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Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire (Read 49487 times)

Offline rlefebvr

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Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
« on: August 15, 2004, 09:26:56 PM »
I know I know, it depends on the individual, but there must be some pieces that you go back to again and again because you know the results are great.

I have three beginners in the same household and I don't believe in having them play the same pieces. It breads terrible competition that is unhealthy. (my opinion).

This is a 6, 8 and 45 year old. All three can play major scales and major  chords and read o.k. for beginners. (Work in progress of course). Looking for beginner stuff and not toddler. Kids have played basically Kid songs with chords. Same with adult, plus Bach's first Minuet.

Looking for a response from teachers, not musicians. I am looking for beginner pieces that you use again and again that really help push the envelope.
Ron Lefebvre

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Offline dlu

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #1 on: August 15, 2004, 09:35:09 PM »
How about an album for the young (schumann, bartok, ect, ect, ect.... there are many) or Shumann's Kinderszenen (scenes from childhood, op. 15 i think).
Does this answer your question?
DLu

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #2 on: August 15, 2004, 09:52:38 PM »
Quote
How about an album for the young (schumann, bartok, ect, ect, ect.... there are many) or Shumann's Kinderszenen (scenes from childhood, op. 15 i think).
Does this answer your question?
DLu

I second that,..., somewhat. Nice, short pieces that seem to stick with me forever are from Tchaikovsky's Children's Album, particularly "The Morning Prayer". Schumann's "Scenes from childhood", op. 15 is not for children. His "Album for the young", op. 68, is.
Chopin has some nice easy pieces, e.g. his Waltz in A minor (posthumus). That's a show-pff piece that one can sometimes hear as an encore at very serious recitals. It's very satisfying.

Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #3 on: August 15, 2004, 11:03:44 PM »
Album for the young is a good example.

Type of pieces I am talking about is,

Clementi Sonatina #1
Bach little Prelude 924
Purcell Air
Bach minuet C

Now I can throw pieces at you all day long, but I am not looking for just anything to throw at them.
I am looking for something most teachers would highly recommend for beginners because they have found it really advanced their piano playing and or technique.

Album of the Young is a perfect example of what I am talking about, but I am hoping for a lot more and even explanations as to why you think this particular beginner piece is good to learn.
Ron Lefebvre

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Offline bernhard

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #4 on: August 16, 2004, 03:11:06 AM »
This is the real stuff. Superb pieces by excellent composers that you will not feel ashamed to play even though they are relatively easy (and some sound very difficult but are actually dead easy):

Baroque.

Scarlatti:

Sonata k32 – Just one page long, beautiful and lyrical. More suited to an adult player though, on account of the depth of interpretation it requires. Technically ridiculous.

J. S. Bach:

Here are my favourites from the Little notebook of Anna Magdalena Bach (most of the pieces are not by Bach himself. He just collected them. So the very famous minuet in G is actually by Christian Petzold).

Minuet in G BWV Anh.114 (C. Petzold)

Minuet in Gm BWV Anh, 115 (C. Petzold) – Beautiful lyrical minuet, reflective and slow. This minuet is meant to be played with the previous one in ABA form (minuet in G – minuet in Gm – minuet in G). For beginners omit the ornamentation. For more advanced players there is a lot of scope for learning the art of ornamentation with these two pieces.

Minuet in G BWV Anh. II 116 (anon.) – Excellent piece to introduce canon (round) writing. It is a perfect introduction to 2 voice inventions which are far too difficult for a beginner.

Minuet in Am BWV Anh. II 120 (anon.) – Another excellent 2 voice canonic work, that will develop hand independence and yet is easy enough for a beginner.

Minuet in Cm BWV Anh. II 121 (Anon.) – Hauntingly beautiful slow minuet.

March in D H. 1.1 (C. P. E. Bach) – Uplifting and full of joy.

Menuet in G (G. Bohm) – Another good introduction to counterpoint that is simple enough for any beginner.

Musette in D BWV Anh. II 126(anon.) – Excellent piece for the virtuoso to be (very easy but impressive), with daring skips on the LH and fast runs on the RH. A favourite with kids.

March in Eb (anon.) BWV Anh. II 127 (anon.) – Another excellent preparation for 2-voice inventions.

Menuet in Dm BWV Anh. II 132 (anon.) – Another very beautiful reflective minuet, which will develop hand independence.
Aria in F (J. C. Bach) – Only 16 bars long, this beautiful aria can be easily learned by a beginner and then be used at a later stage to teach improvised ornamentation.

Prelude in C BWV 846/I (J. S. Bach) – One of the few pieces in the notebook that is actually by Bach, this prelude is the first prelude in the WTC book I.

For beginners omit the ornamentation. For more advanced players there is a lot of scope for learning the art of ornamentation with these two pieces.

In my opinion the best edition for these pieces (lots of ancillary information and performance suggestions) is the ABRSM (edited by Richard Jones). Rosalyn Tureck recorded all these pieces for Sony (“Bach: The Keyboard Album”) and she discusses them in depth in her seminal book “An  Introduction to the performance of Bach” (Oxford University Press) – The CD was recorded as illustration to the book.

Little preludes.

Most of these are too difficult for beginners, being more appropriate for the intermediate student who is starting with the two voice inventions. However some of them can be tackled successfully by a late beginner (6 months – 1 year of lessons):

Prelude in C BWV 924 – A beautiful prelude based on broken triads, this is very easy (but not as effective) if you omit the several ornaments. These can beaded later on when the student has progressed enough.

Prelude in C BWV 939 – An excellent study in arpeggios for both RH and LH and a great introduction to question and answer writing. Only 16 bars long (probably not by J. S. Bach)

Prelude in Gm BWV 999 – For the budding virtuoso. Very effective at a fast speed, but equally beautiful at a much slower tempo. The repetitive figuration in broken triads make it an excellent exercise as well.

French suites:

A few movements of the French suites can be tackled by a late beginner (6 months - one year of lessons):

Minuet, from French Suite, No 6 in E – A short minuet very easy (if you omit the ornaments) mostly built on scales and thirds. Both hands get to do the work, so very good for hand independence an finger co-ordination.

Minuet, from French Suite, No 3 in Bm – Arpeggio figurations on the RH and skips n the LH. Then the hands reverse roles. Excellent for finger co-ordination, accuracy and hand independence.

Gavotte from French suite no. 5 in G – A charming and exhilarating piece with scale runs and fifths on the other hand. Both hands play both figurations alternately. Excellent for hand independence.

All of these pieces require iron-clad fingering or they will fall apart. So good for students to realise that using the correct fingering is as important as hitting the right notes at the right time.

Classical.

(There is a number of short pieces by both Mozart and Beethoven for the beginner. But I don’t find them worthwhile additions to the repertory. My interest is pieces that one can go on playing even after reaching and advanced level. Most people would drop these pieces as soon as they could play better stuff. So I will not include them).

Haydn.

Haydn’s sonatas in their entirety may be too difficult for a beginner, however there are several movements that are very easy. Some of the most impressive are:

Sonata in F, Hob XVI/9, 3rd mvt, Scherzo – For the budding virtuoso. Beginners can easily master this movement at slow speed. More advanced beginners can start working on speed. Lots of learning/practising tricks can be learned as one studies this piece. (How to work for speed, how to get accuracy, etc.)

Sonata XVI/8, 4th mov, Finalle: Allegro. As above. This is a fast exhilarating movement, very short, very repetitive in its broken chord figurations. Excellent for forearm rotation and bringing the bass melody over the mist of sound created by the very fast RH. Hands swap figurations occasionally, so both hands get a workout. If you hear this piece, you will not believe how easy it is (around grade 1/2).

Sonata XVI/8, 3rd mov, Andante – A wonderful slow and lyrical movement. Omit the ornaments for the early beginners. Very easy, but due to the unexpected skips it teaches one to think ahead.

(eventually you can add the other, more difficult movements of these sonatas when the student is ready for them).

Thomas Attwood.

Sonatina no. 1 in G major – This has to be the first sonatina to be learned. Grown ups may not find it so useful, but for the below 10 is a great repertory. The second movement is the easiest, but also dull. The first and third movements are excellent. Scale fragments, Alberti patterns, broken arpeggios. Very good for finger articulation/ independence.

Romantic

Amy Beach.

I love Amy Beach music. There is just too much stuff to list and comment here, but have a look at her Children’s Album op. 36, and at her Children Carnival op. 25. They are probably more suited to the later beginner (6 months – one year of lessons).

Pierrot  & Pierrette (from op. 25) is a wonderful waltz with a beautiful melody and unusual harmony, very easy and yet it sounds very “professional”.

My favourite though is “Secrets”  (also from op. 25) where arpeggio figurations are divided between the hands so that they are (almost) never together. Excellent exercise in equalising the hands tone, and an exquisite piece of music.

Cornelius Gurlitt.

Gurlitt wrote an enormous amount of pieces for beginners is a style similar to Schumann’s. A lot of it is drivel, but here and there you can find some real gems. Main problem is that the real gems are usually for intermediate students rather than beginners. In any case, try these (but by all means explore the rest):

Morning prayer, Op. 101 no. 2 - Beautiful chorale in three voices, will prepare for four voice chorales. Very easy. From here, go to the one below.

Sunday, Op. 101 no. 18 – Four part chorale. Excellent to learn four part harmony and bring up the top voice in each chord.

The fair, op. 101 no. 8 – Very light, with a fast RH going through a circular semiquaver pattern. Very good to develop the inflection of short melodic motifs. Fro the budding virtuoso.

Valse Noble op. 101 no. 14 – A very nice waltz with just 16 bars (two 8-bar phrases). Good for learning how to contrast the grazioso section with the scherzo section.

A song without words, op. 117 no. 34 – A study in broken chords very effective in performance.

Lullaby – Beautiful piece with the accompaniment equally divided between both hands and the melody played with fingers 4-5 of the RH. Excellent preparation for similar figuration in the more advanced repertory (e.g. Mendelssohn’s Song without words op. 19 no.1). Although easy, it is for the late beginner.

In the garden, op. 140 no. 4 – The melody is in the LH while the RH accompanies with syncopated chords. Excellent for teaching how to voice between the hands.

Edward MacDowell.

To a Wild Rose – Lovely piece very easy technically, but demanding the greatest expressivity in playing. Probably better  suited to older students. Good for awakening the skills for expression in one’s playing.

Theodor Oesten

Mayflowers op. 61 – 25 easy pieces very romantic, most less than a page long. I like no. 10 “Spanish dance”, melody on the RH, LH rhythmic repeated chords. As you know beginners have difficulty with chords, so this is a good one.

Robert Schumann

Album for the young op. 68. There are over 40 exceptional pieces n this set, but only the first ten or so are really for beginners.

Tchaikovsky

Album for the young op. 39. Not all pieces are for beginners. The easier are no. 1 “Morning prayer” a four voice chorale, no.7 “The sick doll” which is very easy, but the melody is on the second beat of the bar, so it requires attention to voicing, no. 8 “The doll’s burial” very slow and heavy;  no. 21 “Daydream”, very good to learn how to do offbeat chord accompaniment and no. 24 “In Church”, again a 4/5 voice chorale, but easier because of repeated chords. Excellent to learn syncopated pedalling.

Modern

If I have time I will add some modern stuff here later. :P

This should keep you going for a while. ;)

Best wishes,
Bernhard.




The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #5 on: August 16, 2004, 03:12:11 AM »
Quote
Schumann's "Scenes from childhood", op. 15 is not for children.


This can't be stressed enough. It's actuall quite difficult and complex, and requires a deep understanding of Schumann's Music.

Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #6 on: August 16, 2004, 03:51:13 AM »
wholly cow....keep me busy for awhile. It will take me two weeks just to do the research on all this stuff. This is perfect.

First time I have seen such a comprehensive list for the beginner. Not just pieces, but the importance of each one and why they should be tackled.

I can't thank you enough.

P.S. Darkwin and  xvimbi, I concur completely that Schumann's "Scenes from childhood", op. 15 is not for children


Thanks again everybody.


Ron Lefebvre

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Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #7 on: August 16, 2004, 03:54:55 AM »
" If I have time I will add some modern stuff here later."


That would be excellent
Ron Lefebvre

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Offline bernhard

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #8 on: August 16, 2004, 03:54:57 AM »
You are welcome. :)
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline glamfolk

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #9 on: August 17, 2004, 09:52:42 PM »
Beethoven's ecossaises and landler are good, and can get a beginner student up to speed rather quickly.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #10 on: August 21, 2004, 01:48:50 PM »
Quote
" If I have time I will add some modern stuff here later."


That would be excellent


Modern

The problem with modern pieces is that there is just so much of it! This doesn’t even cover the tip of the iceberg!

Denes Agay:

“Mysterious Procession” – This is for the total beginner, and can be taught on the very first lesson. RH play a steady even ostinato using only the note E, while the left hand plays the melody which consists only of ABC in different orders and simple rhythms. Excellent for sight-reading, for hand independence, for expressive playing and for bringing up a melody on the left hand. It can also be used as a seed for free improvisation.

“Petit Trianon suite” – These are ten easy pieces, each one covering a dance style on the 18th century. This is excellent for rhythm development and to introduce the student to old dance patterns (which keep recurring on the piano repertory). Excellent recital material for the beginners.

“Four popular diversions” – More difficult than the one above, they are also more modern in idiom. Each can be used both as repertory and as teaching material. “Little prelude in Waltz time” can be used to teach both about form and rhythm, “Baroque bounce” likewise can be used to discuss what is “Baroque”, “Echoes of the blues” introduces the blues scales, and “Ragtime doll” is excellent for syncopation.

Dante Alderighi:

“Signi Lieti” – 10 very easy, short pieces. The harmonies are traditional, the writing is highly pianistic and they make up excellent recital material.

Anatoli Alexandrow:

“Pieces for Children” – The whole collection consists of 8 sets of short pieces fopr complete beginners. If you are familiar with Kabalevsky’s pieces for children, this is similar.

Hansi Alt:

“The Ocean” – A collection of 10 pieces for the complete beginner, most you can teach at the first lesson. The interesting thing here is that they use the whole keyboard and introduce patterns that frequently appear in the more advanced pieces, so ther are excellent preparatory pieces. Again very good recital material for beginners.

“Hot Noon in the Meadow” – Similar in difficulty to the above, this set of pieces uses modern harmonies to tell stories, so it is a very good introduction to how and why chords and intervals can elicit different emotions (for instance, “The spider” uses tritons to build up suspense, and “Bees and Flies” uses chromatic intervals to emulate buzzing).

“Where the palm tree grows” – More difficult than the previous two, this is thoroughly contemporary music - and let us face it, contemporary music is not the most appealing to beginners – but this is a good introduction since it is not too radically contemporary.

Ernest Bloch:

Bloch composed a set of ten very interesting pieces called Enfantines, for his daughters. They are not for beginners though, except the first one, which may be tackled by a late beginner (6 months – 1 year of lessons):

“Lullaby” – Impressionistic writing, this is a very expressive piece that allows for the introduction of several concepts: Modes (the piece is written in the Aeolian mode),  legato playing (the piece requires that one finger be held while th other fingers of the same hand play the melody above it), cantabile.

Paul Frederick Bowles:

“Folk preludes”- This is really for intermediate students, but I could not resist including it. These are excellent arrangements of classical American folk tunes. Truly enchanting pieces.

I will continue later. :P

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Swan

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #11 on: August 24, 2004, 12:22:22 PM »
CONTEMPORARY

For your 6 year old, give her/him Catherin Rollin's Bean Bag Zoo Collector's Series, Book 1

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?sku=AP.18777&cart=1290353156&searchtitle=Sheet%20Music

I know you said you didn't want kid's songs, but this is a treat!  All of the pieces have a very distinct character, use lots of different accompanying methods, cross over work.  I use this for some of my young kids and they love the pieces. "Rainbow Fish" is a particularly interesting piece written in 6/4 and using the whole tone scale.  It's range is all over the keyboard, using the damper pedal, and is heaps of fun to play. Kids feel very 'grown up' playing it because of it's lush full sound.

Book 2 in the series is a little harder and it's pieces even more versatile. "The Bean Bag Bull" is a favourite with it's Spanish dramatic feel, syncoptated rhythms, use of harmonic chords, hugely dynamic.  I even enjoy playing this one!!

For your 8 year old, try Martha Mier's Jazz, Rags and Blues books.

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?sku=AP.6642&cart=1290353156&searchtitle=Sheet%20Music

There's a piece in this book that even your 45 year old would really enjoy playing called "Seventh Street Blues".  Technically very easy with the left hand in harmonics, but lends itself strongly to interpretation and a 'mood piece.'  Lovely, rich sounding.  

I am the hugest Martha Mier fan.  Buy anything of hers.  you really can't go wrong.  

BAROQUE

I'm a big believer in Henry Purcell.  Love his 'singable' melodies.  His 'March in C' is a great work for perhaps your 45 year old to tackle.  It uses two voicings in the left hand which is technically more difficult than the right hand.  Uses broken chords, runs, octave work, pedal point, stacatto in the left hand with legato in the right and vice versa.  Small section of semiquaver work.

his 'Old Dance Tune' is another favourite and one that I even enjoy playing now, just because I like the melody so much.  The piece is in E minor.  It would be suitable for either your 8 year old or your 45 year old.

I second Bernhard's recommendation of Bach's Little Notebook for Anna Magdelena.  Some gems in there.  I especially like the Musette in D major for it's left hand octave work, the quick 'jump' needed in bar three to play hands in similar motion.

CLASSICAL

I'm a little fonder of the easy Mozart and Beethoven pieces than Bernhard, so I will include them.

Beethoven's Russian Folk Song, is a good one for your 6 year old.  The melody is very simple with a nice contrast of legato and stacatto.  The whole section A can be played in the same hand position with only one bar requiring the second finger to pass over the thumb.  Section B sees a dotted rhythm, change of hand position and one finger exchange. It also introduced tenuto and accent.  The bass is unpredictable and has one octave interval your six year old could tackle. Its tempo is VIVACE - and what's not fun and challenging about that? This piece probably wouldn't hold as much interest for your 8 and 45 year old though.

Your 8 year old may enjoy Mozart's Minuet No. 1 in G major (including the Trio) - allegro.  Begins with hands in similar motion, has a triplet, a variety of touches.  The trio goes into C major, has two voicings in the left hand.  Love all the sections in this piece and is a good one for analysis work away from the piano.  Great recital piece if you include the many repeats.

Your 45 year old may enjoy Beethoven's Sonatina in G (including the Romanze). Attention to phrasing, grace notes, harmonics, alberti bass, broken chords all make the accompaniment interesting.  Be sure to include the Romanze written in 6/8 and play them one after the other.  I think the Romanze is even more interesting and has some challenging finger work, arpeggiation, fermata, dynamic.  This can be an expressive piece.  Another one I enjoy playing even now.

ROMANTIC

For your 8 year old, try Burgmuller's Arabesque (Op.100 no.2) It emphasis both the right hand and then the left hand in very fast five finger scales. Good for developing the 'internal' metronome we need as players and helps to get fast quaver work even.   Also has some very scarey leger notes going on and lets the student know they're not that scarely afterall.  Typical of all romantic pieces, it is laden with expression marks such as leggiero, dim e poco rall., dolce, risoluto.  Notes on page may not be difficult, but the musicality involved is great.

Your 45 year old may enjoy Schubert's "Landler" (D.679 no. 2 in Eflat major).  Extrmemely easy but has a nice 'chopin' feel about it, which is very pleasing to the ear.  Good one for analysis work away from the piano to see that much music is only certain phrases repeated
over and over.


Your 8 year old would really enjoy Rebikoffs "The Organ Grinder".  (F major, valse moderato).  The left hand is a simple C Bflat Bflat (written in the treble) motif that never ceases - gives a real hypnotic effect.  Very difficult to keep controlled.  Wonderul melody that once again goes into some full on leger work and harmonics in the right hand.  LOVE THIS PIECE, play it often even now with my eyes close and just enjoy the wonderful mood it creates.    Dynamic range is f to ppp.  I have no doubt your 45 year old would love it too and probably has the maturity to really breathe some life into it.

These are some of my favourites.  Hope you find it helpful.

Offline rlefebvr

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #12 on: August 25, 2004, 07:54:29 AM »
Again, great advice. I have maybe 50 to 60 % of the pieces mentionned so it's stuff I can easily look into and concentrate on.
The rest I while have to look into more carefully before buying.
Ron Lefebvre

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Offline bernhard

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #13 on: September 10, 2004, 01:48:19 PM »
More modern repertory

Norman dello Joio:

Suite for the young – 10 short pieces with modern harmonies no. 3 (Little sister) is my favourite.

Lyric pieces for the young – More difficult than the above, these are high quality pieces (more suited for the students that had lessons for 6 months – 1 year). No,. 4 Night song is very beautiful (also one of the most difficult).

Lorenzo Fernandez:

Dolls -  a set of pieces with South American rhythms (Fernandez was Brazilian) that are really easy and yet sound difficult.

Ross Lee Finney:

If you want an easy introduction to contemporary music (atonality, weird notation, etc.) this is it. This is particularly useful because the pieces are notated both in “modern” notation and traditional notation. But be warned, it is not very pleasant.

32 piano games – 32 pieces for beginners where (almost) everything goes: no bar lines, note clusters, white note patterns, etc. Not so much tunes as sounds. Can be quite funny.

Slightly more difficult is

25 inventions – this is particularly interesting forolder students who are starting to analyse score, since each piece is a musical puzzle. Some sort of game is played with the notes, and the task of the student is to find out the rules. Teachers in search of games may find it very useful.

Dianne Rahbee

One of my favourite contemporary composers (very tonal). For the total beginners try her Pictures op. 3, all the pieces are easy, interesting and some like no.3 (Chase) can be very effective in a recital.

Her “three tocatinas” are far more difficult, but they are such exhilarating pieces that I thought I would mention them. More for the intermediate student though.

Jacques Ibert:

The sewing machine – Although this is graded at grade 4, I have tatught it successfully to 6 year-olds that have been playing for only 6 months, since it is very patternend and repetitive. Great fun (it imitates the noise of a sewing machine). Not much of a tune, but very percussive.

Sergei Prokofiev:

Prokofiev has some real gems on his “Music for young people” op. 65 – It will suit a student with 6 months/1 year of lessons. My favourites are “Tarantella”, “Promenade”, “Evening” and “ The moon strolls in the meadows”. `

Dimitri Shostakovitch:

Dances of the dolls – a coolection of excellent pieces, very effctive in recitals (I particularly like no. 6 – Hurdy gurdy and no. 7 Dance). Not for the total beginner can be tackled by the student who has been learning for 6 months – 1 year.

Heitor Villa Lobos:

Villa Lobos produced an enormous amount of pedagogical material of the highest quality, very easy, very tuneful (most ofit is based on traditional Brazilian Nursery Rhymes) and supremely musical. They come in 11 volumes called “Guia Prático”(Practical guide). I am not sure how easy it would be to get them outside of Brazil.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.



The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline mhf

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #14 on: October 20, 2004, 01:48:42 AM »
This is one of the most fantastic and generous threads I've ever read anywhere. Heartfelt thanks to all of those who shared time and energy here. I've printed this one, and I'll check back next summer when I'm halfway through the list!!

I'm a 45 year old who is now in his 6th week of playing. I started mostly to lend support and encouragment to my two young girls (4 and 6), but I'm now totally addicted and can't pass by our piano without stopping to play.

Thanks again for all the shared kindness here!

Marc

Spatula

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #15 on: October 20, 2004, 06:25:12 AM »
I remember starting out with a really easy version of "Jesu, Joy of man's desiring" by Bach...very very easy.  I played it for my first time today after 6 years since learning it.  Picked it up in about 15 minutes.  Very Very easy grade 1 stuff.  But very heart warming.

Offline kaff

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #16 on: October 26, 2004, 05:11:26 PM »
I've just come across the most beautiful beginner piece by Alan Hovhannes.  It's called "Sleeping Cat", from Sketchbook of Mr Purple Poverty.  It's very simple (Grade 1 ABRSM) technically, but seems to me to be the kind of piece which lends itself to a lot of thought musically.  Interesting harmonic progressions, and a lovely dreamy quality. Unlike a lot of exam pieces, it's the kind of piece which could happily form part of someone's repertoire for some years.  I've been playing it myself quite a lot since I came across it!

I don't know anything else about Alan Hovhannes' work or whether there's more of this sort of piano music - maybe someone else can say?

Kathryn 
Kaff

Offline bernhard

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #17 on: October 26, 2004, 09:37:54 PM »
I've just come across the most beautiful beginner piece by Alan Hovhannes.  It's called "Sleeping Cat", from Sketchbook of Mr Purple Poverty.  It's very simple (Grade 1 ABRSM) technically, but seems to me to be the kind of piece which lends itself to a lot of thought musically.  Interesting harmonic progressions, and a lovely dreamy quality. Unlike a lot of exam pieces, it's the kind of piece which could happily form part of someone's repertoire for some years.  I've been playing it myself quite a lot since I came across it!

I don't know anything else about Alan Hovhannes' work or whether there's more of this sort of piano music - maybe someone else can say?

Kathryn 

I was going to say exactly the same thing! It is indeed a wonderful little piece.

I have ordered his "sketchbook of Mr. Purple Poverty" (op. 309) from which "Sleeping cat" was taken. I will let you know when it arrives.

Also have a look here:

http://www.hovhaness.com/

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #18 on: October 27, 2004, 04:04:39 AM »
You could also try out Shostakovitch's 6 Children's Pieces, short, simple, delightful pieces.

Spatula

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #19 on: November 05, 2004, 12:42:21 AM »
More on beginner pieces that are uber-awesome!

http://pianoforum.net/smf/index.php/topic,5112.0.html

I was just cleaning out my closet today trying to find some old books to sight read.  And I come across the old school RCM repertoire and study books.  The beauty of these pieces is that they can be reasonably mastered in about 2 hours to maybe 3 days with dynamics and everything.  You can perform these pieces in about 1 week to 2 weeks!  And if you play them with an excellent touch, most people will think those are advanced pieces! 

Here are some of the simplest but most beautiful pieces of music I think have ever been written from easiest to harder pieces (graded using the RCM scale) :

Menuetto in C Major I KV 6 – Mozart (Grade 2)

Minuet in D Minor HWV 462 – Handel (Grade 2)

Elegy Op 132 No 2 – Reinecke (Grade 2)….very beautiful theme

March of the Goblins – Berlin (Grade 2)

Sonatina in G Major Op 151 No 1 2nd Movement – Diabelli (Grade 2)

Wild Horseman Op 68 No 8 – Schumann Album for the Young (Grade 2)

Boats at Anchor – J. Last  (Grade 2) …I did this for a music festival

Russian Cradle Song (Grade 4) Can’t remember composer 

Intrada – Graupner (Grade 5)

Sonatina in C Major Op 157 No 4 2nd Movement (Grade 5) – Spindler

A Slow Waltz Op 39 No 23 - Kabalevsky  (Grade 5) … another delightful piece that suits peaceful and nostalgic moments of life

Hurdy Gurdy – Dances of the Dolls No 6 - Shostakovich (Grade 5)

In the Forest Op 51 No 4 - Rebikov (Grade 5)

Study for the Left Hand Vol 1 No 6 – Bartok (Grade 5)

Ivan Sings (Grade 5) Khatchaturian

Farewell Op 100 No 12 – Burgmüller (Grade 6)

Little Willy and the Wind Op 46 No 8 – Niemann (Grade 6) …fun little piece

Study Op 125 No 10 – Heller (Grade 6)

Little Tarantella Op 46 No 7- Heller (Grade 7)

Fantastic Dance Op 124 No 5 – Schumann (Grade 7) …awesome piece!

Study Op 27 No 1 – Heller (Grade 7)

Study Op 47 No 15 – Heller (Grade 7)

Study Op 45 No 15 – Heller (Grade 8 )

Fantasia in D minor Wq 117 No 12 – CPE Bach (Grade 7)

The Merry Go Round Op 36 No 2 – Gade (Grade 8 ) – super fun piece if you have a whimsical imagination

Over Hill and Dale Op 17 No 5 – Reger (Grade 8 ) – another fun piece to do, much like Willy and the Wind

Offline claude_debussy

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Re: Beginner piece u like to give as repertoire
«Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 09:54:04 PM »
For a wonderful selection of modern music for young or beginning students, see the Frances Clark series, originally published by Summy-Birchard in the 50's and now republished and available.  eg

Contemporary Piano Literature Book 6 (Frances Clark Library For Piano Students, 6)

is on amazon both the older versions (used) and new edition.

#6 is just an example - i recall #2 as being particularly good as well.

composers here tend to favor russians - tcherepnin, tansman, stravinsky, prokofiev - but the selection is eclectic, also including bartok, siegmeister and ross finney.

i remember playing these as a child with deep enjoyment.

there are at least six volumes, all worth checking out.  the older editions had one-page biographies of the composers (new and unknown to most when these came out in 1955) with beautiful lithographic portraits.  these also made a deep impression on me as a kid, but don't know if they're in the republished versions -

wikipedia reveals that frances clark was a highly-respected pedagogue, & now her namesake foundation does a lot of other things for pianists and teacher (conferences, magazine, etc.). 

their website has more, and i notice their conference this year features the superb young Italian concert pianist Alessio Bax (his Hammerklavier fugue on the Barenboim Beethoven series is by far the most impressive of all the younger artist performances on that collection). 

he would have been my choice

and whoever selected the pieces for these anthologies long ago did a superb job - i'm re-ordering all of them for my kid, and myself, thanks to this excellent discussion.

peace, claude