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:
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.