Weekend Competition: The Foundation Pianist & A Piece A Week

Before I jet off to the Far East for a very exciting book tour (more about that in another post), it’s time for a Weekend Competition. Today’s competition features Paul Harris’ latest book, A Piece A Week, and a new series, The Foundation Pianist, written by Karen Marshall and David Blackwell; both published by Faber Music.

Building on the success of The Intermediate Pianist, Faber’s most recent addition to this series will certainly be a very useful resource for piano teachers. The Foundation Pianist is a set of two progressive books for pupils just beyond the beginner stage who want to develop a solid pianistic foundation.

I like the layout, which is clear and easy to read, and the selection of music  will inspire students to explore many different styles and genres; from madrigals, symphonies and operas, to folksongs, minuets and gypsy dances. As well as arrangements, there are also original pieces, some written by David Blackwell. Teachers and students will find invaluable information to help improve technique, musicianship and theory – with lots of little extras, such as detailed reference to various musical periods (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, etc.), and ‘scale and arpeggio generators’, including both the melodic and harmonic minor scales (not always a feature at this level). These volumes are well worth exploring.

A Piece A Week Grade 4 piano written by renowned educator Paul Harris should also be a teacher’s library favourite. I have enjoyed observing the development of this series, which offers students that important bridge between sight-reading tests and learning repertoire at speed. These books are designed to be used alongside Paul’s series, Improve Your Sight-reading!, and they aim to encourage pupils to learn fairly straightforward pieces (all written by Paul) swiftly – preferably in a week! It’s a great concept and the ideal way to improve reading skills.

I have one copy of A Piece A Week and a copy of Book 1 and Book 2 of The Foundation Pianist to give away this weekend. As always, please leave your comment in the comment box at the end of this post, and I will announce the three lucky winners on Monday evening, so do check my blog to see if you’ve been selected. Good Luck!


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.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Katie Frayling says:

    Hello Melanie
    I really like the look of these books, particularly the way they encourage the pupil to explore various styles.
    I’ve always used Paul Harris’s sight reading books and always on the look out for a progressive approach to piano education.

  2. Julie says:

    I bought Intermediate Pianist & like the content, now wanting earlier grade repertoire for keen boy pianist between grade 3 & 4 and this would be ideal. Also my adult pupil in summer break bought himself A Piece A Week Grade 4 by Paul Harris and was beaming with excitement after having used it. I’d love to get a copy of this!

  3. rogertoye says:

    Hmm, sight reading need my varifocals, gives a me headache, good idea though, a piece a week..

  4. Always on the lookout for sight -reading material, it’s such an important and often overlooked area. I haven’t tried A Piece A Week but it seems like a good way of fitting it into my student’s busy curriculum. I’m also very interested in the Foundational Pianist, it’s on my ‘to buy’ list, seems like an excellent way of introducing a wide variety of repertoire whilst keeping up with technique work after the intense beginning period.

  5. Donna Reed says:

    I’m always looking for great sight reading material! I would love to be the lucky winner!

  6. Ann Coleman says:

    All these books look great!

  7. Pamela Denison says:

    Great books. I’m always looking for sight reading material.

  8. Ana Beatriz says:

    I would love to know these books, I’m always looking for sight reading materials! 🤞

  9. I’m so intrigued to see the foundation pianist books!

  10. Joanne Snowden says:

    I have been teaching from the Intermediate Pianist series and love it, so when The Foundation Pianist was launched I bought both books and am equally impressed. I have a student just about ready to start Foundation 1 so it was be amazing to be able to give him a free copy!

    I would also love to add the G4 Piece A Week to my collection.

  11. Mary says:

    Hi. I’m always on the look out for new materials. I haven’t heard of any of these books.

  12. Sarah Arnold says:

    Hello Melanie – I would love to share this material with my students – especially A Piece a Week. Bon voyage!

  13. Matthew Ellson says:

    A great sight reading resource that I’d be able to use with my pupils.

  14. Ellie says:

    Hi. These books look fantastic. I already know which ones of my students would benefit from these.

    Thank you!

  15. These sound like great resources. Thank you for bringing them to our attention.

  16. Many thanks to all those who took part in this competition which is now closed. 🙂

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