As a piano teacher, it is so important to find good repertoire that suits the technical abilities of your student yet motivates their inner rock star. In the years I have been writing this blog, I have written several posts on the repertoire I have used which fits the criteria mentioned above. You can find these posts under the category “Great Student Pieces”.
I was very excited to find some new pieces to incorporate into our spring recitals this year. Here’s some of my current favorites:
I was thrilled to find simple arrangements of popular songs in a compilation book. For years I would search for each individual piece I wanted to teach then simplify the songs with the use of Finale. The skill level in this book has been perfect for a number of students in the studio. The recital this year will include Demons and Counting Stars from this collection.
The Piano Recital Showcase series from Hal Leonard has been a great addition. The pieces are fresh, attractive and great teaching pieces. My students were able to learn pieces from this collection fairly quickly and have enjoyed playing the pieces because they like how they sound. That’s always a bonus! Students liking how they sound = more practice time!
Here are some of the pieces chosen from this collection:
- From Book 1: B.B.’s Boogie, Monster March
- From Book 1 (Festival Favorites): Candlelight Prelude, I’ve Gotta Toccata, Toccata Festivo
- From Book 2 (Festival Favorites): Sounds of the Rain
- From Book 2: The Happy Walrus, Shifty-Eyed Blues
- From Book 3: Jump Around Rag
As always, Ocean Spray from Anne Crosby’s book “Fuzzy Beluga” is always an excellent choice for an older beginning student. The piece is played on only black keys and can be taught by rote.
I have also really enjoyed using many of Jennifer Eklund’s pieces found at Piano Pronto. Her piece End Game has been widely enjoyed throughout the studio.
Some of the pieces from “The Kingdom Series” I keep coming back to. The Dawn, especially. It has two attractive themes which are repeated and used in different ways. A 7th grade boy is playing this piece for the spring recital and has really been motivated to learn this piece. An 8th grade girl is playing The Final Call, which is also a terrific recital piece.
Robert Vandall’s Celebrated Piano Solos series is still a go-to collection.
It seems as though good piano music is more easily available now more than ever. I am very thankful for that! With just the help of a good search engine, we can find the next great motivational recital piece for all our budding stars.
What pieces are your favorites?