Snapchats was originally a collection of short piano duets which was published a few years ago. This volume has now been republished and updated, with the inclusion of extra duets and some trios too; it’s most definitely bigger and better than ever!
Snapchats are intended for students from late beginner standard to approximately Grade 4 (ABRSM level). There are 19 duets, or four hands at one keyboard, and 4 trios, or six hands at one keyboard, in this volume, and they are short, succinct pieces for those who want to explore the art of ensemble playing or simply improve sight-reading skills.
Broadly minimalist in style, these pieces are between 8 and 16 bars in length and they offer a wide selection of moods from expressive atmospheric works such as Sutra, Andante, Shanti Shanti and Joyful, to up-beat numbers like Quick Chat, Hopscotch, Samsara and Take Three. It was quite a challenge to write very short engaging pieces, but students and teachers routinely comment on how much they enjoy the brevity these pieces offer, and many end up repeating the piece (some pieces do have repeat signs for this purpose). Both duets and trios become progressively more difficult throughout the book.
I use these duets and trios as the basis for my sight-reading classes. When I work with students (and teachers) in group classes, one element which they all enjoy and which can also be helpful, is to practice reading altogether. In Malaysia last year I had a class of fifteen piano teachers simultaneously playing the same trio on five pianos!
You might choose to play Snapchats for fun with friends or perform them in a more formal setting at a music festival or recital, and I hope they offer a special and enjoyable experience. ‘One of the duets, Celebration, is featured in the Debut Grade of the new RSL Classical Piano syllabus.
You can listen to each piece by clicking on the following sound files below:
Published by 80 days publishing (Christopher Norton’s publishing company), they are available to purchase here.
‘Our students loved performing ‘Snapchats’ duets and trios. We scheduled a concert using these pieces. They’re quite simple and fun to play, and the chance to work in an ensemble improved each student’s listening skills significantly’.
Febe Warman: Director of the I-MEC and Cantata Music School, Jakarta, Indonesia (October 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.