‘These five entertaining, beautifully written and concise pieces are little gems’
John Lenehan, Concert Pianist, UK
‘Melanie Spanswick’s Digressions are compelling and accessible works to play – from the moving Bach-like ‘Chasing’ to the two hypnotically flowing ‘Moving On’ and ‘Karma’. Perfect for the intermediate level player. And I have no doubt that pianists of all tastes will enjoy learning them – in fact, I doubt they’ll want to put the music down!’
Erica Worth, Editor, Pianist magazine, UK
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly interested in writing music, originally to get to grips with Sibelius software, but eventually blossoming into a creative outlet. When publisher and composer Elena Cobb kindly asked if I’d like to write a collection of piano pieces, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Digressions consists of 5 piano pieces; designed for those who are around Grades 4-6 standard (ABRSM level). The pieces were inspired by Minimalism and cinematic music, and lie comfortably under the hands without appearing too simple or lacking in content.
Educational piano pieces are, by necessity, succinct and brief, but in my opinion, little pieces are mostly written with the younger learner in mind. There’s an emphasis on colourful pictures, cartoon characters, all framed by jazzy pieces with bright, cheerful tunes, which is fine if you like this genre (and many do). My goal was to write works for teenagers and adults who want an alternative to the jazz/ragtime idiom, Musical Theatre genre or ‘easy listening’ culture.
Many adult amateur pianists love performing and learning new pieces, but they would rather not endure the challenge of preparing pages of complicated, demanding music; they prefer works to be short, attractive and easy to digest. Digressions are perfect in this respect. Each piece contains a different mood or character, and could be included in a Contemporary recital programme, a festival programme, school concert, music club or meet-up group performance or just enjoyed with a glass of wine after dinner!
‘The lyricism of Karma and dramatic nature of Digression, in particular, should appeal; the pianistic writing also promotes technical development’. Pianist Magazine
‘I finally had an opportunity to sit down & play through Melanie Spanswick’s “Digressions”. WOW… I wish I had ordered more than 1 book! Each piece is so unique & incredibly well written. It’s perfect for so many various performance venues. My students will love it! Bravo!!’ – Sarah Robertson (Florida, US)
‘I love this book!! Written for intermediate level, the pieces are so well done and beautiful! I am looking forward to sharing these selections with my more advanced students as well as playing them myself because the music is so wonderful!! I highly recommend it as an addition to your music library!’ – Donna Reed (Mississippi, US)
‘I love this book very much. Not only the pieces are beautiful, they are excellent for working with various technical skills. My son is learning Karma to work on beautiful tone and phrasing, and Digression to work on arpeggios, intervals, and RH/LH melody over arpeggio accompaniment. We plan one of those pieces for 2016 National Piano Guild.’ – Irma Khouw (Ohio, US)
The pieces; Chasing, Moving On, Karma, Musing and Digression, can be played as a set or individually, and are tuneful and approachable. Also included are Piano Notes for each piece; essentially a few tips and practice ideas which I hope will be helpful. They are available as a digital download and hard copy from Elena Cobb’s website: EVC Publications. You can listen to all 5 works 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.