Sunday, August 4, 2013

Alberti Bass Second Year Piano Students

In the first year students have learned some block and broken chords.  In the second year, the Alberti bass pattern should be studied in preparation for sonatinas and teaching pieces that use this accompaniment style.  The coordination involved in playing the pattern can be developed more easily if the student has a mental picture of the figure.  Play the figure for the student and talk about the pattern; for example, "bottom, top, middle, top," etc.  Assign exercises using this pattern to be practiced in all keys.  Divide the presentation by groups of keys used for learning triads and inversions.

Teach the Alberti bass in all keys.  For instance, C major might be the tonic chord rotating back and forth C-G-E-G-C-G-E-G, saying 5-1-3-1-5-1-3-1.  The first inversion will be E-G-C rotating back and forth E-C-G-C and second inversion will be G-C-E rotating within G-E-C-E reciting the fingering out loud.

Simplified Hanon or Czerny finger exercises can be helpful at this stage.  Work on increasing tempo over time to instill muscle memory.