With fun lyrics and a catchy, upbeat rhythm, this entertaining solo will be a joy for students to play again and again. Cartoon Kids will capture the imagination of every child who has watched the make-believe world of cartoons.
This light-hearted early elementary piece is very accessible, and can be learned by a young student after only a few lessons. The catchy lyrics and melody will inspire students to play and sing this one over and over. An optional teacher accompaniment is included.
A dreamy-sounding piece for the early elementary student that offers practice playing 8va in both hands; tied notes; pedal; legato melodic lines; and quarter, half, and whole notes. Students will enjoy this piece that describes these child-like images at bedtime.
This fanciful piece will capture the imagination of any young student with its delightful lyrics that describe an imaginary, magic pony. The student’s solo is in Middle C position, while the optional teacher accompaniment keeps a steady beat with its trotting rhythm.
A lyrical piece with short phrases that starts in the key of F and smoothly modulates to G. The R.H. remains in a 5-finger position while L.H. has some thumb tuck-unders. Students aged 8-80 will enjoy this piece!
This charming elementary level solo tells the story of a boy who is a playground bully, but changes his tune when he is befriended by another who helps him pass reading class. In the end, the two become playground buddies! In addition to the cute story, this piece will work well for students with small hands, contains minimal hands together playing, and will become a favorite for your elementary level student!
Miniatures, Book 1 is an artistic collection of elementary piano solos. These contemporary compositions are highly appealing and feature a wide variety of delightful images and moods. As attractive as they are accessible, these pieces will complement lessons as well as they highlight recitals. For students of all ages.
Written for the elementary level, Ogg is a clever and comical little solo with entertaining lyrics that students will love playing and singing. This piece uses accidentals to create interesting harmonies portraying the story of Ogg, (The Caveman) and his dog!
A piece that will haunt your student all year around! An extremely easy waltz where hands stay in D minor position except for one left-hand crossover to B flat (no key signature used, just accidentals). With easy right-hand/left-hand coordination, the melody floats between the hands.
This elementary solo with an optional teacher duet is so cleverly created that your students will have a blast playing and singing along with the amusing story of Snagglefritz, the egotistical cat! This piece sits very well under the hands and will definitely be played and enjoyed over and over!
This piece evokes the peaceful tranquility of a Japanese bamboo grove. The beautiful flute-like melody in “almost Middle C position” sings softly. Bamboo Grove has a simple, flowing melody that’s easy to teach, and hands stay in position. The simple optional teacher duet gives the piece an added depth.
What do you do when your pets have a spat? This piece takes a humorous look at a common situation that kids can relate to with minimal hands together playing in D position and an optional teacher duet part. Uses accidentals in each hand.
Built using simple pentascales and stepwise 5ths, this beautiful late elementary piece has a haunting sound that is reminiscent of a Native American flute. Skillful pedaling allows the melody to ring out as it floats from phrase to phrase. Sure to be a favorite with students!
Moving between major and mixolydian mode, this artistic piece sounds as fresh as the lyrics about the change in seasons. Eighth notes, accidentals, hand-crossings, and use of pedal are sprinkled freely throughout, yet it’s still accessible to the late elementary student.
Ghost Waltz is a late elementary solo that captures the feel of a waltz along with the eerie twist of a ghost dance. In the key of G major, this piece uses accidentals to create the ghostly melodic and harmonic effects.
These original contemporary compositions feature a wide variety of delightful images and moods, and students of all ages will sure to enjoy this artistic collection of Late-Elementary/Early-Intermediate piano solos. All of the pieces are designed to be a pathway to the standard literature. Contents include: Peaceful Valley; Snowfall Over Mt. Fuji; The Gladiator; Air in the Baroque Style; Spanish Guitar and more.
Pop Improv features twelve improvisational concepts, each one illustrated with a piece written on the left page, followed by an improvisation model on the right page. All of the R.H. improvisation models are based on 5-finger positions as well as a simple 1-2-1 crossover fingering in some models to add melodic interest. The L.H. consists of fifths making improvising easy for elementary students of all ages. Includes a CD for students to play along with and be a part of a real band.
The L.H. plays the interval of a 5th an octave lower throughout this cool rock piece in D minor while R.H. plays short call and response riffs. Put this in your "pupil saver" file! Although it might be referred to as a "boy" piece, girls will really enjoy it too.
This clever solo tells a story about a child who is obsessed with really big words! Contains a variety of articulations and dynamics, playing intervals of a fifth plus a crossover in the L.H., everyone will have a good time playing and singing along to this one!
For 13 students–six pianists on two pianos, three more pianists each on an electric piano (keyboard), and four percussionists playing on simple, homemade instruments. Each player represents a sound in the forest. Rather than reading a score, the musicians memorize a single gesture, or ‘lick” and count seconds before entering and repeating their lick. It lasts approximately 4 minutes, and will be a refreshing addition to your recitals! Check out the piece on youtube.
This lovely piece, written mostly in the treble clef, contains legato, arpeggiated triads between the hands, the use of accidentals, and has a very lyrical style. Young students will especially enjoy playing this “enchanting” princess-like piece.
This is a good piece for students to learn D major and parallel minor. The witty lyrics tell the story of a little dog that is famous for stealing the cat’s kibbles! The music has an element of suspense, short phrases, and some use of pedal. There are accidentals but the hands stay in the same position for the most part.
These short, artistic solos offer a variety of moods and styles that will appeal to both younger students and adults. Most of the eleven pieces are two pages and are good preparation for classical literature.
Written in G Major and in 4/4 time, Yard Sale U.S.A is a clever piece indicated to be played “with a happy swing”. Includes an array of staccatos and two- and three-note slurs, accidentals, and amusing lyrics about the special items found at yard sales!
There are nine units in this book, starting with the basic blues scale in C, then moving to the keys of D, G, A, and E. Each unit has four parts: a blues scale; an illustrative short original piece; a “riff improv” where students can combine riffs in any order; and finally, a free improv that allows students to use riffs already learned as well as improvise new ones. This step-by-step approach ensures progress, always building on previously learned skills. Includes recordings, and MIDI files are available as free downloads below.
This brand new collection of early intermediate original jazz solos by Kevin Olson and Edwin McLean is sure to open the door for students to discover a new avenue of self-expression and originality! Through these creative new pieces students are encouraged to explore the variety of styles within the jazz idiom and experiment with their own unique improvisatory ideas!
An artistic collection for students of all ages, Miniatures, Book 3 features a wide variety of images and moods. Some of the compositions are contemporary, while others reflect a historical style. All the pieces are designed to be a pathway to the standard literature.
Aptly named after the morning glory flower, this duet starts out quietly and then, as the texture thickens, it unfolds to greet the morning sun. In the key of C major, there are hand shifts but even small hands can quickly learn the easy-to-play patterns.
Your sci-fi fans will love this one! This piece is a unique modern-sounding thriller that students will absolutely love playing. In addition to its dramatic sci-fi sound, students are given a lot of valuable pedagogical material. From the varied articulations and patterns, staccato and accented right-hand chords, to the mysterious sounding left- hand melody containing crossovers in the B section, this creative and fun piece is perfect for recitals, and is sure to be very popular with the pre-teenage students!
This outstanding, classically structured sonatina offers fresh harmonies, expressive melodies, and energetic rhythms. Suitable for recitals and auditions, this three-movement piano solo provides teachers a wonderful model for teaching classical style and form. Sonatina in a Neoclassical Style is a welcome addition to the modern sonatina repertoire.
The 12-bar blues swing of The Old Soft Shoe is presented here with crystal clarity. Students will learn the blues construct simply by playing it through. Easy-to-play jazz riffs with cute words. Written in the key of G, with appropriate blues accidentals.
Imagine roaming free, under the Big Sky! This exciting, rhythmic adventure for your “renegade” student pianists is a perfectly compact piece with a driving beat and melody that has a western-feel. Students explore easy syncopations in left hand, pedaling, and brief hand crossings that end in a fun, pianistic finish.
Vignettes, Book 2, contains ten pieces in varying styles that introduce students to the sound, feel and artistry of artistic solos through the lens of a modern-day composer. These works are well-suited for young students as well as adults, and are good preparation for classical literature.
This fresh, contemporary-sounding collection gives musical shape to voices from the past... markings carvings, etchings... images left on natural substances. These literal impressions serve as inspiration for each imaginative and playable suite movement.
What a fun book for lovers of four-hand music! Following the success of the In the Key of Jazz solo books, Olson and McLean team up again with a great new set of original jazz duets, with styles ranging from swing to Cuban salsa, and a gorgeous new ballad, Alone in a Crowd. The “call and answer” riffs float between the second and primo parts in an improvisatory manner using jazz idioms such as barrelhouse blues and walking bass. The syncopations will sharpen your students’ rhythmic and ensemble skills. Titles include: Da Blooz; Groove Town; That’s What; Ode to the Bass Player; and Habana Vieja.
Book 2, for the intermediate piano student, takes jazz expression to an entirely new level! This new collection of original jazz solos by Kevin Olson and Edwin McLean incorporates a wide range of expression. From the relaxed and easy-going Swingin It, to the Latin-flavored En Calle Ocho, to the driving originality of Whazzitooyah?, your students will relish playing in the key of jazz.
Jazz Improv is a core book of the Jazz in Focus Library, introducing students to seventh chords, the ii-V-I chord progression, and approach tones. As with the two previous improv books, the step-by-step approach encompassing: 1) a simple concept, 2) a short demonstration piece, 3) riffs for improvising, and 4) a free improvisation chart assures steady progress and opens the door to more advanced study. Jazz Improv is an essential introduction for any piano student who wants to begin the study of jazz, and the material is flexible enough to be used by younger as well as more experienced players.
Flowing, lyrical eighth notes in the right-hand chordal patterns spin into lush harmonies. This expressive piece teaches proper voicing and careful pedaling. Short yet sophisticated, a great choice for busy teenagers.
The Sonata is a winner of the Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Competition in the solo category and is available on Gasparo Records, performed by harpsichordist Elaine Funaro. The Sonata, which also received a citation for its accessibility, may also be played on the piano or digital keyboard.
Here is a winning combination of old and new. This three-movement sonata contrasts the traditional sound of the harpsichord with tonality and syncopations common to popular music and jazz. There are guitar-like moments in the first and third movements, while the second alternates between the baroque and the modern. McLean brings all the character of the instrument to light.
The first movement in G Major features a syncopated melody that calls for a crisp staccato and "ritmo preciso." This tune stays in your head long after you've played it. The second movement in D minor has a lovely lyrical melody, and one wishes it were longer than 2 pages! The flashy third movement is very fast, requiring frequent hand shifts and makes a great ending to this sophisticated yet accessible sonatina.
Colorful and atmospheric, this collection has captivated performers and listeners alike since it’s first publication in 1993. Six pieces evoke images of evening scenes starting with First Star and ending with Daybreak. This 18 minute dusk-to-dawn suite can be programmed in it’s entirety, and a full recording is available on Edwin McLean’s new CD "Don’t Say Goodbye."