Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Pony Duet

Two of my kids, these two, have never had a piano lesson in their lives, and today they're trying to play a piano duet together. Sophie has taught herself to read some piano music this summer, and yesterday she taught Fiona to play "My Pony" from an Alfred 1B Primer Book. Sophie spent some time today trying to learn the (teacher's) accompaniment part so that they could play together. So tonight they're trying to put together the duet.

Fiona is already a very sophisticated ensemble musician. She is playing the 'easy' part, pretty much all by ear, and she adjusts her tempo, waiting if Sophie needs some extra time, waiting to move ahead until a chord has been corrected or a note found. Oh boy, do they have fun working on this! They are totally on their own, coaching each other, trying to figure out how it all fits together and how to help each other make it work. It's funny, silly stuff.

They finally get it, after half an hour of hilarity, section-by-section work, sophisticated pulling apart of bars, adjustments in tempo, bursts of giggles, brilliant co-operation and mutual support. There's still a little rough stuff in the middle section, but Sophie is now totally bombproof in the opening and closing sections, including the troublesome bar 3 where Sophie's ascending bass line has resisted fitting itself with Fiona's contrary scale. Fiona finishes up by commenting supportively "Sophie, that scale part is much better now, I think. You really learned your part."

Now they've gone off to the kitchen together to mix up some celebratory juice.


  1. They sure look like they are having fun!

  2. You know what strikes me about your pictures? Your kids are almost always smiling and laughing.

  3. SO cool!! the pics are precious :)

    Peace & Abundance, Cid

  4. This is how it should be. I'm a music teacher and I just wish that we could all just let go and let them do it their way! This is really beautiful and the pictures are great--they are having a blast!


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