Millie 1 – Study

Here is what can only loosely be termed a ‘study’, but it has deliberate study elements built into it for you. It’s based on the Irish tune ‘Slane’, the tune traditionally used for the words ‘Lord of all hopefulness’. Although we imprison the old folky tune in 3/4 bars, it’s actually more free than that. So this is a meandering little scene that wanders away from the usual and adds a free cadenza.

Slane was the hill where St. Patrick lit an Easter fire in defiance of the pagan king. So, think hills, if not mountains, your tune echoing off the distant slopes and valleys…….

Millie’s Study based on ‘Slane’

Several things are required here, all of which require quite a lot of work. But, with Gr5 behind you, this is time for ‘onwards and upwards’. Just to be able to play the first 16 bars of the melody requires a lot of control and flexibility. Great tone with careful, gentle use of vibrato, plus a departure from playing to the metronome – this is breaking free.

At bar 17 you need to isolate the melody notes (the B’s are accompaniment) then, when you re-combine them, the melody should stand out. At bar 21 you reach the top of the mountain and can cascade down in whatever way you choose: it’s free. Have a look at the pentatonic exercise below and start to get good at flowing through this without too much effort (i.e. go very slowly so that the fingers work with ease – avoid panic and guesswork – best tone always).

Pentatonic exercise