LORDE – PURE HEROINE – Grade One

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Featuring a collection of accessible arrangements of 17-year-old Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine, this book is perfect for teenage pianists who are in need of some fresh material (or extra motivation) in their piano practice.

The lyrics are fresh and relevant to high school students, while fingering suggestions help to make learning a breeze.

Repeats, dal segno and coda sections are clearly marked, with the layout in general uncluttered and easy-to-follow.

Chord symbols range from basic root position (i.e. C, G, Am) through to suspensions and 7th chords – a great opportunity to extend understanding of pop music through harmonic analysis.

The album is ideal for ‘jamming’ with friends during the lunch break and is sure to be a huge hit… 4 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 127822. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

EMILI SANDÉ – OUR VERSION OF EVENTS – Grade One

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A book well suited to teenage students needing a ‘pop injection’ in their repertoire list.

Featuring acoustic, ‘stripped back’, arrangements of Sandé’s 2012 album Our Version of Events (with bonus track Read All About It which was featured at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games), the collection would be ideal to impress in school music performances.

Rhythms vary from basic crotchets and minims through to more complex syncopated and semiquaver passages (imitating the vocal runs of the original recording).

Chord symbols and fingering are included, allowing for logical reading and fast-tracked learning.

This one’s sure to be a favourite… 4 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 123798. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

KIDS BROADWAY FAVOURITES (Easy Piano – Grade Two)

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A fabulous collection of Broadway hits from old favourite and modern musicals alike including Annie, Mary Poppins, Oliver, My Fair Lady and South Pacific, sure to keep pianists of all ages entertained!

Fingering suggestions are provided throughout along with chord symbols and easy-to-follow lyrics.

The music is uncluttered and clearly set out, allowing for easy reading. No bar numbers are marked, but repeats, dal segno and coda sections are clearly shown.

Some pieces will require careful attention, particularly those with ‘instrumental’ like passages between sections, but would be perfect for Eisteddfodau or concerts once performance ready.

Primary aged students will enjoy energetic selections like Consider Yourself, Part of Your World and A Spoonful of Sugar while older students (and adult learners) may prefer to revisit old favourites like Dites Moi, Getting to Know You and Wouldn’t it Be Loverly.

Use of pedal is suggested, but no specific indications are included, so the album may be better learnt (and enjoyed) with teacher guidance.

A fun and challenging resource… 5 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 124316. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

LET IT GO, HAPPY & MORE HOT SINGLES – Grade Two

00128204FCThis book offers a great collection of chart topping pop and movie hits – with everyone’s favourite song of the moment… LET IT GO (OOOO) *cue theatrical vocal rendition*!

As the most accessible piece of the folio, Dark Horse could be introduced to grade 1 students, with the remaining selections used as motivation to achieve good exam results (starting on the funky Grade 2 pieces just in time for the Christmas holidays!)

The arrangement of Happy is my pick of the bunch, cleverly swapping the melodic line between right and left hand to imitate the solo and echo voices featured in the original (i.e. start of the chorus, bar 18).

Much of the remaining left hand work provides a stable percussive beat to ‘keep toes tapping’!

On a lighter note, this book is ideal for teachers and parents who really can’t bear the thought of more than one Frozen song on the practice list!

The 8 page long arrangement of Let It Go will keep developing pianists entertained for a while and pays homage to the original recording!

Although some passages will require careful fingering and attention, generally, the pieces sound more difficult than they actually are – great for end of year concerts to impress!

A great all rounder… 4 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 128204. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

PRISM – KATY PERRY (Easy Piano – Grade One)

00124409FCCalling all Katy Perry fans!

This book features well-written and easy arrangements of songs from the DELUXE edition of the pop diva’s 2013 album ‘Prism’.

The page layout is crisp, fresh and easy to read – with simple key signatures and uncluttered staff spacing. Rhythmically, the songs are relatively straightforward, with only dotted rhythms, tied notes and triplets needing a special mention.

The melody is generally taken by the right hand (with left hand chordal accompaniment) and sounds true to the original, allowing students to quickly learn their favourite parts and sing along… perfect for budding singers who want to self accompany! Chord symbols range from basic root position (i.e C, G, Em) through to dominant/major/minor 7 and 9 (Birthday, Unconditionally), suspensions (Love Me), add2 (Ghost) and b5 (By The Grace of God).

Lyrics are included, but due to some suggestive content, the book may be better suited to teen-aged pianists. Whether you’re seeking to just play along with the melody, or to take a more in depth look at the the harmonic structure and form, this book is full of options for students (and their teachers!)

A perfect addition to the music library of all KP fans…. I give it 4 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 124409. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

SAY SOMETHING, COUNTING STARS & MORE HOT SINGLES – Grade One

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A fabulously current book that pianists of all ages will love to play!

Featuring accessible arrangements of five chart topping pop singles, this book would be the perfect reward for students progressing through the 40 Piece Challenge – or perhaps even as an early Christmas present for your child!

With the addition of well-considered fingering suggestions, most students could comfortably work through the book at their own pace, but may need some guidance for translating trickier chord symbols such as add4 (Say Something), minor 7, added 6 and suspensions (Story of My Life).

All repeats, dal segno and codas are clearly marked, so the lack of bar numbers shouldn’t be noticed.

The arrangements are generally capped at intervals of a sixth (and any shifts or octave jumps can be achieved with clever pedalling) – so smaller handed pianists need not worry!)

Lyrics are neatly incorporated and the layout is clear, concise and easy to read. An accessible and funky resource, good value for money… I give it 5 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 125356. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.

UP ALL NIGHT – ONE DIRECTION (Easy Piano – Grade One)

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Squeals of joy will be heard when tween-age girls are presented with this fabulous collection of hits from British boy band sensation One Direction (or so was the case for my students!)

The album contains simple and easy-to-read arrangements of hits from the group’s 2011 debut album Up All Night, the perfect book to reward progress with the 40 Piece Challenge or good exam results!

But the benefits of this resource don’t stop at fun play… In addition to strengthening notational reading skills, students will be extending their chordal vocabulary with ‘sneaky suspensions’, added 2nds, major and minor 7th chords.

Rhythms range from basic crotchet and minim phrases to more complex dotted patterns, tied notes and syncopation. As an added teaching bonus, More Than This features brief time signature changes, a great opportunity to strengthen inner pulsing. The absence of bar numbers could be used to introduce pop-song form, encouraging students to complete basic song analysis to identify verses, chorus, bridge etc. Whole lessons could be spent working ‘outside the staff’ even before playing commences!

A great book with relevant music and ample teaching opportunities… I give it 5 stars!

Thanks to Toowoomba piano teacher Courtney Feldman for this review.

Item code is 124571. This book is available from your favourite music retail store.