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Piano Lesson 14: A New Note: Bashful Bluebird B, and a Posture Check

By Gaili Schoen July 19, 2023 Hobbies

[NOTE: If you are just joining us for the first time, you can find my previous Sixty and Me Free Piano Lessons on my Author page. You can join our lessons any time!]

14.1 Posture Review

It’s super important to maintain good posture at the piano. Hiking up your shoulders or hunching your back over the keys can cause neck, back and shoulder pain, so you want to keep your shoulders relaxed, your back straight, and your elbows slightly in front of your body. Be sure to sit on just the front half of the bench and keep your feet flat on the floor. For a quick posture check, watch my video:

14.2 More Random Notes and Bashful Bluebird B


Last lesson we played and wrote in the letters for the Bass Note Writing Drill on p.45. On p.49 we have more random notes for you to play. We will start with just the first three lines today, and as usual, play these lines both forwards and backwards.


Today we learn a new note, Treble B4 which is the B below (to the left of) middle C. This B hangs just below the ledger line. In this reprise of Lightly Row on p.51 you will practice playing Treble G/C and G/B to help you see the difference between middle C4 (on the ledger line) and B4 (below the ledger line).

14.3 Your Practice Roundup

Some of us will be lucky enough to travel this summer and that’s fantastic! Before you leave, set an intention to take a break from your piano while you are away (or try practicing on tables and desks) and to resume your practice as soon as you return. And when you’re not traveling, do try to keep your piano practice consistent.

Even if you can only squeeze in five minutes on your keyboard before bed, that constant exposure is the best way to make steady progress. It’s best if you schedule your practice in your calendar or planner, but if you don’t use calendars, try to pair your practice with something else – a meal, bedtime, first thing in the morning, or a specific time each day. Let playing the piano be one of the few things you do for yourself!

Passion Practice!

  1. Exercise #3 in B (review) and F# (new). Play each exercise 3 times: 2x Forte (loudly) then 1x Piano (softly) with each hand. Use the PENTASCALES chart at the back of the book if you are not sure of the hand positions for B and F#. Review Ex #3 in C, G, D, A and E when you can.
  2. Chord Calisthenics #2 – In Chord Calisthenics #2 (APPENDIX vii) you will play the first 6 triads: C, G, D, A, E and B as block chords, meaning all 3 notes at once. Play them forwards and backwards getting familiar with the feel and position of each triad.
  3. With your left hand, play lines 1-3 on p.49 this week, forwards and backwards.
  4. For Lightly Row, p.51, start by playing just the treble chords in the 3rd-4th lines. Notice that the new note B is one note below middle C. Then play the song with your hands together. Since you have played Lightly Row twice before, you might try singing the lyrics along with the left hand bass melody this time! Singing can be very therapeutic and it helps you to learn rhythm and melody. Try to be open-minded and not too self-conscious and give it a few tries! If it’s too confusing, no worries. Try again next week!
  5. Review Carefree, p.33, if you have time.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Congratulations, you are now halfway through Upper Hands Piano BOOK 1! That’s amazing! What have been your greatest challenges so far? What do you enjoy playing the best? Have piano lessons been easier or more difficult than you thought they would be? Do you have a song or piece in mind that you hope to play some day? Leave us a comment below and tell us how it’s going for you. We love to hear it all, “The good, the bad, the highs and the lows. The piña and the colada.”

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Thank you for another excellent lesson, Gaili! I just love the way you explain everything in your book—page by page. This is so beneficial to me (and I am sure to many others as well). My greatest stumbling block is practising on a consistent basis. I feel very good after practising so it should not be a problem but it is. This is a goal that I am setting for myself right now to practise on a daily basis. Do you think that I should keep a notebook and write it down? Thanks for everything, Gaili!

Gaili Schoen

Hi Patricia
I get it, I have faced the same problem throughout my life. Other tasks, needs, events and activities are always competing with our practice time. I think getting a notebook you love with a nice front cover helps and of course scheduling your practice into your daily calendar is helpful too. Remember, practicing even just 10 minutes is REALLY helpful, so remind yourself daily to get to the piano to just run through a song and an exercise maybe, then maybe it won’t be so difficult to take that time?

A good strategy is to sit down every morning with a notebook or your calendar, and plan the things you most want to get to that day. Then write the time you will do them into your calendar.

I’d love to hear from others about how they are making time to play the piano. It’s a challenge because we are all so busy!

Good Luck and keep in touch!


Thank you for your excellent help/suggestions in this matter, Gaili. This definitely steers me, and others, in the right direction. Your motivation and expertise are greatly appreciated. We are so very fortunate to have you as our teacher! Thank you, Gaili.

The Author

Gaili Schoen is a passionate piano teacher and learning science researcher. She has written a piano instruction series called Upper Hands Piano: A Method for Adults 50+ to Spark the Mind, Heart and Soul. Learn more at Follow her blog for free monthly sheet music and practice tips:

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