Case Study Portfolio – Isabel (Part 3)

Lesson 6-10 (November-December)


General aims:

  • playing the pieces off by heart (hands together and hands separately) and being able to start from different places

  • basic knowledge on the era and style of the pieces and ability to differentiate them stylistically

  • comparing and analyzing various performances of the same piece

  • emphasizing top or bottom notes of the chord and making soundless change of a finger on one of the notes in the chord

  • revising all the scales required for Grade 3


  • Schubert ‘ German Dance in A’

  • differentiating the accompaniment line from the melody

  • introducing dynamics with emphasis on sustaining a steady pulse (no accelerando during crescendo)

  • listening to the sound while playing staccato (avoiding unnecessary accents)

  • P. E. Bach ‘Allegro in G’

  • fluency of the piece (no stopping at the end of each phrase)

  • correcting the amount of notes played in the trills and making sure that they don’t influence a clarity of the sound in the left hand

  • working towards a faster speed of the whole piece

  • Stapleton ‘Blue Sky Blues’

  • style of the piece (adding accents on the weak beats and sudden dynamic changes)

  • accuracy of the rests and the length of the notes

  • fluency of arpeggios (breaking the chords because of the small hand)

  • choosing the correct speed before starting playing

Edyta Lajdorf is available for Piano Lessons London in Central and West London. If you've been looking for a piano teacher for either yourself or your child, you're in the right place!

Problems faced:


Isabel understands the circle of 5ths and relative keys but very often she makes little mistakes and gets confused with the amount of sharps and flats we have in certain keys. To address this I asked her to prepare flash cards with all the scales she’s doing for her grading as a attempt at some last minute revision before the exam.

Playing the pieces off by heart

Isabel knows all the pieces by heart and played them for me without any memory gaps. However, a lesson before the exam she got very stressed and started making lots of mistakes. She wasn’t able to continue playing the piece unless she started from the very beginning. As a result, we decided to have the scores during the exams so she could use them just in case there were any problems. We also picked 4-5 points in each of the pieces (generally the beginning of a new phrase) and practised starting from them rather than the beginning.

I offer piano lessons in my studio in Earls Court. Please get in touch if you are looking for a piano teacher that runs Piano Lessons in London.

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