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09 February 2019

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ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 6 A1 - MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes

Sonata No.1 in F.  1st Movement - Andante.

T. A. Arne.

Grade 6 Piano ABRSM 2019/2020 A1.

Teaching Notes.

First of all, notice the tempo marking of "Andante". Despite being quite busy at times, this pieces should not sound rushed. The steady LH quavers (which, by the way, are detached), should set a leisurely walking pace with the RH flowing gracefully above. 

To learn this piece well, you will need an effective fingering, so take some time to go right through, marking in pencil what fingering you want to use (which may, or may not be what is suggested in the ABRSM edition). Then STICK TO THAT FINGERING, every time you play it, starting off very slowly to develop muscle memory.

Also on the subject of consistency, make sure you know exactly how many notes you will play for each trill, making trills that are part of similar rhythmic patterns, match each other in the way you execute them.

Notice in bar 3 of the ABRSM edition, the little triplet marking.  This rhythm should also be used consistently throughout the movement, i.e. in the second half of this bar and also, later on in bar 20.

There are no dynamics marked in the copy, but for a good performance, you should add some of your own in keeping with the style and character of the piece. Generally, music from this period would use "terraced dynamics" and you might get some inspiration ideas from the video above, but feel free to be creative.

Pedalling, generally would not be necessary for this piece, but a little sneaky dab would be helpful on the page turn.

In bar 18 there is a trill in both hands at the same time. In the footnotes of the ABRSM edition, it says that the LH trill here can be omitted  because of the difficulty at grade 6 level. However, with practice it should be possible, thus impressing the examiner even more, with your technical skills. Start slowly, using  RH D-C-B_E and LH E-F-E,  trying to make the first and last note of each hand coincide, then gradually building up the speed until it becomes natural in your muscle memory.

Finally, a slight rit at the end would be stylish.

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