Play it again: PIANO Book 2 follows on from where Book 1 left off (find out more about Book 1, here). Book 2 is also a progressive, graded course, taking students from intermediate level up to advanced; approximately Grade 4/5 up to Grade 8 +.
Who is this course for?
Play it again: PIANO is designed for those ‘returning’ to the piano after a break; this could be anyone from a child or teenager to an adult. However, it would also be useful for students who want a course running in tandem with the British examination boards, as it’s great for repertoire between exams, plus helpful information on piano technique, scales, arpeggios and sight-reading. Teachers who fancy an anthology of pieces to work through with their pupils, may like to explore these books, too.
What you can expect to find in these books?
The course consists of 60 piano pieces (28 in Book 1, and 21 in Book 2, and 11 in Book 3), the majority of which are drawn from standard repertoire (with emphasis on pedagogical works), starting at elementary level (Grade 1) through to advanced (Associate Diploma). Each book has an extensive ‘technique’ section at the beginning, with plenty of technical reminders and practice recommendations, and, in Book 1 and 2, a ‘theory’ section at the end, whilst Book 3 has a warm-up section. Each piece contains at least two pages of practice ideas and tips, as well as many musical examples, diagrams and photographs. As this is a progressive course, it’s possible to ‘return’ to a level to suit your current standard; some may want to start at the beginning, which is what I suggest, as this can be valuable, even if your playing is at a much higher level, whilst others may prefer to ‘drop in’ at Book 2 or a later stage.
Each book is divided into four parts, and Book 2 looks like this: Late Intermediate, Early Advanced, Advanced, and Late Advanced. Although this course is not exam based, it’s helpful to know the approximate grades for each level; Late Intermediate is roughly Grades 5 – 6 level (ABRSM exam standard), Early Advanced, Grades 6 – 7, Advanced, Grade 7 – 8 and Advanced, Grade 8 and above.
Every level contains a group of pieces; 6 in the Late Intermediate and Early Advanced levels, 5 in the Advanced section, and 4 pieces in the Late Advanced. My brief was to include a wide variety of styles and genres, so there’s plenty for those who enjoy lighter Contemporary styles, such as, rock, ragtime and blues. There are also a selection of well-known original classical pieces and some lesser known gems too.
Book 2 Repertoire
C.P.E. Bach: Solfegietto C minor H 220
L.v. Beethoven: Für Elise WoO 69
F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Song Without Words, op. 30/3
H. Berens: Study F Major, op. 88/18
E. Cobb: Lavender Haze
M. Spanswick: Seahorse Dream
G.F. Händel: Allegro from Suite G Major HWV 441
W.A. Mozart: Allegro from Sonata C Major KV 545
L.v. Beethoven: Adagio Sostenuto from “Moonlight” Sonata, op. 27/2
J.B. Cramer: Study C Major, op. 50/1
J. Brahms: Waltz A-flat Major, op. 39/15
S. Hormuth: Sweat Feet Stomp
F. Schubert: Impromptu A-flat Major D 935/2
S. Heller: Warrior’s Song, op. 45/15
C. Debussy: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair L 117/8
Trad/B.Carson Turner: Londonderry Air
J. Turina: Fiesta, op. 52/7
J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue C minor BWV 847
F. Chopin: Raindrop Prelude, op. 28/15
S. Joplin: The Entertainer
S. Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C-sharp minor, op. 3/2
I’ve included the scale and arpeggio of each key (where appropriate), and warm-up exercises, tailored to certain pieces. There are a myriad of practice ideas, and different methods of breaking pieces down, re-assembling them with ease and with greater understanding. Each piece contains fingering, dynamic suggestions and (where necessary) some pedalling. Although you may choose to ignore this and add your own. All the information provided for every piece is transferable to an infinite number of piano works, therefore building solid practical methods for tackling different styles and genres.
The pages are well laid out and are designed with ‘Tips’ and ‘technique’ box-outs, and I hope it’s an easy to use course, inspiring pianists to rekindle their love for the piano.
Hear all the pieces in this volume by clicking on the link below:
Play it again: PIANO Book 2 – 21 pieces
You can purchase the books on Amazon in the UK, Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3, from the Schott website, or from most other internet outlets. If you are in the US or further afield, you can purchase all the books on the Amazon US and Canadian sites, as well as many other online shops around the world.
‘These books are well-presented and contain plenty of sound and helpful advice for restarters.’
Pianist Magazine (November 2017)
‘What I really like, and as a teacher am grateful for, are the practical and straightforward tips at the start of the books and then preceding each piece. This enables the pianist to be independent and steers the teacher in the right direction. Highly Recommended!‘
Music Teacher Magazine (November 2017)
‘The content is insightful and engaging for adults who are independent learners. Teachers could use this collection as a model for how to systematically guide learners to independently apply appropriate practice techniques. Spanswick’s approachable and methodical tone is appealing and emphasizes musicianship.’
The American Music Teacher Journal (April/May 2018)
‘I’m a massive fan of these books and use them with students. BRAVO Melanie Spanswick! The new one (Book 3) too is fantastic!’
Karen Marshall, leading UK music educationalist (June 2019)
‘These new method books will be particularly useful for some of my adult students.‘
The Collaborative Piano Blog (October 2019)
‘Taken as a whole, one might regard Spanswick trilogy as as a ‘fast track’ progressive course for those who have had past experiences of the piano but want to get back to it, but for whom time might be an issue. I can immediately think of dozens of adult amateurs who will welcome Book 3 – players who have reached a certain stage in their lives and want to return to the piano without pedantically segmenting their practice into separate areas of study for scales, exercises, repertoire and so on.
The strength of Spanswick’s approach is her ability to unify many of the different elements that must be mastered to play with authority. Book 3 begins with excellent concentrated tips on posture, flexibility and alignment. There are reassuringly specific photographs and non-intimidating exercises. Repertoire is diversely contrasted, but always attractive, and is presented with excellent historical background notes, helpful technical tips, and other useful practice suggestions. A superb resource: strongly recommended.’
International Piano Magazine (July 2019)
‘From retracing the earliest steps in learning, right through to preparation for a professional diploma, Play it Again: Piano furnishes the adult pianist with a wealth of insight, information and inspiration. It is a genuinely useful, groundbreaking and to the best of my knowledge unique course, certainly deserving of a place in every pianist and teacher’s library.
It is abundantly clear that a huge amount of thought, work and expertise has gone into each and every element of these superb books, and it’s all paid off handsomely: Play it Again: Piano is simply one of the most brilliantly conceived and stunningly produced sheet music publications of recent years.
Writing reviews can at times necessitate an element of speculation, but this inspiring series has already passed the ultimate test: my own adult students love and are truly inspired by the first two books; the arrival of the third is welcome news indeed! Outstanding.’
Pianodao.com blog (May 2019)
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.