Working it Out: Rollin Prelude in D Minor (Preludes, Book 1, Alfred publishing)

This is the first in a series of posts about how we introduce new pieces with students, or to put it in Frances Clark’s terms, “work out a new piece.” Often, a warm-up preparing students for the particular challenges of a piece can enable the student to play with greater facility, sooner in the learning process. A disclaimer: this work out is fairly detailed and certainly this level of detail is not necessary, or desirable, for each piece assigned. In fact, students benefit from learning pieces independent of their teachers.

Let’s now look at Catherine Rollin’s lovely Prelude No. 3 in D Minor, from Preludes Book 1 (Alfred Publishing): An excerpt is provided below:

Rollin D Minor Prelude


Warm-ups: (piece not yet assigned)

1) D Minor Scale, finger 5 on each note

2) D Minor Scale, finger 5 on each note, up a 5th to finger 5

3) D Minor Scale, finger 5 on each note, up a 5th and play a 6th, remembering key signature


Week 2 (Assigning the Piece)

1) Left hand alone, downbeats of each measure

2) Left hand alone, beats 1 and 2 of each measure

3) Left hand alone, as written (not shown)

4) Right hand alone, main beats

5) Right hand alone, as written measures 1 – 3

6) Right hand, measure 4 with blocking

7) Right hand, measure 4 with fermata practice

8) Hands together, downbeats

9) Hands together at a “thinking tempo”

Week 3 – coming soon. Will update this blog week to week.

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