As many will know, I enjoy highlighting piano resources and today’s post focuses on the Piano Notebook; a new collection of short pieces intended for elementary students. Devised and written by Spanish teacher, Juan Cabeza Hernández, who is based in Madrid, the project has been created to provide various materials, resources, ideas and activities for piano teachers with elementary and intermediate level students.
Each Piano Notebook will be sold in PDF format with a studio license, which will allow teachers who purchase it free and unlimited use with their own students. Every publication will address a topic related to piano pedagogy and various materials will be included with each download.
The first Notebook uses pentascales (the first five notes of a major or minor scale.) The publication contains 24 eight measure pieces designed for practising all major and minor pentascales. They are written in different meters and styles with the intention of covering as wide a variety of piano textures as possible.
- 24 pieces in all keys, each one eight measures long and in the five-finger position
- 24 audio files
- Printable card sheets of all keys, pentascales, key signatures and time signatures to use in different activities.
- A tracking chart for the 24 keys.
According to the composer, there are many different ways to use this book, including:
• Play the pieces in the Notebook as they are written. This way students will be able to play pieces in all keys in addition to their repertoire pieces.
• The Miniatures can also be used as preparation or warm-up for the student’s repertoire pieces, selecting a Miniature written in the same key as the piece.
• Another idea is to practice each piece in as many different ways as possible. The harmonic and compositional simplicity of the pieces allows flexibility in creating variations such as:
· changing the key of the piece.
· changing the third note of the pentascale to modulate from major to minor and vice versa.
· changing the meter of the piece. For example, adapting a piece written in 4/4 to 3/4, or 6/8, or even 5/8.
· Changing the character, rhythm, articulation, dynamics or tempo of the piece.
· Finally, inventing a new piece using elements of the Miniature as a starting point.
You can listen to some of the pieces and find out more here:
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.