ABRSM’s Piano Star

Products featured on Pianodao selected for review by ANDREW EALES.
When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
GET ADVICE ON YOUR PLAYING.


ABRSM’s colourful Piano Star series of books for elementary players has been one of their most popular successes of recent years, and I was happy to be a contributor, my original compositions featuring in all four core music books.

I have previously written independent reviews of two series extras in which I had no involvement, Piano Star Theory and Piano Star Duets, but have yet to introduce the core series.

As with the Mosaic Series, even though I cannot independently review these publications they clearly belong in the Pianodao Music Library. This article will therefore offer a basic series overview, personal insight into the music I contributed, and I hope, enough information for readers to decide whether to take a closer look for themselves…

Continue reading ABRSM’s Piano Star

FREE! More Festive Gifts

FREE SHEET MUSIC DOWNLOAD
Courtesy of COLLINS MUSIC


When Collins Music published Karen Marshall and David Blackwell’s excellent Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers collection in 2018, they also brought out a few extra arrangements as downloads only, supporting the book.

I have picked my favourite three and with the permission of Collins Music, I am pleased to present them here with exclusive introductions by David Blackwell

Continue reading FREE! More Festive Gifts

Get Set for Christmas!

October is typically the month when musicians and teachers turn their attention to the imminent arrival of the festive Christmas season. It’s that time where we line up our resources, stock up on seasonal sheet music, and begin practising and teaching music with a holiday flair!

To support readers in their preparations, I am thrilled to be able to share an exclusive collection of seasonal downloads courtesy of Collins Music, Karen Marshall and David Blackwell.

Continue reading Get Set for Christmas!

ABRSM: ‘Piano Star’ Duets

Products featured on Pianodao selected for review by ANDREW EALES.
When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
GET ADVICE ON YOUR PLAYING.


ABRSM’s popular Piano Star series, which originally aimed at bridging the gap between the pupil’s first tutor book and ABRSM Grade 1 piano, continues to grow. The seventh and latest book is Piano Star Duets, which offers 26 newly composed or arranged piano duets for ‘early beginners to Grade 2’, compiled and edited by David Blackwell and Karen Marshall.

With five of these pieces also selected as duet alternatives in the 2021-2 ABRSM Piano Syllabus, which I recently reviewed here, the book is likely to tempt teachers and students looking for a one-stop collection of duets that they can dip into over a couple of years of lessons. That the pieces have been commissioned from some of our leading pedagogic composers further adds to the attraction.

Before taking a look, full disclosure. I contributed a single piece each to four previous titles in the series. However, I receive no ongoing royalty income from those, have absolutely no vested interest in the series, and chose not to contribute to the Piano Star Duets collection. I write here with full independence.

So, with that out of the way, let’s jump in with all four feet…

Continue reading ABRSM: ‘Piano Star’ Duets

Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers

Products featured on Pianodao selected for review by ANDREW EALES.
When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
GET ADVICE ON YOUR PLAYING.


Seasonal music has long-held a special place in peoples’ lives, enriching festivities, underpinning our devotion (both religious and to one another), and fostering community. So it’s no surprise that most piano method series add a Christmas book to their range sooner rather than later.

If Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers has taken longer to arrive than might have been expected, it is because the authors have taken their time to create more than just another Christmas songbook. Christmas Crackers has ambitious pedagogic aims.

Flicking through the pages of Christmas Crackers, it is immediately apparent that this is a Christmas book with a real difference, including so much more than just the same seasonal classics.

Continue reading Get Set! Piano Christmas Crackers

The Foundation Pianist

• Products featured on Pianodao are selected for review by Andrew Eales.
• When you purchase using the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, but this does not affect the price you pay.
• Andrew offers playing advice online through his Video Feedback Service.


Around this time last year, Faber Music unleashed The Intermediate Pianist series, co-authored by Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond. It was a solid success, warmly received by teachers and students alike, and in the Pianodao review I wrote:

“The Intermediate Pianist books get right to the heart of what learning music is really all about. This truly could prove a milestone publication – don’t miss it!”

As many readers will know, The Intermediate Pianist deservedly went on to win Best Print Resource at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence 2018.

This Autumn, it’s a joy to welcome the arrival of The Foundation Pianist, two companion books in Faber’s growing Piano Trainer seriesThis time, Karen is joined by new co-author David Blackwell.

Let’s see what’s included, and consider how these books might fit into a rounded curriculum for young pianists…

Continue reading The Foundation Pianist