Wishing you all a fabulous May Bank Holiday Weekend. May’s resources prove to be another interesting crop of piano music, an anthology, online resources and a course. I hope you find something of interest, whether you are a teacher, student or piano lover.
The Lady Bug Game
A newly revised resource from Susan Paradis’ Piano Teaching Resources. US piano teacher Susan Paradis owns a very popular blog which is a treasure trove of teaching resources for piano teachers with young pupils. She devises copious games, all encouraging youngsters to learn easily and swiftly. This game is designed to help pupils negotiate the music alphabet, recognize notes on the stave or keys on the piano keyboard, and to reinforce intervals or skips. It’s fast and fun, and is especially useful for beginners. You can find out much more here.
Black & White Blues
Black & White Blues, written by UK composer Olly Wedgwood (published last week by EVC Music Publications Ltd) is a classic twelve bar slow blues in the key of C, written for pianists at about grade 2 ABRSM or AMEB standard. As its name suggests, there are a myriad of chromatic moments throughout. The right hand melody is echoed by the left hand in the second half with plenty of hand crossing action during the closing bars. Black & White Blues comes with a bluesy play-along backing track to enjoy, once you’ve got the hang of it! Hear this piece and purchase here.
Loch Ness Quest
Loch Ness Quest is the latest piano composition from US composer and teacher, Wendy Stevens. Ness Quest is a dramatic, intermediate piano piece. It’s full of adventure, fun to play and uses the entire keyboard, which intermediate students always find interesting and attractive. This piece comes from a set of “dangerous piano pieces” that have ‘mysteriously’ emerged from the ComposeCreate library (Wendy’s company), and is designed to engage the contemporary tastes of pre-teens and teenaged students. You can hear Ness Quest, find out more and order here.
Relax with Series
A new anthology of books, published by Schott Music, and edited by British concert pianist Samantha Ward. The Relax With Series is intended primarily to be played at home, simply for pleasure. The pieces have been selected for their relaxing qualities, and in this volume range from well-known classics to delightful lesser-known gems. Featuring arrangements of traditional pieces from around the world, the collection is of easy/intermediate level so a competent amateur pianist will have little difficulty in mastering them. Also in the series; Relax with French Impressionist Piano, Relax with Classical Piano, Relax with Romantic Piano and Relax with Baroque Piano. You can find out much more here.
For those desiring something different, why not try Mirrors by Sam Wedgewood (who, like Olly Wedgwood, is the son of very popular composer Pamela Wedgwood). Published by EVC Music Publications Ltd, this work has an ethereal, emotional quality, perfect for those who enjoy reflective music. For intermediate level, it could be considered pop/R&B genre, and comes with two play along tracks. Find out more, hear and purchase here.
You Can Read Music
I discovered this book relatively recently, but it was written in 2014, and is based on the Simultaneous Learning concept devised by the highly respected British writer and composer Paul Harris, and published by Faber Music. You Can Read Music is a practical workbook for anyone who has ever wanted to read music notation. Ideal for those new to reading music, students learning to sing or play an instrument, as well as classroom teachers and choral singers wanting to improve their skills. By the end of this book you will be able to read and understand music notation, and you don’t even need a musical instrument. It is accompanied by a useful audio CD too. Buy your copy here.
Pianist has, this week, won the Digital Publication of the Year 2016 award, providing the ideal moment to remind readers all around the world, of the digital version of this excellent publication. Whilst published in the UK, you can enjoy everything this magazine has to offer in the digital version. Featuring many ‘how to play’ articles (one written by me!), master classes from expert teachers, piano articles, an interview with a celebrated pianist, competitions, over forty pages of free sheet music, and much more, in every bi-monthly edition. You can download the app for free and enjoy a free sample issue too. Available as an App on iPad and iPhone, or as a digital edition on your computer, from the App Store or Google Chrome. Find out lots more here. You can also subscribe to the print version here.
One Year Piano Practice Planner
Devised by US piano teacher Catherine Shefski, this one-year piano practice planner helps you create a disciplined and effective plan to track your progress towards your weekly, monthly and yearly musical goals. Whether you’re preparing for a recital, audition, or competition, or you simply want to finish learning a piece, this planner will keep you moving ahead. With plenty of space to write whatever you feel necessary to keep your motivated, this calendar serves as both a journal and a practice schedule. The piano practice planner is set up with blank months so that you can start using it any month of any year. Find out much more and purchase here.
Piano Safari Summer Institute
Piano Safari have created a special course for those wanting to learn more about their piano method. This series of workshops will be held at Ohio University Music School (pictured above), in Athens, Ohio, US, from June 23rd to 24th. The event will be held in conjunction with Ohio University Piano Pedagogy Seminar and the OHIO International Piano Duet & Duo Competition, featuring the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo. It will provide a Piano Safari overview, the essentials of technique for beginners, foundations of musical literacy (rote teaching and the development of artistry, reading and rhythm), and teaching strategies. You can find out much more here.