Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Fiona is determined to start piano lessons in the fall. Lately she's been gravitating to the piano more and more. She plays around, sounding things out by ear, something which is pretty easy for her, thanks to all her good listening and violin ability. A month or so ago she asked to learn how to play "things with two hands." So I showed her how to play a simple triad to accompany her melodies. And hour by hour, day by day, her explorations gained momentum.

Sophie has been exploring the piano too, though she says she only wants to learn piano "without a teacher, without lessons." So I'd been showing Sophie a few more complex things, like I, IV and V7 chords in C major. Fiona watched and listened.

Before long both girls were capably harmonizing a range of simple folk tunes. Every time Sophie figured something out, Fiona was hot on her heels, listening, watching, imitating, asking questions. One morning before Fiona was up I casually suggested Sophie add a B to her F-G to make her V7 'chord' into a three-note chord. Fiona noticed the new note within an hour and inserted it in her playing.

In the past couple of days both girls have taught themselves to use an Alberti bass pattern rather than block chords. And this morning Fiona figured out how to insert a contrary subdivided rhythm, the familiar Twinkle Variation A, into the right hand -- with the Alberti bass. You can click on the photo above to hear a brief MP3 recording of what she'd figured out after about half an hour.

It's synergy of the best kind, synergy between violin and piano and synergy between sisters who so far seem to be enjoying the ride together.


  1. Hi Miranda,
    I love your blog and Fiona sounds great! I teach piano in California
    and have 2 Grandsons!
    Keep up the good work Fiona! All the best,
    ~ LadyD


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