EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES • review by ANDREW EALES
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With the publication of their 2021-22 Piano Syllabus (reviewed in full here), ABRSM have given their scales requirements a significant overhaul, also publishing new scales books and resources.
In this review I will consider three main areas of this development:
- The new syllabus requirements
- The new ABRSM Piano Scales & Arpeggios books
- Scale Explorer for Piano – a new series of five graded books written for ABRSM by Alan Bullard
Let’s get straight to it…
Continue reading ABRSM Piano Scales 2021
SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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Alan Bullard will be known to many readers for his many contributions to popular educational series and in particular the excellent adult piano method series Pianoworks, co-written with his wife Janet, and recently reviewed here.
In addition to his educational publications, Bullard is a busy and accomplished composer of concert works, including the recently published Twelve or Thirteen Preludes for Piano Solo: Set Two (Minor Keys), a collection that follows on from the first Set (written in each major key), which was published back in early 2017 by Colne Edition, and distributed by Spartan Press.
With this new publication, Bullard joins the ranks of composers (including J.S. Bach, Heller and Chopin) to have written a Prelude in each and every one of the 24 major and minor keys. And I think they make a very solid collection, one that deserves wide currency…
Continue reading Alan Bullard: 24 Preludes
This year’s updated feature on adult method books begins with an in-depth look at each of my Top 5 Choices, after which I will include shorter reviews of some other great alternatives…
One of the most exciting developments over the course of my piano career has been the huge increase in adults taking up lessons. I have lost count of the number of adult beginners I’ve had the pleasure of teaching over the last three decades; at present I teach more than 30 adults.
I’ve seen adults taking up the piano for many reasons; some wish they had learnt when they were younger, while for others taking up piano as an adult is the next chapter in a growing musical interest.
Whatever the reason for starting lessons, the last thing most adults want is to be presented with Jimmy Timpson’s First Piano Lessons for Tiny Tots, or a minor variation with the word “adult” cannily stamped on the front cover.
And that’s perhaps one reason why my round-up of the adult beginner method books was by far the most-read article on Pianodao in 2019.
Fully refreshed for 2021, I’m delighted to present this updated and expanded version, including two major methods not mentioned last year.
But we’ll again begin with my top tips (also updated!) about what to look for in an adult method book, and why adults learn the piano differently to younger beginners…
Continue reading Which Adult Piano Method?
Sheet Music Review
The Graded Piano Player is a series of three books from Faber Music, comprising arrangements of well-known tunes specially arranged by leading educationalists for pianists from around ABRSM Grade 1-5 level.
Published back in 2016, the books return to the spotlight as two of these arrangements, Close Every Door from Book 1 and Wouldn’t it be loverly from Book 2 – have been selected for ABRSM’s 2019/20 syllabus (reviewed here).
When pieces are selected from the “alternatives lists”, there’s always a danger that a pupil might be expected to purchase a separate book from which they will only ever play a single piece – so teachers, parents and students will undoubtedly be interested to hear what the rest of the book is like, and in this instance the rest of the series.
With that in mind, let’s take a look …
Continue reading The Graded Piano Player