I enjoyed an interesting and fun couple of days at the Music & Drama Education Expo at Olympia in London at the end of last week. My music publisher, EVC Music Publications Ltd, hosted a vibrant and busy stand at this event, and some composers (including myself) gave several presentations, enabling us to meet and chat to teachers whose students play our music, which was a real pleasure.
A particular highlight this year for me, is the inclusion of some of my pieces in the Elena Cobb Star prize, which is available to music festivals affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals.
Music festivals are essentially mini competitions for students of the arts (whether that be music, dance or speech). The Star prize can be implemented by any festival; there is a £50 prize for the winner of the class (as well as a Star Prize badge and certificate). This prize aims to encourage students to play music by living composers and there’s a whole syllabus of pieces from which teachers and pupils can choose (for beginners up to advanced level). You can view the complete syllabus here, which includes works by all EVC Music composers.
My compositions are featured in Grade 1 (Witch Cackle from Piano Magic), Grade 2 (Fairy Dust from Piano Magic), Grade 5 (Waltz on a Sunken Ship from Piano Waves), and Grade 7 (Digression from Digressions). My book of duets, Snapchats, can also be played in the duet classes.
Snapchats have proved popular with students and teachers around the world; these 11 duets are short (8 -10 bars), succinct, and use a variety of piano techniques which may be new to pupils of this level (written for those between grades 1 – 3 (ABRSM level)). Whilst the title, Snapchats has been inspired by the social media platform, the pieces themselves have been influenced by meditation and Taoism, and are therefore rather ‘atmospheric’, creating various moods, The primo and secondo parts are of similar standard, therefore they can be played by two students, teacher and student, or parent and student, and are therefore a useful addition to any studio recital or school concert programme.
I was recently sent three performances; Shanti Shanti, Light and Sutra (all from Snapchats) played by very talented brothers Arthur and Alex Anderson, who performed them in a concert in York (UK). I hope you enjoy these recordings. Find out more about Snapchats here, and you can hear all the pieces in the set here.
For much more information about practising repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece.
If you’re thinking about learning to play the piano, my guide-book, So You Want To Play The Piano? (Alfred) is full of useful help and support.
The Faber Music Piano Anthology (Faber) is also a valuable resource for those who desire a collection of standard repertoire from Grades 2 – 8, featuring 78 pieces in total.
I have written a selection of educational piano music (both solo and duet) and you can hear it and find out much more here: EVC Music Publications.