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Minuet 1, Minuet 3 and Minuet 8 by Mozart
Musette by Bach
Minuet 1 by Mozart
This piece, because it is a minuet, is in triple time. The first note of each measure is down and deeply sung out. The second beats are soft and light. Breathe (inhale) on the third (up) beats. After memorizing the piece, we always must be careful to check whether or not we are playing elegantly in triple time and thus, whether or not we are making music. The teacher must teach this aspect constantly and carefully so that the music will be played correctly.
The left hand in measures 1-5 is very important. The accompaniment is always in charge of the tempo and rhythm. They are the life of the piece. The tempo is the heart. The rhythm is the breath. Together they are the most important basics of any piece. When we are alive we may sing a song.
There are six eighth notes in each measure of the left hand. Practice by singing out the first note (do) for three counts 1-2-3, and follow by playing the rest of the notes in the measure lightly and softly 4-5-6-7-8 (called "rhythm practice" in previous articles, ed.). Do this ten or twenty times a day over a long period of time. Practicing in this way will enable us to play this left-hand accompaniment correctly in triple time.
If the trill on the first note is played with five notes, do re do re do it is beautiful, but it is also difficult for students. Students will find a four-note trill, re do re do, easier, because the four notes divide evenly into the left-hand eighth notes on the third beat when the same ornament occurs in measure 4 and again in measure 25.
In measures 3, 7, 9, 11, 15, 18 and 22, play the ornaments as appogiaturas (the first of two, even eighth notes, beginning on the beat), not as grace notes (short notes before the beat). In other words, mi fa in measure three is played as two, even eighth notes, with mi at the beginning of the first beat and fa as the "&" of the beat.
The ornament in measure 26 may be played do re do ti do (C D C B C) or re do ti do (D C B C). The legato in the right hand in measures 6-8 is difficult. Practice moving soft fingers slowly and gently on the keys. Never forget to sing the first beat of each measure. Practice the thirds in the right hand in measures 14-16 in the same way.
This piece is a minuet. Inhale on the third beats and sing out the first beats deeply. Play gracefully and elegantly. The next two minuets are the same.
Connect the first two notes of the first two full measures with a slur. Play the third beat in each of these measures as a light, soft, short staccato. Play the first note of the piece short and light, because it is the third beat, the upbeat.
In measures 5-8, use the same articulation, with the first beats long and deep, connected to the short second beats with a slur, and the third beat as a light staccato.
After the double bar (meas. 8-9), do not make a short upbeat on la (A). Play la-do#-la (A-C#-A) legato, and do the same in the following measure.
In the Trio, play gently, with a different feeling from the feeling established in the Minuet. (Do this also in Minuet I.) Play the ornaments in measures 27-28 as appogiaturas, on the beat, making two even eighth notes.
This is a rhythmic and beautiful minuet which employs octaves. If the student is not ready to play octaves, it is fine to play only the upper notes in the right hand and the lower notes in the left, or simply to play the piece later, when the student is ready.
Singing out the first beat deeply (exhaling on it) is always the same principle. Then, the music really sings if there is also a full inhale on the third beats.
In measures 5-8 and 15-18, make sure to move the last joint of the thumb and fifth finger to "take" the octaves. Never strike, hit or poke, or the entire hand will get stiff.
In measures 20 and 22 (and 24) in the Trio, inhale firmly before the third beat and sing out fully with a soft (p) tone.
Sing out the second beats strongly in measures 27-28 and 31-32.
In measures 35-36 and 39-40, enjoy playing with a light tone. Either divide the hands or play all the notes in the right hand here.
It is important to play the left-hand octaves in this piece with a small, staccato sound (with 5th finger and thumb). There are four eighth notes in a measure, the first being the first beat. Play this first beat very carefully. Play the other three lightly and softly. In doing this, we create the rhythm of two-four time. The most important question of technique in this piece is how to play these octaves. Find the position over the keys where the hand can remain natural, not using any force, and playing with the tips of the fingers without changing the assumed position. Do not shake the palm of the hand.
In the right hand, sing out the first note and follow this with light sixteenth notes, quiet and legato (4-3-2-1). In measures 3-4, play the f# well up over the keys (on the keyboard), so that you can play the notes immediately following the f# with the same hand position. It is very important here not to pull the palm of the hand toward you. Be sure to play rhythmically.
Measure 12 requires repeated hands-alone practice.
Play measures 13-16 with a very tiny tone, with just a small accent on the syncopations.
The right hand in measure 17 should be played without changing the hand position after beginning with the fourth finger well into the keys.
Play measures 19-20 forte, with complete relaxation throughout the body.
With good body balance and natural technique, we may enjoy this piece and play without mistakes.
A musette (like the minuet) is a dance.
Teaching points for pieces from Suzuki Piano School,
Volumes 1 and 2 have been compiled into booklet form
and are available from Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation.
Question: What is the best way for a teacher to get training in Suzuki Piano Basics?
Answer: Not only is this a good question practically, but philosophically as well. Wherever we look around the world there are not enough Suzuki Piano Basics teachers. The need, and the demand, have never been greater. We feel there is no better way to earn one's living than to teach children how to play and appreciate good music, so we wonder why more people have not found their way to this method of teaching. Please join our ranks!
We have always maintained that the best way to learn Suzuki Piano Basics is by studying with Dr. Haruko Kataoka, its founder. Teachers may do this by attending her workshops in the United States, by observing the rehearsals of the 10-Piano Concert in Sacramento (where Dr. Kataoka will be present and directing the teachers), by going to Matsumoto to observe the rehearsals for the 10-Piano Concert there, or by traveling to Matsumoto to observe lessons and to study Basics.
By now there are several other Basics teachers in Matsumoto who welcome observers, as do many experienced Basics teachers in the United States and other countries. Several of these teachers also conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada and sometimes in other parts of the world year around. A schedule of these upcoming events will now be posted on our website with the names of people to contact if you wish to attend (to have lessons for yourself or for your students, or simply to observe). Please check out this listing frequently, as some workshops are planned on short notice. We are hoping that these regional events will provide the inroad to the Basics for more of our members!
Question: What are some recommended pieces after a student has completed Book 7 of the Suzuki Piano School?
Answer: There are, of course, many pieces which can be highly recommended. The ones that are taught in Japan with regularity are:
Bach/Italian ConcertoQuestion: After the Methode Rose, what reading materials does Dr. Kataoka teach?
Mozart/Fantasy in d minor, K.397
Chopin/Waltz in e minor, Op. Post.
Haydn/Concerto in D major
De Falla/Fire Dance
Weber/Rondo Brilliante, Op. 62
Mozart/Sonata in F major, K.332
Chopin/Fantasy Impromptu, Op. 66, No. 4
Answer: She uses many volumes of Czerny Etudes, beginning with the Recreations, then Op. 599, 718, 748, 849, 299 and 740, followed by the Bach 2-and 3-Part Inventions.
The Editors welcome input from our readers in reaction to or in addition to our answers. Let's get a dialogue going!
Who is out there reading this newsletter? We want to hear from YOU! Beginning with our next newsletter, we will have a Letters to the Editor Column. Please share your thoughts with us all. Send your correspondence to:
By Cathy Williams Hargrave, Rowlett, Texas
The Zen-On editions are sold only in Japan through the Talent Edition Institute and it's designated offices. Most of the fingerings found in the Zen-On edition are the ones taught by Dr. Haruko Kataoka, who is a co-founder of The Suzuki Piano School and its most innovative researcher. Dr. Kataoka still actively teaches children and teachers in Japan as well as in the United States. The other co-founders were Dr. Suzuki and Mrs. Shizuko Suzuki, his sister-in-law.
Teachers, students, and parents living outside Japan may only purchase the Revised Edition. This edition has some improvements upon the other editions but one disadvantage is the fact that many fingerings found in the Zen-On edition have been changed. Most of the fingerings Dr. Kataoka teaches can be found in the Zen-On edition; however, some of her fingerings are not printed in any edition. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Suzuki piano teachers who wish to teach the fingerings and phrasing ideas of Dr. Kataoka to obtain this information. One purpose of this series is to alleviate this problem.
If there is any difference between the Zen-On edition and the Revised Edition regarding fingering or simple interpretation ideas taught by Dr. Kataoka, it will be discussed here. For learning practical teaching concepts and improving demonstration models of teaching technique and tone production, please read Dr. Kataoka's books and attend her workshops.
Teachers often ask why Dr. Kataoka does not emphasize playing the Bach Minuets in the typical Baroque style of detaching certain notes and adding ornamentation.
She is well aware of Baroque performance practice and does not ignore it completely; however, she does not feel this is the most important concept to teach in depth to an early Volume 2 student. Historically, the performance of Baroque music was highly improvisatory and indicative of the performer's artistic sense. This remains true today. Rather than deal with developing a beginning level student's personal style, it is more appropriate to continue teaching a solid foundation and the basic principles of musical interpretation.
A Volume 2 student has many basic techniques yet to be learned; therefore, Minuet 1 is taught without ornamentation, with very few detached notes, and the left hand is mostly legato. Dr. Kataoka does teach detached tone between the octave intervals of the left hand in the following places:
a) from the 3rd beat of measure 2 and the first beat of measure 3She teaches detached tone in the right hand (but not staccato) in the following places:
b) between beats 1, 2, and 3 of measure 4
c) from the 3rd beat of measure 11 and the first beat of measure 12
d) between beat 1 and 3 of measure 16
e) between beat 1 and 2 of measure 17
f) between beat 3 of measure 19 and beat 1 of measure 20
g) between beat 1, 2, and 3 of measure 21
h) between beat 1 and 3 of measure 23
a) from beat 3 of measure 2 to beat 1 of measure 3 (because it is a phrase ending)Another frequently asked question concerns the dotted half notes in the left hand in measure 2, 11, 13, and 19. These rhythms are indicated in all editions but Dr. Kataoka does not ask the student to hold the dotted half notes. Holding these notes may cause stiffness, tension, or hyperextension of a student's hand, so play them simply as quarter notes. We are more concerned with developing the skill of carefully hearing the exact length of individual notes, then refining the same skill to include hearing the length of different voices played simultaneously in one hand.
b) from beat 3 of measure 11 to beat 1 of measure 12 (phrase ending)
c) from beat 3 of measure13 to beat 1 of measure 14 (phrase ending)
d) from beat 3 of measure 19 to beat 1 of measure 20 (phrase ending)
e) from beat 3 of measure 21 to beat 1 of measure 22 (phrase ending)
Fingering differences between the Zen-On edition and the Revised Edition are detailed below. If only the Zen-On edition and the Revised Edition are mentioned, the reader may assume Dr. Kataoka teaches the Zen-On edition fingerings.
Measure 12 - The Zen-On edition has 2-3-4-in the right hand and 2-1-2 in the left hand. The Revised Edition has 3-4-5 in the right hand and 1-2-3 in the left hand.
Measure 17 and 18 - The Zen-On edition has the left hand fingering of 3-1 -2-3-4-1. The Revised Edition has 2-1-2-3-1-2. Dr. Kataoka teaches 2-1-2-3-4-1.
Measure 20 and 21 - The Zen-On edition has 4-3-2-1 in the right hand and 1-3-2-1in the left hand. The Revised Edition has 4-4-3-2 in the right hand and 1-2-1-3 in the left hand.
Measure 6 - The Revised Edition has the right hand fingering used by Dr. Kataoka. The fingering is 2-3-2-5. The Zen-On edition only indicates finger 2 on the first beat; therefore, a teacher may not know to also play the second beat with finger 3.
Measure 7 and 8 - The Zen-On edition fingering is 1-5-4-3-4-2 in the right hand and 5-2-1-4-3-2-4-3-2. The Revised Edition has 1-4-3-2-3-1 in the right hand and 5-1-2-5-3-2-4-3-2.
Measure 19 - The Zen-On edition has 4-(with an optional choice of 1 in parentheses)-2-1 in the left hand. The Revised Edition has 1-2-1 in the left hand. Dr. Kataoka teaches 4-2-1.
Measure 26 - The Zen-On edition has no fingering printed for the left hand. The Revised Edition fingering is 4-3-1. Dr. Kataoka teaches 3-2-1. Measure 29 and 30 - The Zen-On edition has 4-1-2-5-1-2 in the right hand. The Revised Edition has 5-1-2-5-1-2.
Additional comment: The Revised Edition has footnotes. The first one states the repeated notes in the right hand of measure 2 should be played "as detached, repeated notes throughout the piece." Some teachers misunderstand this and teach students to play all repeated notes staccato. Dr. Kataoka teaches detached repeated notes in the right hand in measure 2, 4, 10, 12, 18, 20, 29, 30, 34, and 36. She does not teach repeated detached notes in the right hand of measure 5, 6, 25, 26, and 27.
Measure 1, beat 1 - The Zen-On edition has the fingering of this chord to be played with fingers 4-2-1. The Revised Edition has 5-3-1. The different fingerings of this chord affects measure 1-7.
Measure 1, beat 3 through measure 7 - The Zen-On edition's fingering for the left hand is 3-2-1-2-3-4-1-2-4. The Revised Edition fingering is 4-3-2- 3-4-5-1-3-5.
Measure 23 and 24 - The Zen-On fingering is 4-1-2-3 for the right hand and 1-4-2-1 for the left hand. The Revised Edition fingering is 4-1-3-4 for the right hand and 1-5-3-1 for the left hand.
Measure 29, beat 1 - The Zen-On edition fingering is 4. The Revised Edition fingering is 5.
Measure 31 - The Zen-On edition has 3-5-1-3 in the right hand and 1-4-2 in the left hand. The Revised Edition has 3-5-1-4 in the right hand and 1-5-3 in the left hand.
Additional comment: Dr. Kataoka does not ask the students to hold the half notes found in measure 25 and 26 of the left hand for the same reason mentioned in Minuet 1.
Minuet in G Minor
Measure 13 - The Zen-On edition has the right hand fingering of 4-3-2-1-2. The Revised Edition has 5-4-3-2-1.
Measure 14 - The Zen-On edition has the right hand fingering of 5-3-2-1-2. The Revised Edition has 5-4-3-2-1.
Measure 16 - The Zen-On edition has the right hand fingering of 3. The Revised Edition has 2.
The next article in this series will discuss Cradle Song, Minuet by Mozart, Arietta, and Melody.
The video of the latest 10-Piano Concert in Japan is now available through Piano Basics Foundation! The November 19 Concert in Matsumoto, Japan included over 250 students and pieces ranging from Twinkle to the Hungarian Rhapsody #11 by Liszt. You can now see the American students, whose articles about their travels to Japan appeared in the January/February issue of this newsletter!
The excitement around a 10-Piano Concert is evident in the opening scenes of people arriving, parents taking tickets and selling logo t-shirts, and students lining up backstage.
The concert demonstrates the incredible potential of all children to develop ability through practice and rehearsals, and to rise to the occasion of the performance.
One of the highlights of the video is watching the American teachers perform Sonata #48, third movement by Haydn. Hats off to Linda Nakagawa and Bruce Boiney!
It is very good research for teachers to study such videos. The important graduation pieces such as Sonatina, Op. 36 #3 by Clementi; Gigue by Bach; and Turkish Rondo by Mozart have been performed on previous 10-Piano Concerts. This invites comparison and study.
There are pieces on the concert not performed previously on a 10-Piano Concert such as Frederich Gulda's arrangement of the second movement of Mozart's Sonata K. 545, Chopin's Fantasy-, the Turkish March by Beethoven, and the Hungarian Rhapsody #11 by Liszt.
This video is also very good study for teachers planning to attend the 10-Piano Concert in Sacramento, as many of the pieces are the same.
The video provides a visual and aural model for students. It is very powerful for students to experience other children playing at such a high level. This video is fun and motivating for students to watch, and provides a great opportunity for natural learning.
Suzuki Piano Basics Foundation has a limited supply of the Matsumoto November 19, 2000 10-Piano Video. Cost: $100 (See review above.) To order:
242 River Acres Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831
Phone/Fax: (916) 422-2952
This year's concert, two years after the groundbreaking first one, will run the gamut from the group bow and Twinkles to a two-piano arrangement of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody #2, twenty-seven pieces in all. It will feature 221 students (31 from Japan, 73 from around the United States and 117 from Sacramento) from the studios of 31 teachers (9 from Japan, 17 from around the United States and 5 from Sacramento). As is the 10-Piano Concert in Matsumoto, the Sacramento concert is an exercise in foreign exchange and cooperation as well as an intense study of Suzuki Piano Basics. Nowhere outside Japan can the results of Basics training be observed in the context of such a large concert.
For well over a decade, Dr. Kataoka has said that the best way to understand Suzuki Piano Basics is to observe rehearsals for a 10-Piano Concert, for the most "basic" aspects of each piece are the points which comprise the rehearsals. And most teachers who have attended rehearsals for these events will confirm that they find the process enlightening in a way they have not experienced in any other study.
All teachers are welcome to come to Sacramento to observe the rehearsals, which will begin on Saturday, August 4 and culminate in the concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 17 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. The fee for two-week, unlimited observation is $275 (which includes one ticket to the concert). The daily observation fee is $60 (does not include a concert ticket). If received by June 15, these fees will be listed as donations in the program under your name.
Visiting teachers will stay together at the Homestead Village Guest Studios near downtown Sacramento, where each room features a fully equipped kitchen.
To register as an observer and to receive information regarding housing, please contact:
Linda NakagawaFor those unable to attend, please consider ordering a videotape of the concert for the pre-concert price of $40 ($50 after the concert). We can all be proud of the quality and dedication evident in this enormous project, the musical results of Suzuki Piano Basics!
Phone: (916) 422-2952
Remember, our NEW website address is: http://core.ecu.edu/hist/wilburnk/suzukipianobasics/
Suzuki Piano Basics Teacher Workshop
Featuring Dr. Haruko Kataoka
June 13 - 17
Mei Ihara, Director
321 N. Deepspring Rd.
Orange, CA 92669
Phone: (714) 997-8692
University of Louisville Suzuki Piano Workshop
Featuring Dr. Haruko Kataoka
June 4 - 8
Bruce Anderson, Florida
Karen Hagberg, New York
Cathy Williams Hargrave, Texas
Huub de Leeuw, Holland
Linda Nakagawa, California
Bruce Boiney, Director
173 Sears Ave. Suite 273
Louisville, KY 20207
Phone/Fax: (502) 896-0416
June 23 - 27
Lori Armstrong, Montana
Bruce Boiney, Kentucky
Karen Hagberg, New York
Cheryl Kraft, Oregon
Cathy Williams-Hargrave, Texas
Cheryl Teichert, Director
2031 San Remo Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870
Phone: (714) 577-9237
Rehearsals: August 3 - 16
Linda Nakagawa, Director
242 River Acres Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831
Phone/Fax: (916) 422-2952
Return to the Suzuki Piano Basics Home Page.
First Online Edition: 24 May 2001
Last Revised: 8 March 2012