Grade 3 Piano Playalong

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ABRSM’s excellent Pop Performer! books reviewed here were among the big winners of 2022, and hot on their heels we can welcome a new initiative from Faber Music. However, Faber’s new Graded Playalong Series takes a rather different approach.

Launching at the tail end of 2022 with collections for Grade 3 piano, flute, alto sax, clarinet and drums, the Graded Playalong Series offers fresh arrangements that incorporate the use of backing tracks as a core musical feature. Let’s take a look at the Grade 3 Piano version…

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Trinity Rock & Pop Keyboards

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I recently reviewed the Rockschool 2019 Piano syllabus (please refer to that review here), and now have the opportunity to tell you about an alternative I mentioned in that review, offered by Trinity College London’s Rock & Pop Keyboard exams.

The disclaimers I made when reviewing Rockschool equally apply here: I haven’t entered myself or a student for the actual exams, and this review is based on the syllabus, publications and resources.

I also had the chance to chat to Trinity’s Head of Product Management Julia Martin and Product Support Manager for Music Govind Kharbanda, to whom I am most grateful for talking me through their syllabus and answering my plethora of questions.

As we shall see, the Trinity Rock & Pop offering has much in common with the Rockschool Piano syllabus, but there are also some significant points of departure. Together they occupy a unique space in the market; comparisons are inevitable, but I will aim to keep them for my conclusion!

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Latin & Jazz Preludes

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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, complete with accompanying CDs featuring newly-recorded demonstration performances by pianist Iain Farrington, who also delivered the recordings included with the more recent Eastern Preludes and Pacific Preludes Collections.

What better time to reappraise these publications?..

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