Teachers often ask me to recommend duet and ensemble pieces suitable for older players who are at intermediate level.
One context where this has added importance is the preparation of pieces for assessment as GCSE “ensemble” performances. Here there is a particular need for music at around ABRSM Grade 3 level, with suitably easy duet part for the classroom music teacher to play at sight, or for two or more students to perform together.
But equally, for those who teach siblings or paired/group lessons, intermediate music for more than one player can be an important – indeed essential – resource.
Happily, popular educational composer Mike Cornick has been on the case, writing brilliant arrangements for various combinations of players, and publishing several collections through Universal Edition over the years.
There are two particular sets of books well worth looking at. Firstly, there are several neat duet books, and secondly – more unusually – a series of books for larger combinations sharing a single piano.
In this review I will take a look at two of Mike’s latest publications:
- Movie Music Favourites: Eight arrangements for piano duet
- 4 Afro-Caribbean pieces for 6 hands at 1 piano