A great collection to consider when searching for repertoire for your young students are the P Plate Piano Books.
Check out this super cute video of Rowan playing Parade of the Possums from P Plate Book One.
What we really love about these books is that students are encouraged to explore all the cool tricks you can do on a piano.
IMPROVISATION: “Make up some buzzing fly music with your free hand where you see the little keyboard in the music” – I spy a fly from P Plate Book One
GLISSANDO: “The right hand glides over the black keys from bottom to top” – Island in the Sea from P Plate Book One
CLUSTER CHORDS: “Very high chord cluster, slap with right hand palm” – Those creepy crawly things on the cellar floor from P Plate Book Two
HARMONIC VIBRATIONS: “You need to ‘prepare’ the piano before you start by finding something to press and hold down the lowest D, E, F, G and A keys. Mobile phones are about the right size, but they aren’t heavy enough to keep the keys down, so put a heavy book on top of the mobile phone and you’ll be ready to start playing” – Ghostly voices from P Plate Book Two
EXPLORING THE ENTIRE PIANO: “Be dramatic in your performance of this piece, enjoying the big distances your hands need to travel.” Prelude and waltz in C from P Plate Book Three
GRAPHIC NOTATION: “The music doesn’t have a steady beat so we can’t use barlines or notes that have a rhythm. The noteheads show you which notes to play but you decide how long they should last” – Too tired for anything from P Plate Book Three
Slightly concerned about teaching a piece with graphic notation? Click here for an online tutorial presented by Elissa Milne (editor of the P Plate series) about how to teach ‘Too tired for anything.’
Usually a student would be ready for P Plate Piano Book One when they can play all 5 fingers in fixed position and know crotchets, minims and semibreves – by the time they have completed their first tutor book, but we think that P Plate pieces are ideal for 40 Piece Challenge students.
Try P Plate pieces for students who are studying at a Grade One or even Grade Two level but have not yet encountered the series.
Each P Plate Book contains at least 18 pieces so at $19.95 they are great value – even better value if you buy a three pack (which includes Book One, Two and Three) for $49.95!!!