Level 2 is intended for students who have completed the Primer, Level 1A, and Level 1B piano tutorials. In most instances only one piece will be assigned each week. If you need a bigger challenge, add next week’s piece too. If you didn’t quite master your piece in one week, work on it for another week.
William Tell Overture is your first piece in your new piano book. The tempo (speed) of this piece is Allegro which means fast. The secret of playing fast is practicing very slowly. Practice each two-measure phrase at a slow tempo. When you're ready, try a faster tempo.
Meet the Teacher - J'ana DeLaTorre, Children's Theatre Pianist and Piano Teacher
Alouette introduces the decrescendo (gradually softer) and reviews the crescendo (gradually louder).
Adding dynamics, like crescendo and decrescendo, make music more interesting to listen to.
It's important to master the notes and rhythms first, and then add these dynamics to enhance what you're already playing. You wouldn't put hot fudge in your bowl before the ice cream. Right? You add the ice cream first, and then add the hot fudge to make it even better.
Meet the Teacher - J'ana DeLaTorre, Children's Theatre Pianist and Piano Teacher
Ode to Joy provides you with a chance to practice dotted quarter notes. This rhythm is one of the most challenging rhythms for students to play the proper length. Make a special effort to count as you play Ode to Joy, to help you maintain a steady beat.
Test your note naming skills this week with the M&M Challenge Note Name Worksheet from the MMF All-in-One Piano Lesson Book, Level 2. Ask your parent to place an M&M on the treble or bass clef staff for any note found in Ode to Joy. If you name the note correctly you win the candy.
Meet the Teacher - Andy Fling, Teacher of Award-Winning Students and Founder of MakingMusicFun.net
Lavender's Blue reviews the time signature.
Do you remember what the top and bottom numbers of a time signature mean?
Watch the lesson and then quiz yourself by reviewing the songs you've just completed in the MMF All-in-One Piano Lesson Book, Level 1B.
Dixieland is an early jazz style that began in New Orleans, and When the Saints Go Marching In is one of the most popular Dixieland songs ever!
When the Saints Go Marching In has many challenging parts. Set a goal to master four measures each day. The best way to do that is to practice slowly and stay focused on your selected measures until you have played them correctly five times. By the end of the week you'll be playing this piece perfectly.
The accent is introduced in this lesson.
When this musical symbol is placed above or below a note, the note should be played a little louder. Placing a little extra emphasis on these notes adds variety and makes the music more fun to listen to. Checkout the demonstration recording at the end of the lesson for an example of how to play the accented notes.
Chopsticks was written in 1877 by Euphemia Allen when she was only sixteen years old. It was originally called, "The Celebrated Chop Waltz." The title was inspired by her instructions to play the melody and harmony part with both hands striking the keys in a chopping motion. The arrangement you'll learn this week is a little different than Miss Allen's original piece, but just as fun!
Try recording your performance after 3-4 days of practice to see if there are parts you can improve on.
Am I keeping a steady beat?
Am I playing the rhythms correctly?
Am I playing all the notes correctly?
Am I rounding my finger?
Am I sitting up straight?
Work on the things that aren't perfect yet, and make another recording in a couple days to see if you improved.
Blue Bumblebee is your first piece with jazz rhythms. The eighth notes look the same, but they're played differently. The first note of every set of two eighth notes gets 2/3 of the beat and the second eighth note gets 1/3 of the beat.
It might take a few tries to get it right, but you will. After you've practiced Blue Bumblebee a few times, ask your parent to listen to you play. Next, ask them to compare your performance to the demonstration at the end of the lesson. They'll be able to offer ideas on how to make your performance even better.
Blue Bumblebee is a jazzy version of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. Read the Hey Kids, Meet Rimsky-Korsakov composer biography to learn more about this famous composer, listen to a recording of Flight of the Bumblebee and complete the following worksheets.
Alouette included the crescendo (gradually louder) and decrescendo (gradually softer) to add contrast to the music. The Galway Piper includes two contrasting sections. The first section (measures 1-8) should be played mf (mezzo forte) - which means medium loud. The second section (measures 9-16) should be played f (forte) - which means loud.
Practice The Galway Piper phrase by phrase and very slowly. When you can play this piece from beginning to end with very few mistakes you'll be ready to add the dynamics.
The Galway Piper is a popular traditional Irish folk song that was published as early as 1740. It is also sometimes referred to as Celtic music because it originated in Ireland, Scotland or Wales. The people who live there are known as Celts.
Turkish March was written by Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer and pianist who was baptized on December 17, 1770 and lived until March 26, 1827. He is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.
Ready for some "secret agent" fun? Grab the Codebreaker worksheet from the MMF All-in-One Piano Lesson Book, Level 2. Correctly identify each note and write its corresponding letter name on the blank below. The code is broken when the letters reveal a secret word.
The B-I-B-L-E is a worship song for kids. It reinforces the musical terms Andante and Contrary Motion.
Andante is a tempo term that means "walking speed." Can you remember other tempo terms from the pieces you have learned? Scroll to the bottom of this page for the answer key.
Contrary means "opposite." Contrary Motion means two parts moving in the opposite direction. In The B-I-B-L-E the right hand part is moving higher in measure 7 while the left hand is moving lower.
The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) is a Jamaican work song made popular by Harry Belafonte. Check out a YouTube video of this song before you get started.
To make this piece sound great, you'll need to make sure the staccato notes are played correctly and the phrases are played at the right dynamic level - mf or f.
Staccato - An Italian term that means play the note short.
Mezzo Forte (mf) - An Italian term that means medium loud.
Forte (f) - An Italian term that means loud.
The can-can is a high-energy dance that was popular in music halls in the 1840s. Today the can-can is traditionally performed by a chorus line of female dancers in skirts and petticoats. Their dance includes high kicks, splits, and cartwheels.
Playing with a steady beat is always your most important goal. After you've had a few days to practice Can-Can, try playing it with a metronome. There are many free metronomes that you can download to your tablet or mobile phone. Begin by practicing Can-Can at 60 Beats Per Minute (BPM). When you can play it perfectly at this tempo, try it at the tempo performed in the demonstration.
Irish Washerwoman gives you another chance to practice playing music with a time signature.
Most players and dancers like to perform Irish Washerwoman to a pretty fast tempo. Learn this piece at a very slow tempo first. Next, check out YouTube recordings to see how fast other people like to play this tune. Try to match their tempo with a mistake free performance of your own.
Hickory Dickory Dock is a partner piece with Irish Washerwoman. Practicing both pieces back to back will provide you with plenty of time to get used to playing in the key of F Major.
Are you remembering to play with a steady beat? It's far more important than playing all the right notes.
Zum Gali Gali is in a minor key, which gives the piece a dark sound. Most of your pieces so far have been in a major key, which gives the piece a bright sound.
Zum Gali Gali includes a "ritardando" at the end of the piece. Ritardando is often abbreviated "rit." When you see this marking you should gradually slow down. Listen to the demonstration several times until you're able to imitate your teacher.
Dance was written by Russian composer and teacher, Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987). As a young boy, Dmitri was encouraged by his father, a mathematician, to study mathematics. His interests, however, drew him to the arts. Eventually, he became an accomplished pianist with interests in poetry and painting. He even spent three years as a theater pianist playing for silent films.
Kabalevsky's most important contribution to music was his consistent effort to connect children to music. His "Twenty-Four Little Pieces" for piano solo is an example of the music he composed with the intention of helping kids grow as musicians and develop their own appreciation for music. Dance is from that collection of pieces.
Git Along Little Dogies is a cowboy song. "Dogies" referred to the young cattle that was strong enough to be herded from Texas to Wyoming.
Let's drill your note names this week. Get your flash cards out and select 10 notes that you don't know very well. Ask a parent to help you drill them each day.
The tune for My Ma Gave Me A Nickel began as music from the Spanish operetta "Los Inocentes" (1895). Sometime after that the original tune was adapted and new lyrics added. In the 1950s movie star and singer, Dean Martin, popularized My Ma Gave Me A Nickel with his recording.
My Ma Gave Me A Nickel reviews the accent.
When this musical symbol is placed above or below a note, the note should be played a little louder. Placing a little extra emphasis on these notes adds variety and makes the music more fun to listen to.
Prince of Denmark March, also called the Trumpet Voluntary, was written around 1700 by the English composer Jeremiah Clarke. It is one of the most popular choices for wedding music and is often performed by solo trumpet and pipe organ.
Prince of Denmark March should be played in a "majestically" style. To play music in this style it's important to perform with a steady beat and with a strong and confident sound. After you learn the notes, use the demonstration recording at the end of the lesson to better understand the style. Practice Prince of Denmark March for a few more days and then record yourself. Ask a parent if they can tell the difference between your performance the demonstration.
"Spring" by Italian Composer Antonio Vivaldi is a composition from a larger work called, Four Seasons. It's a collection of four violin concerti for each season of the year. They were written around 1716–1717 and published in 1725 in Amsterdam and are the best known of Vivaldi's works.
This arrangement of "Spring" is your longest piece yet. It's not any more challenging than other pieces that you have been learning - just longer. Don't worry about finishing it in one week. Take two or three weeks to make it perfect, make a video recording, and post it to YouTube.
Answer Key: Lesson 10
Allegro - Fast
Moderato - Moderate or Medium