Video 1.5 Five Finger Exercise

Ten flexible fingers

For many music instruments particularly keyboard/piano – guitar and woodwinds – we need to have 10 independent flexible fingers.

For the purposes of playing music the thumb of each hand is included as a finger

Background – as humans we tend to think of having two arms and two hands with which we can grasp and hold and manipulate – whereas with music playing we need to think of 10 independent and flexible levers (fingers).

            Figure 1-9

Expect a little resistance with finger No. 4 in the beginning as it may not want to co-operate, but it will become automatic with practice.

  Simple Five Finger Exercise

Suggest about 20 seconds per day


1.6  ABILITY TO PLAY A BASIC CHORD

Video 1.6 Basic Chords on White Keys

If you are a total beginner – allow approx. 3 to 8 weeks to get to a point where your hand shape and finger connection to the keyboard becomes instinctive and automatic.

Object – to play with each hand separately – a three note chord on white keys

Fingers  1  –  3  –  5

3 note chord on white keys

1.7 Self Check

1.         Can you play falling leaves ?

2.         Do you understand how a stave works?

3.         Can you define ‘what is an interval’?

           (Typical answer ‘the space/distance from a lower sound to a higher sound’)

           

Video 5.1 Dreaming – Repertoire Piece

Dreaming’ is a great example of a piece that for its structure uses basic chords – also it is a ‘hands on’ piece

5.2 Reading Music Notation

Notes in relation to C

(Small diamond shape reminds you where the C’s are)

1.         Each of these 6 notes are not C’s

2.         All 6 notes are above a C

3.         All 6 notes are a jump’ (third) above C

The idea is to confidently navigate around any music score by knowing where is the closest C and recognizing intervals.

Interesting note: to think that no note can be further away than a fourth from a C.

Where are the C’s ?

This exercise is to see these 8 notes and to think were they are in relation to the closest C.

Note 1 one below C

Note 2            a jump below C

Note 3            a fourth above C

Note 4            a jump above C

Note 5            a jump below C

Note 6            is a C

Note 7            a jump below C

Note 8            one above C

Video 5.3 Finding Betty Blue

This next exercise is preparing you to read a perky piece with the title ‘Betty Blue’

We will be practicing talking through intervals – and using the C’s as reference points

Note: the pattern of intervals in figure 5-4 and figure 5-5 are the same

Video 5.4 Practical – The World’s Worst Exercise

5.4  Practical – World’s Worst Exercise

As the name implies this exercise needs dedication

I suggest 10 seconds a day for each hand

Allow 7 days for a good result

This exercise has suggested fingering indications

Right hand starts with fingers 1 and 3

Left hand starts with fingers 5 and 3

Reverse psychology works wonderfully with 8 year olds

If I told them this was a nice easy and important exercise I would probably get about a 4 per cent success rate. But by saying that it is the ‘worlds worst exercise’ and very difficult and nearly impossible to play, I get more like a 90 per cent success rate and the young students are very eager to show me how good they are with it.

Important – this exercise is designed to play just one hand at a time

5.5 Check Yourself

1.         Are you clear about the concept of naming notes in relation to C?

2.         Are you clear about talking through patterns of  ‘intervals’ ?

            e.g. Figure 5-4

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