Step Two of the First Steps in Piano course is free on this website. However, you can also purchase the all six lessons in Step Two in PDF format together with all MP3 audio tracks should you want to practise it offline. Click here for more information or click the button below to buy it now.
Now we come to the white keys. First you will practise playing on the group of three white keys surrounding the two black keys, as illustrated below. The music in this lesson is for Solo Violin, Strings, and Piano. The music in this lesson is much longer than anything you have played previously in this course but you won’t be playing throughout the entire piece. There are three points in the music where you will rejoin the other instruments after a period of waiting. Therefore, in this piece you will practise waiting and preparing to enter in on time with the other instruments. Don’t underestimate the importance of this skill, especially if you plan one day to play with other people.
Step 1. First, listen to the lesson music. Take note of the different sections and see if you can guess where your part enters and finishes. This will happen a few times in this piece.
Step 2. Next, listen to the patterns you will be playing and count along. The percussion accompaniment here is marking out the beats in a way that you won’t have heard before in this course. Previously you would count the beats in a simple repeated pattern such as “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3...”. Here, on the other hand, the count is a little more complex. Though it might sound like there are six beats in the bar, there are actually only two. Each of these two beats is divided into three sub-beats. Therefore, when you count along to this track you should count like so; “1, &, a, 2, &, a, 1, &, a, 2, &, a...”
Step 3. Now find the notes and play along to the percussion accompaniment. Count along as you play.
Step 4. Next, listen to the same patterns accompanied by piano. You might like to try here a technique that many pianists use to learn and practise new music; playing in your mind. As you listen to this track, without moving your hands or fingers, imagine you are playing the music. Visualise the keyboard and your fingers pressing each key as you listen to the track. You may do this with your eyes opened or closed but it may be easier to visualise with your eyes closed.
Step 5. Now play the patterns along with the piano accompaniment. It is also a good habit to practise counting both out loud and silently as you play. Repeat this step a few times counting out loud, then silently.
Step 6. Listen to the lesson music played without the solo violin. In this track the solo violin has only been removed in sections where you will play. This is because in this piece there are a couple of sections in which the violin acts as a cue to help you know when to rejoin the music.
Step 7. Now, play along with this version of the lesson music. Remember, the violin acts as a cue, so when you hear it, get ready to start playing again.
Step 8. Finally, play along with the full version of the lesson music.