Parade of the Possums & lots of cool tricks!

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!!!


50 Songs for Children…heading to Tasmania



I am a music teacher in Launceston, Tasmania and my 30 piano students have taken up the challenge. After seeing Elissa Milne in Melbourne we have been doing this for a while. We have a wall chart up and students get to put a sticker up on the chart when they finish their piece. They also get a small prize at the end of the year for all students who finish – some did lots more!!!

This is a wonderful challenge and the idea has completely changed the way I teach. Students’ sight reading has vastly improved and their practice is something I don’t even need to check up on any more.

Sandra – Tasmania

To thank Sandra for her feedback about the challenge, we have sent her a copy of the brand new book 50 Songs for Children. We hope it provides even more fodder for her challenge students!