Piano Notes were published in early 2017, and offer students and teachers a wealth of practical advice for the entire ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examination board) piano syllabus from Grade 1 through to Grade 8, which started in January 2017 and goes through to Spring 2019. The notes include all alternative pieces as well as those printed in each graded book, so they make for a very beneficial and handy guide, irrespective of your standard or ability (and are great to keep by the piano as a reference).
Published by Rhinegold, the leading music education publishers, who also organise the Music and Drama Education Expo Event held in February 2017 at Olympia in London, Piano Notes have been written by a team of five writers, all of whom are experienced teachers; Fiona Lau, Katharine May, Michael Round, Murray McLachlan and myself. We wrote around 200-350 words on each piece (depending on the grade), detailing the most important elements, advocating various practice tips and performance suggestions.
My contribution was to write notes for all list C pieces from Grades 1 – 6. I was pleased to find a fairly widespread selection of works; from masters such as Kabalevsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Bartók, through to vibrant piano arrangements, and many Contemporary composer’s works too. Although for my taste, there is probably too much emphasis on the ‘jazz’ inspired style, and not enough on Contemporary classical music, which I believe should be introduced to students from the beginning.
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.