One summer, while I was studying in university I went on a round island trip with friends. We rented a van that could cram the 8 of us just nicely and circled the island of Hokkaido. After 5 days, exhausted having circumnavigated halfway around the island, we decided to make camp at a lake we found on the map.
Stunned by the view that greeted us once our van made its way down the hill, all 8 of us gasped at the breathtaking beauty of the lake - stretching wide and open with nothing obstructing the space between the body of water and the blue sky above it, surrounded by thick foliage of greenery tinged with a little auburn as autumn neared.
That night while having dinner around a fire, I looked up to admire the night sky and at that exact moment a shooting star made a pass across the heavens I was gazing at.
‘La Petite e’Toile’ that is ‘Little Star’ for us who do not speak French, brought back the memory from that nostalgic experience of my life over ten years ago. It is amazing how playing a piano song can draw out a happy moment from my past that was already buried deep and forgotten.
I think it was the descending phrase in bar 7 that did it. The joy from playing this fresh 2 note repetition of a descending line triggered the happiness within me and flooded my thoughts with remembrance from the night of that camping trip.
The bar is ‘fresh’ because it is not a mirror of a previously played bar. After successfully playing bar 5 and echoing it in bar 6, bar 7 came as delightful change. I get to create the same rhythm with a new melody. It feels like being read a bedtime story as a child by your mother and hearing it again by your father before falling asleep.
Play the first B of the bar with the thumb so that you can open your palm wide and reach the B one octave higher with the third finger. When you land the middle finger on the B, make the contact with the key soft.
By now you would have acquired the knowledge that the phrase is meant to descend until middle B. Start the trek down softly from the higher B and increase the strength of your hits of the keys with your fingers to make the voice of the desending line grow louder as it progresses downwards.
Use the thumb to play A, then bring the middle finger over it to reach G# and naturally the index finger on F# to make a smooth run down the piano keys.
Victoriously being able to play the piano song this far, no foreseeable problem lie ahead as the subsequent notes and fingerings involved are identical to what have been played in the 5th and 6th bar.
What you do need to be alert of is to be ready to alternate from striking the middle B with the thumb and repeating the note with the middle finger.
From there the piano song makes a 180-degree turn in direction. It goes from descending like a cascading waterfall to ascending up the keyboard soaring all the way from G# until the next G# one octave higher.
Use the index finger to play the G# and continue the ascent by guiding the thumb under the index finger to play the A that comes after it. You will have to thumb under again midway through the ascent to play E. Reach the summit of the climb with the 4th finger on G# in the next octave. Remember to play it only once. This time the note is not played twice. Continue reading part 5 of 'Piano Song - La Petite e'Toile'.