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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Faber Music Ballads Piano Anthology

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The latest bumper publication to join the popular Faber Music Piano Anthology series focusses on pop ballads in solo piano arrangements suitable for advanced players.

As ever, the 176-page collection arrives wrapped in a classy, high quality thick matt card cover, with a sturdy but (in mine and my students experience) flexible spine that can both stand the test of time and lie flat on the music stand with minimal persuasion.

A lot of adults bring these books to my studio and consistently love them. Whether purchased as a gift book for a pianist friend or for your own study and enjoyment, any of the Faber Music Piano Anthologies is a top choice. With titles to suit all. including Soundtracks, Jazz, Contemporary and Christmas, you can explore the series here.

So let’s consider the latest addition…

Continue reading Faber Music Ballads Piano Anthology

The Piano Player: Wintertide Collection

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In a busy year for music publishers, Faber Music’s new series The Piano Player has quickly established itself as a distinctive and enjoyable new imprint.

Introducing the first title in the series, a stirring collection of British Classics released in time for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, I wrote,

“Aimed at intermediate players of all ages (and I suspect with a particular eye on the adult market), these look set to be a lovely collection of repertoire books.”

A second title, Classical Favourites, quickly followed (reviewed here), and hot on its heels we now have a third. Ready for the run up to Christmas, Wintertide Collection offers “A seasonal selection of 20 wintry pieces”

Continue reading The Piano Player: Wintertide Collection

Christmas • Peaceful Piano Playlist

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Every year, a flurry of new Christmas piano books arrive before the first snowfall, and this year is proving no exception.

Fresh from Faber, the Peaceful Piano Playlist: Christmas book sets the bar high, both in terms of content and presentation. The publication offers,

“A specially curated relaxing playlist of festive piano solos for the intermediate player”,

…and follows on from the popular Peaceful Piano Playlist publication which I reviewed here back in 2019.

Read on for the list of included pieces, and of course for the full review…

Continue reading Christmas • Peaceful Piano Playlist

Easy Christmas Piano Books

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The Christmas season is accompanied by a uniquely popular and significant body of music spanning multiple genres, and it’s no wonder that there are so many varied piano collections to choose from, whatever your level…

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Luke Howard: 28 Transcriptions

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Australian composer Luke Howard has suggested that his music evokes the material of life: as he puts it, “fragmented relationships, childhood memories, and the passages of time.”


Howard’s dreamy, oscillating music heavily features the piano alongside synth textures and strings, tapping into the now-ubiquitous classical crossover approach while combining pop gestures and misty melodies. Howard also fronts the Luke Howard Trio, whose subtle contemporary jazz albums should not be missed.

Originally published by Lukktone in 2020 and now brought to us in all its loveliness by Faber Music, the collection 28 Transcriptions for Solo Piano is a beautifully presented publication containing reworkings of Howard’s favourite and most requested pieces.

With a launch asking price of £40.00 (or make it £32.00 for Pianodao Tea Room community members), the volume perhaps isn’t an impulse purchase, but personally I think this book is a real treasure, so let me tell you more…

Continue reading Luke Howard: 28 Transcriptions

In Memory of Queen Elizabeth II ‘Lilibet’


During this time of sadness and reflection, I am heartened to share a beautiful free score courtesy of Faber Music, which they have kindly made available until the end of September.

Faber Music’s renowned educational composer Pam Wedgwood marks the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a solo piano piece, based on her adaptation of the National Anthem.

Introducing In Memory of Queen Elizabeth II ‘Lilibet’, Pam says,

“During this time of national mourning I want to help piano teachers and students mark the occasion. This arrangement of our National Anthem will hopefully serve not only as a tribute to The Queen, but also provide you with a little something to enjoy playing in lessons over the next few weeks.”

Pam’s arrangement is suitable for early intermediate pianists and above.

It is available to download for free during the period of mourning via the link:


You can read Faber Music’s official announcement here.

I would like to thank Pam, and all at Faber Music, for this kind gesture of support as we all process our sense of loss.

The Symphony: From Mannheim to Mahler

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With impeccable timing at the start of a new academic year, Faber Music have just released The Symphony: From Mannheim to Mahler, an accessible new guide written by Christopher Tarrant and Natalie Wild, which hopes (and in my view deserves) to become a standard text for A’ level and undergraduate students.

While not a piano book, this publication certainly merits the attention of any advancing pianist or teacher with an interest in the core classical tradition; as the dominant instrumental form from the mid-eighteenth century onwards, the symphony’s parallel development and symbiotic relationship with the sonata undoubtedly make an understanding of the former helpful for a full appreciation of the latter.

With that in mind, let’s take a look…

Continue reading The Symphony: From Mannheim to Mahler

The Piano Player: Classical Favourites

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Less than three months after Faber Music launched ‘The Piano Player’ (a plush new series of intermediate piano solo collections) with British Classics (reviewed here) they are back with the second instalment.

The Piano Player: Classical Favourites features “20 of the most popular pieces of classical music”, some originals but mostly arrangements. And in line with the signature style of this new series, the publication is beautifully presented sporting the lush artwork of Edward Bawden (1905-1989)…

Continue reading The Piano Player: Classical Favourites

Paul Harris Webinar: A Piece a Week

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Paul Harris’s Piece a Week series has been among the triumphs of recent years. In my own teaching these books have become a staple with students of all ages, and the number one top sight reading resource that I recommend and use. I have reviewed the books for Grade 1-6 here and for Initial Grade here.

Now Faber Music bring us a combined book covering Grades 7 and 8, which completes the series. The book maintains the educational approach and musical engagement of its predecessors, so for more information please be sure to read those previous reviews.

The final book well and truly lives up to the sky-high standards of the rest in the series, and is in my view truly superb.

To give you a taste, Faber Music have generously provided this FREE piece from the book as an exclusive Pianodao download:


And now for Paul Harris in person…

Faber Music kindly organised a special webinar for Pianodao Tea Room members, celebrating the new release and giving him the opportunity to outline the series in person, introduce the final book, play some of the pieces, and answer questions. For those who missed it, I am pleased to share the full webinar recording below.

To catch future events in the Tea Room, why not come and join us?

Here is the recording…


To use the special promotional code announced by Rachel Topham in the webinar, here is the Faber Music online purchase link.

The Piece a Week series is available now from music retailers everywhere.


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