This pre-reading collection contains a mixture of folk tunes, nursery songs, and novelty pieces that beginners of all ages will recognize and enjoy playing. Some student parts are written only for the black keys, while others use a variety of hand positions on the white keys. Optional teacher accompaniments are included for each piece, as well as lyrics.
This zippy piece in F minor is easier to play than it looks. It’s very patterned with L.H. playing open 5ths while the fast R.H. chromaticism swirls under the hand evoking images of a meerkat scampering around having fun.
A lyrical melody with short phrases is easy to sing along with in this “almost” Middle C position piece. Lyrics portray the beauty of a rainbow. There is minimal use of hands together–only playing unison and then the same phrase 8va at the end.
Introducing a new FJH composer, Robin McLaughlin, Beyond the Fence, is a quiet piece that weaves between the hands and is set in almost MC position (LH on B, RH on MC). The long phrases use basic rhythmic figures and dynamics. The piece introduces McLaughlin’s compositional style in a performance piece that creates a sound world beyond our own backyard. The piece includes a teacher duet that enhances the student’s solo.
The melody weaves between the hands in this five-finger position piece with one shift for L.H. Accidentals are used in the student part and the teacher’s duet is in C minor. The lyrics tell the tale of a moon rising in October.
The bouncing staccatos of this cheerful solo sound just like ping-pong balls bouncing back and forth across the table. Although a staccato touch is predominant, legato phrases appear in Section B. There is a fun interplay as the melody weaves between the hands. This 3-page piece in the key of F fits anywhere–lessons, recitals and auditions.
In the key of D minor, this late elementary piece with lyrics tells of a pumpkin that enters a dance contest. It includes close-hand shifts and some finger crossovers. Easy to memorize, and can be learned quickly.
This charming and lyrical solo answers the question: Will the princess kiss the bullfrog and turn him back into her long-lost prince? Beginning with contrary motion two-note slurs, the hands often play the same intervals – L.H. harmonically, R.H. melodically – with some octave shifts.
This spooky solo is for students who like really scary sounds. With a tempo mark of “Hauntingly” the ominous, deliciously dissonant patterns repeat in descending octaves. A piece that is quick and easy to learn (could almost be taught by rote), students will love playing this dramatic creation that will practically memorize itself. Uses accidentals, no key signatures. An awesome recital piece!
Rumor has it that a cat inspired Beethoven to write the theme of his Fifth Symphony! This piece exploits this delightful possibility with it's classically styled scale passages, and alberti bass. A fun recital piece that leaves the audience smiling when they recognize the famous theme, this is a good preparatory piece for sonatina literature.
Even though this piece is in the key of D minor, it’s happy and energetic with clever, unexpected harmonic twists. L.H. utilizes solid and broken 5ths throughout; R.H. has jazz-style grace notes; and both hands play a contrary-motion chromatic scale.
This coloristic, gentle piece in G major has the R.H. voicing a stepwise melody with the L.H. playing 5ths with some easy crossovers. Very idiomatic writing for the piano, this piece requires legato pedaling and appeals to students of all ages.
An entertaining etude featuring down-up motions that really “hop”! This fun piece feels great in the hands, and features two-note slurs throughout with some scale passages... it sounds hard, but it’s surprisingly easy to play. Good classical-track preparation.
The eerily haunting melody in A minor makes this a popular piece for performances all year long. Section A uses a broken chord pattern in the L.H. until the melody shifts to it in Section B. Students learn how to shape a phrase and to project a lyrical melody.
A fun piece to play! Just two pages long in the key of C, spanning 4 octaves, with a bit of Western flavor, familiar patterns (melodic and harmonic fifths, C scale) are combined to create a fresh sound.
A pianistic study in the key of A major, this pretty piece is a study in expression that requires voicing the right hand over the left hand. The left-hand arpeggiated chords fall under the hands and are easy to play. This optimistic, lyrical piece will be a favorite with the girls in your studio. Pedal used throughout.
The melody in this G minor piece is so beautiful that you want to play it again when you come to the final double bar! The L.H. has broken chord accompaniment using intervals of 5ths, 6ths and 7ths (no octaves in either hand.) This is a good piece for rubato and clean pedaling; students of any age will enjoy playing it.
A carriage ride at Christmas would be a memorable event, cheerfully depicted in this colorful solo. In 6/8 meter and the key of G major, there are contrasting articulations between the hands with lots of dynamic variations. The artistic pedaling is carefully marked.
Left-hand broken chords create a warm harmonic texture in this reflective piece. Section A is in A minor in 3/4 time while the contrasting Section B is in A major in 4/4 time with both hands playing thick, sonorous chords. It calls for expressive playing, legato pedaling, and voicing an expressive, cantabile melody.
A sophisticated, new modern sonatina in which Berr uses a contemporary tonal style in the tradition of Kabalevsky is beautifully written for the intermediate student. The three movements are: I. The Dakotas–Neo-classical style, follows classical structure showing form in a modern style. II. Mystery of the Ravine–impressionistic tone painting of a western scene. III. Desert Rainstorm–In 6/8 meter, marked "Presto scherzando" features chromaticism and cross-hand playing.
Wistful, lyrical melody in E flat major with a tinge of sadness—typically Irish! This “romantic short story” evokes images of Ireland’s countryside and lost love. An excellent piece for high school students or adults that requires voicing a lush, cantabile melody, (lots of ) rubato, and careful attention to pedal notation.
This perky piece brings to mind a “south of the border” celebration with all the pageantry and excitement of a mariachi band. It starts in C major, modulates to F major, and ends in C major. Uses parallel 6ths in the right hand, and arpeggiated 10ths in the left. Easy to learn and fun to play!
In the key of E minor and 6/8 meter, this piece is lyrical and expressive. It modulates to G Major in the B section, and then a peaceful close back in E minor. The use of rubato and the fact it doesn’t require a large hand makes it appealing to adults as well as teens.
You may come up with your own favorite colors as you explore the timbres in this beautiful solo. A lyrical melody in F major is supported by arpeggiated chords in Section A and blocked chords in Section B. This piece calls for artistic use of pedal and reading inner ledger lines.
Eerily dramatic and great fun to play, this piece opens with root position triads and then uses scale passages, arpeggios and chromaticism to create a haunting effect. In D minor, this piece is great for Halloween or any other time of year.
With a rollicking, blues-boogie feel, this piece is a great introduction to the key of F-sharp Major. Yes, it uses 6 sharps, but there are only 2 LH ostinato patterns that are easy to learn. Fun to play and fun to hear! Because it sounds and looks harder than it is, this is a sure recital hit.
This zany piece depicts a scientist wildly whirling about his lab concocting crazy chemicals. Sixteenth notes and eighth notes are used throughout this A minor piece that is marked with a “fast and furious” tempo. The B section puts both hands in the treble clef, and the cluster at the end makes it evident that something just exploded! Students will love it, and teachers will too! Could be programmed for auditions or recitals. Good preparatory piece for more advanced literature.
Selected for the NFMC 2014-2016 bulletin, this piece opens with bold octaves in both hands then moves to a lyrical melody. In the key of D minor, the technical demands are L.H. arpeggios, chord inversions, and octaves.