Milton Keynes Piano Teacher Lessons

Early Advanced • Grades 7-8

The Pianodao Music Library brings together all of the piano repertoire which has been reviewed, shared or otherwise featured on Pianodao. As such it is a varied, extensive, inclusive, and ever expanding body of carefully curated music.

The music in the Early Advanced category is suitable for players preparing for UK Grades 7-8 or equivalent.

Studio Choice

STUDIO CHOICE showcases the publications which my regular students have enjoyed and which I most frequently recommend. This includes Library Essentials, offering a core programme of music, and a regularly updated list of fresh, Current Favourites.

Classic Essentials

The Beethoven Sonatas: Where to Start?

Henle’s recently published “Five Easy Piano Sonatas” and “Five Famous Piano Sonatas” volumes offer a near perfect introduction to this greatest body of solo piano music….

Discovering Chopin

For pianists at any level who are keen to explore and discover the music of Chopin (and who isn’t?), Poland’s PWM Edition offer the definitive range of sheet music publications, from easier anthologies through to the world’s finest complete editions…

Debussy: Where to Start?

It’s all about Claude Debussy for classical music lovers and pianists this year, as we mark the centenary of his death in 1918.

ABRSM • Piano Inspiration

With their uniquely comfortable blend of great music by composers from such different backgrounds, these are undoubtedly landmark publications, demonstrating beyond doubt that cultural integration and enrichment go hand in hand.

Piano Music of Amy Beach

American composer Amy Beach’s significant contribution to the solo piano repertoire is finally beginning to receive the recognition and popularity it deserves.

This collection offers ten intermediate to advanced solo pieces selected from across Beach’s long career by Gail Smith. Let’s take a look…

Lang Lang’s Piano Book

One of the most lush publications I’ve ever seen, Lang Lang’s Piano Book delivers a superb selection of the most popular and appealing repertoire for early advanced pianists…

Current Favourites

Nikki Iles and Friends

Nikki Iles is back with two new books of jazz, between them bringing 29 new pieces for intermediate to advanced players, composed and arranged by Iles as well as several other stars of the contemporary jazz world.

Birds: Études-Tableaux

Birds: Études-Tableaux is a recent collection of six pieces composed by Andrew Higgins and published by EVC Music Publications, and subtitled modern virtuoso studies. If you’ll pardon the pun, it perfectly fits the bill!

Peaceful Jazz Piano Solos

Hal Leonard’s popular and keenly-priced Peaceful Piano Solos series has only becomes more compelling with the arrival of Peaceful Jazz Piano Solos, a collection of 30 standards arranged for early advanced players…

Rachel Portman: Ask the River

Anyone wanting to move on from Einaudi to music with a similar contemporary vibe but more nuance, these consummately composed pieces offer a beautiful and evocative sound world that is at once accessible, but with plenty of their own personality.

Ludovico Einaudi: Cinema

For those who want to explore the music of Einaudi and aren’t sure where to begin, the new ‘Cinema’ compilation certainly offers a representative starting point that includes several classics alongside some lesser-known, contrasting music…

Explore the Library

I have reviewed an abundance of wonderful music suitable for this level, crossing styles, genres, and the history of the keyboard. There’s truly something here for every player, so dig deep and enjoy exploring the full archive, which is presented here with the most recent additions first…

Learn to Play Ragtime Piano

There are plenty of Ragtime collections on the market, but this new publication introduces the conventions and musical essence of the style better than any other I am aware of, and with unique authority. Simply put, if you would like to play ragtime properly and well, you need this book.

Fauré: Romances sans paroles

Fauré’s “Romances sans paroles” (Songs without words) are his earliest piano works, yet remain among the most gorgeous and accessible…

The Harry Potter Piano Anthology

For fans of the Harry Potter universe, and more generally for all lovers of film music and of these iconic composers’ work, ‘The Harry Potter Piano Anthology’ is a very easy recommendation…

22 Nocturnes for Chopin

‘22 Nocturnes for Chopin’ is in my view a landmark publication, one which deserves to make a huge mark in our musical lives, and which I believe will make a seminal impact in the piano world. Don’t miss it!

Uplifting Piano Solos

For advancing players who are looking for some lighter relief between wrestling with Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Hindemith , “Uplifting Piano Solos” more than fulfils the brief, while equally living up to its title, delivering consummately crafted and enjoyable arrangements of famous melodies that will uplift pianist and impress audience alike.

Piano Music by Women Composers

Immanuela Gruenberg’s two new collections of ‘Piano Music by Women Composers’ are quite simply outstanding, an essential milestone which every intermediate or advanced pianist should rush to welcome…

The Cinematic Piano Playlist

Once again, Faber have identified a target audience and hit the bullseye. This isn’t perhaps a collection that will appeal to all readers, but for its target demographic it definitely packs a stunt punch…

Solos for the Sanctuary

Glenda Austin’s Solos for the Sanctuary series obviously stands apart from the music I typically review on Pianodao. These are special niche publications whose particular audience seems obvious, and for whom they have been superbly put together…

Discovering Burgmüller

Burgmüller’s three collections of piano etudes, Op.100, Op.105 and Op.109 have been cornerstones of the piano pedagogy literature for over a century and a half, and remain as popular today as ever…

Bill Evans • Jazz Piano Solos

Ask any jazz aficionado or pianist who their favourite players and influences are, and Bill Evans’ name will undoubtedly appear in the list of the all-time greats. This book of arrangements is simply a stunning collection: I can recommend it warmly and without reservation.

Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited

With its lovely presentation and unique selection of rewarding music, The Peaceful Piano Playlist Revisited is another winning title in this growing series, deserving every success…

Ola Gjeilo: Dawn

Ola Gjeilo is back with a superb sequel to the brilliant “Night”. The appropriately titled “Dawn” appeared on CD back in the autumn… the sheet music is also now available, and having played through the pieces I want to waste no time waiting to bring you my recommendation…

Edition Peters’ Graded Anthologies 2023-24

Edition Peters new Graded Piano Anthologies for ABRSM Grades 5-8 will be seen by some as alternatives to the official syllabus publications, while others will welcome them as hugely useful supplements that present a wider range of alternative piece selections…

Faber Music Ballads Piano Anthology

Beautifully presented, long lasting, and filled to the brim with classic song arrangements, the ‘Faber Music Ballads Piano Anthology’ deserves to fly off the shelves and into music-loving homes everywhere…

The Piano Player: Wintertide Collection

With its gorgeous presentation, superb musical selection, adept pianistic arrangements and helpful fingering, it is very easy to recommend Faber Music’s Wintertide Collection to late intermediate and more advanced players everywhere:

Jazz It Up! Christmas

From boogie-tinged swing to Latin spice, taking in waltz and ballads along the way, every one of these dazzling arrangements proves totally irresistible, adding up to one of the most charming and joyously festive collections I’ve yet discovered…

Donald Thomson’s Winter Piano Music

With ‘Winter Piano Music’ Donald Thomson has delivered a winning collection which deserves to find its place as a seasonal favourite for many years to come…

Christmas Songs & Standards: Jazz Piano Solo

Hal Leonard’s popular JAZZ PIANO SOLOS books are firm favourites with advanced pianists around the world.

In this review I check out two Christmas titles, newly available here in the UK, which are sure to roast your festive chestnuts…

Luke Howard: 28 Transcriptions

Luke Howard has released a succession of albums over the last decade which have established him as one of the leading classical crossover composers, alongside such names as Ludovico Einaudi, Max Richter, Poppy Ackroyd and Nils Frahm. It is wonderful to now have this superbly produced collection of solo piano transcriptions…

Schumann’s Three Romances

There are many considerations when selecting which edition to use in the preparation of a performance of core repertoire such as the Schumann Romances. To my mind, this new edition from Wiener Urtext Edition ticks all the right boxes, and in doing so is somewhat a revelation…

Phillip Keveren’s Latest Hat Trick

American composer and ace arranger Phillip Keveren has been a busy chap this year, and among several publications he has just brought us three new anthologies for advanced players in his immensely popular Hal Leonard “Phillip Keveren Series”…

Discovering the piano music of Leoš Janáček

From the emotive nostalgia of On an Overgrown Path, via the outpouring of 1. X. 1905 and the reflection of In the Mists to the highly personal utterances of his late piano pieces, Janáček’s contribution to the piano repertoire is surely one of the most personal, as well as one of our greatest treasures…

Alexis Ffrench: ‘Truth’

“Truth” is the new album from chart-topper Alexis Ffrench, and for those with the enthusiasm and ability to play this music, Hal Leonard have produced a must-have and handsomely presented volume… here’s my review:

Liszt’s Late Pieces 1880-1885

While Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was perhaps the most significant of the pianist-composers of the nineteenth century, the significance of his late piano pieces has been the subject of much debate.

Bärenreiter have delivered a scholarly edition of this astonishing music which is long overdue, and they have done so with typical panache…

Górecki: Piano Album

The piano music of Polish modernist composer Górecki included in this enterprising collection from Boosey & Hawkes is certainly of considerable interest, and surely deserves a permanent ongoing place in the repertoire…

Women Composers: A Graded Anthology

With the arrival of a third book to complete Melanie Spanswick’s groundbreaking ‘Women Composers: A Graded Anthology’ series, I am republishing my earlier review, fully expanded and updated to include a comprehensive overview of the whole series…

“HerStory”: The Piano Collection

HerStory is a singular and significant achievement, lifting the lid on a terrific range of superb music. The collection will undoubtedly and very deservedly be recognised as one of the most significant publications of 2022.

An Expedition into Czech Piano Music

This new publication from Bärenreiter will come as a joy to those who are already familiar with the riches of piano music by Czech composers past and present, will be a revelation to those who don’t, and must be considered an essential purchase for all advanced players keen to expand their repertoire…

The New, Improved Microjazz

As we congratulate Christopher Norton on his 40-year achievement with the Microjazz series, he shows no sign of slowing down, even though he has surely already given us several lifetimes of music to enjoy, an absolute treasure trove!

Here’s the latest:

Beethoven: Klavierstücke

As one who regularly teaches Beethoven, the availability of so much central repertoire in one brilliantly presented and editorially authoritative publication is priceless, and stunning value…

Josh Winiberg: Change

For those who enjoy the contemporary piano style and are looking for music which will perhaps challenge them more on a technical level, this publication can be recommended without reservation…

Kashperova: In the Midst of Nature

If you haven’t previously encountered the music of Russian composer Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940), be kind to yourself: until recently, her name was known only as Stravinsky’s piano teacher, her own rich musical output entirely forgotten.

Happily the situation is changing…

Elena Cobb: Recital Piano Solos

As she continues in her passionate drive to promote the music of others, we must hope that Elena Cobb also continues to exercise her own wonderful, musical voice.

Meanwhile, these two collections include some superb music that we can enjoy today!

Patrik Pietschmann’s Movie & TV at the Piano

With 1.59 million subscribers and more than 400 million video views, Patrik Pietschmann is an internet sensation.

Now Schott Music bring us 10 of his most epic piano arrangements from the streaming universe…

Egon Wellesz: Sechs Klavierstücke op.26

These pieces are truly gripping, and provide a superb introduction to a dissonant but deeply expressive school of composition which many still shy away from. Suitable for players working towards UK Grade 7-8, they introduce a musical language can surely be as beguiling as it is unexpected…

Christmas Classics: Jazz Piano Solos

This book is an easy recommendation to any more advanced player who has ever fancied playing popular Christmas music in a lounge jazz style.

And if you happen to be playing background piano live in a public space or private function this Christmas, this book is the one you need to order, quickly!

Carl Davis: The Piano Collection

In celebration of Carl Davis’s 85th birthday on 28th October, his publishers Faber Music have brought out a beautifully presented, limited edition collection of his most classic works, selected and reworked for solo piano by the composer himself…

Herbert Howells: Piano Works

Herbert Howells’ piano music surely deserves a far wider audience, and I hope that this publication will prove to be a significant step towards establishing these pieces as favourites with players and audiences alike.

Here’s the Pianodao review…

Yann Tiersen: Kerber

Yann Tiersen is best known for his brilliant and suitably quirky soundtrack to the movie Amélie, which yielded such contemporary classics as the Waltz from Amélie and of course Comptine d’un autre été.

His new album ‘Kerber’ is one of those albums within the new classical space which I think deserves repeated listens, and which I believe will stand the test of time.

The sheet music publication is also now available… here’s my review:

The Impeccable Piano Music of Francesco Cilea

It is surely a pity that only the most “serious” of works tend to survive the rigours of history; in the case of the piano repertoire a golden age of domestic music-making in the mid nineteenth to twentieth centuries has left us with an astounding wealth of wonderful by now too-little-known music ripe for rediscovery…

Peaceful Piano Solos • The Series

The Peaceful Piano Solo series from Hal Leonard is an easy recommendation, delivering a brilliant selection of contemporary favourites in a tastefully presented set of anthologies, with nicely playable editions.

Simon Hester: Scenes from the Movies

This collection leaves no doubt that Simon Hester is a superb composer, whose music deserves a far wider currency. Whether performed as individual miniatures or as a concert set, Scenes from the Movies is sure to delight players and audiences alike…

The Faber Music Contemporary Piano Anthology

The Faber Music Contemporary Piano Anthology offers 52 “beautiful neoclassical pieces for solo piano”. Let’s find out whether it lives up to the high standards set by the series…

Alma Deutscher: From My Book of Melodies

Based on her SONY Classical recording of the same name, From My Book of Melodies brings together the original compositions of Alma Deutscher, including pieces based on melodies that she composed from the age of four to fourteen, one piece for each of those eleven years.

Here’s the Pianodao review…

Howard Skempton: 24 Preludes and Fugues

Howard Skempton’s 24 Preludes and Fugues are a timely reminder of his colossal intellectual stature and communicative capability. Melodic lines, counterpoint and expressive phrasing are as musically compelling as they are logically inevitable.

This is an important publication…

Is this the definitive KV 331?

For all students and performers of Mozart’s music (including those selecting this for their Grade 8 or diploma exam), this revelatory new edition is a priority purchase, recommended without reservation.

Alexis Ffrench: The Sheet Music Collection

Chances are readers will have encountered the music of Alexis Ffrench; his albums Evolution and Dreamland have both topped the classical charts making him the UK’s biggest selling pianist of 2020, and his music has amassed over 200 million streams online.

Now, in conjunction with Universal Music and SONY, Hal Leonard bring us the official music book of Ffrench’s biggest piano hits to date, Alexis Ffrench: The Sheet Music Collection.

Here’s the Pianodao review….

Karol Kurpiński: Polonaises

Karol Kurpiński (1785-1857) was a leading figure in the musical life of Warsaw in the early nineteenth century, and a significant inspiration to his much younger compatriot Chopin. These three Polonaises offer us a glimpse of why.

Find out more in the latest article in the Music from Chopin’s Land series, which includes a video tutorial by the French pianist Ernestine Bluteau.

‘The Maiden’s Prayer’ and beyond

While The Maiden’s Prayer is one of the most beloved piano pieces of all time, its composer Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska remains one of the many great female composers of the early 19th century whose music was largely ignored in the 20th…

The Most Beautiful Paderewski

Paderewski’s hugely appealing contribution to the solo piano repertoire fully deserves its place at the centre of the classical literature. Don’t miss it!

The John Rutter Christmas Piano Album

Fans of Rutter’s music will need no persuasion to grab a copy of this release, but for any early advanced player and beyond who enjoys Christmas music, this now joins a select few publications on the essential “must-have” list.

Play Piano for Well-being

Having reviewed and recommended a number of Faber collections before, I have always found them enjoyable and good value.

But this one is my new favourite…

Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora

Oxford University Press published Piano Music of Africa and the Afrian Diaspora in five volumes, compiled and edited by William H. Chapman Nyaho, between 2007-8. Between them, the books offer 60 pieces by 36 composers of African descent, organised by difficulty level…

Granados: Danzas españolas

Whenever playing or teaching these deliciously Spanish miniature masterpieces, I have found them hugely appealing and popular, and I have no doubt that readers newly discovering them for the first time will be similarly enamoured…

Ola Gjeilo: Night

I have played through a significant number of albums in this general vein before, but Ola Gjeilo’s Night has not only particularly impressed me, but is a collection to which I have absolutely no doubt that I will return for musical and emotional nourishment in the future.

Here’s the Pianodao review…

John Rutter: The Piano Collection

John Rutter’s Piano Album: A Flower Remembered, brings together 8 of his best-loved choral pieces in new transcriptions for solo piano.

To be honest, I wasn’t initially sure whether these pieces would be “my kind of thing”; though I found the Decca recordings a pleasant listen, it was only really when I sat down with the score that the pieces fully came to life. And I now very much love them!

Find out more in the Pianodao review here:

Relax with Meditative Piano

Here is a mixture of simply superb piano solo music, much of it little known but deserving global enjoyment: music that will linger in your heart for a lifetime.

There’s a danger that I’m going to get carried away here, because Relax with Meditative Piano is a book that inspires poetry in me as a reviewer.

It is just wonderful! Need I say more?

Well okay. Here’s the in-depth Pianodao review…

Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas: Wiener Urtext

Celebrating this 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, Wiener Urtext have recently released a fully updated and revised urtext edition of his 32 Piano Sonatas.

How does this edition compare to the stunning Jonathan Del Mar edition which I reviewed recently? Well, there are some surprises in store…

The Faber Music Jazz Anthology

The Faber Music Jazz Piano Anthology builds on the quality of its predecessors to deliver a sumptuous and brilliantly conceived book of jazz standards, newly arranged as piano solos for more advanced students and adult piano enthusiasts everywhere.

Definitely time for a closer look…

Alan Bullard: 24 Preludes

Alan Bullard’s 24 Preludes for solo piano are a valuable addition to the pianist’s repertoire and will, I have no doubt, be enthusiastically received by Advanced players looking for inventive and approachable contemporary music…

ABRSM’s Core Classics

ABRSM’s “Core Classics” series offers a useful and often attractive mix of music that is well-suited to the board’s exam requirements, and can equally be dipped into by other players for its varied selection of benchmarked repertoire, much of it not easily accessible elsewhere.

My First Tchaikovsky

Wilhelm Ohmen’s My First Composers collections from Schott Music are proving to be a series which keeps on giving…

It only seems yesterday that I reviewed My First Haydn, having previously taken a look at My First Schumann and My First Beethoven. The series also includes collections of music by J.S. Bach, Mozart and Chopin.

The latest collection to join the series is My First Tchaikovsky, the subject of this new review…

The Faber Music “Soundtracks Piano Anthology”

Faber Music have over the last couple of years greeted the onset of the Christmas shopping season with the publication of lavish anthologies, making perfect gifts for the pianist in your life (or indeed for yourself!).

New for 2019, the Faber Music Soundtracks Piano Anthology is a collection of 58 pieces which have appeared in movies or TV shows, including popular classics alongside recent film scores.

Let’s take a look….

Peaceful Christmas Piano Solos

Housed within a subtle, understated cover, “Peaceful Christmas Piano Solos” succeeds in looking very sophisticated from the outset… I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed in this excellent collection.

Jazz on a Winter’s Night

Jazz on a Winter’s Night has established itself as my all-time favourite Christmas music book, but its sequel gives it a run for its money!

Christmas Carols with a Classical Flair

Of all the carol arrangements I’ve yet seen for the more advanced player, this collection most especially serves up truly playable and enjoyable solo piano arrangements of these lovely melodies.

The Advanced Pianist

Taken as a whole, the Piano Trainer series surely ranks as one of the most useful, worthwhile and brilliantly executed contributions to the piano pedagogy library in recent years.

Philip Martin’s “New York Nights”

“New York Nights” offers the more advanced player a veritable “greatest hits” of Philip Martin’s more accessible pieces, and promises to be an essential purchase…

The Peaceful Piano Playlist

Faber Music have brilliantly encapsulated a very current musical zeitgeist with this collection, and it deserves to simply fly off the shelves…

Bertini’s Piano Études

The book will probably need a hard sell to persuade most children and teens to dig in, but determined and enthusiastic adult learners are likely to really enjoy these studies, both for their intrinsic merits in building technique, and for their very attractive musical qualities.

The Piano Music of Otilie Suková

Otilie Suková was the daughter of Antonín Dvořák and the wife of Josef Suk. A gifted musician, she played the piano and wrote several compositions of her own, inspired by her musical surroundings. Four of her piano pieces have survived; three were published in her lifetime, a fourth ‘To Dear Daddy’ has never previously been published. Now Bärenreiter have produced a typically gorgeous urtext edition of the four pieces, edited by Eva Prchalová. I’ve been playing them, and they are lovely. Here’s my review… The Edition Bärenreiter Urtext editions hardly need an introduction, their lush soft covers, luxury cream paper…

Leonard Bernstein’s Anniversaries

Bernstein’s Anniversaries are a hugely significant contribution to the solo piano repertoire, and this brilliant new edition from Michael Mizrahi will I hope quickly establish itself as a standard musical text.

Faber Christmas Piano Anthology

This is a book which has significantly raised the bar, instantly establishing itself as the new “must-have” Christmas music book.

All About Neefe

This keyboard music by Beethoven’s piano teacher Neefe undoubtedly played a huge role in young Ludwig’s music education…

Albéniz: Cantos de España

The piano music of Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), it seems to me, occupies a uniquely odd position in the classical piano repertoire…

Latin & Jazz Preludes

Much-loved composer Christopher Norton turned 65 this June, and while celebrating the milestone, long-time publishers Boosey & Hawkes issued newly repackaged editions of his hugely popular Latin Preludes Collection and Jazz Preludes Collection…

Which Mikrokosmos?

In this review I will be looking at classic edition from Boosey & Hawkes, and comparing the more recent Urtext editions from Henle Verlag and Wiener Urtext Edition.

Piano Kaleidoscope

“…a stunning compilation of wonderful and varied piano music suitable for players who have moved beyond intermediate level and towards the higher grades.”

Film Themes: The Piano Collection

Put simply, this is a brilliant collection for the more advanced pianist who wants to explore these movie themes and play them in intelligent piano arrangements.

Jan Freidlin: Four Stories

The ability to write an effective miniature for solo piano – one which is personal but idiomatic, original but accessible – remains one of the true challenges for any composer, and one that many of the “big names” in contemporary music have seemingly avoided.

No so for composer Jan Freidlin, who succeeds not just once but four times in quick succession in his latest publication rom Edition Dohr, Four Stories.

Faber Music Piano Anthology

This beautifully produced gift book makes the perfect present for the enthusiastic amateur pianist of intermediate to advanced level.

ABRSM: Spectrum 5

ABRSM returns with a new collection of contemporary classical piano pieces.

Relax with Beautiful Pieces

For those who play the piano purely for pleasure (rather than for certificates or prizes) the latest series of publications from Schott Music will be of special interest. The “Relax With” series is aimed at intermediate to advanced pianists who play “mostly at home for their own enjoyment”.

ABRSM’s Encore Series

The “Encore” publications are a brilliant addition to any piano student’s music collection, and can only help raise the quality and level of music making wherever they are used.

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