Piano Lesson 39: Your Repertoire

Welcome to Lesson 39, where we will talk about your repertoire, a.k.a., all the pieces you have learned so far!

[NOTE: If you are just joining us for the first time, you can find my previous Sixty and Me Free Piano Lessons on my Author pages. You can join our lessons any time and move at your own pace!]

39.1 What Pieces Will You Include in Your Repertoire?

As we near the end of our Sixty and Me lessons, I want you to think about maintaining a repertoire of songs and pieces to have ready to play for friends and family. (You can pronounce it as “RE-PER-TOIRE” or RE-PE-TWA”.) Trust me, people love to hear their loved ones play music.

You might feel that you aren’t yet ready to play for other people. Maybe you are thinking that you don’t want to perform for others until you can play your piece perfectly. But please don’t demand perfection of yourself, just as you don’t expect it in others. Just focus on your music, playing joyfully from your heart.

If you make mistakes be able to laugh at them. If you are at ease playing for people, they will enjoy your music. Nobody cares if you make a few mistakes, they will be listening to the notes that flow and will enjoy the melody and your growing proficiency at the piano. The more you play for others, the less nervous you will feel, and the easier it will become to play your pieces well. Make it part of your practice to play in front of others, or even when people are nearby doing other things.

39.2 Old French Song, p.94

I love this piece by the famous composer from the Romantic period, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (composer of The Nutcracker). Notice that Old French Song has a dark pensive sound, we call “minor.” You have been playing minor chords in your Exercises and Chord Calisthenics, as well as in Careless Love (p.91) and Santa Lucia (p.93), and you know that minor chords have a flatted 3rd or middle note. I love the minor sound and you will learn more about minor chords (and many other chords) in Upper Hands Piano Books 2-4.

Passion Practice

Exercise #4 – Play Exercise#4 in C, G, D, A, E and B with your hands together. Remember that to play the Augmented chord at the end, you raise the top note (or 5th) of the major triad ½ step.

p.94 – Old French Song – Practice the left-hand notes alone a few times before playing with hands together. Watch my slow demonstration video 39.2 above, and try playing along with me once you get comfortable with the notes. You can gradually speed up the tempo as you see fit, but it is not a fast piece. The tempo marking Andante at the beginning of the piece means to play at a walking tempo.

Review Barcarole p.88. Might you want to keep Barcarole in your repertoire? If not, is there another piece you might like to review for your repertoire? Review whatever calls to you this week.

Chord Calisthenics #5 – Play the minor and diminished triads in the third line, A-flat, E-flat, B-flat and F, and review the first two lines. See how many of these chords you can remember without looking at the letters.

What are some of your favorite songs and pieces you have played since starting your Sixty and Me piano lessons? Are there 2-3 pieces that stand out as your favorites? Your favorites are going to be the ones you are most likely to want to practice long-term in rotation (maybe practice one fav every few days). Start a list in the blank pages at the back of your book under the title, Repertoire. Start with 2-3 titles, and eventually you will be adding songs to your repertoire list.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Leave a comment below and share with us the songs you might include in your repertoire. They might be songs from our Upper Hands Piano Book 1, the extra songs you played from my website, or songs you might be playing on your own. We all LOVE hearing from you, and your list will inspire other Sixty and Me piano players!

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