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.

Piano Music of Amy Beach

Big thanks to Geelong piano teacher Helen O’Brien for this review.

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The late-nineteenth-century American composer, Amy Beach, was taught by a pupil of Franz Liszt and the virtuosity of her training is evident in these piano works.

The current volume contains many fine examples of her lush Romantic style, and while influences of major Romantic composers are apparent, there is no sense of derivative writing. The compositions are impressive in both technical scope and musical inventiveness. These works are essentially character pieces, sometimes erring towards vignettes, excepting the last work which is a substantial set called Variations on Balkan Themes.

Some of the notable inclusions are: Arctic Night and although seemingly the least dense notation-wise, requires careful legato and voicing; In Autumn, a delicate but quietly virtuosic piece, has obvious touches of Tchaikovsky and Chopin. Fire-Flies is a wonderful study in playing thirds but without the searing complexity of the technical extremes encountered in Chopin’s Etude Op.25 no.6.

Most of the works in this Album are quite advanced: in an Australian context they would be equivalent to Grade 8 and beyond with the exception of Arctic Night.

I would highly recommend this collection to Australian teachers with advancing students as Beach’s compositions offer an untapped resource of material worthy of inclusion in competitions, recitals and general repertoire development. The volume is well-produced, offering clear editing and layout.

Verdict: A great addition to any music collection.

Item code is 121629

This book is available at all good print music retail stores.

 

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.

Don’t forget about Duets!

Many 40 Piece Challenge teachers have reported assigning duets as challenge pieces.

Here is a brand new collection definitely worth considering!

DoubleAgentDuetsDouble Agent Duets
The spy themes in this collection are among the most recognisable melodies in popular music. They range from the surf-rock coolness of the ‘James Bond Theme’ to the sly swing of ‘The Pink Panther,’ from the exhilarating urgency of the ‘Mission: Impossible Theme’ to the funky grooves of ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ from the Austin Powers movies.

 

The pieces in this collection are around a Grade 3 to 4 level. The collection is Australian RRP $17.95 and available from all great print music stores.

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Layout 1 (Page 30)

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One octave is all you need!

Philip Sparke’s pieces for brass and woodwind instruments have appeared in syllabuses of examination boards around the world. His new collection, 15 Easy Classical Solos, features arrangements for instrumentalists who can play just over an octave making them ideal for young 40 Piece Challenge students.  

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The principle behind this series is to allow young instrumentalists the chance to enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of playing with a piano or CD accompaniment as early as possible in the learning experience. This of course allows the performer to develop important ensemble, listening and rhythmic skills.
The carefully selected pieces include music from the 16th to the 20th century and cover a wide variety of styles, from Bach to Grieg and from Purcell to Satie.
This book will provide invaluable additional 40 Piece Challenge repertoire that will complement any teaching method and includes both piano accompaniment and a demo/play-along CD.

Songlist:

  • Waltz (Moritz Vogel)
  • Chorale – Now Praise, My Soul, the Lord (Johann Sebastian Bach)
  • Humming Song – from Album for the Young (Robert Schuman)
  • Gymnopedie No. 1 (Erik Satie)
  • I’m Called Little Buttercup – from HMS Pinafore (Sir Arthur Sullivan)
  • Study – Op. 37, No. 3 (Henry Lemoine)
  • Minuet – Z 649 (Henry Purcell)
  • Theme and Variation – from Sonatina No. 3 (Thomas Attwood)
  • Northern Song – from Album for the Young (Robert Schumann)
  • Two German Dances – from Twelve German Dances D 420 (Franz Schubert)
  • Watchman’s Song – from Lyric Pieces Op. 12 (Edvard Grieg)
  • Gavotte (Jan Ladislav Dussek)
  • Vien qua, Dorina bella – Op. 7 (Antonio Bianchi arr. Carl Maria von Weber)
  • Minuet – from Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (attrib. Christian Petzold)
  • The Prince of Denmark’s March – from Choice Lessons for the Harpsichord or Spinet (Jeremiah Clarke)

This collection is available for the following instruments, and can be purchase at all these great stores:
Alto Saxophone • AMP300400
Bassoon • AMP307400
Clarinet • AMP299400
Euphonium BC TC • AMP305400
Flute • AMP297400
Horn • AMP303400
Oboe • AMP298400
Tenor Horn Euphonium TC • AMP363400
Tenor Saxophone • AMP301400
Trombone • AMP304400
Trumpet • AMP302400
Tuba in B Flat BC/TC • AMP306400

For more new instrumental titles, click here

Twenty Years of Triple J’s Hottest 100

Can you believe it’s been over 20 years since the Hottest 100 began?

Selections from 20 Years of Triple J’s Hottest 100 would be ideal for older 40 Piece Challenge students (Grade 5+) who want to play all the new rock/pop classics.

This book is in PVG format with chord symbols and a vocal line, so it’s great for experienced pianists who perhaps want to play with friends who are guitarists/singers.

Twenty Years of Triple J's Hottest 100

  • Wonderwall: Oasis
  • Seven Nation Army: The White Stripes
  • Last Goodbye: Jeff Buckley
  • These Days: Powderfinger
  • Paranoid Android: Radiohead
  • Skinny Love: Bon Iver
  • Tomorrow: Silverchair
  • Knights of Cydonia: Muse
  • Bullet with Butterfly Wings: The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Brick: Ben Folds Five
  • Sweet Disposition: The Temper Trap
  • Brother: Matt Corby
  • Into My Arms: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • No Aphrodisiac: The Whitlams
  • Monsters: Something for Kate
  • Video Games: Lana Del Rey

To order, quote item code 20138001 at your favourite Australian or New Zealand retail store. Click here to find a store listing!

Graded Popular Repertoire Collections

Looking for accurately graded popular repertoire collections?

Graded to Australian examination standards, these books provide a range of repertoire from well known popular songs to classical favourites. Film and TV music to traditional tunes and some Jazz and Blues. There is a little something for everyone in the family to enjoy!

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Grade One includes:

  • A Spoonful Of Sugar
  • Allegro (Mozart)
  • In The Mood
  • Greensleeves
  • What A Wonderful World
  • The Rainbow Connection
  • Spanish Dance (Clementi)
  • My Favourite Things
  • Wade In The Water
  • A Whole New World

 

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Grade Two includes:

  • 1812 Overture
  • Circle Of Life
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra
  • Nobody Knows The Trouble Ive Seen
  • Under The Sea
  • Advance Australia Fair
  • On Broadway
  • The House Of The Rising Sun
  • Dancing Queen
  • Stand By Me

 

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Grade Three includes:

  • Baby (Bieber)
  • Can You Feel The Love Tonight
  • Colours Of The Wind
  • Fur Elise
  • He’s A Pirate
  • Hungarian Dance No 5
  • Lean On Me
  • Maple Leaf Rag
  • Mission Impossible Theme
  • Waltzing Matilda

 

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Grade Four includes:

  • Baby Elephant Walk
  • Forrest Gump Main Title
  • Breaking Free
  • Halo (Beyonce)
  • Theme From Jurassic Park
  • Ave Maria
  • Accidentally In Love
  • Take Five
  • One
  • The Galway Piper