At the Lake

131642

By Elvina Pearce. This is a really lovely collection! We like the sound exploration involved, lots of pedal and changing octaves, using a wider range of the piano than is often used at this grade level.

The collection includes duets for elementary (Preliminary) and late elementary (Grade 1) students. Playful solos include Sunrise Waltz,Sand Castle, Sailing, Canoe Ride, Foggy Night and Lighthouse.

Four delightful duets are included for two students or student/teacher: Skipping Stones, Beach Volleyball, Seagull’s Lament, and Drifting Clouds.

This collection invites you to explore the range of the keyboard, dynamic contrast, articulation and other musical expression. Students, parents and teachers will enjoy the practice and performance notes included for each piece.

Australian RRP $14.95 Code 131642 available from all these great music stores!

Journey Through The Classics Complete

00110217FCA review by NSW piano teacher, Sharon Ellam.

Journey Through The Classics Complete With 2 CDs

Hal Leonard Piano Repertoire Elementary Through Intermediate

Compiled and Edited by Jennifer Linn 98 Essential Masterworks

What a delightful collection of ‘old faithfuls’ and several pleasant surprises!

My first delight was the pretty paper inside! With an artistic, yellowed, aged look, big note format, clear sections with increasing difficulty, well packaged CDs, a brief musical dictionary of common terms, a page of blank large manuscript and a Repertoire Performance Log inside the back cover, this book is visually and functionally appealing.

This compilation would be my ‘no brainer’ recommendation as a purchase for any young piano teacher needing some inspiration with young students, and students (adult or child) who are looking for one volume that enables a progressive journey through the classics with clearly identifiable goals.

This Collection combines four ‘Journey Through The Classics’ Books – Elementary, Late Elementary, Early Intermediate and Intermediate – beginning with pieces at P Plate Piano level progressing through to about 4th Grade level.

I have to put my hand up for pouncing on suitable 40 Piece Challenge pieces such as The Pennywhistle by Gottlob Turk and Gurlitt’s Little Bird Op. 117 No. 7. Four clear sections (Books 1 – 4) begin with a Reference Chart identifying the CD track number, Title, Composer, Era, Key, Meter and Challenge Elements.

The Challenge Elements clearly identify the progression of musical elements to be mastered in each piece.

The corresponding CD tracks, with quality solo recordings by Jennifer Linn (I was impressed by the clarity of the recordings in terms of articulation and colour), are masterful in their simplicity.

I sat all night listening to the CDs whilst following the music & couldn’t get enough (and that was after two days of sitting at the piano ‘tinkling’ to my heart’s delight)!

Highlights:

Shepherd’s Flute by Tat’iana Salutrinskaya

Bourree in D Minor by Graupne

Trumpet Tune by Duncombe

Waltz by Vogel

Arabian Air by Le Couppey

Morning Prayer Op. 101, No. 2 by Gurlitt

Tarantella Op. 14, No. 8 by Lynes

Church Bells by Camidge

Sad at Heart Op. 47, No. 5 by Fuchs

Sarabande by Pachelbel

Distant Bells Op. 63, No. 6 by Steabbog

The Bear by Rebikoff

Theme and Variation Op. 228 by Gurlitt

Tolling Bell Op. 125, No. 8 by Heller

The Limpid Stream Op. 100, No 7 by Burgmuller

Quiet Morning by Maykapar

Old French Song Op. 39, No 16  by Tchaikovsky

Sonatina in A Minor by Benda

By the Spring Op. 101, No. 5 by Gurlitt

The Avalanche Op. 45, No. 2 by Heller

The Storm Op. 109, No. 13 by Burgmuller

ChordTime Piano Jazz & Blues

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This year we are welcoming a new team of reviewers who are discovering all kinds of interesting publications that are proving useful when selecting 40 Piece Challenge repertoire. This review is by piano teacher Rachel Yeo from NSW.

ChordTime Piano Jazz & Blues is proving to be an interesting addition to my collection of teaching materials. For those familiar with Faber method books, this book is around Level 2B with an emphasis on mastering chords I, IV and V in the keys of C, G and F. As the title suggests, it is a collection of jazz and blues tunes and it introduces swing rhythms.

This book is a great way to introduce swing rhythms. It provides strategies such as tapping exercises and mini-practice plans to help a student to get into the swing of it (excuse the pun!). It also has questions at the end of each piece to encourage the student to think about the chords, rhythms and musical terms used. The collection features twelve songs consisting a mixture of original tunes as well as popular ones such as Fly Me to the Moon and Tea for Two.

I like this book as it introduces a whole new world of piano repertoire at an early stage. The pieces sound cool and harder to play than they actually are. It is great not just for students in their first or second year of piano lessons but it also provides wonderful sight-reading practice and distraction from exam repertoire for higher grade students. I like this book so much that I want to buy the next level of the same series!

All things Frozen

Once in a while a musical phenomenon comes along that takes the world by storm.

Literally the world!
DakarLast night I was chatting to friends who live in Dakar, a coastal town in the African country Senegal and they said that children in Dakar are Frozen mad! Parents doing school pick-up have the Frozen soundtrack playing in their cars and the children have watched the movie so many times they know each song and line perfectly. So, not any different from children right here in Australia.

 

Luckily for young musicians Frozen is available in any number of formats that makes it possible for just about every musician to play, no matter the skill level or instrument. These books are perfect editions to the 40 Piece Challenge students repertoire, or perhaps great gifts for parents to give as rewards for 40 Piece Challenge successes.

FiveFingerFrozenThe Five Finger (130374) piano version of Frozen is ideal for young beginners who have perhaps been learning for a year or two. Students playing pieces at a P Plate level 3, perhaps.The arrangements are gorgeous and with a lovely teacher (or older sibling/student) accompaniment, they sound just like the real thing. There are a couple of slightly trickier moments in pieces (In Summer, for instance) but the beauty of Frozen is that because the children know the songs, they will be able to play the rhythms well before they really understand the notation. And that is OK!

For pianists Frozen is also available in Beginning Piano Solo 130375 (about a Preliminary level), BigNote piano 126105 (around a Grade One level), Easy Piano 125506 (about a Grade Two level), Piano Solo 128220 (about a Grade Four level) a version for Piano Playalong 126480 (including sound alike online accompaniments) PVG 124307, Vocal Selections 128053 and a choral version called Let’s All Sing Songs from Frozen 127889.

For instrumentalists there are the Songs from Frozen, Tangled and Enchanted.

FrozenInstrumental The solos featured in this collection are ideal for students at a Grade 1-2 standard. Once again, they will know the songs, so the trickier rhythms should not prove so much of a challenge. The books feature online access to audio demonstration tracks for download or streaming.
Songs include: Do You Want to Build a Snowman? • For the First Time in Forever • Happy Working Song • I See the Light • In Summer • Let It Go • Mother Knows Best • That’s How You Know • True Love’s First Kiss • When Will My Life Begin • I’ve Got A Dream • Love Is An Open Door and So Close.

Songs from Frozen, Tangled and Enchanted are available for Alto saxophone (126923) , Cello (126930), Clarinet (126922), Flute (126921), French horn (126926),Tenor saxophone (126924), Trombone (126927), Trumpet (126925), Viola (126929) and Violin (126928).

All of these publications are available from your local favourite music retail store.

Best motivation in 30 years!

We love hearing all the positive feedback about the challenge. Sharon from Victoria writes:

“The 40 Piece Challenge is going fantastic in my studio. In 30 years, I’ve never had so many motivated students. It’s just wonderful. I’ve been able to shift the intense exam focus (by many of my kids’ parents) to what’s really important.

The kids are loving it and they’re already better sight readers and so much more confident.

This Taylor Swift book is fantastic!!  Two thirds of my students are primary aged children and it’s a real winner with the girls. It’s great sight reading as it’s simply set out and has no words to distract the reader.”

TaylorSwift You can order this book from your local music store now! Just quote the ordering code: 109369

Pieces are about a Preliminary level, and arranged really well so that they sound like the original.